Our Hollywood Tour Experience
Here is our Hollywood tour experience, the good, the bad and the ugly! While in California for a conference in Long Beach, California, we decided to visit Hollywood before heading back to the east coast. Well, we took one of those Hollywood van tours with StarTrack Tours. Jimmy, our tour guide, was awesome! A Hollywood tour is definitely the way to see the sights in just 2 hours!
We knew this was a corny Hollywood tour, you know the van without the top – drive around and gawk at the stars homes and see rich people on Rodeo drive — right? Touristy of all touristy things! It may sound corny, but it was a great tour and we saw everything in Hollywood we could possibly see in just a couple of hours.
The guest activity desk at the Hilton booked our tour, and we were picked up right at the hotel. That was great – off we went! We crossed over a few roads and went straight up onto Mulholland Drive. We took a pit stop at the Hollywood Bowl Overlook. The tour guide gave us 5 minutes to walk the ledge area — Katie and I shot straight up the stairs to an overlook and whattayaknow! There was the Hollywood sign, and probably the best view of the sign we had on the entire tour! Katie and I were the only ones who hustled up the several flights of stairs to see it.
But, our guide didn’t tell anyone that you could see the sign from up there either, I just figured you could because we saw the sign driving up the road and the overlook positioned where you should be able to see it. Well, there it was!
Why didn’t he tell everyone to go see the sign? Probably because he’d lose everyone and the tour would get off schedule and yadda-yadda.. It was several flights of stairs to a little overlook on top of the hill. So Katie and I spent a couple of minutes at the top and hustled back down to find the van loading back up. We snapped a picture of the Hollywood Bowl Overlook and hopped in the van!
Off we went to travel the famous Mulholland Drive. As we made our way up into the hills on Mulholland Drive, which overlooks LA with spectacular views, Jimmy was listing off where the stars lived and giving us a history lesson. I’m not a huge celeb stalker, so I didn’t really care. But the views were great, especially from the Hollywood Bowl Overlook… One thing that irked me about the tour was the giant, unnecessary TV in the middle of the van – they used it to show you the inside of the celebs homes, but it was a giant waste if you ask me. He kept saying “look up ahead…” Well, there’s a 32″ TV in the way. So that was dumb. haha
Hollywood Bowl Overlook
But man, look at the view from the Hollywood Bowl Overlook… You can see the entire city, and I’m sure on a less smoggy day you could see a whole lot more!
Katie was more interested in the stars homes than I was – but we were skeptical about whether the stars really lived where he said they did. That is until he pointed out Drew Carey’s home.
Drew Carey’s house had a Gary Johnson sign right out front at the end of the driveway. As you know, Drew Carry is a Libertarian, so naturally you’d find a Gary Johnson sign at his home during the 2016 election season. So, from there on we gave the guide the benefit of the doubt as to who lived where.
We saw so many homes, some were built hanging off the ledges. Some had amazing views and some were just fun to look at. I can’t remember who lived where but here are a few shots I got of the celebrity homes…
This one was having some construction done, I think it was Sylvester Stallone’s house?
One more… You get the idea! We saw a lot of celebrity’s homes.
We also cruised down Rodeo Drive. I think everyone knows that Rodeo Drive is where you’ll find the most luxurious shopping, dining and hotels in the USA, and probably the world. If I want to blow a mortgage payment on a pair of socks, I know where to go.
I do wonder what it’s like on the other side though. The mega rich watching tourists in a topless passenger van driving up and down Rodeo Drive with a tour guide who’s yelling over the loud speaker “Yes, folks. These are real live rich people in their natural habitat!” (ha!)
We also found ourselves venturing through Beverly Hills where we found more stars homes. As I said, I could care less who lived where. I did enjoy seeing the different types of homes though. The architecture is different than what you may find here in New England. Personally, the homes were way too close together. I prefer living out in the woods I guess!
Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood Blvd is perhaps one of Hollywood’s most iconic stops, aside from viewing the Hollywood Sign. You’ll find sidewalks filled with famous people’s stars and yes, even some stars that were purchased. You can buy your own, you know!
There are maps of where you can find your favorite star’s star on the Walk of Fame – there’s a lot of stars so grabbing a map is probably your best bet. You’ll not only see some stars on the sidewalk as you’re looking down, but if you look up you may see one or two in real life. One thing is for sure, you’ll probably see some interesting folks there too – it’s a great place to people watch! People. Everywhere.
StarTrack Tour? Yea or Nay? You Decide!
We had a great time on the tour and suggest that if you only have a day in Hollywood, hop on a 2 hours tour and see all the sights!
On a side note, we drove by the Rusty Mullet twice, so I snagged a picture for you all. I have no idea what it is, but it looked funny, so…. *click-click*
Hilton Universal City
After visiting the LA ZOO, taking this tour – we finally got back to the Hilton Universal City at like 5pm, where by the way, we haven’t checked in yet!
We got checked in to the room we had reserved and had a killer view of Universal Studios – the view of Hogwarts was awesome!
Have you been on a Hollywood tour?