The Beginner's Guide to Hollywood

Tinseltown 101


No trip to Los Angeles is complete without a visit to Hollywood, the home of movie studios, many of LA's most popular and historic tourist destinations, and its world-famous namesake boulevard. Whether you're visiting Hollywood for the first time or a lifelong Angeleno, this guide will help you get the most out of your experience. From navigating the neighborhood to hotels, restaurants, events and much more, read on for the Beginner's Guide to Hollywood.

  • Founded in 1887 by H.J. Whitley (aka the "Father of Hollywood")
  • Nickname: Tinseltown (established 1915)
  • The Hollywood Sign is 45-feet tall and 450 feet long
  • Hollywood is in the Pacific Time zone (UTC−8). In the Summer (Daylight Saving Time) it's PDT (UTC−7).
Hollywood Farmers Market
Hollywood Farmers Market  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Neighborhood

According to the Mapping L.A. project of the Los Angeles Times, Hollywood street boundaries are as follows:

  • North - Hollywood Boulevard from La Brea Avenue to the east boundary of Wattles Garden Park and Franklin Avenue between Bonita and Western Avenues
  • South - Melrose Avenue
  • East - Western Avenue
  • West - La Brea Avenue or the West Hollywood city line

The diverse neighborhood includes areas such as Franklin Village, Little Armenia, Spaulding Square, Thai Town and the Yucca Corridor.

City of Los Angeles

Government

As a neighborhood within the Los Angeles city limits, Hollywood does not have its own municipal government.

For more information, visit the official website of the City of Los Angeles.

Hollywood Bowl Scenic Overlook

Weather

Los Angeles is world-famous for its beautiful mild weather, with 292 days of sunlight/partial sunlight a year and an average high temperature of 75 °F and an average low of 56 °F. The Los Angeles area has many microclimates - daytime temperatures can vary as much as 36 °F between inland areas such as the San Fernando Valley or San Gabriel Valley and the coastal basin.

  • Summer - warm to hot and almost completely dry
  • Winter - mildly cool to warm, with occasional rain
  • Spring & Autumn - because of the long Winters and Summers, Spring and Autumn hardly exist compared to other climates. The rainy season usually ends by mid-May, while summer weather patterns typically last until mid-November.
Roosevelt Hotel Pool   |  Photo:  Yuri Hasegawa
Roosevelt Hotel Pool  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Hotels

From budget and landmark hotels to boutique and luxury properties, there are dozens of hotels waiting to host you in Hollywood. Find the perfect hotel today! 

Flyaway Hollywood | Photo: Yelp
Flyaway Hollywood | Photo: Yelp

LAX FLYAWAY®

The FlyAway® bus service provides convenient regularly scheduled round-trips, seven days a week, between each terminal at LAX, Van Nuys and Union Station. Passengers leaving LAX may board buses on the Lower/Arrivals level in front of each terminal at the blue FlyAway® columns. Each bus is marked with its service location.

Metro Station | Photo: Yuri Hasegawa
Metro Station | Photo: Yuri Hasegawa  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Getting Around

GO METRO

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is the public transportation agency for LA County. Metro operates light rail, heavy rail, bus and bus rapid transit services.

Metro's base fare is $1.75. Day passes are $7. You can pay cash each time you board a Metro bus (bus operators don't carry change, so you'll need exact fare) or buy and add value to a reusable TAP card from TAP vending machines at Metro Rail or Metro Orange Line stations. No rail service is available between 2-4 a.m.

Metro Station at Hollywood and Highland
Metro Station at Hollywood and Highland  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

METRO RAIL
Metro Rail services LA County with two subway lines (Red and Purple) and four light rail lines (Blue, Green, Gold, Expo). It connects with the Metro Liner bus rapid transit system (the Orange Line and Silver Line) and also with the Metrolink commuter rail system. A Metro Rail & Busway map is available for download.

Hollywood is serviced by the following Red Line stations:

  • Hollywood/Western
  • Hollywood/Vine
  • Hollywood/Highland
  • Universal City/Studio City (Universal Studios Hollywood)

All Metro Rail lines run regularly between 5am and midnight, seven days a week. Limited service on particular segments is provided after midnight and before 5am. On Friday and Saturday nights, service operates until about 2am. There is no rail service from 2-3:30am, except on special occasions such as New Year's Eve. Exact arrival times vary from route to route. For GPS-based arrival times, use the Metro Nextrip Service.

Property of Discover Los Angeles
Foto mit freundlicher Genehmigung durch L.A. Urban Soul,Flickr

DASH HOLLYWOOD BUS
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) operates the DASH Hollywood bus service. Cash fare is 50 cents, or 35 cents with a TAP Card. Weekly and monthly passes are available. DASH operates Monday through Saturday. No service on Sundays or the following holidays: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. For more info, visit the LADOT website.

driving school

Driving in Hollywood

Los Angeles is world-famous for its car culture. Angelenos spend a good portion of their time driving around LA, whether it’s for work or pleasure. Many visitors enjoy exploring the city in a car. Whether it’s your first time in the City of Angels or you’re a frequent visitor, here are some basic driving rules and tips to help you discover Hollywood. 

The World-Famous Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood
The World-Famous Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Top 10 Must Sees at Universal Studios

Universal Studios Hollywood is the only authentic, working movie studio and theme park in the world. It's as much a can’t-miss for visitors as it is a popular weekend attraction for LA locals. From the world famous Studio Tour to thrilling rides and family friendly attractions, the magic of moviemaking is made real for everyone who comes to experience it. Read for ten must-sees for your next visit. 

Hollywood Sign
Hollywood Sign  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Best Views of the Hollywood Sign

Since it was dedicated in 1923, the Hollywood Sign has become a Los Angeles icon and synonymous with the city. Today the 45-foot-tall, 350-foot-long sign is in its best condition ever, thanks to the ongoing preservation efforts of the Hollywood Sign Trust. From hiking trails to unique views on horseback and even in a helicopter, read on for the best ways to view the world-famous Hollywood Sign.

TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX in Hollywood
TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX | Photo: TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX

Hollywood Icons

Hollywood is home to some of LA's most famous and historic landmarks. Click the following list and find out more about these iconic Hollywood locations.

  • Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Griffith Observatory
  • Universal Studios Hollywood
  • Pantages Theatre
  • Hollywood Roosevelt
  • Hollywood Bowl
  • TCL Chinese Theatre
  • Capitol Records Building
  • Musso & Frank Grill
  • Yamashiro
  • Hollywood Forever
StarLine Bus Tours Hollywood
StarLine Bus Tours Hollywood  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa
StarLine Bus Tours Hollywood
StarLine Bus Tours Hollywood  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Starline Tours

Since pioneering the Movie Stars Homes Tour in 1935, Starline Tours continues to offer the best of LA to visitors from around the world. Starline offers a variety of Hollywood sightseeing tours, including the one-hour Hollywood Fun Tour and the Movie Locations Tour, a collaboration with Turner Classic Movies. Private bus charters are also available.

Starline's main terminal is located at the world-famous TCL Chinese Theatre - pick-up and drop-off from many hotels in the greater LA area is also available. Starline tours are fully commented by professional guides, in comfortable air-conditioned coaches or mini-buses. The only exception is the CitySightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Tour, which is guided by GPS pre-recorded professional commentary in nine languages, while guests ride in an open-top double decker bus.

Hollywood Walk of Fame at Metro Hollywood/Vine Station
Hollywood Walk of Fame at Metro Hollywood/Vine Station  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremonies

The world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame features more than 2,700 terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalk along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street. The five-pointed stars honor the accomplishments of actors, musicians, directors, producers and others in the entertainment industry.

The public is invited to view the star ceremonies, which are free and do not have assigned seating. Find out how to attend a star ceremony and the latest celebrities being honored with our guide. 

Yamashiro, Hollywood   |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa
Yamashiro, Hollywood  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Dining

Los Angeles has one of the best dining scenes in the country, offering everything from street food to James Beard Award-winning restaurants. In Hollywood, food aficionados can dine at landmarks like Musso & Frank Grill and Yamashiro, or experience the acclaimed restaurants of culinary stars like Ludo Lefebvre, Michael Cimarusti and Curtis Stone. 

NOTE: Although tipping is not mandatory, it is customary at most sit-down restaurants that offer table service. In general, the average tip is 15-20% of the total meal cost, including drinks.

Last call at bars in Los Angeles is 2 a.m.

Dine LA
Taking place each year, Dine LA is a 15-day dining event that features special prix fixe menus at more than 300 restaurants, showcasing Los Angeles as a premier dining destination while highlighting the diversity of the city's culinary experiences.

Hollywood Bowl fireworks
Photo: Hollywood Bowl

Entertainment

Day or night, there's always something happening in Hollywood. There's endless entertainment for everyone, from family friendly events to unforgettable concerts by superstar performers. Start exploring the Los Angeles Event Calendar and you're sure to find plenty to do in Tinseltown.

The Hollywood Christmas Parade

Hollywood Christmas Parade

Each year after Thanksgiving, Santa Claus arrives in Tinseltown along with floats, celebrities, and marching bands along Hollywood Boulevard in the Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade.

LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT)

Disability Services

For those with disabilities, there is convenient access to transportation and attractions throughout the city.

LAX provides various services for disabled travelers, including ground transportation and wheelchair services.

John Anson Ford Theatres
John Anson Ford Theatres

Accessibility at Venues

Popular attractions and venues in Hollywood and throughout LA provide disabled access. At Universal Studios Hollywood, many rides, shows, attractions, escalators and parking structures are designed to accommodate guests in wheelchairs and other disabilities.  A minimum of 200 wheelchair, semi-ambulatory, and companion tickets are available throughout the Hollywood Bowl. Inside the Ford Theatres amphitheatre there are 10 wheelchair spaces, 10 companion/ADA fixed seats and 14 transfer seats. Patrons can purchase up to three contiguous seats in the ADA section or as close to possible, if contiguous seats are sold out. The Greek Theatre is ADA compliant, providing 41 wheelchair and semi-ambulatory tickets throughout the theatre, including accessible seating for those with mobility disabilities who require accessible seating. Check with individual attractions and venues for more information.

El Segundo Fire Department

City Services

  • The Los Angeles Police Department is responsible for police services. The LAPD's Hollywood station is at 1358 N. Wilcox Ave.
  • The LA Fire Department operates four fire stations in the area: Stations 27, 41, 52, and 82.
  • The LA County Department of Health Services operates the Hollywood-Wilshire Health Center in Hollywood.

The City of Los Angeles has created a contact list for important services, such as Public Safety and Emergency Services (police and fire departments), Transportation & Parking, Animal Services and more.