FUN THINGS TO DO IN HOLLYWOOD WITHOUT LOOKING LIKE A TOURIST
Everyone and their mother knows that Hollywood is the entertainment epicenter of the world. Unfortunately, it's all too easy to fall victim to the seemingly endless list of tourist traps like TMZ Tours, the Hollywood Wax Museum, Universal CityWalk, or the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Thankfully, there are TONS of things to do in Hollywood that don't include standing in the Times Square of the West Coast, staring at a man painted in metallic silver paint doing the moonwalk for the 27th time. Whether it includes grabbing a drink at one of LA's most eclectic time-capsule lounges, catching a flick at an iconic theater, racing the clock and solving an interactive escape room, or checking out the local farmers market, these are the things you should be doing in Hollywood instead of hopping on an overpacked bus to go see Eddie Murphy's house.
LA has made it nearly impossible to get up to the actual Hollywood Sign, with misleading signage, red tape, and misinformation. While it is illegal to touch the actual sign, you can get pretty freaking close! This is where you should be taking your out-of-town friends or just making your way up to the top to snap an incredible photo for Instagram.
Swing by one of LA's top escape rooms and race against the clock to see if you and your friends have what it takes to break out in 60 minutes or less. 60 Out is one of the best-rated live escape rooms in the city, with varying difficulty levels and out of this world themes. There’s nothing better than working with your friends, under pressure, to rattle you and get you thinking on your feet while having loads fun. Can you beat the clock and escape your rhetorical death? There's only one way to find out!
One of the top local hotspots in Hollywood, Good Times at Davey Waynes to grab an alcoholic snow cone and get your groove on is a house hidden right inside of a refrigerator…literally. Get there early (there is a line to beat), get ready to get hit by a blast from the past, where you can rock out to some of the hottest tunes from ‘60s-‘80s music, grab some amazing eats and throwback cocktails in their outdoor garden/RV park, all while watching a roller-disco show on their rooftop!
ArcLight Hollywood has become a hotspot over the years, drawing crowds because of their geo-dome that can be seen from space. When the Minions movie came out, they converted the dome into a massive minion! It was a hit. They have a full stocked bar located in the theater, so you can grab a cold one before kicking back and enjoying the show. What’s even more fun is that they routinely feature exhibits of local art, movie props, and costumes!
One of the best, if not the best restaurant in all of Hollywood is found downstairs at the Redbury Hotel on Vine - Cleo. As you walk in you are greeted by a delightful rush of Mediterranean inspired glamour, decadent smells, and an ambiance that is enhanced by old Hollywood charm. If you’re looking for an incredible selection of drinks and bites, this off the radar destination is a must.
Long week at work? Tiki Ti (on the edge of Hollywood/Los Feliz), gives just about every tiki bar in America a run for its money. It’s small and may not look like much, but that’s part of the appeal, as it is rife with history, dating back to 1961, and is the one of the best tiki bars in Los Angeles. Come early, and on weekdays, for your best chances of grabbing a spot at the bar.
HOLLYWOOD MOVIES AT THE CEMETERY
Don’t let the idea of watching movies late night at a cemetery give you the heebie-jeebies. Cinespia’s cemetery movie nights at Hollywood Forever Cemetery are one of the most magical things you can do in the city. Classic movies to the backdrop of Hollywood at one of the most famous landmarks in L.A. Nothing’s better than that? Well except for the fact that you can bring in all your own food and booze. Just get there early and bring heaps of blankets.
Listen, Trader Joes is amazing. You can probably find me there no less than 3 times a week, but when the weekend comes around and you’re feeling a kick for local fruits and veggies, seafood, live music, and fresh squeezed juice, there’s no better place to be than at the Hollywood Farmers Market on Sunday AM. It’s early enough so you can still catch brunch right after!
LOOKING FOR MORE AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN LA?
For more things to do, places to go, and things to see around Los Angeles, check out some of our Neighborhood Guides and Lifestyle posts.