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Abutting the Santa Monica Mountains, cut through with dramatic, wooded canyons, and threaded with hiking trails that offer panoramic views of the glittering metropolis below, the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles is where you go to experience Tinsel Town glamour of yore. This is where movie stars, execs, and Hollywood’s workaday toilers lived when the major studios were all still located nearby. Its bold-name attractions include Mulholland Drive, the Hollywood Bowl, and the Hollywood sign, which stands guard over it all. Tucked into the hillsides and canyons are historic homes designed by famous architects and charming Spanish Colonial Revivals with their signature red tile roofs. The allure of Hollywood Hills is decidedly more rustic than such ultra-ritzy locales as Beverly Hills, and it was a countercultural hub in the 1960s and ’70s. This place exudes a casual swankiness, and plenty of famous folks still call it home.
Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR), also called Bob Hope Airport, is the closest to the Hollywood Hills neighborhood at about a 20-minute drive. Once on the ground, you have many transportation options, including buses, trains, taxis, rideshares, and shuttles, but exploring the nooks and crannies of the Hollywood Hills is easiest with a rental car, so consider grabbing one at the airport.
Spring and summer are sure bets for long, bright days ideal for hiking or park-going in the Hills. Los Angeles’ generally warm and sunny weather is why entertainers put down roots here in the first place, so visitors can expect pleasant temperatures year-round, although rain, cooler days, and overcast mornings aren’t unusual in the fall and winter. If you hope to catch a show at the Hollywood Bowl, its programming typically runs from June until September.
The Art Aeco Griffith Park Observatory, with its distinct domed roof, is undoubtedly the most famous attraction in this 4,210-acre park that is home to two museums, an amphitheater, a carousel, myriad recreation facilities, and hiking trails. There are oddball sights to see here, too, such as the cave that served as the entrance to a lair featured in a famous TV series and the ruins of a long-abandoned zoo.
This wooded community of sprawling estates and bohemian cottages, many hidden on secluded roads, was a nexus of rock ’n’ roll culture in the 1960s and ’70s. Cruise this picturesque slice of California history for a chance to see historic homes, including an Edwardian mansion equipped with a deep water tank where a famous magician practiced his escape routines.
Forget trying to nab a reservation at the latest dining hot spot — if you want to see a celebrity, try hiking the scenic grounds of this popular park. Many stars have been photographed exercising or walking their pups in this 160-acre park. With wide mountainside trails that offer breathtaking views of the canyon and Los Angeles, rest assured you’ll get a great view regardless of whether you see someone famous.