Glitz and Glam rule this City of Angels
You’ve seen the movie, but nothing beats the real thing. The Hollywood Sign in the hills watches over Sunset Boulevard’s studios, Rodeo Drive’s designer shops, star wannabes on Hollywood Boulevard, and the boardwalk on distant Santa Monica beach. L.A. sprawls, so it’s a place to drive with the top down. In Hollywood, go up to Griffith Park where James Dean drove his car off the cliff in Rebel Without a Cause, then walk past the 1920s Grauman's Chinese Theatre along the (literally) star-studded Walk of Fame or drive up Mulholland Drive for full views of the city from the hills. Don’t neglect art – the world-class Getty Center overlooks LA from north of Santa Monica, the LA County Museum of Art is a standout on Wilshire Boulevard’s "Museum Row." Head down Santa Monica Boulevard to get to the beach. If you need more glitz with your sand, go north to Malibu (where the stars live); for tattoos, go south to flamboyant Venice Beach. Hotels conjure different eras – the Chateau Marmont’s early Hollywood grace, the Highland Gardens Hotel (where Janis Joplin died in 1970), or 21st-century boutique hotels like Santa Monica’s Viceroy or West Hollywood's Sofitel. If you need a break from stars, low-key hipster locals go for booze and brunch in unassuming Silver Lake, several miles east of Hollywood. Of course, that’s on TV now too.