One Way to do Los Angeles

This review,  on what can be achieved on a visit to Los Angeles, was formulated when my wife and I had a pre-cruise stay  in the city.

Los Angeles is a big city and spread over a considerable distance. We had found on a previous visit that taxis are not easy to come by unless pre booked.  For our stay the two best means of transport were either the LA Metro or the Ho Ho buses.

We stayed in the Intercontinental Hotel on the ‘Avenue of the Stars’ in Century City which borders the glamour district of Beverly Hills…

 

Having studied both transport systems we opted for a 2 day pass with the Starline Hop on – Hop off buses with the double benefit of their commentaries…

 

 *****

We also made particular use of the Intercontinental Hotel’s  ‘House Car’, a somewhat tongue in cheek description for their complimentary Limousine service…

 

Beverly Hills fascinated us and in particular Rodeo drive…

Rodeo Drive embodies all the glam of Hollywood and its film industry and is the flagship location for some of the most prestigious brands in the world…

*****

Of course there is so much more to see and most sights are in easy walking distance from Rodeo Drive…

That famous sign…

 

…that famous hotel…

…and the office of that famous son of LA fashion, Fred Hayman…immortalised here with statues outside his offices on adjacent North Canon Drive

 

 

There are 5 routes that the Starline HoHo buses take, each interconnecting with the other. The ticket entitles the bearer to interchange all 5 routes.

 

Taking the Red Route from Beverley Hills we were able to take in stops at the Farmers’ Market and Grove Theatre

*****

The Hollywood Forever Cemetery...

…resting place of Cecil B De Mille

…not forgetting Douglas Fairbanks

 

…and Johnny Ramone

 

 

Travelling along Vine Street towards Hollywood Boulevard those on top of the bus get a great view of that famous hollywood sign…

Arrival on Hollywood Boulevard is an experience in itself, whether it be a walk along  the Hollywood ‘Walk of Fame’…

…looking for your favourite, Robert Duvall

 

(From one of my favourite movies, Apocalypse Now)

 

…a visit to the TCL Chinese Theatre…

 

…with its frontage of nearly 200 Hollywood celebrity handprints, footprints, and autographs set in the concrete of the theatre’s forecourt…

And while here why not take the opportunity to visit the Dolby Theatre, the home of The Oscars

 

They actually run a programme of tours which give the visitor an insight into the Oscars, where it all happens, and some ‘behind the scenes’ experiences…

*****

Now what a shame, those tickets definitely say ‘NO CAMERAS/RECORDERS. So you’ll just have to believe us, we stood right on the stage…

There’s always a great atmosphere going on in this part of Hollywood Boulevard, it just buzzes.

 

Then there are those places with memorable names that, unless one has a personal interest, can be captured from the upper level of the bus. Some examples on the Red Route being…

Whisky a Go-Go on Sunset Strip…

Carney’s Diner, again on Sunset Strip…

…the Laughter factory…

 

 

and the ‘House of Blues’

Earlier along the route we passed the Los Angeles Museum of Art with its amazing collection of Lamp Posts

*****

…and of course too many other sites to mention.

 

Switching on our second day to the Yellow Route, we headed for Los Angeles coastline and the twin seaside towns of Santa Monica and Venice.

Santa Monica’s Ocean Avenue runs between the seafront hotels, apartments and restaurants on the one side and the famous Palisades Park on the sea side…

 

 

with its outstanding pier below the Park level and stretching well out to sea…

 

 

Santa Monica Pier actually marks the end of the historic United states highway, ‘Route 66’

Remember that great Rolling Stone number?

There are many attractions on the Pier including the original carousel dating back to the 1920s…

(Image courtesy of smgov.net)

…now housed in  the Merry Go Round House for protection against the elements…

 

and including that U.S. seafood institution Bubba Gump Shrimp Co…

…and the ubiquitous Ferris Wheel...

 

From Santa Monica the Starline Green Route follows the coast road parallel to the Pacific Ocean with its Ocean Front Walk, a two-and-a-half-mile pedestrian-only promenade  that features performers, vendors, artists and entertainers of all persuasions.

 

Venice also has its own sea pier, though this is in no way equal to the one at Santa Monica, its real function in life is for fishing…

 

It is Venice’s hinterland that provides its attractions other than on the beach.

Skipping the large Marina we concentrated on the Canals…

*****

*****

 

…and Venice’s other principal attraction, Abbott Kinney Boulevard…

Described as the ‘coolest block in America, ‘ Abbot Kinney Boulevard is no ordinary tourist attraction: with some of the finest restaurants in numerous numbers, unique art galleries,   prestigious wine shops and chic boutiques…

 

An historical destination evolving to a place that is writing a new history.

And you can’t escape Abbot Kinney either…

That’s him standing behind me.

And look at this classic Venice restaurant…

A converted fire station just a few blocks from Abbot Kinney boulevard.

Returning to Santa Monica we went back  to our hotel using the Red Route but not before taking in the Fox Studios…

We were very pleased to return to the Intercontinental where after refreshing ourselves we enjoyed pre-dinner drinks in the hotel’s main bar…

 

…and an excellent dinner in their adjacent restaurant…

Now that is what I call Tuna.

There was one attraction that I had set my heart on that we found all too difficult to reach in our timespan: a visit to the historic US Battleship, USS Iowa.

The following day we joined Silver Spirit and, as if by magic, there she was berthed adjacent to the cruise terminal…

In what must go down as the fastest check-in and check-out I managed to spend two hours onboard the Iowa…

*****

…and still make it back for emergency drill.

Footnote: For those who have not visited Los Angeles before there is of course the option of taking the Purple Route of the Starline HoHo service. This covers the Downtown Los Angeles area and its historic core which, as mentioned earlier, we had covered on a previous ship visit.

 

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3 responses to “One Way to do Los Angeles

  1. Another first class blog Richard . It is a place we haven’t visited , but would like too. This account gives a very good insight into what to see and do . Thank you

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