Travel Diary: Hooray for Hollywood

By Sascha Zuger

Indulge your inner movie star with a trip to Tinseltown. Here’s how we lived the high life of a celeb and explored this iconic destination…

Musso and Franks
We had to try what GQ, Esquire, Saveur, and several dozen other major mags deemed the “Perfect Martini.” But the signature flannel cakes— a sweeter version of a pancake, delicate but a touch more fluffy than a crepe — make a good excuse to pop by in the early hours if your nightlife taste runs more to New Hollywood than Old Hollywood.

Hollywood Sign
They don’t make it easy to visit, but locals tipped us off to a hiking path running just below the Griffith Observatory that led to a spot behind the famed hillside marker. Bring water, that last hill’s a killer!

That’s How We Rolls
When in Rome, hop on a moped. When in Hollywood, go uber glam if your pocketbook can handle it and rent an exotic or luxury car from Beverly Hills Rent a Car. Lamborghinis, Bentleys, Rolls – pick your poison and cruise Sunset Boulevard in style as tourists crane to see who’s at the wheel.

W Hollywood
The lobby of this chic boutique wows with live jazz and handcrafted cocktails tempting you to perhaps stay in vs. wandering the Hollywood Hall of Fame-lined streets outside. The suites are aptly named (Marvelous! Spectacular! Fantastic!), with a serious scene up in the rooftop pool, appropriately named Wet.

Pantages Theatre 

If you get homesick for the Great White Way, touring Broadway shows make a stop at this historic Art Deco movie house on Hollywood and Vine that hosted the Academy Awards in the early 1950s.

Hollywood Walk of Fame
Yes, you must allow yourself the occasional tourist moment and try out a handprint or footprint for size. A popular collection decorates the pavement in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. (We found Jenny on our block.)

Universal Studios VIP Experience
Leave the masses to the lines! This VIP experience starts with a private lounge for treats before you board a trolley to walk through famous movie and TV sets. Then, finish your day with a serious adrenaline rush as you’re escorted to the front of the line for the famous theme park’s Hollywood-themed rides.

Catch a Live Show
If you wanted more than a taste of behind the scenes, game shows, talk shows, and late night entertainers abound. Test your ability to refrain from yelling out “Jeopardy” answers, or get your groove on with “Ellen.”

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