Hollywood has something that is more powerful in the minds of those who come to see the words written on hill that say "HOLLYWOOD". It has star power...everybody either wants to be a star or see one when they come to Hollywood.
What's so fascinating about fascinating Hollywood is the name itself has no intrinsic meaning other than what it has become. The founders of Hollywood, Harvey Henderson Wilcox and his wife, Daeida, established it as a residential development. Did Daeida select the name after she met a lady on a train whose summer home was called Hollywood, as some suggest? "The Father of Hollywood" by Gaelyn Whitley Keith attributes the founding to H J Whitley in 1886. Whitley Heights is on the National Registry and the Whitley, himself, is buried in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Hollywood isn't a city at all, actually. At an election on November 14, 1903, the residents of Hollywood voted to incorporate as an independent city but did an about turn in 1910 when they sought a reliable water supply and felt that would only be assured by being annexed into Los Angeles. The region has really run with the name and trademarked it, emblazoned it on the hills and spread the word about this place throughout the world.
When you visit, you'll see thousands of tourists from around the globe coming to Hollywood, putting their footprints and handprints into the castings of the famous celebrities next to Mann's Chinese Theatre, buying souvenir things with HOLLYWOOD on them, and taking tours in buses that provide narratives of the famous people. The Grayline Tours actually stop in front of celebrity houses and wait for a sign of someone to come out or wave. It's pretty crazy, but that's how it goes in a star-crazed place.
When you visit Hollywood, there's a lot to see and do.
Capitol Records, 1750 N. Vine, at the historic intersection of Hollywood and Vine. Landmark building is one of Hollywood's icons and built like a stack of records.
Mann's Chinese Theatre, 6925 Hollywood Blvd., The most famous theatre in the world was build by Sid Grauman in 1927 and features the hand and footprints of legendary movie stars. manntheatres.com/chinese
The Original Farmers Market, 3rd and Fairfax Ave., 213-933-9211. A Los Angeles tradition for over 60 years, features shops, produce, and a wide variety of dining establishments. farmersmarketla.com
Frederick's of Hollywood, 6608 Hollywood Blvd. World famous lingerie shop also includes the Celebrity Lingerie Hall of Fame, featuring lingerie from Hollywood movie stars. fredericks.com
Griffith Park, Vermont Ave. at Los Feliz. The largest city park in the U.S. is home to the famous Hollywood Sign, the Griffith Observatory, Autry Museum of Western Heritage, Greek Theatre, and other attractions. Griffith Observatory site: griffithobs.org
Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave. This 18,000-seat internationally-renowned natural amphitheater is the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. hollywoodbowl.org/
Hollywood Entertainment Museum, 7021 Hollywood Blvd. This long-awaited museum showcases Hollywood's entertainment industry, and features such attractions as sets from the television series "Star Trek" and "Cheers." hollywoodmuseum.com
Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., 323-469-1181. Final resting lace of many Hollywood luminaries. Melrose Avenue, A unique collection of galleries, fashion boutiques, restaurants and antique shops with the newest and best of fashion, trendy design and art deco nostalgia items of the 30s, 40s, and 50s. hollywoodforever.com
Paramount Pictures, 5555 Melrose Ave. Longest continuously operating film studio in Hollywood. Considered by many to be the most beautiful of the major studios. Two-hour walking tours Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Start at Visitors Center. Children must be over 10. paramount.com
Rock Walk/Guitar Center, 7425 Sunset Blvd., 323-874-1060. Handprints, signatures, and memorabilia from Rock 'n Roll's greatest musical performers and innovators are featured at this unique Hollywood attraction. Television Show Tapings. Hollywood is the place to see the television industry in action.
Universal Studios Hollywood, (818) 508-9600. Located off the Hollywood Fwy. at the Universal Center Drive and Lankershim exits. Includes popular attractions based on movies, back lot tours of actual film studios, and City Walk, a free admission entertainment, shopping and dining attraction. Open daily, except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Operating hours vary.
Walk of Fame - honors more than 2,000 stars of motion pictures, television, recording, radio and theatre. The Walk is located on Hollywood Blvd. between La Brea and Gower and on Vine Street between Yucca and Sunset Blvd. Approximately 20 new stars are added each year.
Where to stay? Renaissance Hotel, which is connected to the Kodak Theater is
very nice and has city lights views, or Hollywood hills with the Hollywood sign.
Magic Castle Hotel is across the street, and Roosevelt Hotel
Hollywood is just down the block. It has ghosts, some say, but you'll more
often see famous celebrities making phantom appearances.