Los Angeles might be famous for many things, but around the world, people think of Hollywood first, and there is a certain logic to that. There is so much to see and do in Los Angeles, but much
of the entertainment industry and celebrity culture is rooted in Hollywood Boulevard. Many movies about movies (and there are a lot) center themselves around Hollywood. And the place doesn’t disappoint, featuring dozens of attractions and amazing places people all over the world come to visit and appreciate.
We want to showcase here some of these places for you, separating the best from the rest. Whether it is a place you can walk through, a theater you can experience a film in, or just a fixture of the area you can’t avoid while you take in the general vibe, there is something for you. A little variety is just what you will need after a while, and there’s enough to keep you going for days, if not weeks.
Whatever your interests, here are ten of the attractions you should try to prioritize going to on Hollywood Boulevard if you can:
1) TCL Chinese Theatre
One of the most famous theatres in the world, the TCL Chinese Theatre is an institution that has been the home of far too many red carpet events and premieres to count. And with recent upgrades (including the world’s largest IMAX auditorium), the theatre is ready for a whole new century of filmmaking, with the biggest and best screens and projection equipment available. It is one of those places that is both historic and modern without compromising on either.
If you love movies, you have to go to the TCL Chinese Theatre and see a film there. It’s as simple as that and there’s a strong chance you’ll be more impressed with the theatre itself than whatever you watch.
While it’s often busy in some regard, you can probably find a showtime that works for you listed on their webpage.
2) Dolby Theatre
While film is amazing and the centerpiece of Hollywood life, sometimes there is just nothing like a live performance, and for live performances, you go to the Dolby Theatre. Known generally for hosting the Academy Awards since its opening in 2001, the theatre for the rest of the year will have things such as symphony performances, other awards shows, and concerts. Some live TV shows such as America’s Got Talent are hosted and filmed right at the Dolby Theatre.
Yet the Dolby Theatre is a work of art in itself, standing tall and proud on the Boulevard as part of the Hollywood and Highland Center (along with the TCL Chinese Theatre) and it has a bit of Hollywood in itself, having mementos and reminders of previous awards ceremonies almost built into the design of the place. It might be worth a visit for this alone, and there are often tours available to get a bit more from your visit.
And of course, you may wish to go see a show or event there yourself. You can check their schedule online and see if there is something that will interest you.
3) El Capitan Theatre
Another historic theatre on Hollywood Boulevard that’s worth a visit, the El Capitan Theatre has been home to some major premieres in the past and has maintained the classic theatre look and feel that so many moviegoers love.
And in 1989, the Walt Disney Company decided to invest in the renovation of the El Capitan Theatre, and it was a revolutionary change. While the theatre certainly was nice before, now it is working to the full extent of its capabilities, utilizing new technology and infrastructure to make the audience experience astounding.
Now the El Capitan Theatre is the host for most if not all of Disney’s major premieres, making them great events with a screening worthy of the films being shown. If you are a Disney fan, then going to the El Capitan Theatre should be a priority.
4) Hollywood Walk of Fame
We are sure you have heard about the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but have you ever gone yourself to take in just how long it is and how many stars there have been to grace the path?
Close to the Dolby Theatre, the Hollywood Walk of Fame consists of nearly 2700 terrazzo and brass stars in the sidewalks, beautiful and orderly. The walk consists of names of important people in the industry and among various categories, relating to film, theatre, and more. Walking down it, you’re certain to find some names you recognize and perhaps a few you’ll want to look up.
If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll be able to see a star ceremony yourself and you’ll get to see (perhaps at a distance, depending on the crowding and social distancing restrictions) everything come together with a fair share of celebrities.
5) Madame Tussauds Hollywood
Going to Madame Tussauds Hollywood is a bit of a tradition. A wax museum and house of wonders all in one (at least if you like wax sculptures), they have a world famous reputation for a reason. With different exhibits or zones ranging from classic Hollywood to modern pop icons, there’s a little something for everyone here. There are also some experiences and shows there to enjoy, in case you want to stop wandering for a while.
And alongside the artistic merit of what you see, you will also be unable to help but admire the craftsmanship at work. How many hours of work must have gone into the details found in each figure?
Just one word of warning: the wax figures look so lifelike you might get a little spooked from them! Someone will always be just around the corner, still and watching.
6) Hollywood Wax Museum
Is Madame Tussauds not enough wax for you? Then you’ll want to visit the Hollywood Wax Museum, which has wax figures and replicas of stars of all types. It is one of the most visited attractions in the area, and a fun time for the whole family.
The museum is focused more on the stars than anything else, and many of the big names are there in wax. Since its creation in 1965, it has only grown in popularity and size, with there now being four total locations.
As mentioned, it’s a great place to bring a group of people for a fun time, and also just perfect for photo opportunities. Just look online and you’ll probably find more selfies with wax stars than you can count.
7) Hollywood Museum
There are museums of all sorts all across Los Angeles and several on Hollywood Boulevard, but the Hollywood Museum stands out for its ability to take Hollywood and present its vastness in a way that people can still take away a lot and not feel entirely overwhelmed.
The museum hosts thousands of pieces of memorabilia from films and stars, whether you are looking for iconic wardrobes or large-scale props. There are pieces from much older films and shows and movies that have only been out for a few years. Whatever your interests and favorites are, you’re likely to find something to interest you and take you in.
They change their major exhibits all the time, so be sure to check out their website to see if there’s anything that makes you want to go right away.
8) The Hollywood Sign
The Hollywood Sign is less an attraction you can visit (or even that you would want to visit) and more a staple of the region that cannot help but make its presence known. You’ve seen it. We’ve seen it. Everyone has seen it. But seeing it in a photo or on film is nothing like seeing it in person, where you control the view and you control the sense of scale.
While visiting the sign itself might not be the best idea or even possible most of the time, that isn’t to say that it isn’t a major attraction. Instead, it might be more fun to try and scope out the best spots to get a picture with it, using perspective to your advantage. It is effectively part of the landscape, so we advise treating it as such.
9) Larry Edmunds Bookshop
The last remaining bookshop on Hollywood Boulevard, Larry Edmunds Bookshop is a huge bookshop that readers and film lovers alike will love to visit. While it’s a movie city for sure, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for the written word.
Founded in 1938, the place is effectively an institution into itself at this point. And while the shop has all sorts of books on the shelves, what really sets them apart is their focus on film history and the history of Hollywood in general, and anyone interested in either topic is sure to find something they will want to take home.
If you plan ahead or get the timing right, you might also find that there are community events that you can enjoy, perhaps learning a bit more about film, writing, or Hollywood history that you otherwise wouldn’t have any idea about.
10) Starline and Bus Tours
It’s a little less of an attraction and more of an experience, but Starline Tours is one of the biggest names in the area, and they have been in business for what seems like forever. The bus tours (or something similar) are often used by tourists and can provide a unique experience, perhaps showcasing various other attractions in a new light. The tours themselves vary, and you might not like one tour as much as the others, but the ones that focus on Hollywood Boulevard can be interesting.
And while we understand you may want to explore Hollywood Boulevard and the area on your own and at your own pace, but we do think that taking some sort of your can get you a great lay of the land. It might also get you the chance to see things you otherwise wouldn’t and give you ideas for future trips where you can take your time.
If you’re a longtime local to Los Angeles, another way to look at this is to look out for the busses and tours yourself, taking a look at the tourists and where they might come from. They’re a regular sight to be sure, but the people themselves might be different enough to warrant your attention.
Few places are as famous or frequented as Hollywood Boulevard, but did you know about all the above places? Are there any you want to visit next time you are in the area? Have you been to any before? Let us know and more importantly, let your friends and loved ones know if you want to take a trip with them. Doing any of the above is a great time as a group and makes for a memorable day or evening out. Yet whatever the case will be for you, we hope you have an amazing time.