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February 2016
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3:00 12 February 2016

Shooting the Skeet in Los Angeles

How about a skeet shooting adventure tour when you come to Los Angeles?

There Is More to a Private Tour Than Sightseeing

We include ADVENTURE in our company name for good reason.  We love to make an ordinary sightseeing tour of Los Angeles something more exciting.  Flying in a luxury helicopter, operating a Segway along the beach, a private meal cooked by a chef in a mountaintop estate…and skeet shooting are all part of our large repertoire of adventures.  How about some target practice?  Training is provided for beginners after we land our tour helicopter on the range and drive to the several traps around the course.  Ah, there’s nothing like the smell of cordite in the morning.  A skeet shooting adventure tour is just one of the many exciting excursions around Los Angeles that we are happy to arrange for our guests.  Anything that we have not thought of already we are open to doing when that special visitor comes along with a great idea.  Visit to the elephant seals rookerySimulated free fallHorseback riding in Malibu?  If you are looking for a Los Angeles adventure we can make it happen for you.

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Our private Los Angeles tour guests pose at Hollywood and Vine

Even the Streets Are Celebrities as Our Private Tour Learns

Hollywood and Vine” still carries some cultural weight when you say it despite the fact that the intersection is not quite what is was way back when in Hollywood’s Golden Age this was the center of moviedom.  Prior to 1910 when Los Angeles annexed Hollywood this would have been called the corner of Prospect and Weyse, two dirt trails through fruit orchards.  Soon after that things changed including the street names.  At one time the Brown Derby restaurant was nearby and major Hollywood studios were in walking distance.  There is still a lot happening at this famed landmark and the city not too long ago commemorated it by erecting tall obelisks topped with moving spotlights.  The corner is also notable for it’s Walk of Fame stars dedicated to NASA flight crews.  More contemporary restaurants are now located here, shops and a Trader Joe’s, upscale apartments and a boutique hotel (The Redbury) catty-corner from the W Hollywood Hotel.  Still here, thank goodness for some historical continuity, is the Frolic Room (a seedy dive bar that has Hollywood greatness written all over it) and the Pantages Theater, once home of the Oscars ceremony which is now hosted ten blocks away at the Dolby Theatre.  The crossing of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street is also important because the Walk of Fame also intersects here as it occupies the sidewalks on Vine Street up to the Capitol Records building.  This is a spot definitely worth exploring on a private Los Angeles tour and do we ever have stories to tell about this location.

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3:00 10 February 2016

Remembering O.J. on a Cloudy Day

Mezzaluna (formerly) – where Ron Goldman worked and Nicole and O.J. Simpson liked to eat

Curious Guests Join Us for Dark Side Tour to O.J. Simpson

We have been remembering the O.J. Simpson case throughout the years that we have been providing private tours of Los Angeles.  Visitors from all over the world have arrived with a morbid curiosity for the places associated with the gruesome murders of Ron Goldman and Nicole Simpson by famed football player and movie star O.J. Simpson.  We generally try to keep our tours light and entertaining but as soon as a guest suggests an interest in this salacious crime, or any other noted horror tale of Los Angeles, we indulge them with a visit to the places whose names and connection to the crime they might know.  In Brentwood we take them by the site of the former restaurant Mezzaluna where Ron Goldman waited tables and Nicole Simpson ate dinner before they were both brutally murdered by Nicole’s husband, O.J.  We also drive along the road where O.J. once had a house (long ago replaced) where he lived with Kato Kaelin.  We also visit the condominium where the horrifying act was committed and where the “bloody glove” was found.  The trial court, Johnny Cochran’s office building and other homes and offices associated with the case can be visited, too, if our guests are so inclined.  With the new FX series: The People vs. O.J. Simpson – American Crime Story garnering critical praise and a huge viewership we expect to visiting O.J. related sites throughout Los Angeles more often than in the past as our guests come here primed to see in person what is depicted on the television series.

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3:00 9 February 2016

Chinatown – Los Angeles Style

It's early in Chinatown in Los Angeles

Celebrate the Year of the Monkey on a Private Tour to Chinatown

Los Angeles is quite proud of its Chinatown neighborhood on the northeast corner of downtown (DTLA).  This is really New Chinatown which was constructed in the late 1930’s.  Our original Chinatown began not very far away in the 1880’s and flourished as Los Angeles became a major American city.  However, urban growth, shifting business interests and significant racism meant the decline of the once vibrant neighborhood until it eventually was condemned and redeveloped into what is today Union Station.  Happily there was sufficient political will and a more tolerant population for Chinatown to begin anew adjacent to our Little Italy.  A beautiful gate was constructed and New Chinatown was open for business.  And business was soon booming as it continues to do today.  Everything a visitor expects in such a neighborhood is here: great restaurants, shops and services.  The Gold Line trolley runs on elevated tracks through a wonderfully designed Chinese-themed station.  Civic events are regularly scheduled which attract Los Angelenos from all corners of the city.  Hollywood, too, loves the photographic possibilities and features the neighborhood regularly in television and movie productions.  We love to take our private Los Angeles tour guests to Chinatown whenever we explore downtown because it is very fine place to stop for a snack at a bakery or quick meal at one of our favorite restaurants, Yang ChowHappy Year of the Monkey to you!

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Blue ocean and green coastline after the rain comes in California

Guests Love Their Helicopter Tour of the California Coast

The heavy El Niño winter storm that passed through the southland stirred up the sand along the beaches which gives the shoreline waters a murky look when seen from above.  The views of the California coastline are incredible in the clear cool air of our winter months and just spectacular when the rain clouds are gone.  The “green” season is upon us and Southern California celebrates the green grasses on the hills and mountains.  Our private Los Angeles tour, aerial in one of our luxury helicopters (above), can journey down to San Diego, up to Santa Barbara or over to Catalina Island to really show off a coast line that is both rugged and well settled, bordered by craggy mountains and gentle sloping hills and in places nearby grand deserts.  What makes a helicopter tour special is that we can slow down and hover above anything special that we encounter along the way.  That is why we get such extraordinary photographs for our guests’ tour photo albums.

 

 

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3:00 5 February 2016

The Magic Castle Casts a Spell

The Magic Castle on a hill over Hollywood

We Cannot Make the Magic Castle Disappear on a Private Tour

We do not have to point up the hill behind Grauman’s Chinese Theater at the Magic Castle because our guests always see it first and want to know more as we approach.  The extraordinary structure (actually a composite of two separate buildings) is a magical performance venue for the most amazing magicians in the world.  For more than 50 years a main stage, a more intimate space and several “corners” throughout the building are where guests of the Magic Castle can find themselves thrilled and amused by the prestidigitation and patter of master craftsmen of the “magikal arts.”  As this is principally a nightclub there is fine dining and numerous bartenders plying their own magic to create libations to guarantee a fun evening.  We can make arrangements for our private Los Angeles tour guests who want to investigate the strange and other-worldly interior of this former Hollywood mansion to gain admittance while they are visiting Los Angeles and spend some time pondering the mysteries of time and space after a good meal and special dessert beverages.  The kids need not be neglected.  There is a brunch on Saturday and Sunday where young people are welcome and the “magic” is meant for them.  Enjoy some real Hollywood magic and go see the Magic Castle.

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3:00 4 February 2016

When Movies Premiere in Hollywood

A look back at preparations for the premiere of Pacific Rim

Our Private Tour Guests Might Get to See Movie Premiere Prep

There are four major theaters right on Hollywood Boulevard and one nearby on Sunset Boulevard where the studios can stage a big Hollywood Premiere of a new movie.  These events happen quite regularly.  Disney Studios use their own El Capitan theater.  Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Egyptian Theater are also historic movie palaces suitable for setting up a red carpet walkway for the film’s stars and other moviedom celebrities to make a grand entrance for the gathered paparazzi and crowds.  The somewhat new Dolby Theatre, where the Academy Awards are staged and televised, is available for premieres, too, as we see above in this 2013 photograph from a private Los Angeles tour when our guests had a chance to see the workmen preparing for the big splashy premiere of Guillermo del Toro‘s PACIFIC RIM with Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba, all of whom were there later that day.  The Arclight Theaters and Cinerama Dome are a few blocks away.  The chances are good that our custom tour guests will get to see what happens when a big event comes to town.  Right now, it’s the Oscars, which is the granddaddy of all Hollywood events and when preparations and cleanup are evident to our guests for almost six weeks.

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3:00 3 February 2016

Where to Leave Your Heart

You can easily leave your heart at the Golden Gate Bridge

Yes, a Los Angeles Tour Can Go to San Francisco

We do not have many requests to travel the 400 miles north from Los Angeles to San Francisco on a private luxury tour but from time to time we have guests wanting to explore all of California with us.  We arrange all the transportation and accommodations when requested and drive up the coast, or fly on a private luxury aircraft, and really see what the Golden State has in the way of beautiful terrain, glorious beaches and magnificent coastline.  When we arrive in San Francisco we know our way around as well as our own city.  This week all eyes are on the peninsula up north as the host for Super Bowl 50Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos will vie for the world NFL football championship with the Carolina Panthers led by Cam Newton.  Even for non-football fans there is much to enjoy with all the news coverage featuring our glorious City by the Bay.  From the Golden Gate Bridge (above), along the Embarcadero and its piers, following Market Street through the Financial District to the Castro with a visit to Chinatown and the Tenderloin, this is only a part of what the 49 square miles of this internationally renowned and fabulous cosmopolitan center offer to visitors.  Plan several days of sightseeing without even heading south to Levi’s Stadium where the gridiron contest will be played.

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A sweet young LA private tour guest photographed at the Hollywood Sign

There are Flowers at the Hollywood Sign on Our Private Tour

Our wonderful rainy season (the “green” season as we prefer to call it) is bringing forth the verdant chaparral growth though it is still a bit early for spring flowers to appear on the hillsides up where the Hollywood Sign glows.  So we brought flowers with us and took many photographs of our young private Los Angeles tour guest beneath the landmark, enough pictures for everyone in her family to have a different image.  Their tour photograph album will have pictures of everyone, though, but this photo stands out and is our special tour photograph this week back in the office.  What could better cheer a busy work day or even a rare cloudy, even wet, day than this cherubic smile beside our favorite local landmark?  There should be no surprise that the holiday cards we receive from our former luxury tour guests who went sightseeing with us in Los Angeles, Hollywood and Beverly Hills have created a card with one of the Hollywood pictures we took on their tour.

 

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Early morning looking east over downtown Los Angeles

A Private Tour in Los Angeles Can Start Early

As early as the sun rises.  Even if the tour begins after breakfast we often find ourselves preparing for a custom luxury tour for our guests as the colorful morning light appears.  Since we always have our digital SLR camera with us wherever we go we can catch sunrise views from upper story windows looking east to downtown Los Angeles (DTLA).  We encourage our guests in Los Angeles for a private tour to plan their sightseeing excursion with us at any time that suits them – early for sunrise, late for sunset, even after dark for a look at Los Angeles that only Angelenos get to enjoy.  We are ready to go when our guests are.  That’s the beauty of a private custom tour.  Not to mention door-to-door service.  We handle all transportation even for helicopter, yacht or hiking tours.

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