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Dramatic wave break in Avalon (Catalina Island)

Why Our Private Tour Guests Were So

Happy to Fly to Catalina

July weather means clear blue skies and warm days in southern California and Los Angeles.  However, out to sea it is another matter as large storms just above the equator churn up the ocean and send surges of water north to land on our coast.  This is what surfers dream about and Sunday sailors dread.  We flew our private Los Angeles tour guests on a luxury helicopter out to Catalina Island for a day of sightseeing.  Some of the great sights occurred as we walked away from the helipad and witnessed massive waves breaking against the promenade in Avalon.  Warm, sunny and peaceful everywhere but on the water.  There nothing but drama.  Suddenly Irwin Allen and his disaster movies came to mind.  Nothing like Sharknado, of course, but definitely fun to watch the big waves and the high spray.

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A sports bar, the Rusty Mullet, opens on Hollywood Boulevard

Business in the Front, Party in the Back – the Rusty Mullet Amuses Our Private Tour Guests

The more places to stop in for something to eat and drink along Hollywood Boulevard, the better, we say.  Now that the Rusty Mullet has established its place among the fine drinking establishments along the Hollywood Walk of Fame we can stop nearby and recommend it to our private Los Angeles tour guests looking for some dive bar atmosphere or just a chance to follow all the ongoing sports activities being televised at the moment.  If a redneck atmosphere and country BBQ call to them then, when in Hollywood, the Rusty Mullet is the place to go.

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Hollywood High School, Sunset Boulevard entrance

Our Los Angeles Tour Looks at Hollywood High School

This edifice in the center of Hollywood has been serving students since very early in the last century.  Now on the National Register of Historic Places Hollywood High School has seen to the education of a long list of recognizable names, and not just actors and filmmakers.  We still are mourning the recent passing of one of Hollywood High School’s graduates, James Garner.  The school’s central Hollywood location and appearance make it a good location to film television and movies (while not disturbing the teachers and students) so you may see it often on film.  A mural on the theater building celebrates a few of the most famous actors and performers to have spent time studying their 3Rs gets the attention of our private Los Angeles tour folks every time we drive past.

 

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Aerial view of Los Angeles coast and Catalina Island

Los Angeles Helicopter Tour in Two Aircraft

It was a loose formation as our two jet helicopters flew along the southern Los Angeles coast while the sun lowered.  The views were breathtaking.  Catalina Island stood out in stark relief 25 miles away over the channel.  The beautiful homes of the Palos Verdes peninsula glowed in the golden rays of sunset.  Our other helicopter lead the way south as we hugged the shoreline for close looks of our exquisite shores.  We were delighted to be able to accommodate a larger family group and make the trip with everyone at the same time in two luxury aircraft.  A larger ground vehicle was waiting for us to make a ground tour of parts of Los Angeles we had just seen from the air.  What a treat for everyone to really get to see Los Angeles from the air and from the road.

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Following a green Lamborghini Aventador to the Hollywood Sign

Los Angeles Tour Guests Treated to Sight of

Newest Lamborghini

We were not really racing the bright green Lamborghini Aventador up the hill to the Hollywood Sign.  We just happened to be on the same road at the same time and enjoyed an eyeful of fine Italian sportscar engineering as we were heading up the hill.  Seeing expensive cars around Los Angeles, especially in Hollywood and Beverly Hills and some of the other fancy neighborhoods, is so common we often overlook them.  However, our private Los Angeles tour guests espy them instantly and draw our attention, and camera, to these amazing vehicles.  The brand new coupe has a 12 pound removable roof and even as a convertible still reaches its max speed of 217 mph in 3 seconds.  Not here in Hollywood, though.  Too many wide-eyed, slack-jawed car-lovers in the way.  The Aventador is yours, even in the sickly green color, for about $400,000.

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Jim Morrison stands tall on this Venice Beach mural

Murals Make the Distinctive Community

More Memorable for Our Private Tour

It is the time of year when we are requested by our custom Los Angeles tour guests to visit the beach communities of Los AngelesVenice with its boardwalk and canals is a favorite for our passengers.  We do not just drive through either.  We walk through the alleys to see murals such as the Jim Morrison design above and we walk the bridges over the canals and feed the Venice ducks and geese.  We might even patronize a business in a muraled building for drinks and snacks.  Los Angeles has wonderful large building paintings throughout the city and not just in Venice.  We can make a tour just visiting these notable locations.  There is even an organization dedicated to preserving and cataloging the murals, the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles.

Venice is a day-glo community for our Los Angeles tour guests

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A view from the Hollywood Sign to downtown Los Angeles

Our Favorite Family Tour Hike in Los Angeles

There are a number of reasons we like to suggest our Hollywood Sign hike to our private Los Angeles tour guests requesting a sightseeing adventure that involves some health and fitness activity.  Mostly, the hike is very family friendly.  The trail is a service road, wide and smooth with an easy grade to it.  No creeping through dense chaparral brush, no going where there might be mountain critters basking calmly in the sunshine, no sheer cliffs to scale or large rocks to climb.  Also, the hike reveals all kinds of places along the way to talk about movies and television as it has been used as a location set in so many familiar shows and films.  And finally there are the views from the top of Mt. Lee, above and behind the Hollywood Sign.  Throughout the year this view is spectacular as we can see over the entire Los Angeles basin.  When the skies are clear you can see the mountains to the east and Catalina Island to the west.

The view over the Hollywood Sign to the ocean

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A different view of Beverly Hills City Hall

Our Private Tour in Beverly Hills Finds New Angles

We do not just drive through Beverly Hills and point to buildings while exploring on a private Los Angeles tour.  We park our custom luxury van often and take short walks to really see everything there is to see and see it from different angles.  We can find some very interesting places to photograph the city.  Beverly Hills City Hall, for instance.  Most just see the building passing by on Santa Monica Boulevard but do not get to examine the beautiful xeriscaped gardens and the public art installations.  Most visitors never even get to look closely at the city’s crest.  With its population of about 35,000 people situated in 6 square miles the city can be seen in three divisions: above Sunset, above Wilshire and below Wilshire.  There is also the Golden Triangle and within that the Mile of Style.

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3:00 18 July 2014

Ghost of the Brown Derby

The (former) Brown Derby in Hollywood

Still Talked About on a Hollywood Tour

Ever enjoyed a Cobb Salad?  Would you believe it was created by Robert Cobb, owner of the Brown Derby restaurant and that it was created specifically for Sid Grauman of Egyptian Theater and Chinese Theater fame.  The ingredients were just what Mr. Cobb had on hand when Sid dropped by for something to eat and his toothache made chewing difficult (thus the sliced and diced ingredients of the Cobb Salad).  Today a large multi-use building stands along Vine Street where this once great Hollywood hangout used to be with the Trader Joe’s approximately in the front door of the former restaurant.  When Hollywood was HOLLYWOOD!!! this was the place to be for movie stars, studio executives and other members of the industry.  There were Brown Derbys in Los Feliz, Beverly Hills and the very first one was on Wilshire Boulevard near where the Ambassador Hotel once dominated the block.  The others were not as renowned as the Hollywood establishment and they are all gone now.  All that remains are the great stories to tell as we pass by on a private Los Angeles tour and our guests remember tales of those great days.  Tales and some terrific vintage photos like this one.

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You don't even need the sign to know you are in Malibu

Our Private Tour is Mad for Malibu

The summer heat of southern California often motivates our private Los Angeles tour guests to want to explore the coastline.  We visit Marina del Rey, Venice, Santa Monica and Malibu generally.  Each community is distinct and fun to explore.  Malibu is breathtakingly beautiful.  The coast and beaches on one side of us and the Santa Monica Mountains on the other.  The thin city is 27 miles long but only several miles wide on average.  The main thoroughfare is the notorious PCH, Pacific Coast Highway, or California Route 1 to map readers.  Mansions and beach estates all along the way allow us to do a celebrity homes tour for the coast and recount early Hollywood history as we point out and discuss the Malibu Colony near the lagoon.  The beaches and the surf breaks are famous from film and song and sightseeing along our exquisite coast makes convincing arguments as to why.

A beach in Malibu on a warm summer day

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