Private Tour in Los Angeles
We have art museums and art galleries galore all through Los Angeles. Many of our private Los Angeles tour guests are not only interested in seeing the completed works of area artists but also want to see where those painters, sculptors and photographers are getting their inspiration. We visit, as you might expect, the famous and familiar locations of Los Angeles, Hollywood and Beverly Hills. We stop along the coast to see the beaches and palisades, the offshore islands. More important, we think, we drive into tiny communities and pockets of Los Angeles and Southern California culture. Little Armenia, Little Tokyo, Koreatown, Boyle Heights, Mar Vista, NoHo, Highland Park…there are countless streets and individual blocks on those streets replete with picaresque scenes of life unfolding that color and inform our days and nights here in the southland. Kikki Eder, a local artist, captures the vibrancy and life of Los Angeles streets with the bright colors and bold style that makes her paintings grab your eyes when you walk into a gallery hosting her work (dA Center for the Arts, Pomona, starting October 10th). You should not be surprised to see all that goes on off the beaten track, away from the landmarks, that makes life in Los Angeles so rewarding.
Our Private Tour Guests (Generally) Love This Drive
For this Throw Back Thursday (TBT) we feature a vintage photograph of the oldest freeway in the west, the Arroyo Seco Parkway, which connects downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) with Pasadena. A little over 8 miles long it follows the sinuous pathway of the Arroyo Seco river (safe and cemented and seen on the left in the image above). This picture looks south toward Highland Park and the tower of the Southwest American Museum (opened in 1914). In 1940 when the parkway was completed automobiles were large, lumbering and not driven as fast as modern cars are. The on ramps still have stop signs to control traffic leading onto what is now commonly called the Pasadena Freeway or in L.A. lingo “the 110.” A real Los Angeles driver can find themselves challenged entering or leaving the freeway anywhere between the beginning and end of the parkway. However, the views along the roadway are magnificent in both our “green” (rainy) and “brown” (dry) seasons. Our private Los Angeles tour guides are kept very busy both describing the sights to see and navigating the treacherous curves.
Our Private L.A. Tour Guests Get an
Arts Perspective from Above
Los Angeles is as much about arts and culture as any major city anywhere in the world. Our reputation for producing and sharing great works of art and wonderful music has grown over the past several decades in part because of the construction of wonderful new museums and concert halls. Music, dance, theater, and opera are performed in the same neighborhood as modern and significant works of art are on display. Our private Los Angeles tour guests on the aerial portion of a combination helicopter + ground tour looked below as we flew over downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) and could see a new art museum (Broad Museum) right beside the extraordinary Disney Concert Hall which is across the street from the Music Center (Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson Theater). The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is nearby as is the Colburn School of Performing Arts…and this is just a small part of the central downtown district. North Hollywood (NoHo), the Westside, the Wilshire Corridor are Los Angeles neighborhoods hosting wide ranging access to the arts. And that’s just Los Angeles proper. Many neighboring cities offer performance venues and museums of their own. Whatever form of culture and arts moves you is readily available in Los Angeles.
Private Tour in Off Season is Perfect!
Any time of the year Los Angeles is warm, inviting and fun to visit. Regular visitors know as well as the residents, though, that there are times of the year where the city, especially Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the beaches, is particularly busy. Summer time, of course, the winter holidays and the spring holidays. The rest of the time the crowds thin, the beach lifeguards are gone, and the lines at Disneyland and Universal Studios are more manageable. Also, restaurant reservations are easier to get and hotel rooms are in less demand. What we appreciate most as a transportation-based company is that traffic is more manageable, more predictable. We are masters of traffic flow and alternate routes. We are among the best players of the “Getting around Los Angeles” game. We have a fun staff meeting activity we call “SigAlert Detour” where we share traffic shortcuts and workarounds to recent construction or just changing patterns of vehicles on the streets we most regularly travel. We include parking tips in our game, too. What this means is that any time of the year we get our private Los Angeles tour from one location to another as expeditiously as possible (allowing for good sightseeing, naturally) and that we get there more easily during the off-seasons.
Quotes to Inspire Our Private Tour in Hollywood
A visit to Hollywood means a lot of sightseeing at foot level. Everyone is familiar with the Hollywood Walk of Fame which has more than 2,500 stars embedded in the sidewalk along 18 city blocks ready to be inspected and considered. Admittedly, our guides do not know every person honored along the landmark walkway but they know many and are especially familiar with our more regular requests for particular celebrities that we get from our private Los Angeles tour guests. After sightseeing along the Walk of Fame we regularly end up at the wonderful multilevel outdoor mall, Hollywood & Highland, which is a sight to behold in many ways. One particular feature is Erika Rothenberg‘s ROAD TO HOLLYWOOD, a winding pathway through the ground level of the center from Hollywood Boulevard all the way to the giant casting couch with a view of the Hollywood Sign at the far end of the mall. The “road” consists of anonymized quotes from successful above-the-line and below-the-line people working in the entertainment industry who came here to make their dreams come true. Take the words immortalized in our tour photograph above. Do you know who is speaking? This is a fun guessing game and a delightful way to navigate and see Hollywood & Highland.
Our Private Tour Guests Enjoy a Peaceful
Sunset Moment at the Beach
Most people want to get to our grand Los Angeles beaches early in the day or at least when the sun is high and warm and the ocean is inviting. There are, however, some of us who like to be there at the end of the day when the sun is setting, the beach crowds are thinning and the campfires are lit. The beach seems quiet and peaceful and a fire pit beckons us to enjoy the last light of the day. From Malibu down to Torrance there are places on the beach and at the edge where flames dance in the growing darkness and Los Angeles nightlife can begin. On a private Los Angeles tour this means we can begin to enjoy the colorful neon of businesses along the Sunset Strip and the magnificent landscape lighting of celebrity homes in Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Sightseeing after dark is as much fun and as interesting as during the day.
Rich Club History Amuses Our Private Tour Guests
Some of our private Los Angeles tour guests have actually heard of Ciro’s, the infamous Sunset Strip nightclub where the Golden Age and Rat Pack Hollywood stars drank, performed and drank some more. Ah, the jokes that could be heard at the tables must have been hilarious. Ciro’s then became The Comedy Store in 1972 and the jokes moved onto the stage as Mitzi and Sammy Shore created a showcase for young and upcoming comedians as well as comedy stars during what became a Golden Age of Standup Comedy. Where do you think Pauly Shore came from? The list of great performers is too long to recite but you can pretty much be assured than any comedian you have heard of from Johnny Carson to Adam Hunter has amused and delighted audiences in this W. Hollywood hotspot. Los Angeles is a funny town…funny peculiar and funny ha-ha…and offers several great comedy clubs to host the many funny people looking for crowds of laugh seekers. Get your laugh on and spend an evening at The Comedy Store.
Not All Our Private Tour Guests Stay Here
but They All See It
While we love pulling up to the porte–cochère at the beautiful Beverly Hills Hotel to meet our guests ready for a private luxury tour of Los Angeles, we also make it a point to at least drive by with all of our tour groups while sightseeing in Beverly Hills. This distinguished hotel has so much history associated with the beginnings of Hollywood and Beverly Hills that no sightseeing excursion is complete without stopping by to admire the architecture and landscaping so fitting for its grand setting on Sunset Boulevard. Oh, the stories our guides tell of the famous guests and residents of the “Pink Palace,” its storied past, and all the reasons to not only visit but to make arrangements to stay in the hotel when in Los Angeles. We regularly recommend to our guests wanting to dine somewhere loved by celebrities and Hollywood movers-and-shakers that they enjoy a fabulous lunch at the Polo Lounge. Driving up into the hills along the hotel property gives us a good view of a number of the private bungalows including this one where Marilyn Monroe entertained President John Kennedy on one of his visits to Los Angeles.
A Stroll Along the Santa Monica Palisades
with Our Private Tour
The Santa Monica Bay curves in front and behind us as we walk along the palisades in Santa Monica. Beautiful residences, restaurants and hotels line the far side of the boulevard. The sandy cliffs on the other side lead down to PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) and the wide clean beaches running up to Malibu and beyond in one direction and down to the Palos Verdes Peninsula (about 40 miles) in the other. The bay is blue and full of life…both sea creatures and people. We easily convince our private Los Angeles tour folks why the movie stars in the new town of Hollywood back at the turn of the last century built their first beach homes right below us. As much time as it might have taken us to drive here from Hollywood with traffic it was a much longer journey back in the days when horses were still a form of conveyance and automobiles had to be hand cranked. Brand new street cars could be said to be rickety in those golden days of the first feature length movies and movie palaces but those trolleys rumbled from downtown and Hollywood to the beach so fully dressed residents could escape the inland summer heat and jump into the ocean. Homes still occupy the beach all along the Los Angeles coastline, some magnificent and others just ordinary homes (that cost a whole lot of money these days). Our guides stay abreast of local real estate and have many answers to the questions their guests ask when we explore the coast on a luxury tour.
A Helicopter Tour up the Coast
Takes Us By Pt. Dume
Sailors, surfers, sea lions and seals get to enjoy this spectacular view of Pt. Dume in Malibu which is just one of a whole lot of treats we provide to our private Los Angeles tour guests who wish to see our city from the air as well as from the ground. The clear blue waters frame the glorious coastline along which are celebrity homes on the beach as well as the very scenic Pacific Coast Highway. We fly low along the waves to watch the surfers and see any whales frolicking near the coast on their way back and forth between feeding and breeding grounds thousands of miles away. Even the 50 miles of California coast we might explore on a helicopter ride around L.A. gives us much of the glorious geology evident along the more than 800 miles of California coastline: pristine sandy beaches, steep palisades, river mouths, coastal mountains. Imagine all this shoreline beauty so close to a major city that also enjoys magnificent weather all through the year to enjoy beach activities and shoreline hiking and rock climbing, tidepool wading and whale watching – it’s just not fair to other cities. Whether our custom tour guests fly and drive or just drive, we promise an experience in Los Angeles they will never forget.