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October 2014
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After the sun sets on Malibu we leave the helipad

Buzz In and Out of Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate and

Leave with a Fine Wine Buzz

We always urge our guests to visit Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate and Winery at sunset.  Located high up in the Santa Monica Mountains above Malibu we fly in by helicopter late in the day for a private tour of the estate and an excellent wine tasting session of MRO vintages overlooking the mountains as the sun lowers in the sky.  Sitting by the infinity pool the aircraft idles on the helipad below as we sample the varietals produced at this magnificent estate.  This is living large just like Hollywood movie stars.  When the sun sets we make our return to the city in the last light of the day.  The beauty and peace is indescribable on this unique private helicopter tour of Los Angeles.

Our guests fly away into the last light of the Malibu day

 

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Lovely sun dappled photo of the Hotel Bel Air sign

A Fancy Lunch for our Luxury Tour Guests

So often our private Los Angeles tour beginning in the morning will extend through lunch and our guests, not wanting to end their sightseeing excursion with us, will ask us to suggest a fitting restaurant that will be exciting, excellent and exemplary for their visit to our beautiful city.  If we are in the vicinity of the Hotel Bel-Air at that time then it is well worth the drive up Stone Canyon into the wooded enclave next to Beverly Hills to spend time exploring this grand inn where discretion and quiet are the modus operandi.  The Wolfgang Puck restaurant there caters to those with epicurean tastes and satisfies everyone’s inner gourmand.  We are never surprised at whom of the Hollywood celebrities we might see dining there but generally there are always recognizable faces enjoying a quiet, private meal with friends or business associates.  And, oh, the stories our guides know about the history (notable and scandalous) that they can relate while visiting the Hotel Bel-Air.

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3:00 29 September 2014

Mmmmm, Mmmm, Summer Wine

Winery signposts in Santa Ynez Valley

A Summer Tour Can Happen All Year

in the Santa Ynez Valley

“Strawberries, cherries and an angel’s kiss in spring” is what can be said to go into the best summer wines.  We can’t be too sure of that be we are certain that touring the Santa Ynez Valley north of Santa Barbara (north of Los Angeles) is the best place to find out what makes a great summer wine.  The hills are brown and there might be wildflowers in bloom but the many wineries in this fast growing viticulture region are open for business year round.  We make most of our private wine tasting tours from Los Angeles during the summer but are fortunate to enjoy southern California’s great weather and can arrange custom luxury tours devoted to wine for our guests all through the year.  The custom part of the tour means we can stop at whichever wineries capture our guests’ attention and we can eat wherever and whenever we want.  We can even arrange a gourmet picnic… with wine, of course.

A hillside approaching the Santa Ynez Valley on a winetasting tour

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A private tour stops at DASH in Los Angeles

Our Private Tour Guests Have Lots of Room for

Their Shopping Bags

As we mention time and time again, the beauty of a custom private luxury tour in Los Angeles is that we can go to wherever our guests want to go and stop and shop whenever the mood arises.  We are pretty much regulars at the relatively new DASH store on Melrose Avenue because our guests direct us there so often.  We also stop to shop on Rodeo Drive, Montana Avenue and Robertson Boulevard.  That’s for our quality shopping.  For a real shopping adventure we can fly by helicopter out to Desert Hills or up Camarillo to get some retail therapy at those premium outlet centers.  And finally, for souvenirs and mementos of a visit to Hollywood and Beverly Hills we know the best places on Hollywood Boulevard to stop and get a faux Oscar or a Justin Bieber cardboard standee.

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Our private luxury tour guests prepare to fly around Los Angeles in a helicopter

What Better Adventure than a

Helicopter Tour of Los Angeles

The beauty of our helicopter tour is that we always cover the same distance in the same amount of time.  That’s very unlike traveling in our custom vans on Los Angeles city streets and freeways.  Our helicopters are  twin-engine jet aircraft (so we can fly to Catalina Island or quickly up to Santa Barbara or down to San Diego) that are as comfortable as our vans.  Our experienced helicopter passengers always comment on how impressive the TwinStars are and our newbie passengers just stare out the window with their mouths agape.  When we do a downtown skyscraper departure, well, that impresses every passenger no matter how experienced a whirlybird flyer they are.  More of our guests want to pose with the helicopter than our specially designed custom vans even before they fly away.  That’s how impressive these babies are.

Leaving in a helicopter from a downtown building top

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3:00 24 September 2014

Venice Beach at Night Long Ago

A lovely vintage night photo of the Venice Beach main drag

Our Private Tour Guests See Venice Does Not Look Like This Any More

Our private Los Angeles tour guides love to show our guests photographs of Los Angeles taken in the past when we are at the same spot during our tour.  Much as the idea behind one of our favorite tour books, Los Angeles – Views of the Past and Present by George Jezek, we allow our guests to see how Venice has changed over the decades.  Besides the loss of the Grand Lagoon and the trolley cars from the past, the apparent order shown in this vintage photograph looking up Windward toward the lagoon has been replaced by an energetic craziness and mild chaos.  The overhanging sign and suspended clock are long gone but the moon does continue to shine down on the evening activities of this fun loving beach community.

Los Angeles – View of Past & Present

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3:00 23 September 2014

Romantic Hollywood Inspires Affection

Lovers woo by the Hollywood Sign

A Romantic Tour to the Hollywood Sign

Love is in the air everywhere around Hollywood and who would not want their tour guide/photographer to capture a Hollywood screen kiss right in front of the iconic sign?  This is a photo in a private Los Angeles tour album that will make a good holiday card, poster, maybe even a billboard in your home town.  We make certain all our guests have lots of great photographs to share instantly or to savor and distribute throughout the years to come.  Hollywood is memories and we love it when our guests can keep lots of them.

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It's the Dukes of Hazzard's General Lee on the Sunset Strip

Our Private Tour Gets a Gander at the General Lee

Considering there were more than 250 1969 Dodge Chargers converted and prepared for use in the wildly popular television series The Dukes of Hazzard you would think we would run into this vehicle around Los Angeles and Hollywood more often.  The General Lee, as it is named, did recently appear in a wild Autotrader.com television advertisement with Dukes’ stars Tom Wopat and John Schneider.  The guys looked great and so did the the car as it did the other day when our private Los Angeles tour cruised by Le Petit Four on the Sunset Strip and saw it parked in a spot of honor on the street.  We usually see Ferraris and Maseratis, the occasional Rolls Royce or Maybach, parked here so our eyes were instantly caught by the orange muscle car numbered 01.  But considering the rollovers and jumps, doughnuts and rough turns made during production of the television show, perhaps it is lucky for us that any of these grand autos are still around.

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Santa Monica exercise rings

Los Angeles Beaches are Wide Open Again after a Busy Summer

Despite the recent heat wave most of the summer crowds have dispersed from the wide open Los Angeles beaches in Venice and Santa Monica and even up to Malibu.  Local surfers are still enjoying hurricane fueled waves arriving from Mexico but our tour guests staying in the great beach hotels (Shutters, Loews, Casa del Mar) have the beaches mostly to themselves.  The bike/skate path snakes for miles from Venice Beach to Pacific Palisades and a bike route can be ridden all the way down to the Palos Verdes Peninsula.  Most of the often colorfully painted lifeguard shelters are shuttered now even though the Pacific waters are as warm as they are going to get this year.  This is a wonderful time to plan a visit and enjoy a private Los Angeles tour while you are here.

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Ronald Reagan's Air Force One in the museum

A Private Los Angeles Tour Heads to the Reagan Library

We have a couple of major presidential stops in the Los Angeles area for history buffs to enjoy.  One is the Reagan Library and Museum in Simi Valley just north of Los Angeles.  Opened in 1991 it is the largest of thirteen federally operated presidential libraries.  Located upon a bluff overlooking the valley this beautiful facility is also one of the most impressive collections of presidential memorabilia owing in large part to the popularity of this “movie star” chief executive in a time of increasing international media coverage of Hollywood celebrities and heads of state.  60 million pages of documents, more than 1.6 million photographs, a half million feet of motion picture film, tens of thousands of audio and video tapes, and over 40,000 artifacts contribute to the historic value of the library and museum.  However, it is the last of the Air Force One 707s that draws the gasps and admiration of visitors to this wonderful Los Angeles destination.  Marine One, the Sikorsky helicopter used for short journeys,  is also housed in the pavilion as is President Reagan’s custom armored limousine.  When our Elite Adventure Tours guests ask to visit this museum we are happy to include it in their custom private tour around Los Angeles.

Ronald Reagan's presidential limousine

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