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3:00 27 January 2017

The Best Way to the Hollywood Sign

The sign says no access to the Hollywood Sign but we know different

Get a Great Look at the Hollywood Sign on Your Private Tour

This particular road sign is increasingly popular around Hollywood these days.  Understandably there are neighborhoods and neighbors who dislike the convoys of tour buses chugging up and down their streets in an effort to get their customers to a good vantage point to see the famous Hollywood Sign.  We sympathize as we ourselves are neighbors in Hollywood and find ourselves sitting in tourist traffic when we have important errands to run.  Keeping that in mind we avoid the most traveled routes when we can and take advantage of a smaller vehicle (our luxury SUVs only carry six passengers) and our intimate knowledge of the roads and paths all through the Hollywood Hills.  We drive as close as we can and walk the rest of the way if our guests are willing.  We even encourage our hiking tours to enjoy a walk up a dusty service road along the side of Mt. Lee that ends up above and behind the tall white letters that everyone is so excited about.  Even more important, our guides know the best places and poses for photographs with the sign in the background.  Talk about a perfect souvenir of a private tour in Los Angeles.  Individual and group pictures will fill our guests’ tour photo album, pictures they can share on the favorite social media sites and images that can grace their next holiday season card.  By all means let us do the driving (and photographing) while you just sit back and relax and enjoy the sights of Los Angeles.

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Family photo after hike up to the Hollywood Sign

Our Private Tour Can Be More Than a Walk

We understand that sitting in a tour bus with a bunch of strangers, looking out the windows while listening to a scripted description of what is passing by can be, well, boring.  Why not enjoy a custom private Los Angeles tour with a guide who will not only take you to the best sightseeing destinations in and about the city but let you get out of our luxury SUV and walk around.  Feel free to pose for pictures taken by your guide that can go into your photo album along with all the candid photos that you will not have noticed being taken until you share your album with friends and family.  More than just walking around Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Venice Beach we can lead you on short (or long) hikes through the hills to see Los Angeles from places where only the locals know where to go.  For instance, we can hike up a service road, past the old Batman television series Batcave (and other notable films and shows) all the way to the top of Mt. Lee where our guests will find themselves right behind the Hollywood Sign – Raise the “W”!  Another easy and fascinating hike is up into Runyon Canyon where Hollywood and history come together.  Plus, it’s good exercise.  Eating the fancy snacks we keep in the vehicle will be negated by the good workout from our hikes.  Enjoy VIP treatment on a luxury tour designed to suit your interests…from Hollywood to the stars (at Griffith Observatory or the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel).

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Goop threatens Hollywood Sign

This Private Tour Was All About the Goop

Three young lads and a bucket full of slimy yellow goop made their way in our luxury SUV all around Los Angeles including this stop up by the famed Hollywood Sign.  The boys insisted on posing for photographs with oozing slime dribbling from their hands.  They even wanted us to use the photos in one of our Los Angeles private tour blog postings.  Yellow goop and the Hollywood SignWe never want to disappoint our guests so, boys, here it is.  The boys learned about the Hollywoodland Sign and its origin as a giant billboard for the housing development just below dating back to the early 1920s.  The boys learned about our Mediterranean climate and chaparral ecosystem and how little rainfall falls in our beautiful city with the big blue ocean clearly visible nearby.  They learned about the charming Lake Hollywood just below that once provided drinking water to the growing neighborhood and which today is maintained more for emergency useMore yellow goop and the Hollywood Sign.  They learned about coyotes and rattlesnakes present all around them as we explored the Hollywood Hills.  They learned about Castillo del Lago (Castle of the Lake), the giant estate right by the Hollywood Sign once owned by gangster Bugsy Siegel and later by Madonna.  What did we learn with the boys?  Their goop is pretty much the same as the goop of our childhood.  Boys love goop.

 

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We photographed our guest taking a selfie at the Hollywood Sign

Our Private Tour Is All About the Pictures

Everyone takes pictures on vacation, right?  It is expected.  In this modern age when cell phones double as cameras a family visiting Hollywood can return home with bazillions of digital images from every family member’s phone.  We encourage this on every private Los Angeles tour we do.  We also bring our own digital SLR camera so that the family can have photographs with everyone in the picture.  We also bring our experience from years of exploring the city and thousands of tours that let us know where and how to get the best photos at each destination.  We have a lot of fun getting great candid pictures of our guests seeing the Hollywood Sign for the first time or the kids climbing on the giant sloth sculpture at the La Brea Tar Pits.  Maybe the women just want to pose in front of DASH before going in to “browse” in the glamorous boutique and maybe pose again after with their packages.  The guys are more likely to strike Arnold Schwarzenegger poses either at the handprints in the Grauman’s Chinese Theater forecourt or when we are at the ocean exploring Muscle Beach.  Even our snapping a shot of our guests having a “selfie” moment is worth putting into their tour photo album.  It is sort of a “behind-the-scenes” shot and perfectly appropriate for Hollywood.

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3:00 21 July 2016

Hollywood Sign Jump

A favorite shot we take up at the Hollywood Sign is almost perfect

With a Big Private Tour Family This Photo Is a Challenge

As difficult as it might be to get everyone in the air at the same time, jumping for joy at being so near the famous Hollywood Sign, everyone always has a good time getting this photograph into their tour album.  Thankfully we have a very good SLR camera that we use to take photos of our guests throughout their private Los Angeles tour with us so we can “machine gun” photos in the strong Southern California sunlight.  We have to keep everyone away from the cactus and thistles that are abundant up here on the side of the mountain where the sign is situated.  By the way, the sign just passed it’s 93rd anniversary.  It was in July of 1923 that the first Hollywood Sign was completed and illuminated.  History buffs as well as our guests will know that the first sign read HOLLYWOODLAND and was merely a giant hillside billboard for the housing development springing up below.  Now, 93 years later, she is a symbol of our entertainment industry known throughout the world.  No wonder the excitement of being here lifts everyone off their feet…almost everybody.

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In a field below the Hollywood Sign our private Los Angeles tour guests jump for joy

Our Private Tour Guests Love to Goof Off

Sightseeing is fun.  It is supposed to be an enjoyable way to learn about someplace you visit.  On a private tour in Los Angeles, however, our guests REALLY have fun.  This is not just a factor of our tour guides all being from the performing side of the entertainment industry though that might be a part of it.  Always ready with a joke, funny anecdote or a quick bon mot, each guide makes certain that their passengers are entertained as well as informed and excited about the sights and people they get to see as they navigate Hollywood, Beverly Hills, downtown and the beaches.  The warm sunny weather most days of the year brings out the joy in our guests.  The smiles all around them as Los Angelenos go about their daily business contribute to a fun atmosphere for their luxury tour of the city.  And maybe it is partly caused by the snacks we serve aboard our luxury SUVs.  Perhaps it is the fact that we are photographing our guests everywhere we go and making subtle suggestions that they forget about the usual family poses and let their inner-child come out.  We once had a physics student suggest that the gravity might be lower in Hollywood.  Now that would explain everything and why the “Hollywood Jump” is such a popular response to “smile for the camera” when we arrive up at the Hollywood Sign.

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3:00 18 November 2015

Hollywood Sign View Worth the Hike

A hike up to and behind the Hollywood Sign has great views

Private Hiking Tour to the Hollywood Sign

Pays Big Dividends

We incorporate a good amount of walking on each private Los Angeles tour we do if our guests are up to it.  With our family and small group approach it is a simple matter to park the vehicle and walk around enjoying the nice weather and the sights to see and taking a whole bunch of digital photographs for our guests’ tour album that they can share immediately.  There are some places that we cannot drive close to see.  One of those destinations is the Hollywood Sign.  We can get close enough for most but if our guests want to examine the construction of the old billboard and the views of Hollywood, Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley available from the top of Mt. Lee then a hike is in order.  We offer a number of hiking tours for our fitness loving visitors to Los Angeles and the easiest one, and the most fun in terms of sightseeing, is our walk up the service road to the Emergency Services facility above and behind the world famous Hollywood landmark.  From here we look down on the back of the Hollywood Sign and out into the Los Angeles basin.  You can see the Griffith Observatory and downtown Los Angeles in this picture and even the location of the Bat Cave from the old television series (we walk right past it; the cave was also used in the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers).  The walk is delightful, the views extraordinary and we can still explore the other Hollywood sights and locations that everyone wants to see during the tour.

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3:00 5 November 2015

Holly Goes to the Hollywood Sign

 

Our young guest, Holly, posed just right in front of the Hollywood Sign

Cute Private Tour Photo Her Family Will Love

The Hollywood Sign is without a doubt the most photographed spot that we visit.  It is the BIG destination of just about every tour we do.  Our guides with their digital SLR cameras work hard to make sure we have a bunch of fun photos to include in the private Los Angeles tour album our guests have at the end of their tour.  Readers of our blog have seen a number of what we could call “standard” photos at various places up in the hills near the famous landmark.  We account for different weather and lighting conditions as well as the mood of our guests.  This day proved a little bit different for us when we were sightseeing with a young guest named Holly.  The idea from the family was to frame her making up the first part of the giant billboard (yes, the Hollywood Sign was originally an advertising effort by a land development company in 1923).  Holly + WOOD makes Hollywood.  We are quite playful with our guests and love to have their input so we can deviate from the usual photographs.  Thanks, Holly!  Would you tell your friends to come visit Los Angeles and see us?

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3:00 24 September 2015

Hollywood Sign Kid

Even our youngest guests love to pose with the Hollywood Sign

Our Young Private Tour Guest Loves

Her Hollywood Sign Visit

You are never too young to enjoy a visit to any of our favorite Hollywood Sign spots.  Sure, there is a giant word on the side of the mountain but more important, there are dirt trails and a large green park with doggies and throw toys.  There are big rocks to climb on and jump off.  Can we go visit the lake below (Lake Hollywood behind the Mulholland Dam)?  There are wild animals all around (deer, raccoons, and skunks that we regularly see, bobcats and coyotes that we rarely encounter).  Flutterbys and bumbly bees are everywhere throughout the year.  What’s that bird running over there with a doodad popping up from his head (quail)?  Who is Madonna?  Is Bugsy Siegel a rabbit?  Where is Sesame Street, that must be somewhere around here?  I want to see Miss Piggy’s celebrity home.  So, yes, mom and dad, you do not have to be so big to have fun on a private Los Angeles tour with us.  We will be delighted to explain all these references to you in grown up terms.

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3:00 19 August 2015

Hollywood Sign and Ray-Ban Look

The Hollywood Sign reflected in our private Los Angeles tour guest's Ray-Bans

Our Private Tour Likes the Artful Photograph

of the Hollywood Sign

When picking out photos of the Hollywood Sign from the large number of images we capture on every private Los Angeles tour we are seldom surprised when our guests get excited about the more unusual shots we take.  Of course, the posed line of family members standing with the giant sign on the slope behind them is very popular, but the ones they want to share immediately are the “art” shots that we manage to get.  We make every attempt to photograph a whole range of poses at every location and even along the way between stops so that our guests have a truly memorable accounting of their sightseeing adventure with us.  Action shots from the SUV, helicopter and even a Segway, bicycle or astride a horse allow us to present our guests with a tour album that will delight them right after their custom tour and long into the future.

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