Archive for the ‘Just the Facts’ Category
Los Angeles Tour Like a Hawk
Golden Time is what the filmmakers call it, that late afternoon golden light accompanied by long shadows and clear skies. As the hawks and other local raptors glide the updrafts looking for small prey emerging as the day cools, we flew with our private Los Angeles tour guests on a luxury French helicopter over the 4,300 acre urban forest of L.A. — Griffith Park. The Griffith Observatory is a monument to astronomy as it sits on a bluff overlooking Hollywood and the Los Angeles basin. It offers great views of the city, the Santa Monica Bay and mountains, Beverly Hills and Century City and on very clear days the Channel Islands and Palos Verdes Peninsula. Inside there are great views of the night skies through telescopes and in the planetarium. Though the observatory did not open until 1935, the land and the promise of an astronomical museum was given in 1896 by Colonel Griffith Griffith for whom the park and observatory are named.
The Polo Lounge is Back — Lunch for our Private Los Angeles Tour
From the air the hotel and the grounds surrounding it pop right out to our private helicopter tour guests circling over Beverly Hills. The Pink Palace — also known as the The Beverly Hills Hotel. And from the ground it is even more splendid. For more than 100 years this grand hospitality center has entertained movie stars, hosted royalty, and treated all its guests with the aplomb and consideration expected of one of the finest hotels anywhere. This is a jewel of the Dorchester Collection of elegant hotels around the world. Not only do we bring our guests on their custom tour with us to see the hotel, we encourage them to enjoy a meal at the fabulous Polo Lounge. With us at your side we can share many stories of just the restaurant. The restaurant is newly reopened after renovations that updated the decor while still preserving the original design and ambience that is a welcome tradition at this home away from home for so many of Hollywood’s elite over the years. We are talking about Charlie Chaplin and Marlene Dietrich. We have eaten beside Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, Billy Crystal and Thomas Haden Church. And they have enjoyed their meals near us. When you dine there we recommend the McCarthy Salad named for famed entertainment attorney Neil McCarthy.
Jenni Rivera Exhibit on Private Los Angeles Tour
Just opened at the Los Angeles Grammy Museum is a full-blown exhibit honoring and remembering Jenni Rivera: La Gran Señora. Featuring costumes, documents and correspondence, her Bible (an important Christmas gift from her parents) and, of course, plenty of her Banda music (she was, after all, the Diva of Banda) this presentation is both a loving tribute and an educational experience for all music lovers. The Grammy Museum is a welcome stop on many of our custom private Los Angeles tours through downtown Los Angeles. Los Angeles is without doubt a major music capitol and we enjoy showing our musical guests around this wonderful museum before taking them out to Hollywood and Beverly Hills to see studios and offices important in contemporary music history.
Sunrise in Los Angeles
Thanks again to an Elite Adventure Tours friend who knew we would love this photograph of downtown Los Angeles’ Eastern Building taken early in the morning. This exquisite art deco building from 1930 has been repurposed into 147 spectacular apartments and is located on Broadway in the old Theater District. Since many of our private Los Angeles tours explore downtown Los Angeles we will regularly drive down Broadway and point out this beautiful torquoise terra cotta structure and prompt our guests to remember the many times they have seen it in movies and on television. It’s a star!
Elite Adventure Tours Stops at Historic Bar
Imagine a bar where they do not serve beer or wine. The Tiki Ti ONLY serves tropical cocktails as they have been doing for more than 50 years. There are 92 different drinks on their menu so who needs beer or wine. Look over the menus from its earliest days and trace the evolution of island cocktails over all these years. Begun in 1961 by Ray Buhen, a master mixologist with roots at Don the Beachcomber, where all the other tiki bars faded into history the Tiki Ti flourished. Intimate (small) and quaint (locals, rum lovers, history buffs), the Tiki Ti always gets looks as we pass by on our private Los Angeles tour through Hollywood on the way to Beverly Hills, it is so tiny next to the hulking KCET television studios. Like the Frolic Room and the One-Eyed Gypsy, there are bars in this city with stories to tell and we not only like to help tell them but are happy to bring our guests in possibly to make a new story.
Ancient Camera Interests Private Los Angeles Tour Guests
Dating back to 1898, the Camera Obscura in Santa Monica allows guests to enjoy the same visual examination of the area that earlier beachgoers did. Perhaps the earliest of optical inventions, this type of device was employed by renaissance painters (Leonardo da Vinci) as well as philosophers (Aristotle), astronomers (Johannes Kepler) and scientists (Roger Bacon). The idea of the pinhole camera preceded lens technology and permitted projection of inverted images onto a surface so that solar eclipses could be safely watched or individuals observed without their knowledge. The Santa Monica Camera Obscura was moved from its original beach location to the Senior Center atop the palisades overlooking Santa Monica Bay in 1955 where it can be found today.
Where Do All the Actors Go for Margaritas?
We keep track of all the Best Of information that we can for places to eat, drink, dance, shop, stay and do in Los Angeles, Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Since many of our private Los Angeles tour guests are new to Los Angeles (even new to California) they are likely to ask us, “Where’s the best margarita around here?” The answer to anyone knowing the area as well as we do, even without a Best Of list, is El Coyote. This 80+ year old restaurant that we pass regularly on our custom luxury tour between Hollywood and the Original Farmers Market is a terrific place to enjoy great Mexican food and super margaritas. Frequented by entertainment industry people (it is just up the street from CBS Studios) the restaurant is notoriously known as the last place that Sharon Tate and her friends ate on the night they were attacked by the Manson family. Anyone visiting or new to Hollywood should make it a point to get to El Coyote right away for a great time and a great margarita.
My Horn App Isn’t Working
As are readers know we like to post photographs taken during our private Los Angeles tour excursions through Hollywood and Beverly Hills because we so often capture unusual images. This one shows a one-handed Segway rider navigating a Beverly Hills street while attending to his smartphone. Now, in all fairness, he could be examining his map app and getting directions to the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM. However, he’s probably looking at box office results or checking his investment portfolio. If you find yourself on a sidewalk in Beverly Hills please do keep your eyes on the road, er, pavement.
Elton John Hits the Pavement
On October 23, 1975 Elton John received his Hollywood Walk of Fame star. And the Walk of Fame star is not Elton John’s only Hollywood connection. We can show you his Beverly Hills celebrity homes as well. However, with 2,495 stars lighting the famous sidewalk today his remains one of the brightest and most photographed. Our private Los Angeles tour guests gather around his star and take their own photographs and we like to film them taking that picture. We encourage our luxury tour guests to grab all the photos they can, we even suggest angles, compositions and sometimes camera settings since we have taken SO many pictures we really know how to capture great Hollywood images. Even if our custom Hollywood tour guests do not have a camera they will have plenty of recorded images of their private tour with us. We think of it as making memories for our guests.
A Private Los Angeles Tour Vista Point Photo
So many nice days in southern California just demand that we cruise along Mulholland Drive atop Hollywood and Beverly Hills to take photographs for and of our private Los Angeles tour guests enjoying all the sightseeing offered by our grand city. This particular photograph captures not only the San Fernando Valley but Universal, Warner Brothers and in the distance Disney Studios all in one image (look for the water towers). Billions and billions of dollars in filmmaking revenue comes from this area alone. For almost 100 years Hollywood studios have been a major industry in Los Angeles and continue to produce when nearby aircraft and automobile factories are now gone. We expect the studios will continue to produce our filmed entertainment for centuries to come.