Archive for April, 2013

Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 30 April 2013

Late Above the Hollywood Sign

Aerial photo of Hollywood Sign

Another Private Los Angeles Tour Master Photo

Photographers and cinematographers adore the late afternoon sunshine, golden light creating long shadows.  It’s moody and dramatic.  Our helicopter tour of Los Angeles, flying over Hollywood, Beverly Hills and up the coast to Malibu, often late in the day gets extraordinary views of celebrity homes, movie studios, famous buildings and streets, the beaches and cliffs of Santa Monica Bay, and, as above, the Hollywood Sign.


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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 29 April 2013

Drive in to Mel’s Drive-In in Hollywood

Photo of Mel's Drive-in, W. Hollywood

Our Private Luxury Los Angeles Tour Eats Here

Our luxury tour guests from other countries and cultures love Mel’s Drive-in as much, if not more, than our American guests who we bring here to enjoy a traditional diner experience.  Sure, there are juke boxes at each table and milkshakes and soda fountain confections to die for, but this Mel’s Drive-in on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood offers a great open air patio to watch the Hollywood passersby, a fresh juice bar, and a complete menu that will feed any taste or food craving that you would want in a family restaurant.  Celebrity sightings?  You bet!  The celebrity homes are all around in Hollywood and Beverly Hills.  If you want a burger and fries or a specialty salad, a root beer float or a cup of tea, drop in to Mel’s for a real Hollywood experience.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 28 April 2013

Landing a Prince at the Queen Mary

Artwork for Landing a Prince Presentation at the Queen Mary

Princess Diana Series is Now about Kate Middleton

Our private Los Angeles tour guests always inquire about interesting and different things to do in the evening.  How’s this?  A presentation about using “bad girl” tactics to land a Prince Charming.  Tonight from 7-9p.m. at the Queen Mary in Long Beach you can hear Dr. Carole Lieberman elucidate the techniques for finding and keeping that special mister in your life.  Using Kate Middleton as a principal example you will also learn about Princess Diana and Wallis Simpson.  Spend an elegant evening aboard this grand old ship of the Cunard Line permanently moored near Los Angeles.  Included in the evening will be a cocktail tour of the Diana: Legacy of a Princess exhibit, a tea service and champagne toast, and let’s not forget about the vintage lingerie display.  For anglophiles everywhere this is a perfect way to celebrate the first anniversary of William and Kate’s wedding and it is also a loving tribute in a continuing series of presentations for the ongoing Princess Diana exhibit.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 27 April 2013

No Camptown Races but there is Doo Dah, Doo Dah

Photograph of Doodah Parade participantWackiness in Pasadena

If this event is not on your bucket list, well, it should be.  Today you have a chance to cross it off.  This parade (a term used loosely to describe what happens) has been amusing and delighting audiences since 1978 and every year is either the last or the best Doo Dah parade ever.  Beginning at 11 a.m. (possibly, perhaps, maybe) the 2013 Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade will move in fits and starts along its Colorado Boulevard route.  According to the parade’s website you will get to see Flying Baby Hammer, A Moveable Feast (based on a Hemingway novel), Ace Ketchum-Professional Vampire Fisherman, The Great Firewall of China, The LOH Down on Science (featuring NPR personality Sandra Tsing Loh), Suffer Jet-Set Planet for David Bowie, Camp Bimbo, Worlds Tallest Girl Scout, Jiffy Pop! Happy Howard’s Harlequin, The Bearded Ladies, Long Beach Ukelele Club, Johnny Skunkmobile, Fashion on the Fly, Drunk in the Garage Band, Zombie Training Camp, Arrow Sign Spinners, and The Army of Toy Soldiers.

But that’s not all!

If you act now you will also receive a fleet of motorized Kinetic Pastry Science Mobile Muffins, Captain MacHogwash’s Amazing Chundra, the world’s final appearance of robotic spitting cat named Boo-Boo Kitty, Senior Graucho, Mile High Bed, Yippie Hippie Sixties, Million Marijuana March, The Billionaires, Sloppy Swishers, Whistling Diva Champion, Amnesty International, Blues Brothers Tribute, L.A. Derby Dolls, Pizza Oven Art Car, Vegetables of Laguna Beach, classic, scary clowns, BBQ & Hibachi Marching Grill Team, Bus Target, Howdy Krishna, Horses on Astroturf, and the immortal Doo Dah house band Snotty Scotty & the Hankies, and much more!

It’s a free gift that keeps on giving.  Our private Los Angeles tour guides will have numerous requests to either find parking for our visitors or just drive in the parade (Celebrity Homes Stealth Vans).  It’s too much fun for words so see it for yourself — and believe!

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 26 April 2013

Jane Fonda Gets Her Hands (and Feet) Dirty

Daughter Joins Father at the Chinese Theater

Photo of Jane FondaWith three Best Actor Academy Awards between them*, Jane Fonda and father Henry will be together again at Grauman’s Chinese Theater on Saturday at 10:00a.m.  That is when, as part of the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Classic Film Festival, Jane will dip her hands and feet into wet cement in the forecourt of the theater as movie stars have been doing since the theater was built in 1928.  We are always excited by these events on behalf of our private Hollywood tour guests who get to witness a ceremony not seen very often but that receives so much media coverage.  It really is special and Jane Fonda is a special actress who truly deserves this honor.


* Jane: Klute, Coming Home;  Henry: On Golden Pond


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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 25 April 2013

Hilarity for Charity

Poster for Hilarity for Charity eventTonight at 7:30 at the Avalon in Hollywood, Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller will host a comedy and variety show so good that it will shake the shekels from your wallet and benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.  Even if you can’t go be sure to visit the website (click the poster to the left) and donate generously.

The party will feature performances and appearances by Kevin Hart, Mindy Kaling, Seth Rogen, Nick Kroll, Bo Burnham, Ken Marino, John Mulaney, Justin Willman, Billy Eichner, Garfunkel & Oates, Sadie & The Blue Eyed Devils, plus many more special guests still to be announced!

Publicity photo of the Avalon in HollywoodIf you have never visited the Avalon in Hollywood then know you are stepping back through an illustrious entertainment history begun in 1927 when it opened as the Hollywood Playhouse.  Also once named the El Capitan Theater (before Disney got their hands on the Paramount Theater around the corner) and the Jerry Lewis Theater (for Jerry’s weekly television variety show), this is today a rocking nightclub where all the best people of Los Angeles show up to party!

We are hoping that our private Los Angeles tour guests will be eager to visit the club after their custom luxury tour around Hollywood and Beverly Hills especially if they go this evening to help out families suffering from the scourge of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 24 April 2013

Three Major Studios of the Valley

Photograph of 3 Major Hollywood Studios

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.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 23 April 2013

Setting Free the Tar Pit Mammoth

Photograph of La Brea Tar Pits

Mammoth Misadventure

A good friend visiting the La Brea Tar Pits after a ferocious windstorm whips Los Angeles grabbed this photograph of the parent mammoth, trapped in the tar right in front of her wailing baby and mate on the shore, who has now floated across the gaseous pool of water, petroleum and muck.  The famous outdoor diorama is disturbed (temporarily).  This is a good example of how sights our guests see on their private Los Angeles tour with us are not always the same.  From day to day little things are altered, sometimes even big things.  Buildings come and go and are changed with paint and decoration.  Business names change.  And wooly mammoths drag their anchors across a tar pit in a fierce wind.  It figures this would be near Hollywood — it’s so dramatic!

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 22 April 2013

Finding the Manson Cave on a Private Los Angeles Tour

An Tale from Our Guide of a Recent Private Los Angeles Tour

Elite Adventure Tours
guide Paul shared the following account with our staff of his recent tour and we are sharing it now with you because it is so interesting:

My guests from Adelaide (Australia) had something a bit different at the top of their wish list for their custom private Los Angeles tour:  they wanted to visit the remains of the old Spahn Movie Ranch in the Santa Susana Pass (near Chatsworth).  Back in the late ’60s, this is where Charles Manson and his “family” were living in a communal society — in the old buildings on the ranch and throughout the caves and canyons of the area.  The Spahn Ranch structures were destroyed by fire years ago, and I knew there wouldn’t be much to see — but our guests didn’t care.  They just wanted to be able to say they were there.

I knew where the entrance of the Spahn Ranch used to be, so we started walking.  We soon found a steep path leading down into a rocky canyon.  We had no idea what to expect or what we might find.

Old photograph of Manson FamilyYears ago, I read a 1969 Life Magazine story on the Manson “family” and their involvement in the infamous Tate – LaBianca murders — and I always remembered a photograph in that story — it showed nine members of the “family” huddling in a cave-like rock overhang somewhere deep within the canyons of the Spahn Ranch property.  This is the photo from the Life Magazine article…

As we continued to explore the canyon, we found a few pieces of a mid ’60s Volkwagen.  I knew we were on the right track and that we had to be getting close to the epicenter of the Manson “commune” — where Charlie, Squeaky, Sadie, Tex and all the rest were living.

After 15 minutes of climbing down to the bottom of the canyon and another 10 minutes of exploration, we stumbled upon a chilling discovery…

Our photo of the Manson cave todayThere wasn’t a soul to be seen anywhere in the area — but someone before us had written MANSON in the dirt. We noticed it immediately as we approached the cave. It looked fresh — as though it had been done earlier in the morning. It was BEYOND creepy.

Inside the “cave” we found a copy of the Life Magazine photo — with the name of each “family” member written above their picture…

Photo of our guest in the Manson caveWe both took time at this location to reflect on the truly terrible events of August, 1969 and I said a silent prayer for the innocent lives destroyed by the very evil Charles Manson and his “family.”

I’ve been to some creepy places in Los Angeles. This one topped them all.

If you are interested in a “special” tour of specific sights and locations anywhere around Los Angeles then we are the people to talk to.  Visit our website at

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 21 April 2013

Beverly Hills – Before Elite Adventure Tours

Vintage photo of Beverly Wilshire Hotel

When Private Los Angeles Tours Were Easy

It is difficult to look at this vintage photo and think of all the business, traffic, people and hubbub you see at this intersection today.  The photo shows Wilshire Boulevard looking east to downtown Los Angeles and passing right in front of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.  There is a resemblance to Beverly Hills today but lots of new buildings have appeared since this photo was taken.  We think our custom private Los Angeles tour would have covered a lot more territory in a shorter amount of time back in those days though our new modern vehicles are much more comfortable.  Our cameras are better, too!

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