Archive for October, 2013
This Is What Our Private Tour Photos in Hollywood Are All About
What appears to be trick or treating on a warm Los Angeles afternoon is what we and our private Los Angeles tour guests see every day when we arrive at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Hilarious costumed actors and performers, some authentic, others not so much, await visitors to the famous Hollywood landmark where the original film characters once inhabited one of the best theater screens in all of Los Angeles (the U.S., dare we say the World?). Grauman’s Chinese Theater is also the second oldest of the Hollywood theaters and, of course, famous for its courtyard collection of hand and footprints of Hollywood movie stars since the theater was constructed in 1927. Halloween or not we will be pleased to introduce you to Spiderman, Chewbacca, Captain Jack Sparrow, Catwoman and all the other familiar film folks we can find when we take you see Hollywood.
Luxury Tour Surprise on Way to Hollywood Sign
Ever ready with our digital SLR cameras we collect all sorts of images along the streets we drive every day in Hollywood and Beverly Hills. As readers here know we encounter some surprising sights quite regularly. This art installation by Hans Uder surprised us one day this summer as our custom vans headed up Beachwood Canyon to the Hollywoodland portals and then to the Hollywood Sign. So close to Halloween this seemed a good time to post this photograph and give a big thumbs up to Hans for his inspiring bus stop denizens. Our private Los Angeles tour guests posed with the art in photos for their albums of the good times and intriguing things they saw in Hollywood.
A Favorite Halloween Beverly Hills Tour Stop
This residence is beloved by everyone who drives through Beverly Hills around the time of a major holiday. The homeowners must have a giant garage just to store all the decorations. Halloween is a real treat as you can see. But Christmas, Easter and Independence Day all rate a drive by….and we do, daily, multiple times. Our private Los Angeles tour guests delight in the extent of the decorations and we always stop for photographs. We know enough places to take our guests on special decoration tours for both Halloween and Christmas. These homes certainly do add something special to what we ordinarily see in Hollywood and at the beaches and all those grand places in between.
Our Private Tour Guests Want a Classy Halloween
One of our favorite West Hollywood restaurants is Fig & Olive on Melrose Place. They are hosting, along with Veuve Clicquot champagne a Halloween dinner party where you can dress to impress for fun. The posters from each of the Yelloween partners give all the details. Make your reservations now, get your costume together and prepare for a real Halloween treat.
West Hollywood, Hollywood, Beverly Hills – we tour in all these neighborhoods and keep track of what is happening there so that our guests can decide on things to do after their private Los Angeles tour.
Convenient Coffee Shop for Custom Hollywood Tour
We still refer to this charming diner in Hollywood as the “Swingers” cafe because we all so clearly remember Doug Liman’s 1996 film Swingers which was, in part, filmed here. We also love the little cafe in this charming hotel on Franklin near the 101, the Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills Hotel to be exact. The hotel was regularly filmed in its time and was also a stopping place for stars from the 1920s to the present to stay or just to get a bite to eat. Our guides still drop in after their private Hollywood tour on the way back to the garage. Not necessarily with a cappuccino on their mind but certainly a good meal and a hot cup of coffee. They can use the time to work on their scripts. If you are interested in the history of the building you should visit this YouTube link and enjoy a silent documentary for a quarter of an hour. How many of these notable Hollywood figures do you know?
Our Private Tour Stops at the Traffic Island
So often completely overlooked even by our private Los Angeles tour guests with an abiding interest in the history of movies and early film communities, this sculpture on a Beverly Hills traffic island is a tribute to the early stars and residents of Beverly Hills who organized against the annexation of the city by Los Angeles. Not even 10 years after Beverly Hills was first incorporated, back in 1923, the larger nearby city of Los Angeles set its sights on acquiring the garden community principally because of its water. Were it not for the efforts of Will Rogers, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and many of their friends and neighbors the annexation might have happened. Instead Beverly Hills remained autonomous, kept its water and flourished into the beautiful city it is today. In 1959 another group of notable entertainment industry figures funded and commissioned this sculptural tribute to those early leaders of Beverly Hills.
Alpine Village is an Authentic Private Tour Stop
This is the last weekend of Oktoberfest and a chance to enjoy some genuine German beer and food served by laughing maidens able to carry ten steins at a time. Don’t try that at home. These are professionals. For 64 years now this Torrance attraction has been treating southern Californians to the traditions of the old country with food, drink, music and entertainment that makes them one of the most highly regarded Oktoberfest celebrations in the U.S. (so says USA Today). Wear your lederhosen and leather jerkins and knit socks and arrive hungry and thirsty for a lively day and evening of harvest season celebration only a few miles from the white sand beaches and blue Pacific waters of Los Angeles. There are many more private Los Angeles tour choices than just Hollywood and celebrity homes in Beverly Hills. We know of all the festivities and celebrations and special events happening in and around Los Angeles and can show you so much more about this great city than just movie studios and stars’ homes. Eins, zwei, g’suffa!
Santa Monica Beach on a Los Angeles Helicopter Tour
Southern California has great wide white sandy beaches that you rarely see empty like this. The shadows indicate an early morning helicopter flight for us departing from Santa Monica airport and taking a good look at the vibrant coastal city as we head up to Malibu. That’s the giant Moreton Bay Fig tree in the foreground growing in the entrance to the Fairmont-Miramar Hotel. Most of the coastline visible is the long and slender community of Malibu, 21-miles of coastline all together. There are no tall buildings in Malibu but we like to point out some great restaurants, fabulous beach homes, incredible mansions in the hills above, and surfing areas deserving of songs (of which there are many). Spending time on the Los Angeles shoreline makes it easy to understand why the stars of the early film industry were drawn here to build their second homes (it took a while in those early days to navigate from Hollywood and Beverly Hills to Santa Monica and Malibu). Get a taste of the good life with a stay in Santa Monica and let us show you around in comfort and style on a private Los Angeles tour.
Private Los Angeles Tour – oooo Scary!
Ready for what a major movie studio and theme park can do to scare the *&^% out of you on Halloween and for days before and after? Then you need to dress up and make your way to Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights any evening during October (plus a few days after the 31st). The studio’s backlot has been set aside for horror filled zombified mazes based on the successful Walking Dead series. There are also Scare Zones with familiar horror themes (Chucky, The Purge, Walking Dead, Black Sabbath’s new album “13”). There are some lighter corners of the studio just for fun like Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure. And, of course, there are the rides (Transformers, Revenge of the Mummy, Jurassic Park, The Simpsons). We spend a lot of time (during the day) with our private Hollywood tour guests on the Universal VIP Tour but that is before the evil transformation of the studio that night brings.
After Sunset Flying Tour Back to Los Angeles
After a day of fine wine tasting and exploring the Santa Ynez Valley and its many extraordinary wineries it is time to fly back to Los Angeles. Flying to Santa Barbara saves a good deal of driving time and allows for more private tasting sessions in the wine region made famous in the novel and film SIDEWAYS. The fictional material still draws our private Los Angeles tour guests to our very own Sideways tour. We can either fly or drive up to the wine region near Santa Barbara. If we drive we can let our guests watch the movie on the 23″ built-in LED screen in our custom van. For an added treat, we know Rex Pickett, the author, quite well and can often arrange for him to join us on the tour for a special insight into wine, Santa Ynez vintners and Hollywood.