Archive for March, 2014
Los Angeles Tour to Famous Song Houses (Part 2)
We have our ways of finding locations for our private Los Angeles tour guests and this day was a pure pleasure focusing on local houses that inspired songs. In the hills up above Hollywood and behind the trees is the home described in the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young love song, OUR HOUSE. Their 1968 affair centered around Joni Mitchell‘s hillside home where Graham Nash, who left the Hollies to join with David Crosby and Stephen Stills, penned this sweet, lyrical tribute to Joni, the two cats and love. The song is a part of the group’s seminal album Déjà Vu and has been widely covered through the years and made part of movie and television soundtracks, even a Target commercial.
A Monday Stop For All Our Los Angeles Tour Guests
Kate Winslet is in town! The beautiful and talented star of so many of our favorite films will be honored Monday morning, 11:00 a.m. in front of the W Hotel, with the 2,520th star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Not only that, but Kathy Bates and James Cameron will be there to participate in the ceremony. That will be a Titanic moment! As you might know, her next film, Divergent, a sci-fi thriller, opens next Friday. Our custom black vans will be nearby for the ceremony as we always are giving our private Los Angeles tour guests a chance to witness the event and take pictures. We, too, will have our camera out for photographs to add to their tour album. If you are unable to attend be sure to watch the live stream (link here).
Our Los Angeles Tour Guides Will Be Pointing Out Casey’s
If you can be in downtown Los Angeles on St. Patrick’s Day then the place to lift a pint to honor the day and the people is Casey’s Irish Pub on Grand Avenue (at 6th). The pub opens early in the morning and starts the musical celebration at 11:00 a.m. Food, drink, frolic and fun will be available until the wee hours. Now over 40 years of serving history brings all the downtowners to this basement hideaway where good food and ale are graciously served. A full menu of Irish pub fare is available and the barkeeps are happy to assist with selecting the proper drink – beer, wine or spirits – to accompany your repast. Expect a great time this Monday. If you make this a stop on your private Los Angeles tour with us then we will be doing all the driving and you can toast St. Patrick to your heart’s content.
Crossing Catalina Canyons on a Zipline Tour
One advantage of our southern California drought conditions is that almost every day this winter has been a bright sunny and cool day. Perfect for a luxury zipline adventure with our private Los Angeles tour guests. We flew a group recently by helicopter to Santa Catalina Island, 22 miles of the coast of Los Angeles, and rode a Jeep up to the top point in a 5-station zipline rope journey that spans the island. Clear skies and a blue ocean greeted our guests as they learned the few simple safety lessons for the speedy journey back down to the shoreline. Our guests, potential Hollywood stars each of them, were more than happy to have our videographer join the group and capture the ziplining, the lunch and some exquisite views of the island and Avalon Bay. Please enjoy and share the video yourself and join us for a zipline adventure tour of your own one day.
Kid Friendly Los Angeles Tour – That’s Us!
Our guides are really just big kids who follow the Muppets like everyone else. And Nickelodeon shows. They love to have young folks aboard their private Los Angeles tour as an excuse to swing by favorite places to see for the children and teens visiting Hollywood. Places like the Jim Henson Company studios where Kermit the Frog, as Chaplin’s Little Tramp, bids hello to passersby. The historic Hollywood studio (Charlie Chaplin, Herb Alpert, Jim Henson) remains busy to this day. There are also Nickelodeon studios to see, a living tar pit to explore (and a great hill to roll down nearby), a park with a giant fig tree and another where you can throw balls to celebrity dogs. Yes, moms and dads, a Los Angeles tour can be very young person friendly. Want to see where Justin Bieber lives?
Every Private Tour Gets Their “Awwww” Picture
We remembered to stop so this woman could walk safely by with her goat and pony in tow. California has very strict pedestrian protection laws and we believe that also includes cute animals. Very few of our private Los Angeles tour guests go home without a photograph to make them either laugh or say “how cute.” That’s Los Angeles for you (Burbank in this case). The streets and sidewalks are alive with what to many of our guests might seem unusual sights. We also know where there are horses and goats in Hollywood.
Some Los Angeles Tours Begin at the Cruise Ship Terminal
We serve guests arriving in the port on cruise ships throughout the year. Sometimes Los Angeles is their destination and other times it is simply a layover. Picking up our private tour guests up in the Port of Long Beach or in San Pedro means a lovely drive along the beautiful southern California coastline up to Marina del Rey. The excellent photograph above was taken just north of San Pedro and captures the beautiful Pt. Fermin Lighthouse with Catalina Island in the background. Further along the coast road we pass the Trump National Golf Club and the Terranea Resort before getting to the Pacific Coast Highway and the wonderful beach communities of Redondo, Hermosa and Manhattan. It is a breathtaking drive and perfect for cruise ship passengers just getting their land legs back. By the time we get to Hollywood and Beverly Hills everyone is ready for an adventure in movie history and a chance to see where the stars live and work.
Hollywood is a Magnificent Journey for Los Angeles Tour
The most expensive film of its time, D.W. Griffith’s INTOLERANCE, was composed of four separate stories woven into the 1916 silent masterpiece. The massive set shown above (more than 4 city blocks) represented just one of those stories and was set in Babylon. Built on Griffith’s studio it remained erect for many years after the film was complete. While still regarded as a masterwork by the great director the film at the time bombed and resulted in financial difficulties for its studio. However, the film was influential in the careers of many up-and-coming directors and set the direction for modern filmmaking.
While the old set is long gone now (a television studio stands where the studio lot once was), design elements of the famed set can be seen at the Hollywood & Highland Center, a modern outdoor shopping and entertainment facility in the heart of Hollywood. Almost all of our private Los Angeles tours visit the mall to marvel at the giant archway and columns and to experience the Road to Hollywood within it along with the Casting Couch sculpture and a lovely view of the Hollywood Sign. The nearby Hollywood Walk of Fame leads our groups nearby to Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the Dolby Theater and to other major Hollywood sights in this part of town.
Seldom Seen by Our Los Angeles Tour Guests
Though a little further off our usual beaten track for a private Los Angeles tour we can still respond to requests for Fantasy Island locations by heading over to nearby Alhambra to visit the home of Mr. Rourke (Ricardo Montalban) in the well-remembered television series (Aaron Spelling Production running on ABC from 1977-1984). His assistant, Tattoo (Hervé Villechaize) would ring the bell in the tower to begin every episode.
While in Alhambra we can visit some other amazing famous and infamous homes nearby (Kenny Loggins, Phil Spector). We really enjoy researching and providing tour destinations for our guests joining us with special requests. Specific movies, television shows, celebrity home, notable periods in Hollywood or Los Angeles history – anything that our guests request we will make sure they see.
A Grand Tour from Los Angeles for Special Guests
In so many respects Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon are in the general vicinity of Los Angeles. Small aircraft charters can get us and our guests the 250 mile distance in no time. From there we are met by a private luxury helicopter that will whisk us up over the giant gorge for an eagle’s view of the Colorado River flowing through the bottom of the great chasm. Yet it is not just the flight through the Grand Canyon that is so much fun. It is the private gourmet picnic lunch on the rim that makes the trip extra special. Not everyone gets to see this Wonder of the World in such a comfortable and personal fashion. Save Hollywood and Beverly Hills for a Los Angeles ground tour. Allow one day on your visit to be this kind of amazing adventure.