Archive for August, 2014
Private Tour Family Looks at Los Angeles Schools
We do a large number of “special occasion” tours throughout the year celebrating anniversaries, honeymoons, retirements – all the important dates in a person’s life. Another benefit of our private custom tour approach to seeing Los Angeles is showing our new students around their new environment. We are a month ahead of the start of classes at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) but families are beginning to show up with their their recent high school graduates to get the feel of the city and begin learning their way around. What better way than by enjoying a helicopter tour over their new campus and then doubling back in our custom black van for a much closer look at Westwood and the areas around the campus. We can do the same thing with that other big campus south of downtown, or that pretty coastal college in Malibu or the campus on the bluff overlooking Marina del Rey. We have a large number of notable institutions of higher learning throughout Los Angeles. Let us show you around when you are deciding which to attend or when you are getting ready to move in to start school. (above – Royce Hall, Powell Library, Fowler Museum, click for larger image)
Our Private Tour Guests Go Googoo-eyes for Gold Ferrari
The store window displays draw a good amount of attention as we show our private Beverly Hills tour guests around Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. All the great designers have stores here. They do not call this general area of Beverly Hills the “Golden Triangle” for nothing. We were treated to the sight of this gold Ferrari parked on the street that was itself drawing a crowd. The owner might have been shopping or might have been a doctor at the cosmetic surgery in the building. Or a patient. This was just another amazing automobile seen as we were sightseeing through Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Nothing out of the ordinary, really.
A Private Beverly Hills Shopping Tour – You Betcha!
“Look at all this room to put our packages,” is a typical quote from our guests who wish a “shopping themed” private tour of Los Angeles as they board our luxury black custom vans. Six passengers and packages – no problem. We head off for stops along Rodeo Drive and Robertson Avenue, Montana Avenue, even sometimes the Citadel in City of Industry. Our more adventurous guests might wish to fly out to Desert Hills or up to Camarillo to enjoy a retail excursion in those premium outlet centers. But Rodeo Drive (pictured) is the gold standard for our tour and the Louis Vuitton store right on the corner of Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard, across from the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, is the eyecatching destination all our guests head for. The Fall 2014 collections are out and now is the time to “sightsee” at Louis Vuitton in Beverly Hills.
Reliving the Manson Family Days on Our Private Tour
A couple of times a year we can count on having a private Los Angeles tour guest request a tour featuring sights associated with Charles Manson and his murderous clan. There is much to see of a frightful nature right in Hollywood and nearby neighborhoods but we can generally count on our guests wanting a little more. That means a trip up into the north part of the San Fernando Valley to visit the old Spahn Movie Ranch in Chatsworth. Just looking over the area you can see why movie companies loved this scenic area for filming their westerns, a staple during a part of Hollywood’s history. But the former movie location was also the home of Mr. Manson and his family and we explore their old digs and recount stories to give our guests background where they might not know the facts. However, sometimes our guests are experts themselves and help us to find the sights they seek, like the cave that featured the family in a 1969 Life magazine spread.
Our Helicopter Tour Highlights the Los Angeles Coast
Looking at the photograph (click the image to see a larger, clearer picture) it is easy to understand why native American people and early pioneers settled this coastline as soon as they first saw it. Besides the rivers flowing down from the mountains, the arable fields, the wildlife and the mild weather, there is a beauty to the Los Angeles coastline that just takes your breath away. We know of a number of fine vista points along the palisades and in the mountains to enjoy spectacular views of the bay and beaches that we show our guests from our custom luxury van, but the best vantage points are from the air when we are aboard one of our luxury helicopters enjoying a private scenic tour of all of Los Angeles. That means Hollywood and Beverly Hills, Brentwood and Bel Air, all seen from above. That’s a lot of pretty buildings and homes but, oh yes, the coast, the beaches, the island chain offshore, the surfers and other sea life, now those are views and photographs you do not get anywhere else.
Flowers in Her Hair, Flowers Everywhere – Perfect
for Our Private Tour
Hollywoodland – that part of Hollywood just above the old Hollywoodland arches – has marvelous businesses in a tiny retail area and one of those business for several years has been My Fair Lady’s Flowers. Colorful and aromatic, we now like to stop our custom luxury van here to walk around and explore for a short while. There is a lot of history at this location where empty lots were being sold to the new residents of Hollywood back in the early silent film years of the nascent entertainment industry. Besides the large stone arches that mark the entrance to the Hollywoodland community, there are buildings and homes dating back to that period. But there are also businesses worth visiting on a private Los Angeles tour like the flower shop. Driving up the tiny roads above the village our guests will finally get to see what they were waiting for – the Hollywood Sign.
The Santa Ynez Valley Is Calling All Wine Lovers
for a Private Tour
How many wineries can we visit on our “Sideways” tour of the Santa Ynez Valley up the California coast past Santa Barbara? Always enough to satisfy our guests. There are plenty to choose from as anyone knows who has visited the area or remembers the movie. We offer our guests the opportunity to watch the film as we drive up from Los Angeles. We can then visit the wineries used in the making of the film. Or, we can defer to suggestions given to us by Rex Pickett, the author of Sideways, about places to visit and where to eat and drink (wine). Our most recent favorite stop is Transcendance in Lompoc, a small custom winery with great atmosphere. We love to find new places to visit every time we do this custom luxury tour.
Stars Home Tour Fit for a Young Fan
Our private Los Angeles tour guides would run out of voice before they could drive around and point out all the celebrity homes they know in Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills, Bel Air and Brentwood alone. There are just too many to name. That means we pick and choose which homes to visit and discuss based on the interests (and demographics) of our guests. We can highlight the classic homes of the great stars of the silent and golden eras of Hollywood or quickly switch to the new faces arising from the studios at Disney and Nickelodeon. And, as you can see here, our very discrete custom black luxury van can make quick stops for photo ops in front of Demi Lovato‘s home (above) or Miley Cyrus‘ place (below). Now that makes a good snapshot to go into the tour photo album that we provide to our guests at the end of every tour.
All Our Tour Guests are Stars
Some of them, however, really do resemble the movie stars whose handprints we visit in the historic forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. This private Los Angeles tour was particularly fun for all of us because people around us were doing double takes as we walked through the crowds along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There are too many handprints to count going back to 1928 when Norma Talmadge made the first print until last July when Melissa McCarthy dipped her hands and feet in the wet cement. As for our guest Richard Gere doppelgänger, he was considering how lucrative it might be to join the costumed characters in front of the theater and pose for photos with the tourists.
Hollywood Sleeps Late But Our Private Tour Can Start Early
One of the newest hotels in Hollywood and located right at that iconic corner, Hollywood and Vine, practically across the street from Capitol Records, is The Redbury. The all suite hotel offers a number of delightful hospitality packages that entice guests from all over the world. What better place to get to know Hollywood than from right in its historic center. As we usually are a bit early to arrive at the hotel to pick up our guests for a private Los Angeles tour we took this photograph with our custom luxury van alone in front of The Redbury before the neighborhood became its usual busy self. The hotel is close to restaurants and clubs, theaters and bars, all within walking distance. Even so, The Redbury hosts The Library, it’s own specialty bar so suited to the spirit of contemporary Hollywood. If you need to pick a corner to enjoy all that Hollywood offers and want a place to stay then The Redbury should be the first hotel you call.