Archive for April, 2015
Our Private Tour Meets a Real Coyote
About the same size as a Border Collie, the coyotes we encounter regularly in the Hollywood Hills when we are enjoying an early morning private Los Angeles tour are certainly scrawnier and mangy-looking. We are assured by wildlife experts that this is a healthy population of pack animals and even during our severe drought they have plenty of rats, mice and rabbits to munch on for their nutritional needs. Our guests are always thrilled by the sight of these wild canines, indigenous to the southwest, but not generally familiar to most of our out-of-area guests. Our guests certainly are familiar with Wile E. Coyote of Looney Tunes cartoon fame (there are no roadrunners in Hollywood except for that animated creature) and have maybe heard the term used in discussions about border security. However, we really do consider these evening howlers (they do sing up a storm!) a welcome part of our ecosystem except for those unfortunate small pet owners who occasionally lose an animal when they are careless and allow their cats and dogs out of the house unattended when living in coyote territory.
Our Private Tour Guests Envy Those
Who Live on the Lake
This could be the view you enjoy each misty spring morning when you take a walk from your nearby home. Lake Hollywood and the Mulholland Dam are an inviting hiking and jogging circle (3.3 miles) for residents and even for some of our adventure tours guests who wish to add hiking to their sightseeing activities on a private custom tour around Los Angeles. Coyotes, deer and bobcats are regular sightings in this area when we arrive early before the morning mist dissipates. We can also hike right up to the Hollywood Sign, past the old Batman television series Bat Cave (a cave also used in the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers) for an even grander view of Lake Hollywood and the Los Angeles basin beyond. On clear days (think cooler winter weather) you not only can see the sea but you can make out Santa Catalina Island 25 miles off the coast. It might be difficult to imagine that this beautiful Lake Hollywood oasis sits right in the middle of a city of 5 million people and 500 square miles…but it does. We will show you.
Everyone Will Know This Private Tour
Stopped in Beverly Hills
Hollywood and Beverly Hills, you know you are there when you visit because everywhere we go there is a sign with the name. The best part of our private Los Angeles tour is that we can stop anywhere we see one of those signs and get out of the car to take a photograph with our guests for their tour photo album. These photographs will undeniably identify where they were when the shutter was snapped. Beverly Hills has several of these designer signposts and other identifying lettered landmarks though not as many as Hollywood. It is also hard to beat the iconic Hollywood Sign in your snapshot.
Our Private Tour from the Air
Sees the Los Angeles Coast
We fly low and slow along the Los Angeles coast to allow our private Los Angeles tour guests time to get a good feel for the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) through Malibu. Malibu is 27-miles long and very narrow because so much of it is built on the beach below steep mountainsides. Our most violent winter storms threaten the wonderful beach homes on two sides: storm surge waves from the bay and mudslides from the Santa Monica Mountains. Road closures during the rainy season are not uncommon. Everyone along the highway is familiar with alternative routes to work and school. However, despite the apparent difficulties of living on the beach in Malibu, as you might expect, most of the year, throughout the years, beach living is everything anyone wants. Moderate temperatures, a beautiful blue ocean, long sandy beaches (at low tide), and access to everything in the way of entertainment, services, dining and activities that Malibu, Santa Monica and Los Angeles have to offer. Very few of our luxury tour guests say they would never want to live here.
L.A. Live is the Place for
Our Private Tour Guests
NBA fans in southern California, or with connections here, or just basketball lovers who also want a vacation in paradise, are here in Los Angeles to enjoy the playoffs and watch the L.A. Clippers at the Staples Center. We will be embarking on many a private Los Angeles tour from the Ritz-Carlton and J.W. Marriott nearby. This whole area of downtown Los Angeles is known as L.A. Live and offers, besides professional sports and luxury accommodations, restaurants, movie theaters, the Grammy Museum, the Nokia Theater and the Los Angeles Convention Center. Lots to do. Lots to see. We can create an entire day custom luxury tour of just downtown Los Angeles for urban anthropologists interested in learning the history and future of Los Angeles. Art and architecture, popular and ethnic culture, our city’s history and development are all centered in this densely populated point in the middle of the 500 square miles designated as the City of Los Angeles. We can also venture west to visit Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Our helicopter tour gives our guests a good look at this part of the city. Who knew there were so many parking spaces in the middle of downtown Los Angeles? With us parking is not a problem.
Custom Hot Dogs and Bowl Dishes
Impress our Private Tour
Chef Keith Yokoyama put all of his experience and Culinary Institute of America training to work in creating the Tokyo Doggie Style food truck that people all over Los Angeles chase after and line up for to enjoy his Japanese comfort food creations. This season’s menu includes a number of delicious hot dog preparations and an Asian homage to the Philly cheese steak sandwich. Also, if you prefer your food out of a bun, there are several very tasty bowls to choose from made of salmon, beef, chicken or curry. Fancy fries, of course, and something we are not certain of (yet!) – Crispy Octopus Balls. Vegetarians and vegans can join in the fusion fun, too, with hot dogs and bowl dishes just for them. Do you like boba (iced milk tea and tapioca)? Enjoy something cold and delicious to accompany your food. Chef Keith is on our speed dial for catering special lunches and events that we get involved with and we recommend the big yellow truck for your party if Japanese comfort food is going to please your guests. A number of our “adventures” include a catered lunch and we consider Tokyo Doggie Style a nice choice.
Early Bird Tour Guests Get the Mist
Misty water-colored memories of the Hollywood Sign will fill the photo albums of our private Los Angeles tour guests getting early starts on their custom tours. There are a number of advantages, however, of having an early start. Our guests arriving from points east are still in their own time zones and so up and at ’em when Californians are just beginning to think of a cup of coffee. We can avoid a lot of traffic. Most of our tour destinations are completely devoid of visitors. Night location shoots are just wrapping their sets and the dawn locations are going strong so we have twice the chance of running into some Hollywood street film production. Finally, we might see a coyote heading home in the hills.
The Days Get Longer, The Private Tour
Can Begin Later
The setting sun in Los Angeles casts a golden glow over everything but the draw of the beach is particularly strong at this time of day. Most of our L.A. beaches are south facing so dusk moves left to right as we stare off into the Santa Monica Bay. At the same time as the colorful lights begin to illuminate the attractions along the Santa Monica Pier the rides are getting busy as visitors want to witness the setting sun from the top of the Ferris Wheel. Like the shore birds our guests also begin to have urges for a seafood dinner and our guides know the best food stands for a quick meal as well as fine restaurants for something more elegant. The world is their oyster for our private Los Angeles tour guests.
Downtown Los Angeles Hotel is a True Gem for
Our Los Angeles Tour Guests
The Westin Bonaventure Hotel is the largest hotel in Los Angeles (1,300+ rooms) and also one of the most distinctive both from the busy downtown streets around the hotel and, as seen here, from the air on one of our private helicopter tours of the city. Even if we are not meeting our luxury tour guests at this hotel, when we find ourselves exploring downtown Los Angeles we always make a point to drive past the vast John Portman designed structure with its five tall cylindrical towers that offer vast comfort and amenities to its lucky guests. With more than 19 restaurants and bars, a shopping gallery and easy access to the Los Angeles Music Center (Ahmanson Theater and Mark Taper Forum, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Disney Concert Hall) and all the rest of downtown Los Angeles, this hotel is a worthwhile stop on our tour just to spend time enjoying the spacious lobby. We can point out the five elevator banks and talk about the films made here at the hotel (TRUE LIES, NICK OF TIME, INTERSTELLAR). The building in the photograph (right of the hotel) with the pyramid crowned tower is the historic Los Angeles Public Library, definitely worth visiting for the look and design of the building and to do some quick reading up on Mr. Portman’s other notable architectural gems.
Plan a Private Tour Around all that Jazz
The first Playboy Jazz Festival back in 1959, hosted by Hugh Hefner, was set in Chicago which was Playboy headquarters at the time. Then Hef moved the business west to Los Angeles and settled in the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, a popular destination with most of our Los Angeles private tour guests. He resurrected the tribute to great jazz music in 1979 at the Hollywood Bowl and the tradition was started and continues to this 37th annual jazz music festival. On June 13th and 14th the show will continue with two long days at the most historic music venue in Los Angeles, an outdoor Eden for music lovers of all kinds but especially for jazz music lovers that weekend. The eclectic collection of musicians will offer something for every ear and every heart. Among the talent: Herbie Hancock, Eddie Palmieri, Ozomotli, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Tower of Power, Snarky Puppy and many more. Two days. Outdoors in beautiful weather. Picnic. Wine. The good company of music lovers from all over the world who plan to be in Los Angeles just for this occasion. Make your own plans and get your tickets early. There is seating for only 17,000 or so jazz fans.