Archive for December, 2015
Sometimes our Private Tour Guests Arrive by Train
A number of long distance passenger trains arrive and depart from downtown Los Angeles at Union Station. The monumental Spanish-style architecture rises up in walking distance to the birthplace of Los Angeles on Olvera Street. The Mexican restaurants and outdoor shopping bazaar are a wonderful place to spend time while awaiting a train heading north to Seattle or east to Chicago or to New Orleans. The station, because of its spaciousness and location so close to Hollywood is as familiar to film and television lovers as Grand Central Station in Manhattan. Film crews are regular visitors to the almost 80-year old structure that witnessed the passage of so many celebrities on their way to and from Beverly Hills in its glory days during and after WWII. Automobiles and air travel led to the reduction of passenger trains to travel long distances and this transportation hub in the middle of downtown L.A. saw a smaller and different group of passengers availing itself of train rides. The station’s interior is beautiful and distinctive with enclosed courtyards and lots of marble and terra cotta to please the eye. The last of the Harvey House restaurants at train stations opened and closed here. There are plenty of reasons for us to pull up in the station’s parking area while on a private Los Angeles tour to show off our historic Union Station even if we are not picking up or dropping off our guests who are traveling on Amtrak.
Join a Fishing Charter or Just Have Breakfast on
Your Private L.A. Tour
We prefer early morning tours in the winter months when they are not too early. No matter what time the sun rises we can have our private Los Angeles tour guests somewhere on the coast to see the early risers take to the surf and the sea. On a recent visit up the coast to Malibu we got to the Malibu Pier early enough to see a fishing charter preparing to depart from the pier’s end. This great historic pier attracts surfers (a famous 3-point break) and fishermen and, of course, anyone loving beach culture. We like it mostly for the views, the air and the food. For a quick stop we visit the Malibu Farm Pier Café for a quality snack or stand up/walk around lunch. For something a bit more formal there is the Malibu Farm Restaurant at the foot of the long wooden structure. All foods here are organic and locally sourced according to Helene, the owner, and we can state that we are always very happy for an opportunity to eat at the Malibu Pier whenever we get a chance, sightseeing with our adventure seeking guests or just playing and hanging out by the sea with our own family and friends.
The Time for Photo Fun on a
Blue skies, green grass, it’s the rainy season in Southern California. We Los Angelenos can even be seen in sweaters and long sleeves, it’s that chilly, daytime temperatures in the upper 60s. We bring in the pets at night and close the windows. But for our guests it is a most beautiful way to spend the holidays where the days are comfortable and the nights full of holiday lights and cheer. This is a good time to take photographs, too, to use throughout the year. Photos like this one where our private Los Angeles tour guest gives a big kiss to the Hollywood Sign. The youngsters on our excursions get very imaginative up here near the sign (in fact, everywhere we take them the little hams). The photo albums our guests receive of their journey with us will always be full of great digital memories that they can share any time with their friends, family and the public on Facebook. We suggest considering a late afternoon tour (so you can sleep late) when the sun is setting and all the holiday decorations are lit. City lights and public trees and displays are great but we can also cruise through Beverly Hills and Bel Air and see how the stars light up their homes.
Our Private Tour SUV Can’t Challenge the
Tiny Race Car
The car had a license plate so the State of California said it was safe to drive on our Hollywood streets. Like everything strange and unusual along the Sunset Strip (and that’s a lot of things….every day) the little racer grabbed the attention of drivers and pedestrians alike as it tooled along the stretch of roadway connecting Hollywood proper with Beverly Hills. With the electronic billboards, megabanners on the sides of buildings, flags flying from the lampposts and all the distractions of a busy commercial street (the busiest and most commercial in the world, perhaps?) the little midnight blue car was a center of attention. A young man enjoying our private Los Angeles tour asked his parents if he could have one. They in turn asked their tour guide where the dealer’s showroom was located. With some research we could perhaps find the custom shop responsible for the little car though it is possibly constructed from a kit. We wonder how it would do against Justin Bieber in a street race, one-on-one, a Lamborghini and this little thing?
Santa Must Really Love Our
Luxury Tour Over Hollywood
From everyone at Elite Adventure Tours our best wishes for a truly memorable holiday season. We hope to see you on a visit to Los Angeles this coming year. We have a private luxury tour or adventure ready to go just for you.
Enjoy a Fine History Documentary About Los Angeles on a Catalina Island Tour
We encourage our adventurous guests to let us take them the 23 miles out to the largest of the Channel islands, Santa Catalina. Lots of Los Angeles history happened out here as the city on the coast grew in size and importance. Our private Los Angeles tour guides mention some of that history when onshore destinations allow a view of the island and any discussion is relevant but the best way to learn about the island is to visit it. We can fly over in one of our twin-engine luxury helicopters or we can arrange for a private yacht to cruise the channel. We can even take the high speed ferry. Our guests make that decision. Once on the island there is much to do and see. One idea is to visit the Catalina Island Museum and enjoy one of the many documentaries that might be showing in the gallery on the ground floor of the notorious Avalon Casino where the museum is located. As you can see, Hollywood and its stars are very much a part of Catalina history. This island playground is fun to visit any time of the year and offers a number of exciting adventure activities (hiking, ziplining, scuba diving, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, jeep tours through the buffalo preserve) as well as more deliberative things to do like sightseeing, shopping, restaurants and, of course, the Catalina Island Museum.
Every One of Our Private Tour Guests
Master the Segway
This is definitely one of our “funnest” adventure tours of Los Angeles. We enjoy a short training course (which is all it takes) in Venice Beach and then cruise along the beach trail with the bicycles and rollerbladers. We can cover a lot of miles without getting the least bit tired. Plus we can stop along the way to admire the ocean, be awed by the skateboarders at their special skating park, ogle the body builders working out at Muscle Beach, purchase souvenirs along the boardwalk and maybe get a henna tattoo. We can also scoot up to the Santa Monica Pier enjoying the views of the fantastic beach hotels and the wide, well groomed beaches and then the historic carousel at the foot of the pier. Did we mention the snacks? There is a huge variety of food choices all along the way if standing on a motorized individual transport vehicle makes us peckish. But wait! There’s more! As masters of the Segway now we can drive to Beverly Hills and enjoy another adventure ooohing and aaahing at the fabulous mansions and homes of this incredible neighborhood. Perhaps when hoverboard technology improves we can equip our luxury SUVs with boards for every guest and be ready to scoot wherever we go. Isn’t the future great?
For Our Private Tour Guests Who Love Cars
Welcome to the new look of the Petersen Automotive Museum. Once a giant department store (Ohrbach’s) located at the corner of Fairfax and Wilshire on the Miracle Mile (so named for its grand shopping all the way to La Brea) the Petersen publishing empire celebrates all things automotive in this landmark location. Since 1994 the Petersen collection of cars, trucks and motorcycles has thrilled car lovers with ever changing exhibits in 25 galleries. There are more than 100 vehicles on display with the remainder of the collection safely stored in a giant vault beneath the building. Talk to the right people and pay the fee and the vault is accessible to an eager auto enthusiast. Hollywood and the movies contribute to the exhibition at most times so you can see and enjoy the designs of cars instrumental in the action of some of your favorite movies and television shows. With its proximity to both Hollywood and Beverly Hills we always manage to pass by the Petersen on our private tour of Los Angeles and perhaps convince our guests to make a stop to inspect some show cars on display.
We Tell Our Private Tour Guests to
Bring Bathing Suits
We in Southern California find the 70° days very pleasant but will likely have slipped into long pants and sleeves and socks and shoes. Our visitors from hardy northern climes are more likely to be getting into our luxury SUVs for a private Los Angeles tour wearing shorts, t-shirts and sandals. Our yearlong nice weather means a visit to the beach is always in order. In the winter months there are certain advantages. No blazing heat and no large crowds. You can enjoy miles and miles of sandy coast practically to yourself. The bike/skate paths are wide open so you can cruise mindlessly for miles and miles from the foot of the Palos Verdes Peninsula almost to Malibu. That is Malibu in our aerial photograph above . Just a small part. Malibu occupies more than 20 miles of coastline. It is a sliver of a city sandwiched between the Santa Monica Bay and Santa Monica Mountains. The celebrities who live in fabulous beach homes are reading their morning papers on their deck instead of jogging along the beach at this time as they might be doing during the hot summer months. If our guests wish, we are always ready to make a stop and lead a tour along the water’s edge with a chance to gaze into the windows of the homes above the water line. Our combination air + ground tour allows us to fly over and pick out particular beaches to drive back to after the flight. December swimming in the ocean anyone?
The Changes in Hollywood Are Apparent
to Our Private Tour
It is really only a hundred years ago that Hollywood began making a name for itself as nickelodeons spread across the country and movie houses began to appear. What was definitely not good for the vaudevillian performers of the day was the beginning of a huge entertainment enterprise whose capital would be Hollywood. Folks moving west to be a part of this startup industry had to live somewhere. Enterprising businessmen of the time purchased a large stretch of property above the growing studio neighborhood below, up into the hills almost to the top of what would later be called Mt. Lee, and created Hollywoodland. Unlike today’s planned residential developments there was only land. Prospective residents purchased a plot and built their own homes. That is why as we drive up to visit what remains of the original development billboard, now the Hollywood Sign, our private Los Angeles tour guests can see how unique and remarkable each house is all the way to the top. Along the way we can pull out photographs like this one so our guests can compare what was with what is.