Archive for July, 2016
Our Private Tour is All About the Movies
Unquestionably movie lovers love Hollywood. From the earlies part of the history of Hollywood filmdom when nickelodeons and “flickers” were the means by which moving pictures were enjoyed to recognizing familiar locations of favorite scenes to seeing costumed actors representing celebrated movie characters our private Los Angeles tour guests get wall-to-wall movies on their custom tour. You learn (and see) where the first movie studios were built early in the last century and then get to see where the modern studios are today. Favorite restaurants and bars of Golden Age movie stars are still to be found and visited. Hollywood Walk of Fame stars fill the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard for blocks and blocks. Grauman’s Chinese Theater offers its courtyard to spark memories of movie stars long gone and more recent filmmakers still captivating us in the theaters. Three movie palaces continue entreating audiences in the center of Hollywood. And then there is the Dolby Theatre, home of the Oscars. Walking toward the entrance through the main promenade takes us alongside columns listing each of the Best Picture Award winners since the first award for 1927 (Wings). After we take an inventory of all these great films we can drive up to the Hollywood Sign and look back into this part of the city that is so dear to so many people around the world.
What’s So Funny About a Comedy Sightseeing Tour of Los Angeles
As funny as our guides can be, and they are quite amusing, each of them with performing backgrounds (it’s Hollywood after all), the professionals who inhabit the stage at The Improv and the other big comedy clubs are even funnier. Way funnier. Think of our Elite Adventure Tours guides as warmup acts on the way to the clubs. We do club crawls in the evening for our private Los Angeles tour guests wanting a designated driver and comedy expert showing them the city and getting them safely and humorously between nightclubs with sightseeing along the way. If a club crawl is something our guests would prefer to do on their own we can still take them around to all the clubs in the daytime so they know where to go in the evening. Plus, we know the new and upcoming clubs, the farm teams for the majors, so they can catch the rising stars in their formative stages.
Fun in the Sun on the Sunset Strip Lures Our Private Tour
We might have stopped but with the prospect of the beach ahead we decided to pass by the line to get into Skybar at the Mondrian Hotel on the Sunset Strip. Those waiting know how beautiful the view from the poolside is and how wonderful the drink selection is to go with all the sunshine and frolicking at this hip bar on the Strip. The nighttime crowd can be pretty much the same except for the fashion…less pool and more evening and cocktail attire. However, it’s always hip at Sky Bar. We made sure our private Los Angeles tour guests saw some of the other evening places to rub shoulders with the Los Angeles “in-the-know” crowd as we proceeded along Sunset Boulevard and into Beverly Hills on the way to the beaches in Santa Monica and Venice. There our folks will see the same people but with fewer prospects for mixed drinks near the water.
Their Private Tour Took Off Over Los Angeles
We have an exciting ground tour that is an adventure for our guests of all ages. For our younger passengers there are wonderful parks to run, jump and climb in that make a private sightseeing tour more than riding around in a really nice car all day and looking at stuff. There are costumed characters, film studios that specialize in kids’ movies and television shows, bubbling pools of liquid tar, extreme skate parks, sandy beaches, amusement rides…there is just about anything you can think of that will impress an energetic young person. But the very best thing is a ride in a luxury helicopter. From take off to landing the kids are fascinated with the whirlybird’s flight whether we are high up over the mountains with views from Catalina Island (where we can fly if we want as our aircraft are all twin-engine) to Malibu and the whole Los Angeles basin…or down low skimming along the Pacific Ocean where the porpoises, whales, seals and sea lions respond to us as we slow and hover above. Mom and dad are interested in the celebrity homes lining the shore and the grand mansions built on the mountain slopes above the beach. Combining both a private custom tour in our SUV with a long aerial tour over and around Los Angeles is as memorable an experience of L.A. as any amusement park…even Disneyland.
Family Private Tours of Hollywood Are a Real Treat
If you need to be certain the children have a lot of material to include in their “What I Did This Summer” back-to-school reports then you definitely need to consider a private luxury tour of Hollywood. With just you and a camera toting guide it is easy to get to those wonderful less traveled spots that the big tours overlook. Not just behind the scenes but behind that. You can learn not just what is there but what used to be there. Since we know where the back doors are we might just run into a familiar faces coming and going from the Jimmy Kimmel studio or the Dolby Theater. We will get you to the best shops even if all you want is an I ♥ Hollywood t-shirt. We are acquainted with most of the costumed characters roaming the street and know who offers the best poses for a fun picture we can take for your tour photo album. With no itinerary to stick to we can just walk around looking at the stars of the Hollywood Walk of Fame or find one in particular (of the almost 2,600 presently on the landmark sidewalk) that is meaningful to you. We can stop into Madame Tussaud’s Hollywood Wax Museum or the Guiness Book of Records museum. There is so much to do just on the streets of Hollywood we have to remember to get back into the car so we can drive right up to the Hollywood Sign.
Where a Private Tour of Los Angeles Goes to Beat the Heat
There are sections of the Los Angeles beach lined with hotels where you would expect to find a crowd of visitors to Southern California. However, most of the beach, even near the hotels, is filled every day by people from the city and surrounding area, particularly eastern parts of the basin, who head to the beach to get away from the summer heat. When we arrive at the beach early on a private tour of Los Angeles, before heading out to Beverly Hills and Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles, the beach is already busy. If we make the trip in reverse and arrive late in the morning or in the afternoon the beaches are crowded. That doesn’t mean a visit is not fun. We encourage our guests to bring along flip flops or sandals and other beachwear and towels so they can enjoy the sand and the surf as a part of their custom tour. There is a lot we can describe about the beach as we walk along and examine the various beachfront neighborhoods. We have Venice, Santa Monica and Malibu to explore on most of our beach encounters but are happy to drive south to see the beaches of Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo. There are surfers and sailors to watch, lifeguards aplenty, and all kinds of marine birds and mammals to observe. How does any work get done on a summer day?
With a Big Private Tour Family This Photo Is a Challenge
As difficult as it might be to get everyone in the air at the same time, jumping for joy at being so near the famous Hollywood Sign, everyone always has a good time getting this photograph into their tour album. Thankfully we have a very good SLR camera that we use to take photos of our guests throughout their private Los Angeles tour with us so we can “machine gun” photos in the strong Southern California sunlight. We have to keep everyone away from the cactus and thistles that are abundant up here on the side of the mountain where the sign is situated. By the way, the sign just passed it’s 93rd anniversary. It was in July of 1923 that the first Hollywood Sign was completed and illuminated. History buffs as well as our guests will know that the first sign read HOLLYWOODLAND and was merely a giant hillside billboard for the housing development springing up below. Now, 93 years later, she is a symbol of our entertainment industry known throughout the world. No wonder the excitement of being here lifts everyone off their feet…almost everybody.
Our Private Tour Sees Studio Water Tower
Our Los Angeles private tour guests often want to talk about water. While water is a major subject of discussion in California all through the year (and this decade in particular) we are pleased that our issues with water are widely known. On our tours we talk about the history of Los Angeles in terms of water and how a major metropolis was constructed in what is essentially a desert. The history of water in Los Angeles is long and colorful and not too far removed from the story in Roman Polanski’s CHINATOWN. Water discussions also arise when we point out the water towers on the film studio lots like Warner Bros. (above). In this case we describe the studios in earlier days when these “cities” of filmmaking were somewhat isolated from the growing burg of Los Angeles and had their own fire departments. Water towers supplied water for the facility as well as for emergencies (fires were not uncommon – wood sets and hot tools, you know). Explosions and fires created for film were risks. Just think about the burning of Atlanta for GONE WITH THE WIND filmed in Culver City. Another use for a lot of water was creating a flood (the Universal Studios tour might demonstrate that) or just a large pool of water for scenes filmed “at sea” (visit The Tank on the Paramount Studios lot).
Eat, Drink and Be Merry as We Tour the Venice Boardwalk
The thing about Venice, California is that there is so much to see and enjoy. Much more than just walking the fine wide beach. In fact, there are generally more people on the boardwalk at any time then enjoying the sun and surf and ogling the lifeguards. The Venice Boardwalk is a long string of shops specializing in t-shirts and beachwear, smoking accessories and electronics, and tattoo and piercing services as well as cafes and food and drink stands. That’s just one side where there are permanent structures with intriguing architecture and murals. On the beach side of the wide sidewalk artists, performers, activists and others (?) set up stands to amuse, inform and transact with the millions of visitors attracted to Venice throughout the year. Henna tattoos, new t-shirts and sunglasses are purchases that delight our Los Angeles private tour guests. Fresh fruit ice drinks are always good. The beauty of there being so much to look at on either side of the boardwalk is that we can start at one end and walk along one side returning on the other. Also, one end of the boardwalk is Muscle Beach with its own special history and things to see. If we arrive early enough we can have the place to ourselves. Later in the morning and until sunset during the summer months and holiday periods the place is wall-to-wall people all having a great time.
Visit Your Favorite Star’s Star on a
We always ask and are really pleased when a special request is made to visit certain stars on the landmark Hollywood Walk of Fame. Stars like Tim McGraw whose star was dedicated almost 10 years ago. We will even work with a list which we suggest when we are in touch with guests before we rendezvous with them for a luxury custom tour of Los Angeles. Finding stars on the Walk of Fame can mean traveling along a couple of miles of sidewalk bordering Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. There are almost 2,600 stars at this time. While we know well the stars of celebrities who are often sought from time to time we need to check in with the Hollywood Walk of Fame website to get the exact location of less familiar but still beloved movie stars, singers, television personalities, radio voices and other performers immortalized in pink and gold on the always popular walkway. We think Mrs. McGraw, Faith Hill to everyone, should get a star near her husband. There’s lots of room on the sidewalk. With a hundred years of Hollywood and entertainment history represented the more the merrier and there can be terrazzo stars to pose with for every generation who visit Los Angeles.