Posts Tagged ‘Sunset Strip’
Helicopter Tour Reveals the Marvels of the Sunset Strip
We like to fly. We have luxury twin-engine helicopters at our disposal and know Los Angeles as well from the air as we know it driving on the wide boulevards and narrow hillside streets. A private tour combining both an aerial circuit of the city from downtown to the coast plus a ground tour in our smooth driving SUV truly allows our guests to really get to know Los Angeles. One of the fun “pathways” we like to follow as we fly low over the city is along the Sunset Strip. This stretch of Sunset Boulevard between Beverly Hills and Hollywood is famous throughout the world thanks to the countless films, television shows, commercial advertisements and photographs created along this glitzy roadway. The Strip is forever populated by fashionable restaurants, luxury hotels, bars and nightclubs and every block, every building, has a story to tell. Pictured above is the Sunset Tower. A notable art deco structure located on a gentle curve along the famed boulevard it commands your attention as you fly over or pass by. The address and the building was an easy sell to celebrities happy to call it home: John Wayne, Howard Hughes, Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe and too many other famous names to list. Opened in 1931 it was THE place to live for a long time…but not forever. The 80s saw a decline in the property that ultimately ended in its conversion to a hotel. That seemed to do the trick and a new cadre of famous players turned out to spend their Hollywood days and nights here. With its charm and excellent location the Sunset Tower is a wonderful accommodation that well suits many of our Los Angeles private tour guests. If staying here is not in your plans at least plan to drop in for a drink and soak up some fine Hollywood history.
An Action Lunch on this Private Tour in Hollywood
One of the most entertaining “theme” restaurants around Los Angeles, this one right on the Sunset Strip, is the Saddle Ranch Chop House. From our real cowboy guests enjoying a luxury private tour of Los Angeles to those who are only urban cowboys and wannabees, here is a fun saloon with good food, good music and, yes, a mechanical bull right in the center of all the action. Los Angeles does “faux” right as you would expect in our city of make-believe. The Sunset Strip has always been a stretch of Sunset Boulevard between Hollywood and Beverly Hills where entertainment was the principal objective. Bars, restaurants, clubs, theaters… it is difficult to characterize or even remember from day to day what choices are available for visitors and locals alike looking for something fun to do. If our guests are hungry as we cruise along the boulevard and if they are in a Texas frame of mind then we can pull right into the Saddle Ranch for some good grilling, beers and maybe a little bull-tussling. For our guides it is always fun to see their guests enjoying themselves in a rodeo way and even a little two-stepping to country-western music is a nice change from, say, the Hard Rock Café.
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.
Comedy Is the Theme of This Private Tour of L.A.
Los Angeles can be considered a comedy capitol. We have wonderful and famous comedy clubs that arose from the nightclub era in the late ’60s and have flourished ever since. Future comedians always make their way to Los Angeles to play these clubs and await their opportunity to be invited onto late night talk shows and other venues as they make their way to stardom. One great club we pass by on the Sunset Strip near Hollywood is the Laugh Factory. Opened by Jamie Masada in 1979 this warm and welcoming venue (right next to Greenblatt’s Deli and Wine Shop) recalls to us that everyone who is anyone in the comedy world has been listed on the marquee. On this particular day we were reminded that Garry Shandling had just passed away and we really appreciated the sentiment. We spoke to our guests of how tight-knit the comedy community is and how much respect they hold for one another. The Laugh Factory is known for its Thanksgiving dinners for comedians, both local and visiting, to ensure the community is well fed and happy when most people are home with their families. Our private custom tour of Los Angeles allows our guests a chance to see the great comedy clubs and then make plans to enjoy the show while they are visiting Southern California.
Our Private Tour Likes the Look of the Chateau Marmont
We are always pleased that so many of our guests have heard of the Chateau Marmont, one of the most elegant hotels in Los Angeles. Even so, when the beautiful structure appears on the hill as we drive into the notorious Sunset Strip we can sense how impressed our Los Angeles private tour passengers are. The building, constructed in 1929 and modeled after a real chateau in the Loire Valley of France (a wine growing region like our Santa Ynez Valley), rises up from Sunset Boulevard like the grand doyen of the entertainment district beyond and welcomes everyone to come on and enjoy the Strip’s offerings. We will often pull over to tell a story or two from our vast collection of anecdotes. Sometimes, we will drive up to the entrance, entrust our luxury SUV to the parking genius of the valets and head into the hotel and Bar Marmont for a drink and some more tales of Hollywood. The long history of the hotel is full of entertaining and sometimes sad stories of Hollywood and its stars. The list of famous guests and residents, even neighbors in the surrounding Hollywood Hills, is long, dating back to those earliest days of Hollywood when “talkies” were just becoming known until more recently when the Entourage crowd filmed and partied here. Planning a trip to Los Angeles and Hollywood? Do you want to be right in the heart of everything? Then book a room at the Chateau Marmont and arrange a private luxury tour of Los Angeles with us.
Our Guests on Their Private Tour Remember the Halcyon Days of Tower Records
The great music store is long gone and well remembered. Tower Records was once a focal point of musical activity on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood but it is now just stories, books and a well-received documentary by Colin Hanks (All Things Must Pass). As a part of the festivities surrounding the premiere of the film the currently unused building was repainted in the grand yellow and red banner so familiar to anyone who bought music during the 45 years that Tower reigned in music sales. Begun in Sacramento, the business by the late 60’s was in major cities around the U.S. and soon thereafter in countries all around the world. The Sunset Strip store is probably considered the most iconic of the stores located as it was in the heart of the Hollywood music and entertainment scene. There were impromptu concerts and appearances by music greats. You never knew who you would bump into in the stacks of records and later on CDs. Our private tour of Hollywood had aboard this day some folks who were so excited to see the store and then so disappointed to learn it was just an empty building where Tower Records once flowed with the rhythm of rock ‘n roll.
A Private Tour at Night Club Destinations in Los Angeles
We do not limit our tour operations to daytime. If our guests on a private tour of Los Angeles want to see how the City of Angels parties after dark…way after dark…then that is when we are ready to begin exploring the club and bar scene. The guide is the designated driver and keeper of all the knowledge about where the best action is on any given evening (bands, hot DJs, parties). Our custom tour guests can just sit back and watch the neon lights pass by and allow the valets to open the doors for them when we arrive. We will be your paparazzi, too, and snap photos at each nightclub. One of our favorite stops for our discerning nightlife guests is 1OAK on the Sunset Strip in W. Hollywood. Almost two years old the New York style club is elegant with a capital “E”. Fine art, welcoming design, and an ambiance that draws Hollywood’s party animals to the scene. Dance, drink, get back in your luxury SUV and off we go to another special location from downtown L.A. (DTLA) to the beach with as many stops as our guests wish before closing time.
Good Grub and Fun for Lunch on Private Tour
The Sunset Strip between Hollywood and Beverly Hills is an exciting adventure in sightseeing for our private Los Angeles tour guests. Restaurants, hotels, night clubs, boutique shopping and the billboards and banners make it one delectable boulevard of eye candy. When we are here around lunch time and our guests are in a mood for grilled meat and barbecue in a country rock setting then we pull over and hitch up at the Saddle Ranch Chop House. Fine food and good music (country rock is a mainstay), a mechanical bull and the beautiful people of Hollywood providing us excellent service make this a destination we can recommend to anyone. Sometimes our more adventurous guests, many who remember Urban Cowboy, want to reenact a scene as John Travolta (or Debra Winger) and ride the bull. The kids love the food and the decor. There is nothing more Hollywood than a rock ‘n roll western grilled meat restaurant amidst all the glitz and glamour along Sunset Boulevard in this part of town. Do you remember the Saddle Ranch reality series on VH1? There is drama and comedy served with every meal.
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?
The Music Starts Here on a Private Tour
Our private Los Angeles tour pulls over on Sunset Boulevard in the morning across from the Roxy Theatre. The street is quiet. The club is closed. Our guide has Neil Young playing softly on our fine SUV sound system. It is a long idle because there is so much to say about the history of this entertainment venue. More than 40 years ago, Lou Adler, David Geffen, Peter Asher and their other notable music industry partners opened a new club in a distinctive location in the heart of the Sunset Strip. Their intent was to not only feature well known music acts but to bring to the public’s attention upcoming groups that would rock their world. The club opened with Neil Young and along the way discovered many groups that are Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame material. There were too many famous albums recorded at The Roxy to note here but the Beatles were among the many incredible artists who played here (U2, Maroon 5, Van Morrison). Pee Wee Herman made his name with a regular show here when he was starting and Hedwig and the Angry Inch was staged here in 2006 and 2012. The owners also created a private club above the main area, On the Rox, as an oasis for celebrities and artists and anyone who could procure membership. Our guides have stories about that, too. All sorts of stories can be told about The Roxy and the Los Angeles music scene…enough to fill an entire luxury tour.