Los Angeles: Places to Explore

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Hollywood

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The Tinseltown mythology of Los Angeles was born in Hollywood. But reputation aside, it's a workaday neighborhood without the glitz and glamour of places like Beverly Hills. Still, like Downtown L.A., Hollywood is undergoing a transformation designed to lure hipsters and big money back into the fold. New sleek clubs and restaurants seem to pop up every month drawing in celebrities, scenesters, and starry-eyed newcomers to create a colorful nighttime landscape (and some parking headaches).

Many daytime attractions can be found on foot around the recently relocated home of the Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre, part of the Hollywood & Highland entertainment complex. The adjacent Grauman's Chinese Theatre delivers silver screen magic with its cinematic facade and ornate interiors from a bygone era. A shining example of a successful Hollywood revival can be seen and experienced just across Hollywood Boulevard at the 1926 El Capitan Theater, which offers live stage shows and a Wurlitzer organ before selected movie engagements.

Walk the renowned Hollywood Walk of Stars to find your favorite celebrities and you can encounter derelict diversions literally screaming for your attention (and dollar), numerous panhandlers, and an occasional costumed superhero not sanctified by Marvel comics. At Sunset and Vine, a developer-interpreted revival with sushi, stars, and swank condos promises to continue the sporadic renovations of the area. In summer, visit the crown jewel of Hollywood, the Hollywood Bowl, which features shows by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

It's only a few miles north from the Hollywood Bowl on the freeway, yet some say it's worlds away. The San Fernando ValleyThe Valley—has seemingly always had a bad rap. Mocked in the infamous Frank Zappa song and Nicolas Cage film, both of the same name, "Valley Girl," this area of suburban bliss is located just over the hill from the notably "more cool" areas of Downtown, Hollywood, and the Westside. But despite all the snickering, the Valley is home to many of the sets and artists that have made Los Angeles famous: Disney Studios; Warner Bros. Studios; Universal Studios; and NBC Television Studios.

Hollywood at a Glance

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