Free Hollywood Adventures

“And the Oscar goes to…” that is what many of us will be listening and waiting to see this coming Sunday evening at the 89th Academy Award Show. With all of its glamour and pomp, living the Hollywood experience seems out-of-reach to many of us. However, you can get into the spirit by visiting these free attractions in and around Hollywood,

  1. Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park – At this tiny cemetery, located in a nondescript part of Westwood, you will find the final resting place of some of Hollywood’s most notable actors. Natalie Wood, Marilyn Monroe, Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, Roy Orbison, Frank Zappa (to mention only a few) now call Westwood Village Memorial Park home. Address, 1218 Glendon Avenue, Westwood, CA.
  2. Hollywood and Highland Center – This often overly-crowded shopping center has become a hub for tourists wanting to take a picture on the stairs in front of the Dolby Theatre where the Oscar’s show is taped. However, take the stairs to the second floor of the shopping mall and find the best view of the Hollywood sign framed by the Art Deco architecture of the complex and snap an iconic picture there. Address: 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA.
  3. Hike to the Hollywood Sign – Drive to Griffith Observatory (which is well worth exploring on its own right) and park as close to the entrance of the observatory as possible. If you can avoid going on a weekend, that would be best as the small parking lot fills up fast but there is street parking available too (you just may have to walk uphill for a while to get to the observatory parking lot…and then walk uphill more on the hiking trail). Once there, take the Charlie Turner’s Trail. If you need help, the park ranger will be able to guide you and give you information on the trail conditions. Depending on your bladder size, you may also want to make a bathroom stop here. This area of the city can get very hot so be sure to have plenty of water with you. Address: Griffith Observatory 2800 Observatory Road, Los Angeles, CA.
  4. Be in the Studio Audience of a Television Show – See behind the scenes of your favorite talk show, sitcom, and/or game show while visiting Hollywood by attending a taping of a show. This will take some advance planning and reservations, but it is a fun way to see what it takes to bring one of these shows to air (I won tickets to the Twelve Days of Christmas on The Ellen Show while I was at a taping!). Address: contact the show you are interested in attending for information on audience tickets.
  5. Morning Concert at The Hollywood Bowl – Usually tickets for The Hollywood Bowl are quite expensive, not to mention parking and food costs. However, a well kept secret is that many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic morning rehearsals are free to the public…and so is the parking! This is a great way to experience The Bowl as a performer does. You will hear a variety of interpretations of different pieces as the conductor yells directions to get just the right sound he wants for that evening’s concert. *Remember that The Bowl’s season is throughout the summer months only so check their schedule and then call to confirm that the show you would like to see is open to the public. Address: 2301 N. Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA. (website with contact information:

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