What a wonderful introduction to the city.
We’ve never been too keen on ‘tours’ as much because the both of us love a faf and Lissy is a photographer so getting that perfect shot takes time; something that you never seem to have enough of when you’ve got a bus to get back on. ESPECIALLY when you’ve already been warned that you will get left behind if you’re not back in time. That isn’t the kind of stress we’re looking for while on a vaccay.
However, when you’re going somewhere you’ve never been before, I would certainly recommend booking an organised tour as one of the first things you do after arrival so you can get your bearings.
So here’s our TOPTIPS for success!
- Make sure you take your tour within the first few days of arriving at your destination. This will give you a better understanding of places you might want to go back to and spend some more time exploring at your own pace.
- Many tour operators require paper copies of proof of purchase, remember this if you are planning to book tours and excursions after you arrive at your destination. Many places will not accept a digital copy. This includes airport transfers. Think about having access to a printer before booking.
- Look for a tour that crams lots of different places into the trip. This relates back to the first point about finding things you want to do and go back to in your own time at your own pace.
- Tours may or may not include transport to and from your hotel, check this out before booking if you’re not planning on getting a hire car like we didn’t.
- Viator! Viator is run by Trip Advisor, so it’s a very trusted site and it’s the company we always use to book excursions and trips while we’re away. This is not an add they are just very, very good at what they do. Click here to sign up and receive 10% off your first booking. Make it a good ‘en!
- Remember, all guides require a tip, no matter how short the tour. Think about that 10% minimum (if travelling to the US I mean) when you’re working out costing.
So, back to the tour..
Up to the Hollywood Hills.
First on our itinerary after the pick up behind the Chinese Treater was heading up the Hollywood Hills through Beverly Hills and seeing some of the ‘movie star homes’. Our guide was semi entertaining raffling off the jokes every five minutes but he was informative so I’d rate him a 7/10.
We went up to a viewing point that was directly in-between the city and the Hollywood sign. A beautiful place with the perfect timing to watch the sun set over the city and get shots of both this and a storm brewing behind the Hollywood sign.
Next up, it was onto a drive around the city (the scenic route) heading towards the farmers market for tea. This route took us past The Viper Room on Sunset Strip, founded by Johnny Depp and where the actor River Pheonix died of a drug overdose on Halloween. Then down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, known for it’s luxury goods stores such a Gucci, Cartier, Bulgari, Chanel, the list goes on.. as does my longing to increase my bank balance.
The Farmers Market
Now this one is slightly embarrassing. Who tf goes to a beautiful farmers market with local, fresh American and exotic ethnic cuisine and ends up eating at Chipotle? We do. The reason being is we’ve never eaten at Chipotle before and sadly it was on the list of things to do. It’s just unfortunate that we found our first one at the beautiful farmers market..
IT WAS FANTASTIC NONE THE LESS THOUGH.
Pretty little streets all lit up in lights
Fountains which are always fabulous
And good company with lots of food.
‘Southern California’s gateway to the cosmos!’
Exhibits, telescopes, an observatory and some of the best views of the city you can find. Again I’m going to have a small moan about time scale because we really could have spent hours here but were restricted by the bus. Also, there was an event on down the road for Mercedes so the road and junctions were packed on the way up and really stunted us for time.
This place really is a real must for your visit to Los Angeles, even if you’re not interested in the observatory itself, the views you can see from here are outstanding. Oh, and it’s free.
TIP for our future selves and MAJOR advice right now…. “Don’t forget your tripod when you go away LISSY you fool.”
Overall a fab day to get an overview of the city.
And tomorrow.. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD!