- By Kevin
- On May 15, 2017
- North America
- Travel Tips
One of the most fabled avenues in the world, Sunset Boulevard began humbly enough in the 18th century as a route from El Pueblo de Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean. Today, as it passes through West Hollywood, it becomes the sexy and seductive Sunset Strip, where rock and roll had its heyday and cocktail bars charge a premium for the views. It slips quietly into the tony environs of Beverly Hills and Bel Air, twisting and winding past gated estates and undulating vistas.
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD
Universal is more a theme park with lots of roller coasters and thrill rides than a backstage pass, though its tour provides a good firsthand look at familiar TV and movie sets. Despite the amusement park clichés, many first-timers consider this studio a must-see. The favorite attraction is the tram tour, during which you can experience the parting of the Red Sea; duck from dinosaurs in Jurassic Park; visit Dr. Seuss's Whoville; see the airplane wreckage of War of the Worlds and the still-creepy house from Psycho; and be attacked by the killer shark of Jaws fame.
Revel in terrific views of the city and Hollywood sign from Runyon Canyon. Located just off Hollywood Boulevard, the trails here are popular and easily accessible, which means it can get crowded at times. That being said, you should be fine if you visit in the early morning.
Los Angeles is known for its sushi, and not just the celebrity-frequented hot spots. Don't let its nondescript minimal location deter you: Asanebo is one of L.A.'s finest Japanese restaurants—and still relatively undiscovered. Once strictly a sashimi bar, this inviting establishment introduced top-quality sushi to satisfy increasing local demand and also offers a wealth of innovative dishes.
This is the only major studio from film's golden age left in Hollywood—all the others are in Burbank, Universal City, or Culver City. For decades director Cecil B. DeMille's base of operations, Paramount offers probably the most authentic studio tour, giving you a real sense of the film industry's history. You can take a two-hour studio tour or a four-and-a-half-hour VIP tour, led by guides who walk and trolley you around the back lots. As well as gleaning some gossipy history, you'll spot the sets of TV and film shoots in progress.