Like most tourists, for our first visit to Los Angeles we wanted to see Hollywood straight away. We dumped our bags in our hostel and hit the Boulevard. It was not what I expected at all….
The street was narrow with cramped “sidewalks”, lined with strip clubs and other seedy-looking establishments. As for the stars, the majority are from the early part of the 20th century so you can walk for blocks without seeing one recognisable name!
As expected there’s also all of the usual touristy crap that you find in every big city – Madame Tussauds, Ripleys Believe It Or Not, Hard Rock Cafe, Micky D’s…
Once we finally got along to the more modern stars it got a bit more fun looking for your favourites (or the funny ones!).
But ultimately we left very disappointed by Hollywood. I’m glad we’ve seen it to “tick it off” the travel list, but I’d never go back or recommend it to anyone else!
After a night in the worst hostel we’ve stayed in so far (messy, snoring roommates and a disgusting shower…) we were up & out first thing in the morning and headed straight to Griffith Park. The park begins near Hollywood Boulevard and quickly turns into a hiking trail leading up to Griffith Observatory, known for having some of the best views over the LA.
We took the slightly longer route on the way up, and happily discovered that gave us our first good sighting of the Hollywood sign! Perfect photo op.
After another half hour or so of walking in the baking sun (while still having to wear long sleeves to cover my stupid sunburn from San Diego!) we were tired, sweaty and super happy to make it to the top. The views stretched out for miles across the city and all the way to the ocean.
The actual Observatory is as beautiful and iconic as the view, but sadly it wasn’t open on the morning we visited. We made do with a wander around the grounds before trekking back down the hill.
This walk was one of my favourite things we did in LA and I would 100% recommend it to anyone visiting in the future. The city gets a little crazy sometimes, so it’s nice to take some time out in nature and relax!