This was an unexpected day trip, but one worth mentioning because of the great experience we had. We had always wanted to visit southern California, but those plans of “some day” suddenly turned into “right now” when we got the call that a dear friend’s cancer journey had taken a turn for the worse and were invited to join her family and close friends for a quick trip to Disneyland California. We flew into Anaheim a day early and decided to take a day tour of Los Angeles.
We booked a last minute tour with Starline Tours and decided on the 7 hour “Deluxe City Tour of Hollywood and Los Angeles” that we thought would give us the best city overview in the timeframe we had. Our tour guide picked us up from our hotel at 10:30am and we were immediately at ease with him. He was friendly, engaging and kept everyone chatting and laughing while picking up the remaining passengers and on the drive into Los Angeles. He gave everyone the opportunity to discuss the itinerary and encouraged everyone to speak up if there were additional sights they wanted to see that could possibly be worked in.
The tour started in Downtown LA, making stops at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Staples Center where we were given 15 minutes to get out at each place to take pictures.
Then we moved on to the the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites where we hopped on a series of elevators to reach the top floor for a distant view of the Hollywood sign. The view as quick, but everyone had a good time trying to see it.
Afterwards, we met back at the bus and drove to the Hollywood/LA area to the LA Farmers Market/Grove where we were given 45 minutes to eat lunch. This turned into 90 minutes break when our bus had mechanical difficulties and we had to wait for a replacement. We immediately decided to seek out some of the famous California Mexican food we have heard so much about. We found a stand that had a large crowd that we figured would be a good place to eat.
After finishing our delicious lunch, we went to explore the Grove area. It is a fun area to do some shopping & people watch.
Once we got a replacement bus, we were off to the La Brea Tar Pits for a quick photo op. They are considered to be a National Natural Landmark. We did not have the opportunity to tour the Page Museum, so it’s on our list for our next visit.
Next, we drove to Beverly Hills, where we were given 30 minutes to explore Rodeo Drive where I happened to walk right into a photo shoot taking place on this amazing street.
The next stop was one that everyone was excited about-Hollywood Bowl overlook.The outlook is close to the interstate, making it easy to reach. The drive is pretty with views of celebrity homes. The parking lot is very small, but street parking is available. We arrived right at dusk on a clear night, which made for great city skyline views. Unfortunately, I only had a cell phone camera, so my shots did not come close to capturing the stunning view.
No one was ready to leave the Lookout, but we had to in order to go see Hollywood Blvd where the Chinese Theatre & the Walk of Fame are located. We were both tired at this point, so after snapping a few pics, we found a coffee shop near the Chinese Theatre and got a drink until it was time to head back to Anaheim.
As last minute travel decisions go, this one was a much needed surprise. Would sign up and do it all again, if given the chance. Next time just hope to have a few days vs. a few hours to spend exploring LA.