Has it always been your dream to see Los Angeles? I spent 5 days in the “City of Angels” and like to share my experiences and tips with you.
We spent the whole 4 nights at the beautiful Millennium Biltmore in Los Angeles Downtown. This hotel has been featured in countless famous movies such as Beverly Hills Cop or Ghostbusters. The halls and dining rooms are stunning and splendiferous. L.A. Downtown is the business district, we’ve encountered many people in restaurants and cafes in the business look. A drive from The Millennium Biltmore Hotel to Santa Monica Pier takes approximately 30-60 minutes .
If you plan to stay at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel but don’t want to pay the $ 45 parking fee per night, you can also park across the street in the Pershing Square parking garage for about $ 16 over the night.
If you love pancakes, you must have been to “The Griddle Cafe” once. West Hollywood’s The Griddle Cafe is famous for its delicious pancakes and giant portions.
For burger lovers, “The Counter” in West Hollywood is just the right thing. Here you can put together your own burger according to your own wishes. You get the menu and can tick the desired ingredients. I ordered a chicken burger with sweet potatoes.
After our stay at Zuma Beach, in beautiful Malibu, we drove to the Cheesecake Factory in Thousand Oaks. The route was not for the faint-hearted. The road is on the hill and is very winding. When we finally arrived, I was thrilled with the ambience. Many probably know the Cheesecake Factory from Big Bang Theory, but it does not do it justice. The Cheesecake Factory in Thousand Oaks was an elegant restaurant with a huge selection. We were a bit overwhelmed by the variety and could not decide immediately. The very nice waiter made recommendations and talked about the beautiful Zuma Beach with us. The waiters were all very nice and heart-warming and they took care of the guests. Our dessert was of course a cheesecake. My choice fell on the vanilla cake. Everything tasted really good.
I received other restaurant recommendations too, but I couldn´t unfortunately try all:
The Kitchen (I heared they have the best Mac & Cheese)
Wat Dong Moon Lek Noodle
Best Fish tacos in Ensenada
CA Chicken Cafe (I heared they have very good chicken wraps)
Osteria Mozza (I heared they have great pizzas)
From L.A. you can visit many beautiful beaches. We drove to Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, Manhattan Beach, as well as Zuma Beach in Malibu and Long Beach. More detailed information about these beaches can be found in my article “Beautiful beaches in California”.
On the first day we visited the set of “Fuller House”. You can reserve tickets for free via www.tvtickets.com 30 days prior to show date, for current shows like “Big Bang Theory” or “Mom”. You should be present at least 90 minutes before shooting, as reserving the tickets does not mean you have a place to stay – first come, first served. Because VIPs don’t have to register in advance and can visit the set at any time. I would recommend to be present already 2 hours before the start of shooting, so you can get a seat safely. We were there 90 minutes before shooting began, but as many VIPs dropped by unannounced that day, not everyone could go to the set. We were also among those who didn’t get space anymore. However, we were told to come back 2 hours later, as many VIPs do not watch the full approximately 5 hours.
So we met a nice Brazilian, named Marcela, with whom we went for a pizza. Marcela and I talked about “Full House” and how much we enjoyed watching the show earlier. After 2 hours we returned as agreed and have actually received 2 places. My boyfriend was so nice and wanted to offer his place to Marcela, because he heard how much she was looking forward to it and that she drove an extra few hours by bus to attend the “Fuller House” filming. Since he rarely saw Full House before and was not a big fan, he wanted to offer her his seat. Unfortunately, this didn’t allow the security, because three more people were waiting in line behind us and Marcela was fourth. So we went in and sat in the audience.
It was amazing. Watching Celebrities like Candace Cameron aka DJ Tanner, Jodie Sweetin aka Stephanie Tanner and Andrea Barber aka Kimmy Gibbler live was sheer madness. You can see how such a TV series shooting is done, how often the scene is shot and the bloopers, such as the laughter of Jodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber during the shooting. It was numinous. In the breaks an entertainer entertained us, who handed out small gifts such as photos with autographs or chocolate. I won a $ 60 Netflix Gift Card – Yeah!
After about 1 hour my boyfriend and I have addressed the security lady again and my boyfriend exchanged with Marcela the place. We just could not watch her having to wait 5 hours outside and then not get into the show. So she could still see the show and he made a tour in L.A. Marcela was very happy and couldn’t believe her luck. The security lady thought that was so nice that we got seats in the front row. Behind us sat Candace Cameron’s and Andrea Barber’s parents! We could not believe it. For the coronation, Candace Cameron, who stood about 2 meters in front of me, waved back at me. That’s what I call a successful evening.
The Hollywood Sign is of course part of a Los Angeles stay. We drove to Hollywood and parked near the sign. We walked the rest of the way by foot as the road near the sign was closed off.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Near the Hollywood Signs is the distinguished Hollywood Walk of Fame.
A famous destination in Beverly Hills is the Rodeo Drive. Here you will find many designer shops. Luxury brands such as Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and many more are represented.
In Beverly Hills and Bel-Air, it’s also great to drive down the beautiful, palm-tree-lined streets and admire the many luxurious homes.
At Hollywood Bowl you can enjoy the best concerts under the stars.
For a romantic evening, Cinespia “the open-air cinema”, is the right choice.
The Griffith-Observatory is located at 300 meters altitude and offers a beautiful view of L.A ..
I would have liked to watch a Los Angeles Lakers game at the Staples Center in L.A., but unfortunately, we didn’t make it. It’s definitely on my list.
We visited Disneyland in Anaheim and booked a 2 day ticket. Disneyland Park is approximately an hour’s drive from the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. I recommend to take water bottles and something to eat with you, because the drinks and food in the park are very expensive. Each seat of the roller coasters has Velcro pockets, where you can safely stow your backpack, any items or drinks.
I recommend, to be present at 8 o’clock in the morning, because in the morning you can go without long waiting times with the roller coasters. We often only waited 5-15 minutes in the morning. From 10 clock formed a giant waiting line at the gates of the amusement park and the queues in front of the roller coasters were slowly getting longer. There is an app for Disneyland Park where you can see all the waiting times and plan your day. You can also get fast-pass tickets. At the times at the Fast-Pass you can queue in the Fast-Pass Line and shorten your waiting time.
In the afternoon at 15 o’clock the queues were too long for us and we took a break in our hotel pool. We booked the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel. Just minutes from Disneyland Park, this hotel features a pool and a laundry room. That was very convenient, so I was finally able to wash our clothes and we had freshly washed clothes in our suitcase.
Movie Studio Tours
If you want to know more about Hollywood and take a look behind the scenes, you have a large selection of studio tours. You could visit, for example, the Paramount Pictures Studio Tour, Warner Bros. Studio Tour, Sony Pictures Studio Tour and more.
What sights did you visit in Los Angeles and the surrounding area? In which hotel have you stayed and which restaurants can you recommend? Write it down in the comments! I’m looking forward to reading from your recommendations.