Hollywood and Venice Beach

After two days of whistle-stop sightseeing on our coastal California road trip, we decided to spent a day in and around Los Angeles.

We drove to Hollywood via Sunset Boulevard to see Sunset Strip and it’s vibrant array of bars, restaurants and billboard advertising.

We did the Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame, a one mile stretch with the famous names from the industry immortalised on terrazzo and brass starred slabs. It felt like there were as many Hollywood tour sellers lining the sidewalks as starred paving, but surely not – there are over 2,500 stars. We had fun spotting the famous names as we walked slowly down one side of the boulevard and back up the other side, looking up only to cross roads. Oh, how the locals must love tourists!
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In the forecourt of the Chinese Theatre, dramatic in itself, there were stars’ hand prints, autographs and hand written notes in different colour concrete blocks. Interesting and funny to read, there were some real gems.

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We drove up Beachwood Drive to get some snaps of the famous Hollywood sign from the movies. Perhaps not one of the most popular places to see the sign from, it was easy and quick. The sign was visible almost from the bottom of the road, although I guess it’s not surprising given each letter is a massive 50m high!

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Back in Santa Monica for the hot and sunny afternoon, we walked along the shoreline from Santa Monica Beach to Venice Beach enjoying the sea breeze and ice cold waves breaking over our feet. We came back along Venice Beach Boardwalk – it’s a pretty cool place to hang out with loads going on.

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We went to meet our friend and a couple of his mates at Rick’s Tavern, to watch the ice hockey NY Rangers and LA Kings Stanley Cup game. It seemed like a good excuse to go out for a drink and as LA lost, we commiserated with pizza and Chardonnay at 800 Degrees pizzeria. A sort of deli style choose your own toppings pizza place, combined with the dark wood decor and chandelier lighting give it an upmarket relaxed feel. Our meal was delicious, but after trying the guys pizza, I definitely still don’t like clams!

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We finished the evening drinking rose at Bodega wine bar which was also fantastic.

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Much thanks to our new LA friends for showing us around!

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