Los Angeles, also know as “Hollywood” has a magical quality to it. As the hub for many famous movie sets throughout the years, the city has an atmosphere like no other. While you think of the rich and the famous when you think of Hollywood, that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune to visit. In fact, every place in this article is completely free to visit.

Must-see Landmarks

Hollywood Sign

Originally built as “HOLLYWOODLAND” for a real estate development, the sign was rebuilt as “HOLLYWOOD” in 1949 and was nearly lost in the ’70s due to vandalism and neglect. In 1978, the late Hugh Hefner hosted a fundraiser at the Playboy Mansion to save the Hollywood Sign. Individual letters were auctioned off to the famous guests: rock star Alice Cooper sponsored an “O” (in honor of Groucho Marx), the “singing cowboy” Gene Autry sponsored an “L,” and Andy Williams the “W.”

Discover Los AngEles – https://www.discoverlosangeles.com/things-to-do/discover-the-best-views-of-the-hollywood-sign

Places to view the Hollywood Sign

Griffith Park Hiking Trails

Bronson Cave

🗺  2960 Canyon Dr. Los Angeles

Not only can you get a great glimpse of the Hollywood sign from here, but Bronson Cave was actually the location of the bat cave in 1966. The cave was used for many other movies and photo shoots through out the years, including some photographs of Jim Morrison and his girlfriend (which I added because I love The Doors).


Innsdale Drive

🗺  Distance: 2.3 miles Elevation change: 750 feet Hiking time: Approx. 2 hours 15 minutes

Start of the Trail

Street parking is required for this hike (unless you get dropped off by a ride share service). Find parking on nearby Tahoe Drive or Canyon Lake Drive, which runs up a hill to the trailhead. The top of Canyon Lake Drive curves to the right and comes to a gated dirt road. This is the start of the hike.

Hike Speak – https://www.hikespeak.com/trails/hollywood-sign-hike-innsdale-drive-mulholland-highway-mount-lee-drive/#trailhead-directions
Hollywood & Highland

🗺  Corner of Hollywood Blvd & North Highland Avenue

The rear Hollywood & Highland Shopping Mall has features that frame the Hollywood sign, making it perfect for photo ops.

On the northwest corner of Hollywood and Highland, you’ll find the Hollywood & Highland Center, home of world-class restaurants, shops and, most famously, the Dolby Theater home of the Academy Awards). The Center’s designers made it a point to feature the distant Hollywood Sign as the centerpiece of their architectural composition. The result is that Sign ‘photo opps’ abound throughout the facility.

Hollywood sign – https://hollywoodsign.org/seeing-the-sign/hollywood-highland/
Pretty much anywhere in the city

You can get a glimpse of the Hollywood sign from pretty much anywhere in the city of Los Angeles.


Visit a Live TV Show

Different shows have different taping schedules, so the shows that you will be able to visit will depend on the dates you will be in Los Angeles. Some shows like Ellen, Dr.Phil and the Price is Right film every week.

Ellen

Tickets are typically sold out in advance. However, there is a phone number you can call to try to get free tickets on the day of the show. Call 818-954-5929 no later than noon on the day you would like to visit.


Hollywood Walk of Fame

🗺  N Highland Ave &, Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA (In front of the Chinese Theater)

The Walk of Fame was founded in the 1950’s and it still continues to add new stars to this day! In addition to the stars are the hand and foot prints of various celebrities.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an internationally-recognized Hollywood icon. With about 24 induction ceremonies annually broadcast around the world, the constant reinforcement provided to the public has made the Walk of Fame a top visitor attraction. The Hollywood Walk of Fame is undoubtedly one of the most successful marketing ideas ever produced.

Hollywood walk of fame website

Santa Monica Pier and Beach

🗺  200 Santa Monic Pier, Santa Monica CA

The iconic boardwalk opened in 1909 and is home of Pacific Park which is home to the Santa Monica Ferris Wheel and other carnival rides.


Sunset Boulevard

🗺  8200 W. Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles CA

The 22-mile-long road stretches from glittery Hollywood to beachy Malibu, connecting two of the highlights of Los Angeles while winding past Beverly Hills, Bel Air, UCLA and Brentwood. It’s the perfect travel snapshot of Southern California life.

CNN – https://www.cnn.com/travel/amp/sunset-boulevard-things-to-do/index.html

Venice Beach

🗺  Ocean Front Drive Venice Beach CA 90291

On the west side of the “walk” are hundreds of street vendors and performers. You can see everything from break-dancing to broken glass walking. Mimes to musicians, jugglers to jesters and everything in between make up the human landscape. You can have your fortune read, get a temporary tattoo or have your name written on a grain of rice.

Venice Beach https://www.venicebeach.com/the-venice-beach-boardwalk/#ixzz5wipnV52L

Clean, Comfy Rooms from $49.99 at Select Locations

Cemeteries

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

🗺  6000 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 🔗 https://hollywoodforever.com/ 🕐 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

The Hollywood Forever cemetery was the first park like cemetery on the west coast and is home to many famous celebrities. Unfortunately most of these celebrities were famous in the 1920’s, so most of the names have since been forgotten. In the 1920’s visitors used to flock to Hollywood Forever Cemetery in search of their favorite celebrities.

The cemetery fell into disrepair after years of neglect and an earthquake that left open crypts and potholes throughout the cemetery. In the 1990’s a new owner started a revitalization of the cemetery to return it to it’s former park like beauty. In the summer time there are even movie screenings in the cemetery playing the movies of the actors buried in the cemetery. I think that is really a wonderful way to remember these long forgotten stars.

Feral Cats of Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Colonies of wild cats 🐈 live in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The cemetery leaves food and water our for the cats. Along with cats, peacocks 🦚, geese and other animals roam the grounds of the graveyard.

Which part of the cemetery do the cats live in?

Turn left after entering from Santa Monica Blvd to see the peacock pens. To the left of the pens is the corner of the cemetery frequented by feral cats.

Locating Famous Graves

There aren’t as many currently well known celebrities buried in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery as in Forest Lawn. But there are few notable graves to visit, such as the grave stone of Johnny Ramone.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery Map

Forest Lawn Cemetery Hollywood

🗺  6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles CA 🔗 https://forestlawn.com

Lucille Ball, Britany Murphy and Paul Walker are some of the celebrities buried in the Los Angeles Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Paul Walker’s grave top left
Lucille Ball’s grave left side

Forest Lawn Cemetery Glendale

🗺  1712 S. Glendale Avenue, Glendale, CA

Michael Jackson, Clarke Gable, Walt Disney, Elizabeth Taylor and Jimmy Stewart are some of the notable celebrities buried in this cemetery. Some of the tombs, such as Michael Jackson’s are in private areas where only relatives are allowed.

Finding Celebrity Graves

Finding your favorite star can be a challenge because of the large size of the Cemetery and also because the ground keepers do not promote celebrity tourism and will not offer any information on finding the final resting place of your favorite star.

Using Find a Grave and the “See a Star” website I was able to find the locations of some of the most notable graves that are visible to the public.

Walt Disney

Court of Freedom Section, Garden of Freedom, Map #G43, the Little Garden Communion (Small private garden to the left of the entrance to the Freedom Mausoleum)

Elizabeth Taylor

Great Mausoleum, inside main entrance, next to Last Supper window display entrance.

Clark Gable

Great Mausoleum, Memorial Terrace, Sanctuary of Trust, Mausoleum Crypt

Jimmy Stewart

Wee Kirk Churchyard, Space 2, Lot8, near the statue of man holding an arrow. To the left of the Wee Kirk of the Heather Church on the hill.


Westwood Village Memorial

🗺  1218 Glendon Avenue, Westwood, Los Angeles 90024

Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin, Hugh Hefner and Eva Gabor are some of the notables buried at this cemetery. The cemetery is very small, so you won’t have much trouble finding the grave you are looking for.


The Lake Shrine

🗺  17190 Sunset Blvd. Pacific Palisades, CA 🕐 Garden Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm Sunday: 12:00 noon – 4:30 pm

Some of the ashes of Mahatma Ghandi lay in a sarcophagus is the beautiful Lake Shrine Garden. All of the ashes were meant to be scattered throughout the sacred waters of India. However, the some of the ashes ended up spread throughout the world due to people keeping some of his ashes for themselves.

Los Angeles Weather
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Los Angeles
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Cloudy
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Feels like: 53°F
Wind: 6mph E
Humidity: 71%
Pressure: 29.73"Hg
UV index: 0
WedThuFri
min 52°F
66/53°F
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Average Temperature by Month

January6849
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December6849

Sources

  1. Atlas Obscura. “The Feral Cats of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery”. https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/feral-cat-colonies-of-hollywood-forever-cemetery
  2. Seeing Stars. “Forest Lawn Glendale”. https://www.seeing-stars.com/Buried2/ForestLawnGlendale.shtml
  3. Atlas Obscura. “Hollywood Forever Cemetery “ https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/hollywood-forever-cemetery