America Part 2: Los Angeles

Hi everyone and thank you for all your support so far. Here is the next part of my travels in America as part of my university course. I will talk about my time visiting Griffith Observatory, Paramount Pictures, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Universal Studio, Warner Bros and Downton LA. I hope you all enjoy, happy reading!

After my five days in Anaheim, myself and the rest of my group travelled to Los Angeles. We stayed for our remaining 6 days in the Hollywood Walk of Fame Hostel, which cost around £30 per night for a 6 bed co-ed room. The hostel was really clean, the staff were really helpful, and if you are worried about sharing a bathroom, don’t because it is constantly cleaned. The location was also perfect for me as it was opposite the Hollywood Highland Metro station, the Highland shopping centre, Dolby Theatre, Chinese Theatre and Disney’s El Capitan Theatre all less than a 2 minute walk away. The only slightly negative point from this hostel was if you are based at the front of the hostel it can be quite noisey, but for the price and the location it is definitely worth it.

My first day in Hollywood I took the walk from the hostel to the Griffith Observatory with my course group, which took around 1 hour 10 minutes (4 mile walk) so we could watch the sunset over the city. Something I will say is prepare for a long hilly treck from the bottom of Griffith Park to the Observatory, if you are unable to walk up hill, I would suggest an Uber to the top. But make sure this is on your list as it was spectacular to watch and you can also see the Hollywood sign from here too. Here are some of the pictures taken:

The next day I went to Paramount Pictures studio tour. To get to the studio I again walked from the hostel to save money and it took around a 45 minute walk (2.3 miles). The studio tour itself was great especially to see things such as the Forest Gump bench, the Titanic oscar, some props from Grease and the set of Dr Phil. Although it wasn’t one of my favourite Hollywood studio, it was still very impressive to see. Here are just a couple of photos from my day at Paramount Studio:

My next day I went to Universal studio’s with some of my group, which was INCREDIBLE. The journey from our hostel consisted of getting the red line Metro from Hollywood Highland where you are on it for one stop to Universal City. From there you are able to get a tram to the top of the hill to the entrance. The park was busy but it was expected for the Harry Potter World and for the studio tour. We made our way around the park going on all rides we had wanted too and eventually going on the studio tour which was amazing. I got to see the sets from The Grinch, Bates Motel, Jaws, Fast and Furious and Desperate Housewives. This theme park and studio tour is really worth every penny (the price of a ticket was around £90). Here are some of my favourite moments from Universal Studios:

On my fourth day I went to Santa Monica and it was great, as it was a little more relaxing as I just went with the flow. We got the metro from outside our hostel (Hollywood Highland) to Santa Monica which took around 1 hour. I went and sat on the beach and had a look around the pier, then walked up to Venice beach and stopped off for some vegan ice cream which was surprisingly delicious. The vibe in Venice beach was great and was completely different to the vibe just 30 minutes to Santa Monica. I looked at Muscle Beach, looked in shops and had one last moment on the beach before I left. These are the photos from Santa Monica and Venice Beach:

My second to final full day me and two others of my group went to the Warner Bro’s lot. I paid around $70 for a tour and it was worth EVERY PENNY (or cent if your in the USA). As part of a guided tour of around 10 people and lasts around 3 hours. As I can’t remember the exact order of the sets I have listed what I remember. I got to see the Gazebo from the Gilmore Girls as well as Miss Patty’s, Lorelai’s and Sookie’s house. The school from Back to the Future and Pretty Little Liars as well as Ezra’s house in the woods. The set of Big Bang Theory which at the time was set up for shooting. The outdoor set from LALA Land, Fuller House, the El Entrance from ER. Some of the DC Universe, The Harry Potter sets (which the UK studio tour for Harry Potter was much better) and finally my favourite part of the entire tour, the set of FRIENDS Central Perk. This tour is honestly worth every penny. The staff and the arrangement was very professional but super friendly, which I didn’t seem to get from the other tours. That night I also went to the El Capitan Theatre to watch Beauty & the Beast, which at the time had only been out for around a month. It was incredible to watch in such a grand theatre and was the perfect way to end the day. Just to make you all jealous here are more photos:

My final full day consisted of taking an adventure to Downtown LA. I just hoped onto the Metro to Downton LA and just walked around for a little bit before deciding to go and visit the Chinese Quarter and the Disney Symphony Hall. Although it was one of the more uneventful days it was really nice to see actual LA and not the hype of Hollywood which we had become accustomed too. It really was a nice way to tie up the whole trip with something more low key and to just immerse myself with the culture. For one final time here are some of the images from Downtown LA.

My departure home was again a very long one, just like the journey to America. To get to the airport, me and my group was originally going to get a bus, however it proved easier to get an Uber, which I would highly recommend especially for the long journey ahead. Although it was much easier to check in at the airport than it was when we arrived, I was stunned how little there was in the international departure lounge. There was no food places I had heard off and it was very expensive. So I ended up just sitting there for around two hours before our flight left for London, so I would advise full charged devices and a book to fill the time as you also only get 30 minutes free wifi. The flight home took around 11 hours and I felt every minute, but it was really nice to get home and relax after a really busy 11 days.

I hope you have enjoyed this entry of my first time in America and have found bits useful if you are due to go or are thinking of going in the future.