The Hollywood and Highland Center is located on the heart of Hollywood Blvd amongst the Walk of Fame, museums, theatres and tour bus depots. The center opened in 2001 and is now home to dozens of shops, a four star hotel and spa, fountains, sculptures and the Kodak Theatre where the annual Academy Awards are held. It is the Hollywood and Highlands Center that visitors can get a feel for everything LA. Tour buses leave every few minutes from the front at Hollywood Blvd to take guests on guided tours of celebrity homes, Beverly Hills and points of interest all over Hollywood and Beverly Hills. There are also free shuttle buses that depart this area for Universal Studios. For those looking to take a subway instead, LA's small but very efficient subway system has a stop at the Hollywood and Highlands Center where visitors can take nonstop subways to either Universal Studios or Downtown LA.
In addition to the sights of Hollywood and Highlands there is an abundance of dining opportunities. Options include everything from upscale Italian to hamburgers and crepes. There are also many shopping opportunities with name brand stores such as Lucky Brand Jeans, Oakley Sunglasses and The Gap, just to name a few all holding court in the center.
The center is built on three levels all looking down into an open outdoor courtyard inspired by the Babylon scene from the movie Intolerance. The developer of the shopping center built part of the archway and 2 pillars with elephant sculptures on the capitals, as depicted in the film, to the same full scale. On all 3 levels facing north visitors can get 360 views of the Hollywood sign, Santa Monica Mountains (also known as Hollywood HIlls) and busy Highland Avenue heading into the San Fernando Valley.
MANN's GRAUMAN'S CHINESE THEATRE
Rich with movie history and tradition, The Grauman's Chinese theatre at entrance of the Hollywood and Highlands Center has long been one of the most sought after movie premier spots by all the major studios for decades. Today the theatre is open to the general public and is famous for the hand and footprints that are ingrained in the cement that line the walk leading to the entrance. It is here visitors will find hundreds of hand and foot prints from some of the biggest stars ever including Burt Reynolds, John Travolta, Sylvester Stallone, Clint Eastwood, Eddie Murphy, Mickey Rooney, Bruce Willis, Jim Carrey, Whoopi Goldberg, and many many more! Visitors are invited to place their hands or feet in the molds to compare their own with these famous legends from past to present.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre first opened on May 18th, 1927 and has quickly become one of the premier movie spots in Hollywood. Since its opening it has always attracted major studios looking for the glamour and optimal spot for a premier. It isn't unusual to pass by on a Tuesday or Wednesday night and see the red carpet, lights and spectacle of a premier of the latest flick to open the following weekend. Getting to Graumans is easy as it is along the Walk of Fame and at the entrance to the Hollywood and Highlands Complex. In front of the theatre you will find a variety of themed characters from the most popular movies of all time-Superman, Marilyn Monroe and Spider Man to name a few.
One of the most popular tours is a bus tour by Starline Tours. The buses leave at regular intervals from the front of Grauman's Chinese theater. Ticket prices range from $30 to $60 depending on the tour package you purchase. Tours last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours and there is a variety of choices of geographical areas to tour. The more popular tours are of the starts homes that take visitors in open top vans through the Hollywood Hills and Beverly Hills areas. Other tours take visitors down through Santa Monica, to the beach, over the hill to Universal Studios, around Hollywood and to Downtown LA. Some of the tours offer hop on and off opportunities.
GETTING TO HOLLYWOOD AND HIGHLANDS/PARKING
Parking at Hollywood and Highlands is one of the easiest of all venues in LA. Parking can be found off the Highlands entrance and is a multi level underground garage. Parking is $10 with no validation and $2 with validation from any of the shops and restaurants in the center.
From Beverly Hills, take either Santa Monica Blvd or Sunset east by 4 miles to La Brea. Make a left at La Brea, and a right on Hollywood Blvd.
From Santa Monica, take the Santa Monica Freeway (10) east to La Brea Exit. Exit La Brea north, proceed by 4 miles to Hollywood Blvd, make a right on Hollywood Blvd.
From Brentwood/Pacific Palisades-Take Sunset east 10 miles to La Brea. Make a left on La Brea and a right on Hollywood Blvd.
From Venice-take Lincoln Blvd north to the 10 (Santa Monica) Freeway. Take the Santa Monica Freeway (10) east to La Brea Exit. Exit La Brea north, proceed by 4 miles to Hollywood Blvd, make a right on Hollywood Blvd.
From LAX-take the 405 north to the 10 (Santa Monica) Freeway. Take the Santa Monica Freeway (10) east to La Brea Exit. Exit La Brea north, proceed by 4 miles to Hollywood Blvd, make a right on Hollywood Blvd.
From the San Fernando Valley-1. Take the 101 freeway south to Downtown. Exit Hollywood Blvd west. 2. Metro Red Subway Line from Universal City to Hollywood and Highlands Stop.