How To See The Best of Hollywood (And Avoid the Worst)

What comes to mind when you think of Hollywood?

Glitz and glamour on every street corner? Pushy Paparazzi? Celebrity sightings everywhere you look?

Sorry to disappoint but Hollywood is not the epicenter of LA’s glitzy entertainment scene. In fact, Los Angeles natives rank Hollywood as one of the most overrated neighborhoods. Recent tourist reviews describe it as tattered, dirty and boring. Truly, the only celebrities you’ll see in Hollywood are comic book characters you can take a selfie with – for a small fee.

Still, Los Angeles IS the entertainment industry mecca of the world, home to countless studios, film sets and television shows. Hollywood is home to the Chinese Theater with the famous movie star hand and footprints and the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame.

For film buffs and televisions fans, it’s hard to imagine a trip to LA without visiting Hollywood. Is there a way to enjoy Hollywood without being disappointment by the less than glitzy parts of town?

Here are 4 kid-friendly ways to experience the best of Hollywood (and avoid the worst…)

Photo: Paramount Pictures Studio Tours

Photo: Paramount Pictures Studio Tours

Paramount Pictures Studio Tours: Paramount Pictures is the oldest and only remaining major studio in Hollywood, home to several current TV shows including a little known NBC show called This Is Us. NBD. Paramount offers a 2 hour behind-the-scenes Hollywood tour featuring iconic filming locations, the prop warehouse and (if you’re lucky) a glimpse of an actor or two. Tours are for ages 10+

Hollywood Museum: Housed in the historic Max Factor building, the Hollywood Museum features more than 10,000 authentic Hollywood treasures including costumes, props, scripts, posters, photographs and more vintage memorabilia. If you’re brave you can head to the lower level to see the museum’s cult horror movie displays.

Photo: El Capitan Theatre

Photo: El Capitan Theatre

El Capitan Theatre: Attention Disney lovers! The iconic El Capitan Theatre features Disney premiers and classics in a beautifully restored 1920s Hollywood movie palace. 45 minute backstage tours reveal more in-depth history of the El Capitan and the famous Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, the original 1920s El Capitan movie palace organ.

Amoeba Music: When you think Hollywood you may not think music, that is until you enter Amoeba Music. Here you can visit the world’s largest independent music store occupying an entire LA city block. Amoeba houses a massive collection of vinyl LPs, CDs and DVDs with an all-star team of “musical veterans” with encyclopedia-like knowledge of all things music. You can even check out live shows at Amoeba!

Looking for more kid-friendly LA spots? Check out our guide to visiting Downtown LA with kids, or if you’re hoping to ditch your kids for the afternoon, we suggest a proper LA afternoon tea with the ladies.