It may be one of the most famous places in Los Angeles, but for reasons deserved and undeserved, the star-filled Hollywood Walk of Fame has a less than stellar reputation. Between the crowds, the griminess, the noise, and the difficulty of access, you may be tempted to skip the area when you visit Los Angeles. But the Walk of Fame can be a very enjoyable experience with a few tips and a little preparation. Here our 6 ways to make the most out of your visit.
- Do a little research. The Walk has almost 2,700 stars, so if you are interested in taking that picture with one of your favorite stars, check http://www.walkoffame.com/starfinder before you get to the Walk of Fame to know exactly where to go. Check out some of the more unique stars, such as the one dedicated to the Apollo XI astronauts who landed on the moon, or Muhammad Ali’s star, the only one that is off the ground.
- Pick a good time to go. Weekends and weekday evenings are very busy times for the area near the Chinese Theater, so consider mornings and weekday afternoons if you want a more peaceful experience. There are movie premieres and other events happening regularly on Hollywood Boulevard, so check ahead of time if you are interested in seeing a red-carpet spectacle with some celebrity sightings. Be aware of road closures beforehand so you know if you have to avoid driving on Hollywood Boulevard.
- Take a look around. A lot of visitors to the Walk of Fame spend much of their time staring at the stars on the ground, so they tend to miss some interesting sights at eye level. Some storefronts will make little nods to nearby stars. For example, Lynda Carter’s star may be near a poster of her in her signature role as Wonder Woman. There are also unique and historic buildings to see, such as The Egyptian Theater, the oldest movie theater in Hollywood, and the Capitol Records building.
4. If you’re trying to take a nice picture of the TCL Chinese Theatre or the Dolby Theatre, you may actually be better off taking it from the other side of the street, where you will have a better angle and much fewer crowds.Consider your transportation options. Some visitors may skip the hassle of parking near the Chinese Theater by using the Metro, which has a stop on Hollywood and Highland. Taking a taxi or rideshare may also save you a lot of time. If you are driving, consider parking on a side street a few blocks away from the Chinese theater. This will save you some money, allow you to see more of the Walk, and may even be time-neutral as you won’t be wasting time searching for a spot or waiting in traffic.
5. Be ready for solicitors. There are many people trying to make their living on the walk: people hawking ‘celebrity tours’, guys ‘offering’ CDs that they are actually selling, people dressed up as characters inviting you to take a picture for a tip. You are not obliged to pay any attention to them. If you choose to take interest in their goods or services, be prepared to pay.
6. Have Fun. It is easy to focus on The Walk of Fame being dirty, crowded and seedy, and if you do so it is easy to let that define your experience. But there are many enjoyable things to see and do, so temper your expectations and you will have a great and memorable experience in Hollywood.