I’m going to be honest here, some LA top tourist spots are disappointing in real life. This post has a few tips for visiting Los Angeles to avoid tourist trap disappointments.

Visiting Hollywood Blvd and the Walk of Fame

Everyone wants to visit Hollywood Blvd, but walking the length of the Walk of Fame will be a day of dodging street vendors, and sleezy T-shirt shops. I recommend booking tickets to a movie at the Chinese Theater, and visiting 1927 Musso and Franks for a martini or dinner afterwards. Tucked behind a nondescript store front you’ll find a cavernous old school Hollywood glam dining room, and the less formal luncheonette. You might recognize it from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. If you’re with kids, swap out the Chinese Theater for El Capitan across the street, this Disney run vintage theater is a treat for all ages. The two blocks walk between the theater and Musso’s is about all you need of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Venice Beach and a swim in the Pacific Ocean

Venice Beach is another place that looks better in pictures than real life, is super crowded, and not all that great for swimming. Drive a little further south to Manhattan, Hermosa or Redondo Beach, or ride a bike along the strand between all 3. These seaside hamlets are more what people envision when they think California beach town, a lot less crowded and much better swimming.

Star sighting in LA

Where can I see a star in Los Angeles? I get this question ALOT. You probably won’t see one if you pass by a movie set, although we did see Al Pacino shooting House of Gucci last year out on a Twilight Tour, and Ben Foster shooting Westworld out on a Historic Core tour. I have a few secret spots for star spotting, the Starbucks on Beverly Glen off Mullholland, and Whole Foods in Burbank on Olive Ave. Yep, stars are just like us, at least the minor ones; Brad Pitt isn’t making Starbies runs.

Attending a TV live audience

Be careful signing up for TV audience shows, the big ones are fun, well oiled machines, like Ellen or Jimmy Kimmel, but some small ones that try to sign you up day of will waste an entire vacation day shipping you from studio to studio watching little more than production people setting up most of the day. Check out the 1iota site for tickets to legit shows that won’t work you and waste your time.

Of course the best way to avoid tourist traps in Los Angeles is to take a bike tour with us. See LA like a local on LA’s best bike tour, Handlebar Bike Tours.

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