Hollywood is one of the best-known neighborhoods in Los Angeles, California. Recently some people were complaining about Hollywood suggesting that people skip it on their trips to Los Angeles. A lot of people expect Hollywood to be glamorous and are disappointed when they see that certain parts are dirty. Their comments inspired me to create a guide on the top things to do in Hollywood. Yes, parts of Hollywood can be dirty and less than glamorous but there are so many things to do and see in this area. If you want a little glamour you can always head to Beverly Hills.

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things to do in hollywood

Top Things To Do In Hollywood

AFI Fest

AFI Fest Indie Contender Roundtable

Every November the American Film Institute hosts its film festival in Hollywood. The screenings are held in various theatres. Some of the special events include appearances from the cast and crew. Find out how to get free tickets to AFI Fest here.

Amoeba Music

amoeba music hollywood

This independent record store is a one of a kind find on Hollywood Blvd. Not only is it a great place for music lovers to shop it is a great place to meet some artists. You can read about Amoeba Music here.

Attend a Movie Premiere

pitch perfect 3 free

Did you know that you can attend movie premieres for free? I have gone to several movie premieres since I have moved to Southern California. Several of the theatres in Hollywood host movie premieres throughout the year. Anyone who purchases my ebook can join the private Facebook group where I share ticket links to movie premieres. You can learn more about that here.

Attend a Taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live!

jimmy kimmel live tickets

Did you know that you can get free tickets to a taping of Jimmy Kimmel? This is a great way to see some of your favorite entertainers. You can read about how to get tickets & what the taping experience is like here.

Capitol Records

This building is one of the most famous landmarks in Hollywood. For a limited time in 2016, they sold tour tickets. Even if you can’t go inside it’s great to be able to get a picture of it.

Dolby Theatre

Live With Kelly After Oscar Show 2017

The theatre’s biggest claim to fame is that it is currently home to the Oscars. You can tour the theatre when they are not hosting special events. You can read about the tour experience here.


Several events take place here throughout the year. Every March you can see cast members from television shows at PaleyFest. If you don’t have time to attend an event you can always take a tour. Did you know that every year you can attend the After Oscar Show the morning after the awards are given out? This is the only way to see the theatre while it is still decorated. You can read about the After Oscar Show here. Plus, exploring the Hollywood and Highland Center itself is cool too.

Egyptian Theatre

maltin fest at the egyptian theatre

Located on Hollywood Blvd the theatre hosted the first Hollywood movie premiere. The theatre hosts a lot of special movie screenings that include Q&As with the cast members. One of my favorite events that I’ve been to here was a screening of the movie Cake. Jennifer Aniston came to do a q&a after the movie.

El Capitan Theatre

el capitan theatre disney

Disney runs this charming theatre that always gives moviegoers a little something extra. Movie premieres and special events take place throughout the year. You can read more about the theatre here.

Hollywood Bowl

This is the best concert venue in Hollywood. In addition to concerts, the Bowl hosts fun events like an annual Sound of Music Sing-a-long. To read more about the Hollywood Bowl click here.

Hollywood Sign

How to Hike To The Top Of the Hollywood Sign

This is one of the most iconic things in Hollywood. You can’t actually go to the sign but you can see it from various places throughout the area. If you’re feeling adventurous you can hike near the sign. You can read about hiking to the Hollywood sign here. The Griffith Observatory is one of my favorite places to see the sign from. You can read about Griffith Observatory here.


in n out burger secret menu

This burger chain is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. In addition to having incredibly delicious food, the prices are fantastic too. You’ll find the Hollywood location on Sunset Blvd. There will probably be a line but it is more than worth the wait.

Funko Pop Store

funko pop store in hollywood

The Funko Pop store is one of the newest additions to Hollywood Boulevard and is truly one of the most incredible stores that I have ever been in. It is filled with photo spots and the merchandise is such fun!

The Magic Castle

the magic castle in hollywood

This is one of the most exclusive places in Hollywood. In order to go inside, you have to either be a member of the Academy of Magical Arts or be invited by a member. It is an incredible place to visit if you get the chance. I was blessed with an opportunity to go in the fall. You can read more about my experience here.


the marvelous mrs. maisel fyc emmy event

Cinespia is a summer movie screening where you watch a movie in a cemetery. It’s not as weird as it sounds. You are not sitting on top of graves and people really love this! I came here on the fourth of July and had a great time. Bring a picnic and dress cute for the amazing photo booth.

Pantages Theatre

the pantages theatre

The Pantages Theatre is the best place to watch live theatre in Hollywood. The inside of the theatre is gorgeous. For more information on how to get affordable tickets & good seats click here.

Paramount Studios

paramount studio tour

Several classic movies and tv shows have been filmed at the studios. You can take a tour of the lot for a behind-the-scenes look. You can read more about my experience on the tour here.

Pink’s Hot Dogs

This is the place to get a hot dog in Hollywood. There is always a line at this hot spot. A lot of the dogs here have even been named after celebrities and come just the way they like to order them. Be sure to have cash on you if you go here.

Roosevelt Hotel

shirley temple stairs hollywood roosevelt

The hotel hosted the very first Oscar ceremony and has been a popular Hollywood hot spot for a long time. This is a great place to eat or just explore for fun. Their Tuesday night swims are a favorite among locals. You can read about my experience of staying at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel here.

TCL Chinese Theatre

tcl chinese theatre

This is the most iconic movie theatre in Hollywood. The TCL Chinese Theatre has one of the largest movie screens in the world. In front of the theatre is a courtyard with the hand and footprints of celebrities like Cary Grant, Tom Hanks, and Jennifer Lawrence. This is another theatre that hosts movie premieres and special events. For more information about the theatre click here.

Universal Studios Hollywood

how to save money at universal studios hollywood

The theme park is technically in Studio City but since Hollywood is in its name I put it on the list. Universal Studios CityWalk Hollywood is a fun place to eat and go shopping. Inside the park, there is even more to do. You can read about Universal Studios Hollywood here.

Walk of Fame

debra messing

Pink stars dedicated to entertainers who have made an impact line the streets in Hollywood as part of the Walk of Fame. Learn how you can find a specific star and how you can attend a dedication ceremony here. If you like finding things like this check out my post on Walks of Fame in Southern California.


Yamashiro Hollywood restaurant

This restaurant has the best view in Hollywood. In addition to having a fabulous view, the food here is spectacular as well. You can read more about Yamashiro here.

Hollywood may not be what you expected but you can still have a great time. The key to having a memorable experience is knowing where to go. I hope that this list of the top things to do in Hollywood helps make your visit

About The Author

Michelle Ares is the founder and creative director of LA Dreaming. I have a passion for Southern California and love sharing my adventures and experiences with you. I love to travel, find new places to check out, and watch movies. You can follow me on Instagram @la.dreaming

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