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Ten brilliant things to do in Hollywood
  • Many visitors attempt the arduous trek to the Hollywood sign on Mount Lee, but even after the tiring climb, the surrounding fence means that you can't get within 20 feet of it. Instead, take in the views of the famous white sign from afar on a horse-riding tour with Sunset Ranch Hollywood. Choose from romantic moonlit dinner rides, tours of famous movie locations and a guided ride through Griffith Park. If you still want to see the splendid view of LA from the top of Mount Lee, you can opt to see it on horseback too. From $40 for one-hour rides.

  • The Hollywood CityPass saves you 46 per cent on admission to the best attractions. At $59 ($39 for children), it's a great way of saving money while you explore. Mingle with the waxworks at Madame Tussauds Hollywood, learn the secrets of Tinseltown on a behind-the-scenes tour or see the stars' homes and take in the Walk of Fame, where expert guides can help you find your favourite celebrity and walk you to the best spots to see the Hollywood sign. The pass also includes access to the Dolby Theatre, the home of the Oscars, or the Hollywood Museum.  
    Note: As of March 1, CityPass will also include Starline Tours Hop On/Hop Off

  • Ever wanted to drive through Wisteria Lane in Desperate Housewives or encounter the eerie plane crash in War of the Worlds? On a behind-the-scenes Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood you can see a whole host of famous scenes and sets. The 45-minute ride was built in consultation with Steven Spielberg and is the signature attraction of the theme park, with staged events from Jaws, Jurassic Park and Earthquake. You get to pass the Bates Motel from Psycho and even get up close and personal with Norman Bates! Theme park entry from $80.

  • Although the stars in the sky aren't the first thing you think of seeing in Hollywood, this magnificent Hollywood icon offers spectacular views over Los Angeles. The Griffith Observatory is one of the city's wonderful free attractions and is a place for lovers, friends and families to enjoy an evening of stargazing and learn about the solar system. Look through a variety of telescopes and take in the beautiful astronomical views under the guidance of the observatory's helpful and knowledgeable staff.

  • For a quintessential LA experience, get your hands on free tickets to a popular talk show or sitcom. This is a great way to see Hollywood at work and for getting a glimpse of America's favourite TV personalities. TV Tix, Audiences Unlimited and Hollywood Tickets all offer advance tickets to shows such as The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. If you're prepared to queue, you can also get standby tickets for shows including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Be sure to arrive early as studios overbook tickets, and look your best if you want to get on camera - the best-dressed audience members are placed up front!

  • This art deco gem is dedicated to the movies and crammed with all things kitsch and cool from the biggest films and TV programmes. The Hollywood Museum, housed in the historic Max Factor Building, contains more than 10,000 showbiz treasures from the silent screen to the present day displayed over four floors, with costumes, props, vintage memorabilia and photographs to browse. Among the brilliant exhibits are Marilyn Monroe’s million dollar dress, Hannibal Lector's jail cell and Cary Grant's gleaming 1965 Rolls-Royce. Downstairs you'll find Max Factor's world-famous make-up rooms where Marilyn Monroe became a blonde. Lovers of Glee, Star Trek, Planet of the Apes or I Love Lucy can spend hours browsing the vast collection of marvellous memorabilia.

  • Sitting on the top of a bus on a Starline Tour is a great way to see the sites at your own pace. The Hop-On, Hop-Off tour (adults from $40; children from $30) gives you 24 or 48 hours in which to visit sights including the Hollywood Wax Museum, Sunset Strip and Pink's Hot Dogs. On the Movie Stars' Homes Tour (adults $39 online; children $29 online), you'll be picked up from your hotel and driven past the houses of Jennifer Aniston, Nicolas Cage and Tom Cruise, plus the former homes of Madonna, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. Short on time? The one-hour Hollywood Trolley Tour (adults $20; children $15) on a vintage-style trolley visits The Pantages Theatre, Melrose Avenue and The Hollywood Bowl.

  • Visiting a cemetery might not usually be top of your to-do list, but in Hollywood you'll find one like no other. Hollywood Forever Cemetery is the final resting place for more stars than anywhere else in the world. Browse the elaborate tombs, mausoleums and headstones that dot the cemetery and watch video life stories on screens embedded in stones. The cemetery is also the resting place of 1920s sex symbol Rudolph Valentino and legend has it that a mysterious 'woman in black' carrying a red rose still stalks the cemetery mourning his demise. In the summer, the cemetery hosts outdoor movie screenings with classic films projected on a large mausoleum.

  • A stone's throw from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Dixie Hollywood Hotel celebrates Hollywood flicks and boasts a famous movie star mural and treasure trove of film memorabilia. The affordable boutique hotel has 70 rooms and suites decorated with hand-painted Hollywood-themed murals and provides the perfect setting to take in a late-night film in the comfort of your room. Rooms from $99.

  • One of the things you won't want to miss on a trip to Hollywood is a stroll on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Decked out with stars honouring those who have made a name for themselves in film, radio and television, this part of Hollywood Boulevard is irresistible, even to the celebrity-immune. With more than 2,400 terrazzo and brass stars unveiled since the 1960s, you can spend as little or as much time as you like browsing the famous names, from Marilyn Monroe to Johnny Depp and Donald Trump to Mickey Mouse.