We are so lucky to live in Orange Countyattractions, beaches, restaurants, museums – not to mention all the things to see in CA! Staycationing is simple for us because of all the quick & easy Orange County daytrips you can make throughout Southern California. Play tourist in  San Diego. Visit Los Angeles. Or, staycation in Hollywood & take in a few tours of Hollywood.

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Things to See in CA {Hooray for Hollywood!}

“Did you take surfing classes at your high school?” “Is it true that it never rains there?” “Do you run into movie stars all the time?” These are among the crazy questions I get from people when I travel around the country and locals discover I live in Southern California. The truth is, I have only surfed once in my life (in Hawaii), anyone who came to visit this past December knows it definitely does rain, and my celebrity encounters are few and far between. As a matter of fact, up until my niece and nephew’s visit last summer, I had never even been to Hollywood and Highland!

After discussing my lack of Hollywood experience with other OC residents, I quickly learned that quite a few of us have never played tourist on  Maybe it’s because we are especially oversaturated with media coverage of celebrity culture or maybe it’s just the general hatred for LA traffic. Either way, I encourage you to avoid I5, embrace the carpool lane, and play tourist for the day to see what all the Hollywood fuss is about.

hollywood attractionsHollywood Attractions

No touristy trip to Hollywood is complete without spending some time along the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Older children will appreciate finding celebrity stars such as Christina Aguilera, Will Smith, while younger kids can get their pictures taken next Mickey Mouse or Donald Ducks’ star.  The activity can become boring if your children don’t have much knowledge of entertainment before they were born but the excitement of finding a stars name that they recognize definitely does put a twinkle in their eyes.

Read reviews of the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Trekaroo.

If you visit the Walk of Fame near Hollywood and Highland, you will find yourself passing some of the most famous theatres in the country. Host to the Oscars and American Idol finales, the Kodak Theatre is a great place to take your imaginary red carpet walk.  Disney fans will definitely want to stop by the El Capitan Theatre.  The theatre plays host to many Disney movie premiers and watching a show at this theatre often includes guest appearances by Disney characters. There is an adjacent soda fountain decked out in Disney fashion which is the perfect place to stop in for a malt with the kids.

hollywood attractionsPerhaps the most exciting theatre to visit in all of Hollywood is Mann’s Chinese Theatre.  The architecture is iconic, as are the hand and footprints outside the theatre.  Kids of all ages will have a great time comparing hand and foot size with celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Travolta, and Meryl Streep.  Do be aware that there are quite a few “characters” dressed up as movie characters and they only want their picture taken if you are willing to cough up the dough.

Read reviews of the Kodak, El Capitan, and Mann’s Chinese Theatre on Trekaroo.

hollywood attractionsIf you want to rub elbows with celebrities, then head to Madame Toussauds Wax Museum.  Let’s be honest, it’s probably as close as you will ever get to the likes of Kobe Bryant, Brad Pitt, or Morgan Freeman.   I went in with very low expectations for the place but everybody from my 13 year old nephew to my 3 year old daughter had an absolute blast taking pictures with very realistic wax celebrities.   Even if you don’t get to see a real celebrity, you might be able to trick your friends into thinking you did!

hollywood attractionsFinally, no trip to Hollywood is complete without a visit to the Hollywood Sign. There are plenty of spots to get a picture of the family with the most famous sign in the world in the background but the best spot to get a great picture is at the top of narrow and windy Deronda Drive in the Hollywood Hills. If you are looking for specific directions from Hollywood and Highland, you can find them here.

Happy Travels!

Sharlene Earnshaw is a travel writer and blogger living in Lake Forest with her studly husband and four year olds twins.  Her passions include travel, hiking, National Parks, and the San Francisco 49ers.  You can find her serving as blog editor over at Trekaroo, a national family travel website, and writing weekly columns for the Lake Forest Patch.

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Thanks Sharlene! Suddenly, tours of Hollywood seem totally do-able! I can’t wait to be able to check off the Hollywood attractions from our places to see in CA check list. Hollywood here we come!

xoxo, K

ps. If you’re looking for even more things to see in CA, we’ve got LOTS of ideas.