I love living in Los Angeles! And I love even more that I can call Hollywood my home! I've been at my place for about 6 plus years now, where Runyon Canyon is only a few blocks up, and this place never gets old. This also means I'm walking distance from Grauman's Chinese Theatre (which is now TCL Theatres), Hollywood & Highland, Hollywood Bowl, and the Hollywood Museum. I think I walk by these sites about once a week, mostly because there are so many food options available for me to choose from during dinner time. It's also my go-to movie theater of course! I've seen a few movies at Grauman's (Vice Movie Premiere; Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) and I highly recommend it. It is so beautiful inside!! It has the feel of old Hollywood glamour with spacious seating and amazing decor, and just because it's been there for awhile doesn't mean that it has old surround sound (because the sound in there is incredible). The other TCL theaters in the attached Hollywood & Highland complex are also cool to watch movies in as well. But if you are visiting, I'd try to sneak a movie in at the Grauman's! And you can't speak of Grauman's without mentioning the Hollywood Walk of Fame! I'm not going to lie, I think the Walk of Fame is overrated...but it could be because I walk through it all the time! Who knows! It lines the streets of Hollywood from Orange Street to about Vine Street. It's a fairly long walk, and there's really nothing to see between the Hollywood & Highland mall and Pantages Theatre, where it ends. But hey, since you're there already for the other sightseeing stuff, might as well right? Actually don't, you have better things to see in LA.
The Hollywood & Highland Center has some cool stores in it, although the vendor list has been changing quite frequently over the last few years. However, we all rejoiced when Dave & Buster's moved in as a permanent tenant! I love D&B, but I hated going all the way to Santa Anita to experience the game haven restaurant. Now that it's so close by, I go there all the time. I'm also thankful for the Red Metro station to be posted there as well, cause its an easy hop on the train if I wanted to head Downtown when freeway traffic is bad. I would also have to mention the Dolby Theatre (known prior as the Kodak Theatre) is inside the mall, where they hold the Academy Awards. I've been inside the luxurious theater to see the short-lived Cirque du Soleil show, Iris, but it's probably not worth it for you to pay exclusively for a tour inside to explore it.
And a block down from the mall is the Hollywood Museum, with four stories of movie and TV memorabilia inside. It's actually mostly costumes and signed pictures from the old days of Hollywood to now. The majority of the items in the museum are from the golden age of TV and movie, with props and pictures of Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Jean Harlow, etc. There was one floor dedicated to recent TV/movies that we are all familiar with, like Hunger Games, Good Wife, Dancing with the Stars, etc. And a few more modern movie memorabilia pieces sprinkled throughout the rest of the museum. In the basement was the horror flicks and movies section that contained the likes of Elvira and Jason, so it might be a little too scary for children. Even as an adult man, I was pretty frightened walking into the exhibit.
If you want to stay in the heart of Hollywood so you can be immersed in the experience, I would recommend staying at the Roosevelt Hotel. It's basically in the tourist haven of Hollywood, and it has more history and charm than the Lowe's Hotel behind the Hollywood & Highland mall. Plus they have a great 24 hours burger joint downstairs called 25 Degrees.
Another Hollywood staple is the Hollywood Bowl. It's like the Greek Theatre...but better. The only problem with the location of this venue is that it's near a freeway exit. Can you imagine all the traffic that occurs before and after the events at this place?! I'm going to be dreading the commute this summer when it's the only way to get from work to my place. The only advantage for me with this is that I can walk to the venue instead of scrambling to find overpriced parking. I've seen a few shows here, including Rent the Musical, We Can Survive Concert, and Jason Mraz. One of the highlights of coming here is that you can bring in food & drinks to enjoy during your show. There are also fireworks during certain shows in the summer that you can enjoy at the end. Always great memories here at the Bowl, including being in the bathroom line behind Justin Timberlake!
Now, if you're in Hollywood during the evening, I would recommend going to Musso & Frank Grill. From the outside, it does look a bit outdated and sketchy. And inside...well, its definitely not modern. However, its an homage to old Hollywood. You will probably have the same look on your face as I did when I came into the restaurant. But at the end of the meal, I was excited to come visit the place again! I highly recommend the Summer Squash Ravioli because that dish was amazingly delicious!! The steaks are what they're known for, but their non-steak items are just as delicious. You know you are at a great restaurant when a lot of the other dishes they serve are just as great as what they are known for.
If you plan to be in Los Angeles for at least 1-2 days, consider getting the Go Los Angeles Card! For one low price, you can have admission to a bunch of Hollywood sites (including Hollywood Museum & Dolby Theater Tour, all mentioned above).