Your imagination may conjure up images of your favorite actress walking out the front door, or a popular actor walking the dog, but the reality can be quite different. Few (if any) modern movie stars live in Hollywood these days. They're all up on their Montana ranches, or in Malibu, tucked away behind locked gates and security checks. What you will see are places where someone famous may have lived years ago, along with a lot of hedges and gates that your tour guide will say block the view of so-and-so's house.
A quick scan of online reviews of those tours turns up lots of phrases like "boring," "inaccurate," "disappointing" and "rip off." Read more about the tours here.
That's the bad side of Hollywood tours, now here's the good one. A few tour companies provide some really fun, informative tours of Hollywood that are worth your time. They include:
- Dearly Departed Tours: This is one tour company that prides itself on the accuracy of its facts, as well as keeping you entertained. They offer a Hollywood Movie Tour, a Tragical History Tour and if you're intrigued by the Tate and LaBianca murders carried out by the Manson Family, they have a tour that's dedicated to that.
- Felix in Hollywood: This walking tour that takes in the lore, history and sites that that made Hollywood famous.
- Hollywood Forever Cemetery Tour: The stars at Hollywood Forever aren't likely to come out to greet you - this is their last resting place - but a list of those who are buried here reads a lot like a who's who of Hollywood history: Cecil B. DeMille, Rudolph Valentino, John Huston. A tour of the lovely grounds gives a great chance to pay your respects to them.
- Paramount Studio Tour: It's the only working studio left in Hollywood proper, and their walking tour lets you get a peek behind the scenes.