For most Aussie travellers, a trip to the United States begins and ends with a stopover in Los Angeles. The number one gateway for flights to and from Australia, ‘the City of Angels’ is much more than just a transit point.
From its great beaches and pleasant Mediterranean style climate, to its Hollywood and Disney attractions, celebrity-spotting and great shopping, LA and southern California offer travellers plenty to see and do.
And thanks to the movie, music and TV industries, the very streets of the city have a personality of their own, with many already familiar to first-time visitors.
On your next LA stopover, why not jump in a cab, hire a car, or book a local tour and explore LA’s most iconic thoroughfares? Here’s the top five.
1. HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD
This famous street is probably best known for its footpath. Walk the street where over 2,600 celebrities have been honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Stretching 15 city blocks, the entertainment monuments celebrate not just A-list actors but well-known directors, comedians and musicians as well.
Hollywood Boulevard is also the site of the Kodak Theatre, where the Academy Awards are held every year, as well as attractions like Ripley’s Believe It or Not and the Hollywood Wax Museum.
2. MELROSE AVENUE
The location of the popular fictional TV drama, Melrose Place, Melrose Avenue is defined by its most popular neighbourhood, the Melrose District.
The area is known for its collection of shops, restaurants and galleries, as well as being the home of Paramount Pictures. Because of its trendy, youth-oriented spirit, Melrose Avenue enjoys many movie and TV cameos.
Melrose lies south of Santa Monica Boulevard and north of Beverly Boulevard and it takes about half an hour to get there on Bus 4 from Beverley Hills.
3. MULHOLLAND DRIVE
Mulholland Drive weaves its way through the Hollywood Hills offering some spectacular views of the city and surrounding district. Its 35-kilometre route includes large expanses of the mountaintop roadway, with many glamorous mansions set back from the road for prime city views.
Also visible from Mulholland Drive is the famous Hollywood sign.
This famous road also leads to ‘Dirt Mulholland,’ site of several outdoor recreation areas in the Santa Monica Mountains.
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4. RODEO DRIVE
Few streets enjoy the reputation of Rodeo Drive. Known for its upscale shops, designer boutiques and high-end hotels and restaurants, this Beverly Hills hotspot is the perfect place to indulge.
If your bank account doesn’t quite extend to fancy-free shopping here, you won’t find a better place to do some people watching. The darlings of LA’s social scene strut their stuff on the Drive quite deliberately parading for all to see.
One of Beverly Hills’ biggest events, the Concours d’Elegance is held every June on Rodeo Drive. The classic car display features some of the most expensive cars in the world.
5. SUNSET BOULEVARD
Stretching for almost 40 kilometres, Sunset Boulevard begins in Downtown LA. and wends its way to the Pacific Coast ending at the laid-back coastal sprawl just north of Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades.
Visitors can witness every aspect of LA life along this famous road. From the buzzing nightlife found along the ‘Sunset Strip,’ to the gated communities of Beverly Hills, and the scenic mountain escapes closer to the beach, Sunset Boulevard is the perfect introduction for any LA newcomer.