Hotel at a Glance: Sportsmen’s Lodge
In Hollywood’s heyday, stars like Bette Davis, John Wayne, and Clark Gable got away from the limelight by heading to a quiet trout lake in the city off Ventura Boulevard. That lake is where Sportsmen’s Lodge stands today. The building’s unique mountain-lodge feel in the middle of LA still makes it a popular gathering spot and filming location.
- Universal Studios Hollywood: The hotel provides free shuttle service to one of the city’s most popular attractions.
- Room with a view: Look out on the city, gardens, or swimming pool from your guest room’s private balcony.
- Sip mojitos at the poolside bar.
- Craft beers and specialty cocktails complement wild-mushroom ravioli and other dishes at River Rock, the onsite restaurant.
- Patio Café: Mediterranean turkey burgers and vegetable paninis are on the menu at this onsite eatery; for breakfast, try the challah french toast with sautéed apples and a bourbon-maple-pecan sauce.
Studio City, Los Angeles: High End Boutiques and Celeb Sightings Near Hollywood
Studio City is just a short drive northwest of Hollywood, and in many ways, it feels like Tinseltown’s more laidback sibling. Studio City gained popularity in the 1920s, when it was a shooting location for many silent movies. Over time, it’s become a popular place for celebrities to put down roots; George Clooney, William Shatner, and Alyssa Milano have all called Studio City home. If you cruise through town, you can see many celeb-owned mansions as well as some famous TV sets, including the houses used in Big Brother and The Brady Bunch. In town, it’s not uncommon to see celebs shopping for artisan breads and organic produce at the Studio City Farmer’s Market or picking up designer threads at bohemian boutiques on Ventura Boulevard.
To get to the famous Hollywood sign, take a scenic 15-minute drive south through the Hollywood Hills. The sign makes for a great photo opp and a good jumping-off point to the rest of Tinseltown. Stroll down the star-studded Hollywood Walk of Fame or visit the TCL Chinese Theater, where cement slabs have been imprinted with Betty Grable’s legs, Donald Duck’s feet, and the hands that held up Jimmy Durante’s nose.
The family-oriented Universal Studios Hollywood theme park features behind-the-scenes special-effects shows, 3D and 4D rides inspired by Transformers and Shrek, and a Simpsons-themed roller coaster.