Many people travel to Hollywood hoping to see a celebrity. Unfortunately, many of the tours that promise celebrity sightings are expensive and rarely show anything other than places where celebrities live or sometimes hang out.
Here’s how to get a taste of Hollywood’s fame for free:
Attend a Show Taping
The sure way to see a star in Hollywood? Attend a free taping for one of the numerous television shows produced in the area. Bonus: Audience members sometimes have a chance to get autographs and pictures with the celebrities appearing on these shows.
- Conan O’Brien: Tickets for show tapings are free and can be ordered online through the official website. These popular tickets are issued through a lottery system. Go to the Team Coco site and select a month and day to attend a taping. If tickets are available, fill out a request form (only one date can be requested). If that submission is chosen an email will be sent confirming tickets have been secured. A staff member follows up with a phone call for final verification one to four weeks prior to the selected taping date.
- The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Fans who want to see a live taping of Craig Ferguson’s show can request tickets online. If tickets are unavailable on the date requested, fans are encouraged to visit the show after 3 p.m. on the desired date for a chance at stand-by tickets.
- The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: To reserve tickets for Jay Leno’s show, be sure to schedule at least four to six weeks in advance. Select one preferred date and three alternate dates. If tickets are available an email is sent with further instructions.
Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood’s greatest moments have happened here. Rows of famous handprints and footprints are part of the landmark known as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and red carpet events are often held at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Visit both of these famous sites in one stop: 6925 Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles.
Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Meryl Streep and Marilyn Monroe are just some of the celebrities honored along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Do a search for celebrities on the Walk of Fame before visiting to be sure to view the handprints and footprints of any favorite actors. Many sites list famous Walk of Fame stars by location to make a search even easier.
The Hollywood Sign
Posing for a photo in front of the Hollywood Sign is an absolute must when visiting Los Angeles. There are plenty of places to view the famous Hollywood Sign overlooking the city from the hills above. These are a few of the best spots for a photo opp:
- Hollywood Boulevard and North Highland Avenue: An escalator takes visitors up to the viewing bridge. Directions, maps and parking information can be found online at the official Hollywood Sign website.
- Griffith Park Observatory: Visitors get a double-dose of Hollywood history at this location. Get a spectacular view of the Hollywood Sign and also explore this famous site featured in many films (including “Rebel Without a Cause” and “The Terminator”). Admission is free to enter the grounds of the observatory. Take a short hike up the main trail from the back part of the parking lot for a view of the Hollywood Sign. Also take advantage of the area’s hiking trails to enjoy sweeping city views.
Celebrities are used to having their picture taken, even after they’ve passed away. There are a number of cemeteries in the Los Angeles area that are home to some famous residents.
- Westwood Village Memorial Park: If there’s only time to visit one cemetery, this is the one to see! Visit the graves and crypts of Marilyn Monroe (complete with lipstick kisses), Dean Martin (bring a penny to put on his crypt), Walter Mathau, Jack Lemmon, and Natalie Wood, just to name a few. The cemetery is small, and grave sites are easy to find. Although the technical address is 1218 Glendon Ave., it is easier to find the office complex at 10850 Wilshire Blvd. and then walk behind it to reach the cemetery.
- Hollywood Forever Cemetery: This is the final resting place of two of the members of The Ramones, Cecil B. Demille, Jayne Mansfield, Rudolph Valentino and many others. The cemetery is located at 6000 Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles (adjacent to Paramount Studios). There is an option to pay to take a tour, but exploring independently can be much more rewarding (and free). Do some web research before going to get the exact location of celebrity graves or crypts in the cemetery. Movies are often shown here at night, but there is an admission fee for this, lines are long, and admission is not guaranteed. If visiting during Halloween, don’t miss the Dia de Los Muertos Festival held here!
One final tip: If traveling by plane, be sure to stay alert when walking through the airport! This is one of the most likely chances to see a celebrity.
This is a guest post by Erica from Austin, TX
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!