LA Sightseeing Tours Santa Monica Reviews
Excellent tour - with the right guide. Sep 25, 2010
We were in LA for just a couple of days and we wanted to see as many sights as possible. We therefore thought it a good idea to take an official tour, so we booked with LA Sightseeing Tours.
We booked the 'Los Angeles City Tour & Hollywood Movie Stars Homes' package at $74 per adult which we thought quite expensive, but it is comparable with other companies offering similar packages.
The tour picked us up at our hotel and took us to the 'LA Sightseeing' office in Santa Monica to book in. We were assigned a bus driven by Ricky and we headed off, initially to Santa Monica ocean front where we stopped and took some photos, and then on into LA.
The tour headed into the exclusive Beverley Hills and Bel Air districts and Ricky pointed out stars homes as we passed by. Many of these beautiful homes are hidden behind huge gates and fences, but some are quite clearly visible and Ricky was very knowledgeable about the occupants, past and present.
Stars homes that we saw included: Goldie Hawn, Bill Cosby, Steven Speilberg, Tom Cruise, Adam Sandler, Nicholas Cage, Tom Jones, Neil Diamond, and many more including The 'Fresh Price of Bel Air' house and the 'Playboy Mansion'. We also saw the infamous house where Michael Jackson tragically died.
I couldn't help feeling a little uncomfortably voyeuristic as we cruised slowly past these homes taking photos and I wondered what the stars made of it. Maybe they just see it as a price of fame and live with it.
Anyway, we continued along Sunset Boulevard past famous clubs like 'Whiskey a Go Go' , the 'Viper Room' and the 'Key Club' and a few miles later on arrived at Hollywood Boulevard where the bus parked for an hour and we were able to explore 'Graumann's Chinese Theatre', the 'Kodak Theatre', the 'Hollywood Walk of Fame' and the 'El Capitan' Theatre.
From there we headed up to Mulholland Drive and pulled into a car park overlooking the city. This was quite a high spot and the views over LA and to the 'Hollywood' sign were spectacular. After 20 minutes we were back on the road and eventually ended up at Rodeo Drive where the bus parked up and we got out to see the exclusive designer shops and the famous 'Beverley Wilshire' hotel.
This concluded the tour and we were taken back to Santa Monica and then back to our hotel. Ricky was a great guide and his commentary was comprehensive and detailed - he certainly knew his subject and made the tour extremely interesting.
I would recommend this tour if you want to see the LA sights in an afternoon, but I suspect this tour is only as good as the guide you get on the day. If you're lucky enough to get someone like Ricky then you'll benefit because it may not be so good with anyone less knowledgeable.
Part of the Our American Adventure 2010 travel blog
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