Los Angeles: Ditch the “glitz and glam” of Hollywood and blaze a trail

Hollywood. Doesn’t it bring to mind images of celebrities, high fashion, glamour, and wonderment?

It does, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, the reality of Hollywood is a far cry from what you see and hear through the media. The Walk of Fame is really just a footpath — often with someone sprawled over the stars — and it seems like every second shop sells vape or weed. The air is thick with it.


Of course, there are a lot of great shops and eateries in the area, and it’s a pretty safe place to wander, even at night. But, Hollywood just didn’t give me the glitz and glam I was expecting.

So, forget the celebrities and tours. Here’s how I suggest spending some time in Hollywood.

Runyon Canyon Park

Make your way to Runyon Canyon Park. It’s a short walk from Hollywood Boulevard, nestled in the Hollywood Hills. The area is huge, and there are a few different hiking/walking options available.


During our visit, rain was threatening to fall, so we opted for the shortest walk: the basic loop. This takes you to Inspiration Point and Clouds Rest, giving you some amazing views of the city — stretched out as far as the eye can see — and the famous Hollywood sign.


You’ll spot, or at least hear, a lot of birds along the way — we observed huge Ravens circling overhead, and gliding from one end of the park to the other in seconds. The park also allows dogs, which is so nice! It was lovely to see so many happy pooches out for a morning stroll.

The basic loop took us around an hour, with a few photo stops; and was a moderate walk. The initial section is slightly challenging, but once you get going, is totally manageable. I would definitely recommend decent walking shoes, mind you!


Now this is my kind of Hollywood.

Have you been to LA or Hollywood?

What would you recommend new visitors see or do?

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Author: Michelle

Michelle Harvey is a kiwi traveller, writer, photographer, list-maker, coffee drinker, and wanderer. Winter holidays are her favourite kind.

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