I am a British traveller with a love for writing, photography, and fun! Hoping to share some of my experiences with the world. :)
Published May 30th 2013
See the Sights and Save time
With all my research into 'what to do in Hollywood' StarLine Tours kept coming up again and again.
Now, I'm not normally the type of person who would follow up too much on reviews on websites such as Tripadvisor as I find people tend to only go on them if they've had a negative experience. However on this occasion I did research the reviews for StarLine and n body had a bad word to say.
Wel,l when we got into Hollywood we weren't even sure if we wanted to do a tour. I was thinking about getting an all day bus pass (also available through StarLine) so we could cram in everything we wanted, including Rodeo Drive, Venice Beach, and possibly Santa Monica.
Walking down Hollywood Boulevard, every 10 feet there was someone waving leaflets for a movie star homes tours in our faces. With the first guy we were very patient, explaining we'd be possibly interested and would come back, but we definitely wanted to do the Hollywood Museum first. This guy was very persistent and dropped his price to $50 for the both of us, which my boyfriend was impressed with, although I was still not convinced I wanted to see movie stars homes.
After a long debate I managed to get away from this guy and walk straight into another, and after so many 'no thank yous' it started to get a bit tiring and a couple of people were quite rude to us as we walked past.
50 was a good deal, but I wanted to see Venice Beach more than I wanted to see some posh houses. I also wanted to get my photo next to the Beverly Hills sign and walk around Rodeo Drive as our very pleasant taxi driver had already driven us past such sights on the way to our hostel.
I noticed a fair few StarLine kiosks around the place and not one of their staff had approached us without encouragement, which instantly took the pressure off for me. I explained to my boyfriend about their good reviews and we went over to chat to a representative. We explained what we wanted to do and he explained our options and prices and even though he could have sold us a day bus tour as I was pretty set on it, he explained that we probably wouldn't have time to see Venice Beach or Santa Monica on the tight time schedule we had and that we might be better off doing a movie stars home tour, which had highlights of Rodeo Drive, Sunset Strip and Mulholland Drive, with a closer look at the Hollywood sign. He told us the cost and that we would normally get a free Madame Tussaud's pass with it, but as he understood our tight budget he said he could discount the tickets without the 'free' passes for a total of $75 for the both of us. He also told us to take our time, check out the Hollywood Museum and come back to him when we were ready to make a decision.
Which we did. The open top van carried up to 12 people but there were only 9 on our tour. Headphones clipped into the front of the seat so we could hear the driver move clearly.
Now our driver (like many of the good reviews said) made our tour. He was funny, quick witted and 'knew his sh*t', as he would say.
He took us down Sunset and pointed out many iconic buildings including Whisky A Go Go and Johnny Depp's The Viper Room. He also offered to give us directions after the tour, in case we wanted to party in such places later that evening.
We then drove up into the Hollywood Hills, along Mulholland Drive to get a better view of the Hollywood sign. This was fairly disappointing to me as the zoom on my camera worked equally as well from downtown, however I didn't realise how quite in the middle of no where it was, but it also gave great views over the city, which I was more impressed with.
Next we toured Beverley Hills and Bel Air to see the homes of Madonna, Hugh Jackman, Pierce Brosnan, the house where Michael Jackson died and not forgetting the set of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, amongst many more. There were a lot of homes. And although I thought I may be a little bored from going house to house to fence and restricted view of house, the tour guide was very entertaining and informative, which kept my interest in how the other half live.
After deciding I wanted a house in Beverley Hills we then moved on to Rodeo Drive where the guide actually let us our for a 20 minute wander so I got the photographs I wanted after all. He then drove us back answering all our questions and ensuring we arrived in time to catch our TV showing later with
So all in all, long story short, if you are pushed for time in Hollywood, this is a great tour to fit in as much as possible, in a small amount of time. I have just covered the basics of what the tour included. There were many many more interesting sights on the way.
Check out the website for more information and discounts! Have fun!