So, you know those really tacky tourist bus tours around cities where they are all sitting there listening to the driver ramble on about the area, sites, stars and real bad jokes? Yep, we did one of those! No, we are not in this photo ;0)
We kind of knew what we wanted to see in the city and surrounding areas so considered touring ourselves, BUT it’s also a recipe for disaster when you don’t know where you are going or what you are looking for, one person driving (and traffic was nasty) the other navigating…OMG. So, off we went on our ‘open bus tour’. It was kind of embarrassing at times when locals would look over and laugh. Oh well, we are here to see their city!
It was actually a great tour and we were glad we took it. We would not have known the areas to drive to for example: the famous & scenic Mulholland Drive, Hollywood Sign, Sunset Strip, Melrose, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Rodeo Drive, Star’s Homes, Chinese Theatre, Kodak Theatre, Paramount Studios, Nickelodeon Studios, Griffith Observatory, Farmers Market. We got a little history on everything we passed by.
The outskirts included Mulholland Drive, Hollywood Hills and Beverly Hills. We were shown some of the homes of stars, although you really don’t see much. Most have a simple facade and apparently open up to beautiful properties in the back. Several of those could be seen from a distance across the valley where the property faces out to get their view. Also, the majority don’t live there, only visit.
From the Mulholland Drive lookout we could see much of LA, the Hollywood Bowl was also just below.
The last stop of the tour gave us an hour to check out the ‘Original Farmers Market’ at 3rd & Fairfax in LA which has quite a history.
At the height of the depression, two entrepreneurs approached the land owner with ‘an idea’ to build a “Village” at the corner of 3rd & Fairfax where local farmers could sell their fresh fare. The landowner, E.B. Gilmore, agreed to give it a go. In July 1934, a dozen farmers and a few other merchants parked their trucks at the corner of 3rd & Fairfax and sold their fresh produce from the back of the trucks.
By October 1934, just months after it opened, farmers and merchants, including restaurants, grocers and service providers, were moving into permanent stalls and the new Farmers Market was so popular that its founders staged a celebration, the first Fall Festival at Farmers Market.
The Clock Tower became an icon of the Farmers Market in 1948. Over the decades, it has become a worldwide symbol of food and fun. This photo (top left) of the first tower (which now sits atop Starbucks) features the iconic phrase “An Idea”.
We also explored the adjacent property, ‘The Grove’, a popular retail & entertainment complex.
A great way to see the highlights of the city.