Even if you don't plan to get up close & personal with a gold statuette on Oscar night (Feb. 25), there are plenty of blockbuster tours in, around, above & below Tinsel Town to feel "on location" and fabulous. Viator.com has more than 100 tours with a Hollywood theme - backstage tours, location visits, shopping excursions and private soirées - that you may even start preparing a weepy thankyou speech.
Some Red Carpet worthy tours:
- That’s a Wrap Visit the studio that produced two of the Oscar nominees for Best Picture: The Departed and Letters from Iwo Jima. The Warner Bros. & Santa Monica Tour includes full VIP access to the studio back lot, movie and production facilities, a visit to the prop warehouse, front-of-the-line and reserved seating for theme park attractions and shows, and access to a relaxing VIP loungeAfterward, enjoy lunch in Beverly Hills and shopping on Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. ($179)
- Be Seen at the Scene Become part of the L.A. scene with their Los Angeles Soiree Tour. You are picked up at your hotel by your personal guide for a night out in West Hollywood & Beverly Hill, with dining at a celeb-studded spot like the Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel or Massimo Beverly Hills just off Rodeo Drive. ($141) Alternatively, soak up some culture along with your celebs on the Private Luxury Los Angeles Tour ($123) which includes a visit to The J. Paul Getty Museum, followed by lunch at "Bon Appetit" Restaurant, and shopping on ritzy Rodeo Drive.
- Getting Above it All The Hollywood Skies Helicopter Tour, starting at $167, hovers high above the City of Angels and soars over Marina del Rey, Venice and Santa Monica beaches, the mansions of Bel Air, Beverly Hills and Pacific Palisades, as well as the rock & roll glamour of the Sunset Strip and the glitter of Hollywood Boulevard.
- Dig Deep To get below the surface, the Director of Undertakings narrates travelers through decades of death, murder, and just plain fun during the Dearly Departed Tour, starting at $35. Scenes frequented by the famous and infamous are explored, as well as the final scene of Frank Sinatra, River Phoenix, Bela Lugosi and Mae West. On the Movie Stars' Homes and Celebrity Grave Site Tour ($47), visit he final resting places of many of Hollywood’s legends - Hollywood Forever and Westwood Memorial - as well as resting places of the living, including the homes of Nicolas Cage, Harrison Ford, Eddie Murphy, and the Playboy Mansion.
- Hollywood on Location On the other coast, the Washington DC TV and Movie Sites tour ($34) includes locations from The Exorcist, the bar from St. Elmo’s Fire, Wedding Crashers, Forrest Gump and All the Presidents Men. On Location Tours: New York TV and Movie Sites tour ($47) includes the TV "homes" of Will and Grace, Ross and Rachel (Friends), and Jerry and George (Seinfeld).
More info at Viator.com.
- The Travel Snob