My L.A. Must-Stalk List
If I had a nickel for every time a fellow stalker wrote to me asking for my top ten favorite locations in all of Los Angeles, I would have a whole lot more Louis Vuitton in my closet than I do right now. Over the years, in response to that repeated question, I compiled a list of sorts of my fave Southern California locales. Because this stalker loves the City of Angels pretty much more than life itself, though, I was never able to narrow it down to just ten spots, and the more I discover L.A., the more locations I add. I have also, sadly, had to remove a few locales over time due to demolition or change (read: Vitello’s Italian Restaurant). As of right now, my list hovers at 27 places, but I am sure that by next month, that number will have grown. So, without further ado, I present my Los Angeles Must-Stalk List.
1. Disneyland – While not necessarily a stalking location, per se, The Happiest Place on Earth is one of my favorite spots in the entire world, let alone Southern California. It is DEFINITELY a Must-Stalk for anyone visiting the area, especially for the first time. If you have only one day to spend in L.A., I would spend it here. You can read my post on Club 33, the theme park’s legendary restaurant, here. Disneyland is located at 1313 Disneyland Drive in Anaheim.
2. Casa Walsh from Beverly Hills, 90210 – If you know anything about me at all, then this location pretty much goes without saying. You can read about my experience of going inside the Walsh house here. Casa Walsh is located at 1675 East Altadena Drive in Altadena. Dylan McKay’s house is located a block away at 1605 East Altadena Drive.
3. The Father of the Bride House – One of the most iconic (and picturesque) movie houses in cinematic history. You can read my post on the property here. The Father of the Bride house is located at 843 South El Molino Avenue in Pasadena. Don Draper’s house from Mad Men is located right across the street at 675 Arden Road. Afterwards, be sure to hit up The Slaw Dogs (720 North Lake Avenue) for lunch – they have the best hot dogs EVER; Lula Mae (100 North Fair Oaks Avenue) for shopping – it is my very favorite gift store; and the Blo Out Lounge (62 North Raymond Avenue) – my fave salon – for a fabulous blo out! Big THANK YOU to Mike, from MovieShotsLA, for the photograph below.
4. The Bradbury Building – The interior of this architectural landmark in Downtown Los Angeles is nothing short of stunning – like jaw-droppingly stunning! One of the most unique properties that I have ever laid eyes on. You can read my post on the Bradbury Building here. The structure is located at 304 South Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles. The building’s first floor and lobby area are open to the public daily. Big THANK YOU to Mike, from MovieShotsLA, for the pictures below.
5. The John Ferraro Building – One of my favorite buildings in all of L.A. The huge water fountains that surround the property are overwhelmingly gorgeous and, when coupled with the stellar views of the Los Angeles skyline in the background, one’s breath can easily be taken away. You can read my post on the structure here. The John Ferraro Building is located at 111 North Hope Street in Downtown Los Angeles.
6. Scranton Business Park from The Office – This location is particularly cool because not only was it used in establishing shots of Scranton Business Park, where the Dunder Mifflin gang reported to work each day, but it is actually the exterior of Chandler Valley Center Studios, where The Office was filmed. You can read my post on the location here. Chandler Valley Center Studios is located at 13927 Saticoy Street in Van Nuys.
7. Torrance High School from Beverly Hills, 90210 – Another no-brainer for those who know anything about this stalker. Torrance High School is located at 2200 West Carson Street in Torrance. You can read my post on the location here.
8. Yamashiro Hollywood – I have three things to say about this restaurant – views, views and views. While the food is most-definitely spectacular (especially the Butter Lettuce Wraps and Crispy Chicken), the place serves up some of the best views in all of Southern California. Little known fact – the spire on top of the Capital Records Building, which is visible from Yamashiro, intermittently spells out Hollywood in old Morse Code each night. Be sure to head to the eatery right around sunset so that you can catch glimpses of both the daytime and nighttime views. You can check out my post about the restaurant here. Yamashiro Hollywood is located at 1999 Sycamore Avenue in Hollywood.
9. The Huntington Library – Hands down one of my favorite spots in Southern California. Aside from being an oft-filmed-at locale, the place is just spectacularly beautiful. One could easily spend an entire day just walking the grounds. Along with Disneyland, if I only had one day to spend in L.A., I would spend it here. I would skip the Library area, though, and head straight to the spectacular and extensive gardens. You can read my post on the location here. The Huntington Library is located at 1151 Oxford Road in San Marino.
10. The Studios at Paramount – I love this place so much, the GC and I almost got married here! Hands down the best studio tour in Los Angeles (and I should know – I’ve been on it seven times!). You can read about one of my many Paramount experiences here. After your tour, grab lunch at the fabulous Lucy’s El Adobe Café, which is located right across the street. Paramount Studios is located at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Reservations are highly recommended as tours tend to sell out quickly and far in advance. Big THANK YOU to Mike, from MovieShotsLA, for the photograph pictured below.
11. The Rooftop Bar at The Standard, Downtown L.A. - A fabulous restaurant/bar that offers unparalleled, 360-degree views of Downtown Los Angeles. The menu is spectacular, as well. The Standard Hotel is located at 550 South Flower Street in Downtown Los Angeles. You can read my post on The Rooftop Bar here.
12. The Terrace at the Sunset Tower Hotel – Another café/bar that offers spectacular views, these of Century City, Downtown L.A. and West L.A. Can you tell that this stalker is into views? The Sunset Tower Hotel is located at 8358 West Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. You can read my post on the Sunset Tower Hotel here.
13. The Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles – One of L.A.’s most spectacular, beautiful and historic properties. Rates are extremely reasonable and I would recommend spending a night at the iconic location. If it is not possible to do so, then set aside at least a few hours to explore the 85-year-old hotel and be sure to try to sneak a peek at the spectacular art deco indoor pool, which was used in Cruel Intentions. When you are done, grab a drink at the beautiful Gallery Bar. The Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles is located at 506 South Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. You can read my post on the hotel here. Big THANK YOU to Mike, from MovieShotsLA, for the pictures below.
14. The View of the Hollywood Sign from Canyon Lake Drive – Ironically enough, the best place to view the legendary Hollywood Sign is not in Hollywood at all, but on Canyon Lake Drive in the hills above Burbank. You can get so close to the iconic sign at this location that it almost feels as if you can reach out and touch it. You can also catch a spectacular glimpse of the Hollywood Reservoir from this spot. For the best views of the Hollywood Sign, head to where Canyon Lake Drive meets Mulholland Highway in Los Angeles. You can read my post on this location here.
15. The Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine Temple – One of the most peaceful and unique spots in all of SoCal. Hard to believe it is situated right on Sunset Boulevard. The Lake Shrine Temple is located at 17190 Sunset Boulevard in Pacific Palisades. You can read my post on the site here.
16. The Prince – Hands down, one of the coolest restaurants I have ever been to! The eatery first opened in 1949 and has not been altered since. Thanks to its historic aesthetic, dark red walls and wood-paneled booths, the place has been the site of countless filmings over the years. It currently serves as Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and the gang’s main hangout on fave show New Girl. You can read my post on the location here. The Prince is located at 3198 1/2 West 7th Street in Koreatown. You can visit the restaurant’s official website here.
17. Olvera Street (aka The Birthplace of L.A.) – A bustling, open-air Mexican marketplace located on the site of the very spot where Los Angeles was originally founded on September 4th, 1781. The center features some of the oldest structures in L.A., tiny shops selling handmade goods, and fabulous restaurants at every turn. I challenge you to find better taquitos anywhere else in the world, including Mexico! The official address for the entrance to Olvera Street is 845 North Alameda Street in Downtown Los Angeles. You can read my two posts on the location here and here. The Pico House, which serves as CBI Headquarters on The Mentalist is located right around the corner from Olvera Street at 430 North Main Street. You can read my post on that site here.
18. The Old Place Cornell – A fabulously rugged old eatery that serves up some stellar gourmet comfort food. The restaurant, which was originally founded in 1969, seems so far removed from civilization, you will find it hard to believe you are actually in Los Angeles, just steps from the 101 Freeway. The Old Place is located at 29983 Mulholland Highway in Cornell. You can read my post on the eatery here.
19. The Hotel Bel-Air – One of the most beautiful and serene hotels in all of Los Angeles. The quiet, intimate space, which is located right off of Sunset Boulevard, boasts a huge swan-filled pond, meandering pathways and countless tucked-away terraces. Not only was my girl Miss Marilyn Monroe known to frequent the location, but one of her very last photo shoots also took place there. And while I much preferred the look of the place prior to its recent remodel, Hotel Bel-Air is still one of the most picturesque spots in all of Southern California. Warning – the hotel is most-definitely NOT a good place for kids. The Hotel Bel-Air is located at 701 Stone Canyon Road in Bel Air. You can read my post on the location here.
20. Paradise Cove – A beautiful, private beach located right in the heart of Malibu. This spot features a picturesque pier (where Britney Spears once danced), a fabulous restaurant (Bob Morris’ Paradise Cove Beach Café), and an outside bar area where you can dip your toes in the sand while sipping cocktails and watching the sun set. Don’t let the $25 parking fee scare you off – the Beach Café validates. Paradise Cove is located at 28128 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. You can read my post on the site here.
21. Grauman’s Chinese Theatre – Yes, the place is a tourist trap, but it is also a Hollywood landmark and I am of the firm belief that everyone should see it at least once. And besides, it is FUN to walk around and look at all the hand and footprints of your favorite celebs. Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is located at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. You can read my post on Grauman’s here.
22. The Pawnee Pit from Parks and Recreation – While some may say that this place is simply a vacant plot of land, I say it is one of the coolest stalking sites that I have ever been to – most likely because not only was the Sullivan Street Pit practically a character on the series, but it was also once an actual hole in an actual neighborhood and not a manufactured set piece. You can read my post on Lot 48 here. The Parks and Recreation pit is located at the southeast corner of Hazeltine Avenue and Collins Street in Van Nuys. Ann Perkins’ house from the series is located directly behind the Pit at 5655 Murietta Avenue in Van Nuys. You can read my post on that location here.
23. A Free View of Universal Studios’ War of the Worlds Set – Quite possibly my favorite “only in L.A.” spot, one can catch a fabulous and free glimpse of the plane crash set from the 2005 flick War of the Worlds from a residential street just south of Burbank. You can read my post on the location here. To check out the massive set, head to the 3400 block of Blair Drive, just off of Barham Boulevard, in Los Angeles
24. Venice Canals – Easily one of the most peaceful, picturesque spots in all of Southern California, the Venice Canals were the brainchildren of a real estate developer named Abbot Kinney. Originally comprised of 16 miles of meandering waterways, today the tranquil site features six canals totaling two miles of space. Located just a few short blocks from the bustling and chaotic Venice Beach boardwalk, the canals seem worlds away from civilization and boast some of the best picture-taking opportunities in Los Angeles. You can read one of my posts on the historic spot here. The entrance to the Venice Canals can be found at the intersection of West Washington Boulevard and Strongs Drive in Venice Beach.
25. Ferndell Nature Center – An idyllic, twenty-acre oasis tucked inside of Griffith Park, Ferndell is one of L.A.’s hidden gems. Many Angelinos don’t even know it exists. The site consists of wandering pathways, sparkling streams, wooden bridges and green as far as the eye can see. The canopied glen, which has been around since 1914, is the perfect place to grab some shade on a hot afternoon. You can read my post on Ferndell here. Ferndell is located at 2333 Fern Dell Drive, inside of Griffith Park, in Los Feliz.
26. Larry Edmunds Bookshop – THE place to shop for Hollywood books and memorabilia. The store, which was originally founded in 1938, is a virtual treasure trove containing over 500,000 movie photographs, more than 6,000 film posters and 20,000-plus motion picture and theatre books. If it’s not in here, maybe it doesn’t exist! You can check out my post on Larry Edmunds’ former house here. Larry Edmunds Bookshop is located at 6644 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. You can visit the store’s official website here.
27. Malibu Café at Calamigos Ranch – A recent discovery and one of the coolest spots I have ever had the pleasure of visiting! Don’t let the name deceive you – Malibu Café is more than just a restaurant. The eatery, which sits in the middle of a 120-acre ranch, is a gathering spot with games for both children and adults, a meandering waterway, live music, paddle boat rentals, and heaps upon heaps of sprawling land. It is the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon. Reservations are highly recommended, though, as Malibu Café is typically packed every day of the week. You can read my post on the eatery here. Malibu Café at Calamigos Ranch is located at located at 327 Latigo Canyon Road in Malibu. You can visit the ranch’s official website here and the café’s official website here.