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2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

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  • 3.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Once you've seen where the stars shop, where they eat, where they surf and where they party, you'll want to see where they live. A variety of minibus tours provide ample opportunities to spot homes owned by the rich and famous. You probably won't see the celebs themselves, but you can snap pics of the homes affiliated with A-listers like Sandra Bullock, Tom Cruise, Bruno Mars and Halle Berry. Also, expect to see facades that once housed the likes of Lucille Ball, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson. Along with the stars' abodes, buses usually make stops at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Sunset Strip and Rodeo Drive.

According to recent travelers, the demeanor of your tour guide can make or break your trip. Visitors stuck on tours with grumpy or mumbling guides wished they had just bought a map and done the tour on their own. Also, be sure to check the weather for the day: Extreme heat or a sudden shower can put a damper on an open-top bus ride.

Starline Tours, LA City Tours and Ultimate Hollywood Tours earn high praise from past star-seekers. Some tour companies will pick you up near the TCL Chinese Theatre; others will scoop you up directly from your hotel. Whichever you choose, you should be willing to part with your cash: A guided tour of movie stars' homes costs start at $39 per adult and last from two to five-and-a-half hours, depending on the company. Tours are usually available between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily.

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#1 Griffith Observatory and Griffith Park

Griffith Observatory sits on the south face of Mount Hollywood and overlooks the Los Angeles basin. Its location gives visitors impressive views of the surrounding area, which many rave about. But there's more than just a pretty photo-op here. The observatory hosts fascinating exhibitions and features a top-notch planetarium.

Most recent visitors cited the beautiful setting as Griffith Observatory's main draw, though the free entry was certainly a bonus. However, you will have to pay between $3 and $7 to see the planetarium shows. Griffith Observatory is open from noon to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, with extended hours on weekends. Free but limited parking is available along the winding roads leading up to the property, or visitors can park in the small lot by the observatory for $10 per hour. A gift shop and cafe can be found on-site as well. For more information, check out Griffith Observatory's website.

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