Few places say Hollywood like the city's Walk of Fame. More than 2,500 brass notations of celebrities' work in film, radio and television line three blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in the heart of the city. Millions visit this area each year, which offers plenty of other attractions to see and do.
Searching for a Star
Before you visit, head to the official Hollywood Walk of Fame website at walkoffame.com and click on the "Star Search" tab to find celebrities in which you're interested. Here you'll discover the address of their star for photo opportunities, as well as the date of their induction and a short biography. Souvenir shops along Hollywood Boulevard also sell maps detailing the locations of stars if you'd like this while you tour.
While You're Here
There's plenty of famed attractions around Hollywood and Vine for you to explore while you're visiting the Walk of Fame. Tops on the list is Grauman's Chinese Theatre, which offers celebrity dedication of a different sort. More than 160 stars wrote their signatures and put hand or footprints in concrete in front of this theater in past decades; among them were Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra. This movie palace built in 1927 still screens flicks. Next door, you can take in tours of the Dolby Theatre (formerly the Kodak Theatre), long the home of the Oscars ceremony, and look beyond that to Mount Lee to catch a glimpse of the famed 50-foot-high "Hollywood" sign, originally erected in 1923 to advertise real estate development. Across the street, catch a taping of "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
Spot the Celebrities
What's better than seeing a celebrity's star? How about seeing the celebrity actually getting the star? The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce continually adds stars to the Walk of Fame, an average of two a month. Check the "Upcoming Ceremonies" tab on the walkoffame.com website for impending dedications. These are free to attend, but unsurprisingly, they draw large crowds. The chamber suggests leaving young children at home and says that chairs and step ladders at not allowed. Each ceremony begins at 11:30 a.m. and ends by 12:15 p.m. Onlookers are urged to disperse immediately after the ceremony ends so as not to clog the sidewalk.
E.M. Stuart proposed the Walk of Fame in 1953 as a way to maintain the "glory of a community whose name means glamour and excitement." After years of planning, the official start of the Walk of Fame occurred on Aug. 15, 1958, with Burt Lancaster and Joanne Woodward among the first eight planned inductees. However, construction was delayed and did not begin until February 1960 and was completed in spring 1961, with the first stars installed. When Carol Burnett got her star in 1975, 99 stars had been placed on the Walk of Fame. Sophia Loren received the 2,000th star on the walk in 1994. As of 2014, the Walk of Fame consisted of more than 2,500 stars.