Welcome to Hollywood, land of dreams. Hollywood became part of the greater Los Angeles area in
1910, and just one year later the first motion picture studio was established. Today, Hollywood is
synonymous with the film industry, portraying visions of glamour and nostalgia to a degree unmatched
anywhere else. Many visitors come to Hollywood expecting to find a gleaming city filled with movie
stars, posh restaurants, grand mansions and expensive shopping areas. They are, of course, very
disappointed; the actual suburb of Hollywood is far from glamorous.
The real "Hollywood" is a
state of mind, not a place; it's not so much a city as it is shorthand for the general movie and
entertainment industry. Visitors to the area will be unable to miss the infamous 50-foot Hollywood
sign set atop the Hollywood Hills. Hollywood Boulevard is also a destination most tourists won't
want to miss. The Walk of Fame encompasses 18 blocks of large metal stars embedded in the sidewalk
that honor Hollywood's finest stars of the past and the present. Mann's Chinese Theatre is another
must-see attraction along Hollywood Boulevard. The theatre itself opened in 1927, the same year movie
idols began leaving their hand and footprints outside the building. Today over 200 prints exist for
tourists to admire.
As a tourist attraction, Universal Studios Hollywood ranks second in southern California only to
Disneyland. It is the world's largest working film and television studio. Universal Studios offers
stunt shows, technical attractions, rides and a narrated tram tour through Universal's back lot.
Some of the rides that visitors can enjoy are: Jurassic Park-The Ride, The Flintstones Show, The
E.T Adventure, Water World-A Live Sea War Spectacular, and The Wild Wild West Stunt Show.