The Alabama Hills Recreation Area is a stunning mirage of rocks and hills in the Eastern Sierra Nevada. Metamorphosed volcanic rock up to 300 million years old as well as biotite monzogranite up to 85 million years old create the wondrous assortment of shapes and arches. Hiking, photography and stargazing are some of the best ways to enjoy the land. Many films were shot here since the 1920's including 'How the West Was Won' and 'The Lone Ranger'. A scenic drive along Movie Flat Road will take you to exact locations for famous film scenes.
The Cabazon Dinosaurs, 'The World's Biggest Dinosaurs', are an iconic Roadside Attraction near Palm Springs. Mr. Rex, a 100-ton Tyrannosaurus rex and Dinny the Dinosaur, a 150-ton Brontosaurus were sculpted by Claude K. Bell. Both dinosaurs are so massive, several people can fit inside while Dinny serves as a building. They are forever famous from the film, Pee Wee's Big Adventure.
The Guadalupe Nipomo Dunes are the largest coastal dune ecosystem in California at 18 miles long. Several opportunities are available from relaxing at Rancho Guadalupe Dunes County Park, off-roading at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area and camping at Pismo State Beach. Native American Chumash used the site as a fishing village and hunted alongside wild grizzly bears.
Cecil B. DeMille filmed his famous epic 'The Ten Commandments' in 1923 and buried the gigantic sets after filming. Excavated pieces of 'Egypt' have been discovered in the shifting sands. This National Natural Landmark also preserves many endangered plants and animals. Enjoy exploring these wild, uncrowded dunes.
Vasquez Rocks Natural Area is a 932 acre park outside of Santa Clarita in the Sierra Pelona Mountains. Located along the San Andreas Fault, these sandstone rocks were formed 25 million years ago. Tataviam Native Americans lived in grass hut villages here and considered the site sacred. The rocks were named for Tiburcio Vasquez, a notorious bandit who used the area as a hideout in 1874. Hollywood has filmed here since the 30's including The Flintstones, Star Trek and Planet of the Apes.
The Hollywood Museum depicts the Motion Picture & Television Industries and celebrates the Golden Age of Hollywood. Housed in the historic Max Factor building, this charming museum contains more than 10,000 artifacts, costumes, photographs and scripts. Four make-up rooms, one for redheads (Lucille Ball), blondes (Marilyn Monroe), brownettes (Judy Garland) and brunettes (Elizabeth Taylor), are a definite highlight.
The William S. Hart Ranch & Museum preserves the beloved home of silent film star, William S. Hart. Hart acted, directed, wrote and produced more than 75 westerns and was one of the all time great actors. He loved the Spirit of the West and built a ranch, 'La Loma de los Vientos' or 'The Hill of the Winds', to house his authentic collection. Wyatt Earp, Amelia Earhart, Mary Pickford and Barbara Stanwyck were among his famous friends that visited him often.
Upon passing, Hart donated his ranch to the city with the stipulation that it would remain free:
“When I was making pictures, the people gave me their nickels, dimes, and quarters. When I am gone, I want them to have my home.” -William S. Hart
His 22-room Spanish Colonial Revival mansion with original furnishings and outfits is run by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and even has a pack of American bison. Hart was an animal lover and celebrated the legacy of Native Americans. Enjoy a rare glimpse into the Golden Age of Hollywood with a visit to this spectacularly preserved ranch.
Malibu Creek State Park is the premier nature wonderland of the Santa Monica Mountains. Grasslands, oak woodlands and rolling hills make up more than 8,000 acres of scenic beauty. The area was once home to the Native American Chumash who had a village here called Talepop. Paramount Pictures & 20th Century Fox both used the area for filming including M*A*S*H & The Planet of the Apes. Hiking trails of every length wind through canyons covered in wildflowers each Spring.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame has been around since 1958 and represents 2,500 stars of film, television, music, radio and theatre. With 10 million annual visitors, it is one of the most visited spots in the country. Since 1968, it has been a requirement for an honoree to attend the unveiling of the star. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce accepts nominations for those that have been in their industry for at least five years and give to charity. Enjoy 15 blocks of Hollywood stars from the past and present.
Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park preserves rocky canyons, Native American sites and an historic stagecoach route. Tongva, Chumash, and Tataviam Native Americans used this spot as a trading route and many remnants still remain. From 1861-76, it served as the Old Santa Susana Stage Road which connected travelers from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara & San Francisco. In the 1900's, it served as the backdrop of the old west for the adjacent RKO Studios.
Mulholland Drive is a famous drive in the Hollywood Hills opening in 1924. At 21 miles long, the drive provides sweeping views of Hollywood & its iconic sign, Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. With its celebrity homes and history, it is an ultimate tourist attraction but the views far outweigh the crowds.