Just how do you find celebrities in L.A.? Here are some tried-and-true tips:
- Go for coffee and dessert. Both the Rose Café in Venice and the Urth Caffé in Santa Monica have truly celestial desserts AND are popular with some of the younger stars.
- Check the calendar. Many events--whether exhibit openings or award ceremonies--- attract celebs all the time. While in town, see what’s happening where by checking the LA Times Guide and plan your day accordingly. If you can’t get into the event itself, at least make a point of standing around nearby.
- Browse the shops on Robertson on WEEKDAY afternoons. Critical you go during the week, preferably on the nicest weather days, when everyone’s out strutting.
- Linger at the farmers markets. Don’t just stop in to see the markets in Santa Monica and Brentwood. Devote an entire Sunday morning to hanging out at one. And keep your eyes open. While everyone might be fawning over the Llasa Apso or ShihTzu rescue puppies, Reese Witherspoon could be standing nearby.
- Beware of the Attention Grabbers. A Rolls pulls up, an attractive couple sashays out, all eyes on them as the real star, Gwyneth, silently strolls by. Pay attention.
- Choose your hotel wisely. While some A-listers might stay at the five-star Peninsula or similarly exclusive hotels, you have a good chance of spotting recognizable faces at a more reasonably priced place like the Sheraton Universal in Universal City. This iconic Hollywood “Hotel of the Stars” oozes glamour with its art-deco inspired vodka bar (complete with private cabanas draped in sheer fabric), its actor headshots everywhere and its retro-styled Californias restaurant which is frequented by the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Matthew McConaughey and Governor Schwarzenegger. The hotel, which recently completed a massive renovation, is super close to Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal CityWalk, NBC/Universal, CBS and other major studios and production companies.
- Don’t Rule out the hugely popular attractions. Bright lights, Hollywood city… Universal CityWalk is packed with restaurants, shops, nightclubs and theaters and has an ongoing lively street scene with musicians and dancers competing for your attention. We didn’t find any name-names while there, but the very next night, a friend spotted Uma Thurman right smack dab in front of the CityWalk Cinemas.
- Take the Studio Tour at Universal. While your child might be set on spotting stars, chances are she’ll also love seeing how movies and TV shows are made at Universal Studios Hollywood. Hollywood’s working movie studio tram-tour is not only informative, but at times terrifyingly real (imagine flash floods, high-octane car chases, shark attacks, collapsing bridges, raging explosions).
Photo credits: Beverly Hills photo by Robert Harding for California Travel and Tourism Commission.