A great day of showbiz fun is combining Universal Studios and the Hollywood Sign.
Note Universal Studios will try to sell you a two day pass – frankly, you don’t need it….
…unless you’re really really excited and want to do rides more than once. Most guests are there from about 9 or 10 am and back by about 6-7pm and have done all the rides – the park is plenty of fun, but not as large as disneyland and some other parks that may require more than one day to see everything.
Personally, I’d plan to be there from 10am to 6pm, and do the Harry Potter ride first, because the lines get progressively longer through the day (and hotter in the summer).
That evening, you can grab a bite out front at Universal Citywalk, an attached but no-entry-fee-required mall near the park, or eat in Hollywood. Simply take the metro one stop south (toward Union Station / downtown) to Hollywood & Highland.
From there, you can easily see the Hollywood sign and the fun chaos that’s the Los Angeles equivalent of Times Square, with costumes and characters, history, museums, Mann’s Chinese Theater and the Kodak Theater (home of the Academy Awards).
If you want a closer look at the Hollywood Sign, click here for a few options – it’s a short Uber / Lyft ride away to the Hollywood Observatory – more great views, good views of the sign, and an icon you’ve seen on TV. Also, it’s open late many days, and free – so you can’t beat the price.
A quick evening in Beverly Hills:
If you want a quick jaunt over to see Beverly Hills, grab an Uber or Lyft (metro / bus not recommended…. yet. They’re building it, so come back in 2021) and get a ride to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, at Wilshire & Rodeo Drive. Walk around, grab a drink, pop into a club to listen to some jazz, or just window shop for expensive art and gold bullion and admire the fancy cars. Note some shops are not expensive here, so you might do some shopping – they want the prestige of being on Rodeo Drive, so there are a few shops (H&M for example) that won’t break the bank.
To get back to NoHo, you’ll need another Uber or Lyft unless you want to brave the bus system… this neighborhood has a bit of “last one in shut the door” attitude so it’s not entirely mass-transit friendly – yet. It’s coming, via the Purple Line extension project, but for now, just grab a car.