Pacific Coast Highway Travel reviews 111 Places in Hollywood That You Must Not Miss, a guide that includes iconic attractions and hidden secrets too.
111 Places in Hollywood That You Must Not Miss is a guide to Must-See Hollywood, and it’s the first of these 111 Places guides that we’ve seen. This is surprising as they now amount to 650 different titles with 3.8 million copies in print!
At first glance they’re a little like the ‘Secret’ series of travel guides from the French publishers, Jonglez, one of our favorite travel guide series. However, though they’re similar in look and concept, they’re original and differ in at least one major way.
The 111 Places guides include the main tourist attractions that you’ve heard of and will want to see, like the Griffith Park Observatory, The Hollywood Bowl, and the Capitol Records building, but then also places you’ll probably never have heard of, such as Pink’s Hot Dogs, Famous Amos Square, or The Kibitz Room (a rock ‘n’ roll deli).
The only way to seek out these hidden gems that only locals know about is to hire a local writer to write the book. In this case it’s Brian Joseph, whose Foreword explains how he got to know Hollywood through his parents, who both grew up in Hollywood.
Joseph also took all the photos in the book bar one, and they’re terrific – well-lit and colourful. At the back of the book I wasn’t surprised to learn that he’s an actor, an artist, and a musician, as well as a writer.
The book runs to 121 pages, with each entry getting one double-page spread. The words are on one side, and opposite is a color photo and all the practical details you might need: address, website, hours, how to get there, all that kind of thing.
At the back of the book are four maps, showing where everything is, but there’s no index. This is a shame, as although the Table of Contents at the front is quick and easy to read through, some of the entries are a bit enigmatic:
The kitchen where you can whip up a bike
Then again, enigmatic means you want to learn more about it.
This is the kind of travel guide that you don’t just dip into when you’re in the destination and you want to find out a place’s opening hours or phone number. This is a the kind of guide you will want to read from front to back before you go, picking out the places that appeal to you most, then read it again when you’re in Hollywood, to get that practical information and remind you of the stories.
The author’s done an excellent job of making even the well-known landmarks, like The Griffith Park Observatory, fresh and interesting by including unusual stories that make you keep saying, ‘I never knew that!’
And he has also unearthed some fascinating places. I’m not sure we’ll be going to Johnny Ramone’s Party or Jumbo’s Clown Room (even for the celebrity-spotting), but definitely on the list next time we’re in Hollywood is La Monarca Mexican Bakery, Hollywood Toys and Costumes, the Hotel Café, and of course the Sexiest Loo in Hollywood!
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