Glamor, celebrity, cinematic history—Hollywood has it all! Geographically and culturally, Tinseltown is at the center of Los Angeles, making it a very enticing attraction for you next group trip. Whether you’re a die-hard cinephile, rock-n-roll addict, or devoted star-hunter, this step-by-step guide will help you plan the perfect group trip. Hollywood has something for everyone, so charter a private bus rental in Los Angeles to take you on a tailor-made tour with your friends, family, or colleagues.
How much does it cost to rent a private bus in Los Angeles?
Depending on the size of your group, the length of your trip, and how long you’ll need a driver, the cost of renting a bus will vary. But no matter what your needs, a private bus is a convenient and cost-effective way of transporting your group through Hollywood. For instance, a school bus from the Los Angeles Airport (LAX) to the Kinney Hotel on Venice Beach will run you about $663—that’s only $14 per person at full capacity! From the hotel to downtown LA, a coach bus will cost as low as $814. Should you opt for the full package, renting a coach bus to and from the airport and hiring a driver for the day, it’ll cost you only $2225. That’s about $40 per person. Use our quote calculator to price your own private Hollywood bus tour.
Where to Stay When Visiting Hollywood with a Group
Hollywood is a luxurious area to visit, but hotel prices can be astronomical: accommodation lies in the $1000/night range! To avoid pricey hotel stays, try booking accommodation outside of the downtown core and maximize your travel budget. Your bus rental will make it easy for your group to travel to Los Angeles’ points of interest like downtown Hollywood, or its many amusement parks. These boutique hotels have enough rooms for a sizeable travel group, but pack way more charm than your average chain hotel.
Casa Via Mar Tennis Club & Inn
At only $155/night, Casa Via Mar Tennis Club & Inn is an affordable alternative, located in Port Hueneme. This quaint boutique inn with Spanish style décor is great for groups and offers several discounts for service members, seniors, and students. With 74 rooms, it offers enough room for sizeable tour groups – just remember to book in advance so that you can all stay in this charming hotel!
Pacific Edge on Laguna Beach
Pacific Edge on Laguna Beach is composed of breezy rooms and private bungalows with beach-front views. It’s quiet, affordable, and can accommodate large groups and special events. Check their website often to catch their Sunset Promo: rent ten rooms and receive one complimentary upgrade.
The Kinney on Venice Beach
If you’re looking for something special, stay at The Kinney on Venice Beach, a hip, colourful boutique hotel complete with inviting common area, fire pit, and an array of guest-rooms and crash pad suites. It’s $311/night but offers group rates and event planning for bachelor/bachelorette parties.
Where to Eat When Visiting Hollywood with a Group
With so many celebrities and tourists crowded into one small area, Hollywood has become a magnet for restauranteurs. We’ve selected a few of our faves to help you sort through the throngs of eateries.
If you’re looking for that vintage Hollywood experience, Dan Tana’s is the joint for you. Its walls are covered with memorabilia, the round booths are upholstered with that classic dark red leather, and the friendly service staff are dressed in ties and vests.
For a more elegant fine-dining experience, check out the two-Michelin-star seafood restaurant Providence. It can accommodate groups up to 20, and, though it may be pricey, it is sure to impress your foodie friends.
If you’re just looking to feed a hungry crowd, the famous burger chain In-N-Out Burger has a location in Hollywood that serves legendary burgers and shakes at a low-price.
Visiting Hollywood’s Hottest Attractions
Many of Hollywood’s most famous attractions can be viewed by foot and are best enjoyed in the afternoon. Have your driver leave you at Hollywood and Highland. This intersection is the best place to begin your tour of Hollywood Boulevard.
Walk of Fame
Casually stroll alongside the names of celebrities on the Walk of Fame or check out the Walk’s website for a list of upcoming star dedication ceremonies. There are 24 scheduled each year and viewing is free.
The Dolby Theatre
Also on the Boulevard is the Dolby Theater. Known as the home of the Academy Awards, the Dolby is all about the Oscars. Group discounts are available for a tour (general admission: $25) that will give you an inside look at the theater’s history, architecture, and Michelangelo-inspired décor.
TCL Chinese Theatre, known as “the most iconic movie theatre in the world,” was founded by showman Sid Grauman. Book a VIP tour of the 90-year-old theatre’s secrets for only $18. Group rates are available if you book in advance.
The Hollywood Sign
After you’ve explored the Boulevard, hop back on the bus and take it to the Griffith Park Observatory—the best spot to park and view the Hollywood Sign. People are often surprised that you can’t hike right up to the famous letters, so plan in advance and choose a good legal vantage point from which to snap your Hollywood Sign selfies. Arrive in the evening, because the Observatory is also home to a planetarium. Admission is free for most events at the Observatory.
Universal Studios Hollywood
If you’re looking to entertain kids and adults while taking in the history of cinema, spend the day at Universal Studios. It’s a pricier option with tickets ranging from $110 to $350, but there are discounts for groups of 10 or more. Contact their ticket booth early to arrange your group. Once you’re there, challenge yourself with thrilling rides, see a special effects show, or explore the worlds of your favourite Hollywood Blockbusters. It’s a full day experience, so have your driver drop you off and return you to your hotel for as low as $1224.
Finish your day in Hollywood with a party on Sunset Strip. Stay safe and drink responsibly by taking advantage of having a personal driver, as you bar hop your way down one of the most iconic party streets in the world. Get your rock-n-roll history fix with the Viper Room, rub shoulders with Hollywood insiders at Mmhmm Cocktail Bar, and see some of the biggest names in stand-up comedy at the Comedy Store, Upright Citizen’s Brigade, or the Laugh Factory.
Based in Montreal, Leigh Kinch-Pedrosa writes about wine, fashion, coffee, event-planning, and books. She is the general manager of the popular Canadian storytelling show Confabulation, and has co-produced events with Phi Centre, Broad Science, and CBC Books. Follow her on instagram @StoriesbyLeighKP