When visitors ask how they can get a glimpse of historic Hollywood, there's one property that everyone in the area immediately refers to. The Garland. Previously in use as Gene Autry's horse ranch, Beverly Garland's husband bought it and built a hotel that originally had water beds and shag carpet that the maids cleaned with rakes.
Today, the newly-remodeled Garland shows respect for its history, using Beverly as the hotel's muse. It has become a gathering place for artists, entrepreneurs and families looking to immerse themselves in the heart of historic Hollywood.
A Historic Hollywood Vacation
Walking into the lobby of The Garland, you immediately get a “peace, love and relaxation” vibe. The feeling of the hotel reminds me of a resort that my grandpa used to take my entire family to in Mazatlan when I was a kid. There's a daily itinerary with activities to keep the whole crew busy: courtyard games, movies by the pool, tai chi, beer tasting and more. We had the chance to enjoy a party in Beverly Park, the property's own outdoor lawn area complete with cozy areas for chatting and lots of open space for playing or dancing. If I were getting married in Hollywood, this would be the spot.
If you get a chance to enjoy a movie in their own Beverly Garland Theater while you're visiting, definitely do it! The private screening room has an intimate historic Hollywood vibe with 130 seats, along with all the Dolby surround sound, hi-def amenities of theaters we know and love today. The kids went nuts over the sweet candy display and popcorn buckets that the staff put out for us.
Our room was just as fantastic as the rest of the property. We even had a little nook with a bunk bed for the kiddos!
A trip to The Garland and historic Hollywood is incomplete, of course, without a Universal Studios visit.
The latest and greatest in the park is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We like to swing into the incredible Three Broomsticks restaurant and order The Great Feast, which is an absolute steal if you're looking for healthy food to feed an entire family. For drinks, don't miss their Frozen Butterbeer, Pumpkin Fizz and Lemonade. Across the park, be sure to hop on the tram for the hour-long World-Famous Studio Tour to beat the heat in the afternoon. There are a couple spots that are scary for kids, including the King Kong and Jaws sets, but our 7, 5, 3 and 1-year-old managed to make it through without nightmares.
The Front Yard
Back at The Garland, we also had more than enough food and drinks to go around. The Front Yard is their quintessential LA dining experience, with family style bites in a casual, outdoor setting. Don't miss their homemade pop tarts at brunch, their “Holy Smokes” spicy cocktail at dinner, and their chorizo deviled eggs any time of day. If all that eating has you in need of some exercise, the Brady Bunch House is a brisk walk from the hotel. You can also walk to Tujunga Village's cute Caioti Pizza Cafe and try some of their infamous “labor-inducing salad.” Whether or not the salad's powers are accurately heralded, a trip to The Garland is not a bad way to spend a babymoon!
The also have a hopping poolside bar that I gather is the place to be and be seen on Friday nights. Just in case you're NOT pregnant or coming with four kids in tow.
Have you visited historic Hollywood? What was your favorite sight?