When I was a kid, every weekend and throughout the school holidays, I’d be chilling out with my favourite blanket, slippers and a movie (I was a big fan of films)! To start with, these were Disney and Pixar movies, but as I got older, I started raiding my mum’s recorded VHS tapes. You remember when it was all the rage to record movies from the TV onto VHS? My mum did this so often, we even had to label our tapes with numbers and draw up a directory to our video library!
But this meant that I was introduced to a vast array of movies – the real classics. Dirty Dancing quickly became my all-time favourite movie (so much so that my sister and I attempted ‘that move’ and nearly crashed into my mum’s display unit… I said nearly)! This was quickly followed by a love of One Fine Day and Pretty Woman. Yes, I’m still a sucker for a rom-com although I like to think my tastes have branched out a bit since then.
Anyway, when my other half and I decided we would cross the seas to Hawaii, I knew that I wanted a quick layover in Los Angeles as well (just for a few days). In fact, we spent 2 whole weeks on the West Coast! I wanted to see the stars, visit sandy beaches and walk in the steps of Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman.
If that sounds like a good way to spend your own layover weekend, then here’s a lowdown of the best places to see in LA that were also glimpsed in Pretty Woman:
Blue Banana Club
The hot place to be within the movie, both Kit and Vivian like to hang out at the Blue Banana Club. Sadly, no opportunity to grab a snap in front of the Blue Banana sign though, as it’s now been taken over by a Maui and Son’s Bar & Grill! And all interior shooting was apparently filmed at a different club somewhere in Hollywood. That said, you can still walk in Julia’s steps here, as well as scouting out the alleyway where ‘Skinny Marie’s’ body was found!
6708 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood Walk of Fame
As per the movie, Vivian and Kit have claimed their “turf” along part of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They work the stars from Bob Hope through to the Ritz Brothers, Fred Astaire and all the way down to Ella Fitzgerald. Have fun walking the long stretches of the Hollywood Walk of Fame – look out for your favourite stars, as well as those glimpsed in Pretty Woman!
6756 Hollywood Boulevard
Regent Beverly Wilshire
If you’re a fan of the movie, you most definitely will not be able to forget this hotel that Edward invited Vivian to stay in with him. Forever a super fancy 5 star hotel and part of the Four Seasons Group, it is an exceedingly popular hotel for the rich and hopeless romantics. However, no amount of money will buy you a night in the suite like what Edward had. All interior suites were actually shot in the Disney Studio in Burbank. However, the lobby and exterior were filmed at the actual hotel, so it’s still cool to see it in the flesh!
9500 Wilshire Blvd
Remember the shop full of bitchy women that Vivian was asked to leave? This was originally a boutique on the corner of Rodeo Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard called Boulmiche. Boulmiche Boutique is actually still in business, although they’ve moved to a new location a few blocks away. The original Pretty Woman store location is now a hair salon (at the time of writing). With stores changing so frequently in Rodeo Drive, it may have changed again since then! However, whether you decide to take a look at Boulmiche or walk the same avenue as Julia Roberts, you’ll still feel like you’re walking in her footsteps.
9501 Santa Monica Boulevard
Giorgio Beverly Hills
It should come as no surprise that the store where Vivian buys that incredible cocktail dress was from Giorgio Beverly Hills (the founding store of the now iconic Rodeo Drive). Although Giorgio has now moved to a larger premises, the building is still there (albeit now a Louis Vuitton).
273 North Rodeo Drive
After walking along Rodeo Drive, why not rest your feet at Beverly Canon Gardens? You’ll feel like you’ve instantly been transported to the south of France!
Where Vivian counts fork tines and wrestles with snails. The fabulous Art Deco restaurant looks beautiful inside and you’ll be pleased to know that the building still takes pride of place in LA (within the Financial District), albeit now a restaurant by the name of Cicada. You might also recognise the Art Deco stylings from when Tony Bennett serenades Jim Carrey and Jennifer Aniston in Bruce Almighty, or where Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt had famous confrontations in Mr and Mrs Smith.
617 South Olive Street
Los Angeles Equestrian Center
In case you want to follow in Julia Roberts’ footsteps and stomp divots for polo matches, come to the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, found behind Griffith Park and the Los Angeles Zoo.
Did you know? Griffith Park is also a great place to see the Hollywood sign from?
480 W Riverside Dr
Grand Park LA
It was a delicious piece of romance in the movie when Vivian convinced Edward to take the day off and “cop a squat” with her. Grand Park LA is now a huge park to visit and enjoy the sunshine, whilst walking in the footsteps of pretty women everywhere. And if you want the specific filming location, wander over to the Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain – don’t forget to take your shoes off!
200 N Grand Ave
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
I’m not sure how you’re going to feel about this one. Whilst watching the film, I was absolutely enamoured with the fact that Edward flew Vivian all the way to San Francisco (on a private jet I might add) for an Opera showing. However, in reality, the stars stayed very much within the ‘City of Angels’ and actually went to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, south of downtown LA. And of course, the interior shots were filmed within a studio set. This building is beautiful though, so I suppose that makes up for it!
900 Exposition Blvd
Hotel Las Palmas
Oh yes, how could we possibly not include Vivian’s apartment? A sheer feat of bravery on Edward’s part for climbing the fire escape to her ‘penthouse’ despite being terrified of heights. And when this was combined with cheesy musac playing, couldn’t you just feel your stomach create butterflies?
Did you know that Vivian’s apartment is actually the Hotel Las Palmas in real-life?
1738 North Las Palmas Avenue
You’ll be pleased to know that most of these places can be found along the Starline hop-on, hop-off bus route, as well as other top Los Angeles sights! Even if the place you want to see is not directly on the route, you won’t have to walk far to get to each of them so it’s really easy to see everything across a full day or day and a half.