LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood’s always been known as a fast town, so with only 48 hours to spend and a desire to see the stars, a weekend getaway to the Oscars seems like a good, quick holiday.
Friday, 6 p.m. - After procuring the single most important piece of equipment you’ll need -- a rental car -- check into the Roosevelt Hotel (7000 Hollywood Boulevard, 800/950-7667, www.hollywoodroosevelt.com), directly across the street from the Kodak Theater where the Oscars are held.
A block away is the Magic Castle Hotel (7025 Franklin Avenue; 800/741-4915, www.magiccastlehotel.com) that offers access to its magicians’ clubhouse and the Renaissance Hotel (1755 N. Highland Boulevard, 800/769-4774, www.renaissancehollywood.com), adjacent to the Kodak.
6:15 p.m. - Stroll to Musso & Frank Grill (6667 Hollywood Boulevard, 323/467-7788, www.mussoandfrankgrill.com) for pitch perfect martinis and classic eats where everyone from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Orson Wells has dined.
7:30 p.m. - Catch the “Mad as Hell Best Actors Double Feature” of “Network” and “Wall Street” at the Egyptian Theater (6712 Hollywood Boulevard, 323/466-3456, www.americancinematheque.com), the movie palace where showman Sid Grauman staged the first Hollywood premiere in 1922.
11:30 p.m. - It’s never too late for sightseeing in Hollywood. Check out El Capitan Theater (6838 Hollywood Boulevard, 818/845-3110, disney.go.com/DisneyPictures/el_capitan), Grauman’s Chinese Theater (6925 Hollywood Boulevard, www.manntheatres.com/chinese), and the Walk of Fame.
Midnight - Grab a drink at Formosa Cafe (7156 Santa Monica Blvd., 323/850-9050, formosacafe.com), a converted trolley that has drawn the famous from Brando to Bogie since 1925.
With a day at the Oscars scheduled for Sunday, get away from the crowds on Saturday and explore some of the sights around Los Angeles:
9 a.m. - Start by sampling the menu at M Café de Chaya (7119 Melrose Avenue, 323/525-0588, www.mcafedechaya.com), a macrobiotic eatery serving meals free from refined sugars, eggs, dairy, red meat, and poultry.
10 a.m. - LA is full of museums - The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (5905 Wilshire Boulevard, 323/857-6000, www.lacma.org) and The Museum of Contemporary Art (250 South Grand Avenue, 213/621-1745, www.moca-la.org), among others. But the Getty Center (1200 Getty Center Drive, 310/440-7300, www.getty.org), with its ever-burgeoning art collection, has the rooms with a view.
1 p.m. - Time for the beach. Drive to the Casa del Mar (1910 Ocean Way, 310/581-5533, www.hotelcasadelmar.com), Santa Monica’s 1926 Renaissance Revival hotel on the sand, for a light lunch of crudo and ocean views.
3:30 p.m. - A stone’s throw and a world away is the original Muscle Beach (www.santamonica.com/visitors/what-to-do/attractions/muscle-beach), See jocks perform on the rings, parallel bars and ropes.
Continue north and you’ll stumble upon Chess Park (www.santamonica.com/visitors/what-to-do/attractions/chess-park)designed for those whose biggest muscles are their brains. From here, it’s an easy walk to the Santa Monica Pier (www.santamonica.com/visitors/what-to-do/attractions/pier), which features a Victorian-style Carousel from 1922, the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel, and a trapeze school.
4:30 p.m. - Time for some celebrity watching and refreshments. The lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills (300 South Doheny Drive, 310/859-3824, www.fourseasons.com/losangeles) serves up libations and stars.
6 p.m. - Long for the 1960s, or want to get in touch with your inner bohemian? Grab an early dinner at Pace (2100 Laurel Canyon Boulevard, 323/654-8583, www.peaceinthecanyon.com), a brick-walled, candle cluttered retreat next to Jim Morrison’s former digs. Be sure to save room for the chocolate soufflé
8 p.m. - Comedy clubs abound in LA, and laughter is priceless. But it can be yours for only $8 at the ASSSSCAT improv show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (5919 Franklin Avenue, 323/908-8702, www.ucbtheater.com). On your way out the door, take a gander at the Scientology Celebrity Center International (5930 Franklin Avenue, 323/960-3100, www.scientology.cc), the castle across the street.
10 p.m. - Rock out at the Whisky a Go Go (8901 Sunset Boulevard, 310/652-4202, www.whiskyagogo.com) or The Roxy Theater (9009 Sunset Boulevard, 310/278-9457, theroxyonsunset.com).
Midnight - One LA landmark is a must, especially late at night. Queue up at Pink’s (709 N. La Brea Boulevard, 323/931-4223, www.pinkshollywood.com) - the 70-year-old landmark that serves 21 kinds of hotdogs.
Sunday, 8 a.m. - Unwind on the garden patio of the Chateau Marmont (8221 Sunset Boulevard, 323/656-1010, www.chateaumarmont.com) - the Sunset Strip’s neo-gothic hotel -- over a leisurely breakfast.
10 a.m. - Time for shopping. Just down Sunset Boulevard is Book Soup (8818 Sunset Boulevard, 310/659-3110, www.booksoup.com) and toward Hollywood is Amoeba Music (6400 Sunset Boulevard, 323/245-6400, www.amoeba.com), where you will find hard-to-find books and obscure records. Continue on to Melrose Avenue and Robertson Boulevard for fashion enclaves like Fred Segal (8100 Melrose Avenue, 323/651-4129, www.fredsegal.com), Lisa Kline Women’s and Men (136 and 143 S. Robertson Boulevard, 310/246-0907 and 310/385.7113, www.lisakline.com), and -- for the pooch who craves Juicy Couture -- OrangeBone (7574 Melrose Avenue, 323/852-1258, www.orangebone.com).
1 p.m. - Lunch. Celeb watchers hit up The Ivy (113 N. Robertson Boulevard, 310/274-8303, www.theivy.com) or vegans can try the Newsroom CafØ (120 N. Robertson Boulevard, 323/652-4444), which serves seven different Caesar salads without eggs or anchovies. And Foodies head over to Lucques (8474 Melrose Avenue, 323/655-6277, www.lucques.com) with its ever changing menu of Cal-Mediterranean fare.
2 p.m. - Get some pre-award pampering at Paint Shop Beverly Hills (319½ S. Robertson Boulevard, 310/652-5563, paintshopbeverlyhills.com) or head to the Argyle Salon & Spa (8358 Sunset Boulevard, 310/623-9000, www.argylela.com) for the Saddlerock Vineyards Somage, an 80-minute massage that includes a bottle of wine.
5pm - Finally, they're here. The Oscars! Head back to the Roosevelt Hotel and into the lobby or up to your room where you can catch a bird's eye view. Only Academy members or invitees get into the event, but each year the Academy gives away tickets for the grandstands lining the red carpet. For more details, check out AMPAS web site, www.oscars.org.
Editing by Leslie Gevirtz