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Guide To The Hollywood Bowl

610 Hollywood-Bowl-Panorama-2013
(Credit: Courtesy of Los Angeles Philharmonic Association)

One of the nation's premiere outdoor venues, the Hollywood Bowl is the largest outdoor amphitheater in the United States. Seasonal home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the venue also showcases live concerts, family events, and specialty weekends. As you get ready to enjoy your evening under the stars, explore the details of the Bowl with this handy guide to your visit; from parking, to tickets, and dining, here's our guide to the Hollywood Bowl.

The Hollywood Bowl
2301 Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90068
(323) 850-2000

How To Get There
Hollywood Bowl Shuttle
(Credit: Barbie B./Yelp)

Getting to the Hollywood Bowl can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you plan on driving directly. Located just off the 101 Freeway in Hollywood on Highland, traffic and parking, especially in the evening when the 101 and its surrounding streets is jammed with traffic. Plan on plenty of extra time to arrive to the Bowl, accounting for heavy traffic, accidents, and delays.

Park & Ride
Park and Ride options are available throughout the Los Angeles Metro area. When purchased in advance, for just $7, your reservations are guaranteed and you will receive priority boarding (provided you arrive at least 10 minutes before your scheduled bus. Advance tickets must be purchased at least 24 hours in advance and must be printed (mobile devices cannot replace a paper ticket!) Day of the event tickets must be purchased with cash in exact change ($12), and patrons should arrive early to catch the bus. Fourteen park and ride lots exist across the valley including locations in Sherman Oaks, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Torrance, Rowland Heights, and Arcadia.

Bowl Shuttle
As an alternative to the Park and Ride locations, consider taking the Bowl Shuttle to and from your event. Park your car at one of four nearby locations and take the shuttle ($6 round trip) while everyone else is still waiting for their stacked car to clear the lot. Specifics vary per parking lot, so always check the website before your event. Shuttles begin 2 ½ hours before events, running every 5-20 minutes, and run up until start times. Parking fees (in addition to the shuttle fee) are required at the Hollywood & Highland entertainment complex. Tickets can be purchased along with your Bowl tickets via Ticketmaster or phone, up until 2 weeks prior to your event. On the day of the event, cash payments in exact change, must be offered.

If you're planning on getting to the game by car, there are a variety of different ways to get to the stadium. Depending on where you're coming from, these directions will help you get there fast so you can make it just in time to enjoy a Dodger Dog for the first pitch!

The Metro is a great option for patrons wishing to utilize public transportation. Bus Number 156 Local (from San Fernando Valley or L.A.) and Number 222 Local (from West Hills, Burbank, and Hollywood) offer the most direct routes.

  • From The Westside - Take the 10 East Freeway. Merge onto the 110 North toward Pasadena, and take the exit 101 toward Ventura/I5 / Interstate 10 East/California 60 East. Merge onto the 101 North towards Hollywood. Take exit 9b for the Hollywood Bowl. Turn right onto Odin St. Continue onto Odin St, and turn right onto Highland ave. Turn left toward Hollywood Bowl Road. Continue straight onto Hollywood Bowl Road.
  • From The South Bay - Take the 405 Freeway North (towards Santa Monica), and merge onto the 105 Freeway East (towards Norwalk). From there, merge onto the 110 Freeway North (towards Los Angeles) and take the Dodger Stadium Exit. Continue straight and enter the Stadium through the Downtown Gate.
  • From Hollywood - Take Highland Ave north. Turn left toward Hollywood Bowl Road. Continue straight onto Hollywood Bowl Road. The destination is on your left.
  • From Pasadena - Take the 110 Freeway South. Take the exit onto US-101 North. Take exit 9B toward Hollywood Bowl. Turn right onto Odin St. Continue onto Odin St. Turn right onto Highland Ave. Turn left toward Hollywood Bowl Road.
  • From Downtown LA - Get on the 110 Freeway North. Take exit 9B toward Hollywood Bowl. Turn right onto Odin St. Continue onto Odin St. Turn right onto Highland Ave. Turn left toward Hollywood Bowl Road.
  • From Orange County / San Gabriel Valley or San Diego - Take the 5 Freeway North toward Santa Ana. Take exit 113C to merge onto CA-91 W/State Hwy 91 W. Take exit 17B to merge onto 605North. Take exit 9B to merge onto 105 West. Take the exit toward Interstate 710 S/Interstate 710 N/Long Beach/Pasadena. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for I-710 N/Pasadena and merge onto I-710 N. Take exit 18A on the left to merge onto I-5 N/Santa Ana Fwy toward Los Angeles. Keep left at the fork to continue on US-101 N, follow signs for Los Angeles N/Civic Center. Take exit 9B toward Hollywood Bowl.Turn right onto Odin St. Continue onto Odin St. Turn right onto Highland Ave. Turn left toward Hollywood Bowl Road.
  • From LAX Airport - Take 405 North. Take exit onto US 101 toward LA. Keep right at the fork to stay on US-101 S, follow signs for Hollywood Fwy/Los Angeles. Take exit 9C toward Highland Ave/Hollywood Bowl. Merge onto Cahuenga Blvd W. Continue onto Highland Ave. Turn right onto Hollywood Bowl Rd.

Parking at the Bowl is not advised, although a very limited amount of spots are available. Four small, on-site parking lots service the Bowl, and early arrival is necessary to snag a spot. Be advised that the majority of the parking is stacked, tiered parking; no early exits are allowed or possible, and post-event departures require a lot of patience. LA Phil events parking options range from $18-$50, with advance purchase options available. Lease event parking prices are $23-$50, parking is available for purchase on the day of the event only. Lots can be found at the entrance to the Bowl, as well as just east across the street from the venue.

Food Offerings At The Bowl
patina wine bar
(Credit: Patina Restaurant Group)

Pre-concert dinners at the Hollywood Bowl have become a Los Angeles tradition. Picnickers arrive early with their own baskets full of picnic fare and beverages. Policies vary on food items brought into the Bowl, so be sure to check your event's food and beverage regulations for each show. For LA Phil sponsored events, food and beverages, including wine and beer (while excluding large coolers and kegs) are allowed into the Bowl's grounds. For most lease shows and concerts, food and beverages are not allowed into the ticketed area and patrons must picnic in the park outside.

Patina Restaurant Group, led by chef and founder Joachim Splichal, manage the catering and dining at the Hollywood Bowl. From fine dining to grab-and-go, there is an onsite dining option for nearly everyone. The Wine Bar, the newest offering at the Bowl, offers luxury al fresco dining, including an extensive wine and craft beer list, above the main entrance to the boxed seats. At the Rooftop Grill and Patina at the Pool, you can enjoy full sit-down service pre-concert. Reservations are recommended for both. Full meals to-go are available at Staccato, making the perfect portable meal for taking to your seat. Asian-inspired fare is available at Market West, as well as other great picnic selections, while the main Market Café gourmet marketplace offers a wide selection of picnic additions and full meals including artisan cheeses, hot and cold entrees, and gourmet sandwiches. In addition to these dining opportunities, a variety of Concessions and Street Food, such as hot dogs, popcorn, beer, and wine, are available at concession stands around the Bowl.

If you are lucky enough to hold tickets to a boxed seat, you can enjoy full service meals right from your seat. Order your meals (including complete picnic baskets), appetizers, and beverages by 4pm the day before your concert, and they will be delivered to your seats at the beginning of the show.

Where To Go Before The Game
Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge
(credit: L.A. LIVE)

Lucky Strike
Hollywood & Highland
6801 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 467-7776

Want to get some bowling in, or just sit back, grab a drink and some food before the show? Lucky Strike's Hollywood location literally lies just down the street from the Bowl and if you have some time before the show, it's a great option for a pre-show activity.

hollywood and highland ext
(credit: H&H)

Hollywood Highland
6801 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 817-0200

With world-class shopping, dining, views of the Hollywood sign and more, The Hollywood & Highland complex is just a short walk down the street from the legendary Hollywood Bowl. This entertainment landmark for tourists and locals alike, is a great place to grab some food from casual or fine-dining options like CPK, Chado Tea Room, Cabo Wabo Cantina, Hard Rock Cafe, and others. Or, get a little shopping in from top shops like Hot Topic, Fossil, Lucky Brand Jeans, Oakley, PINK, and many others.

Hollywood-Bowl-Shell-2013 (1)
(Credit: Courtesy of Los Angeles Philharmonic Association)

The Hollywood Bowl offers three types of seating for a range of price points, from economy on up. Box seats, part of the Garden seating area located closest to the stage, consist of canvas-covered collapsible chairs in groupings of 4-6, surrounded by wooden partitions. The Terrace level's SuperSeats, set in the center of the audience section, directly behind the Garden section, feature stadium-style, molded, plastic seats with built in cup-holders. The majority of the seats in the bowl, in sections E through X2, are Bench Seats that start right next to the Terrace boxes and go all the way to the back of the theater. Cushions can be brought in for these bench style seats, or you can rent a super-padded cushion from the ushers for only $1. Some shows even feature the "pool" which is directly in front of all seating areas and is standing room only. Die hard fans seek these out more than anyone.

Getting Tickets
(Credit: Courtesy of Los Angeles Philharmonic Association)

Tickets to Hollywood Bowl events range from $1 to hundreds of dollars, depending on the event. There are quite a few ways to get tickets to the bowl. If you plan on attending more than one performance in any given season, consider purchasing a subscription package (offered for 3-10 concerts per year). Subscribers get first choice of additional programs, additional discounts and the ability to exchange tickets for different events. After subscriptions are sold, guests can purchase five or more concerts to receive an additional concert for free.
Single tickets are also available for individual shows. Patrons can purchase tickets in person at the Box Office, online at the Hollywood Bowl website, through Ticketmaster and their outlets, or by phone. Group tickets are also available. Although not official representatives of Hollywood Bowl tickets, guests can often find tickets on official ticket resale websites like StubHub, although there may be a significant markup for some events. Be wary of purchasing tickets on Craigslist, Ebay, or other non-official ticket sites, as many fraudulent tickets are often sold.
Seniors can take advantage of $10 Senior Rush Tickets available on select Tuesday and Thursday concerts. With photo ID, seniors may fill empty seats for just $10 on these select days; call (323), 850-2000 for more information.

Katie Bodell is the Blog Editor for Trekaroo, the largest family travel website in the U.S. She is also a freelance writer, a happy wife to her best friend, and a mom to three sweet California girls. See more on: Trekaroo | CheapOair | Google+ | Twitter.
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