The Essential ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’ Travel Guide

Sony Pictures/Uproxx

It’s almost impossible to watch Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood and not be charmed by the way Quentin Tarantino brings 1960s Los Angeles to life. As a person who grew up in LA, I know the busy, tangled arteries of Hollywood all too well, but Tarantino manages to make driving the through the neighborhood seemfun. That’s legitimately Oscar-worthy on its own.

Most of the iconic landmarks featured in OUaTiH are still standing in some form today — you could definitely make a whole day out of ticking every location off a list. Alas, a few spots aren’t open to the public, like the Playboy Mansion, which is usually used for filming purposes, charitable events, or civic functions, while others are out of reach, like the Melody Ranch, used as the main set for the Rick Dalton-starring western Lancer. In the interest of keeping you from visiting a random A-1 Supermarket, which looks cool but is just a run of the mill grocer, we picked the eight Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood that are actually worth your time and energy.

Cameron Nature Preserve — Puerco Canyon

3501 Puerto Canyon Rd. Malibu, CA

We see the stunning hillsides of the Cameron Nature Preserve while Rick Dalton blows away bad guys from the bed of a pick-up truck during his episode of the TV series The F.B.I. Donated by Director James Cameron, the Cameron Nature Preserve at Puerco Canyon is 703-acres of public parkland just of Pacific Coast Highway where visitors can experience views of one of California’s most beautiful coastlines.

What’s Nearby?

Anyone who lives in LA will tell you that driving to Malibu is a drag, so if you’ve made it out that far you might as well visit the beach at one of the several partially hidden access points. The people of Malibu go to great lengths to keep visitors away from the beach, but that land is 100% public, and once you’re on a beach in Malibu, you’ll see why they’re trying to keep it secret.

Clean, always sparsely populated, and peaceful, LA’s best beaches are in Malibu. Be sure to visit Lechuza.

Casa Vega

13301 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth share a drink at the San Fernando Valley-based Casa Vega, a family-owned neighborhood renowned Mexican restaurant that is open late every night. The Valley isn’t exactly known for world-changing Mexican food (Valley residents, come at me) but Casa Vega is pretty good and fairly cheap. The real draw — as Cliff and Rick seem to recognize — is the heavy-handed bartenders, making Casa Vega one of the best places for an after-party wind-down if you happen to be staying in the valley.

What’s Nearby?

Nothing, it’s in the Valley! Jokes aside, Universal Studios Hollywood is not far from Casa Vega, and if you’ve never been to Los Angeles or are charmed by all the old movie studios, the entire neighborhood is a living museum of generations gone by. Once you’re done driving past all the old but still running movie lots, like Warner Bros. Studios and Walt Disney, head to the Griffith Observatory for some sweeping views of the cityscape.

You could make a whole day out of just driving around the area if you’ve never been. The locals on the other hand only see traffic.

Corriganville Park

7001 Smith Rd. Simi Valley, CA 93063

The Corriganville Park in Simi Valley stands in for the Spahn Ranch, in a scene that is proving to be a lot of people’s favorite in the movie. At the time of Sharon Tate’s gruesome murder, Charles Manson and his followers were living at the Spahn Ranch, a plot of land that also acted as an old Western movie set.

Corriganville, located not far from the location of Spahn Ranch was also once home to an old west movie set, and was formerly known as the Corriganville Movie Ranch, a Western-themed amusement park before burning down in the 1970s.

What To Do Nearby

While there isn’t much at Corriganville Park in terms of attractions — though remnants of old movie sets and relics from the past can still be found on the grounds — it is located right between the Santa Susana Pass wildlife corridor and the Santa Susana Mountains and is home to several hiking trails and sweeping vistas from 50s-era Westerns.

Spend a day hiking the hills before heading back to Hollywood to grab a bite.

El Coyote

7312 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90036

El Coyote still stands today and is the actual restaurant where Sharon Tate had her last meal on August 8th, 1969. In fact, the film uses the booth the real-life actress sat in. Opened in 1931, El Coyote is one of LAs oldest Mexican Restaurants still in operation. They have a full bar and mix up a solid margarita, but the food, I’ll be honest, is a far cry from the best Mexican food in Los Angeles.

Still, the restaurant is dripping with old Hollywood nostalgia if that’s what you dig on. Considering you’re reading this list, we’re going to assume you love that kind of stuff.

What To Do Nearby

We hope you love to shop because El Coyote is located between both Melrose Ave (home to thrift and vintage stores, tattoo parlors, and streetwear retailers like BAIT) and The Grove (where you can find a Cheesecake Factory and a two-story Barnes and Noble). Basically, you need to ask yourself the following: Am I looking to shop mainstream? Hit the Grove, they also have one of the best Farmers Markets ever. Or am I looking to be edgy? Edgy is a state of mind man, but you could get a sick piercing, a tattoo, and a vintage leather jacket on Melrose for sure.

Musso & Frank Grill

6667 Hollywood Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90028

The Musso & Frank Grill is one of the first landmarks we visit in the film as Rick and Cliff meet with Rick’s agent Marvin Schwarz, played by the only person who could steal a scene opposite Leo and Brad — Al Pacino. The Musso & Frank Grill still stands to this day, 100 years after first opening in 1919, and has been passed down through three generations of ownership. It was one of the few locations in the film that didn’t need to be changed to match its late 60s iteration — Musso & Frank has just always looked this way.

This classic restaurant is still a favorite among many, thanks to their classic approach to cocktails — with seasoned bartenders that’ll shake up a martini (the real way, with gin) so good it’ll put every “mixologist” you’ve ever met to shame.

What To Order

Hungry? Here’s a pretty classic Musso and Frank order: Dry Martini, Shrimp Cocktail, Bone-in Ribeye with Musso & Frank Streak Sauce, side of Potatoes Au Gratin, Musso & Frank Torten for dessert. Thank us later.

New Beverly Cinema

7165 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90036

The building that houses the New Beverly Cinema has been owned by Quentin Tarantino since 2007 when the director bought the property to save it from being demolished for redevelopment. Built in the 1920s, the New Beverly has been fully renovated and now operates under Tarantino’s own programming which consists exclusively of 35mm and 16mm prints shown as double features, sometimes including movies from Taratino’s own private collection. Right now the theater is showing Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on 35mm film, with special props and a pre-show extended cut of the Dalton-starring Bounty Law. This is the ultimate way to view Tarantino’s ninth film

What’s Nearby?

View this post on Instagram

Pink's Hotdogs 2

A post shared by Damian & Lisa Chan (@mrandmrszhangadventures) on

The New Beverly Cinema is just up the street from El Coyote so this is another two-for one location that you can hit up. New Beverly is also very near Pink’s Hot Dogs, an iconic Los Angeles hot dog spot.

Pacific Cinerama Dome

6360 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028

The Cinerama Dome is one of Once Upon a Time In Hollywood’s easiest landmarks to spot thanks to its giant roof. While we don’t spend any time at the Cinerama Dome during the movie, Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth pass it by in one of the movie’s many driving scenes. When we see it, the theater is playing Krakatoa, East of Java, a disaster film starring Maximillian Schell that was re-released in the 1970s as Volcano.

The Cinerama Dome still stands to this day and is now part of the Arclight Cinemas. What are they showing in the dome now? A 70mm print of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

What’s Nearby?

If you’ve never been to West Hollywood, take a drive down Sunset Boulevard — there are scores of landmarks that didn’t make the film and are still standing today. Otherwise, head to Amoeba Records across the street and pick up everything from new and used vinyl to CDs and cassettes. Amoeba is the largest and best independent record store in the entire state and an iconic location in its own right.

Stan’s Donuts

10948 Weyburn Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90024

Stan’s Donuts has been a Westwood staple since its opening in 1963. It’s fed the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Steve McQueen, and Ali McGraw and it still has a considerable amount of the original decor intact. Speaking to Afar magazine, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s production designer Barbara Ling says when shop’s founder Stan Berman saw the renovations the crew made he began to cry saying, “Oh, my God. It’s like the day I opened it.” In terms of quality, Stan’s serves a near-perfect donut, hands-down one of the best in LA.

What’s Nearby?

Hitting up Stan’s will allow you to check out two Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood locations in one since its located right across from the Fox Village and Regency Bruin Theaters in Westwood, where Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate catches the Dean Martin spy comedy The Wrecking Crew, which also stars Sharon Tate. While you won’t be able to catch The Wrecking Crew at the Fox, you can catch Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, and experience what it’s like to watch a movie in a theater that features the very movie theater you just walked into. A singular LA experience.