From 1927 to 1997 Paramount Ranch was home to many a bejeweled prostitute, strong silent cowboy, slick, dirty gambler and sigh, the one and only Gary Cooper. Thousands and thousands of hours of film and television were filmed there, most recently that old person perennial favorite," Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman ". The ranch is now a national park nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains. The original Main Street set is still intact and there are great hiking trails and plenty of open space for running and picnics. It is the perfect place to spend an afternoon with the kiddos. I cannot think of a cooler, cheaper place to take young children who are visiting Hollywood---it combines our particular industry with nature and quiet and makes the imagination (even in adults) run absolutely wild. I kept waiting for someone at the train depot... but you may have a more active, less melancholy disposition.
Directions: Take the 101-N for around 27 miles and take Kanan Road exit, left on Cornell and veer to the right. South 2.5 miles, entrance is on the right.
PS: Speaking of melancholy disposition, my fave game as a child was playing "civil war widow-refugee." I would put on some petticoats we found in my uncle's attic, hide under the dining room table and try and get my porcelain baby doll to go to sleep...