Husband and I spent one week divided between Hollywood and Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Easily got a shuttle from LA Airport to the Magic Castle Hotel, which we would thoroughly recommend. It is a small very friendly hotel about five minutes walking from Hollywood Boulevard. Rooms are a reasonable size, the shower was excellent, and a continental breakfast was included which you could eat poolside. But the best thing about the hotel was its closeness to the Boulevard area and its friendly atmosphere.
Good places to eat - try the California Pizza Kitchen, just by the stone casting couch in the Hollywood and Highland complex. Also good The Pig n Whistle and Mel's Diner - as in American Graffiti with a juke box playing 60s music. Food not brilliant here but good atmosphere. The Boulevard is great fun with various characters parading around - Elvis and Marilyn not to mention Chucky and Predator, and the stars in the pavement seem to go for miles. Had to try out Johnny Deppe's hands and feet outside the Chinese Theatre.
We did not have a car or go on any organised trips. Public transport is excellent you just need to know which bus number you need and which direction you are going in. Also the underground goes out to Universal. There are day passes for $3 which you can use on the trains or buses. Going on public transport is safe and gives you a view of the city that you would not see trapped in a car. People were really friendly.
Universal Studios - vital you get the front of the line passes. But the VIP tour is not really worth the money. Warner Bros. is much better if you are really interested in movie making as I am. Universal is purely for the fun factor and the rides. We just turned up at the Warner Bros studio and only had to wait an hour before getting on a tour. Did you know the swamp in Invasion is only the size of a duck pond - amazing! It is a working studio so there is a real risk of seeing stars, directors, etc. The day we were there Ray Harryhausen was signing books - a legend, and Clint Eastwood was directing his latest film. The route back to Hollywood on bus no. 2 took us along the whole of Sunset Boulevard and the Strip - looking a bit rundown. You need really to do both studios - Universal for the fun and rides and Warner for a real look at a working studio.
The Getty Centre is well worth a trip - incredible location and architecture and the views of LA are superb. Venice Beach, also reachable by bus from Hollywood, is definitely a bit tacky, but is worth the effort. Look out for an amazing book shop tucked away behind one of the larger walkway restaurants. Lot of homeless people here but they don't bother the tourists.
Ripley's Museum - a mix of funny and gross. There is a one as well in San Francisco.
I loved Hollywood, but then I teach film studies so maybe I was a bit biased. We got a shuttle from the hotel to the aiport and flew to San Francisco on an internal flight with Alaskan Airlines. Want to know more, then log into San Francisco!