Los Angeles isn’t exactly known for its frugal-esq qualities. If you’re visiting the city as a tourist, the cost of exploring the sites and sounds can quickly start adding up.
Hollywood bus tour to see homes of the stars? Most start at about $55 per adult; $45 per child. Studio tour to see the sets of your favorite t.v. shows? Those will set you back about $60 per adult and $55 per child. Plus, many studios don’t permit younger children (age 8 or younger) on the tours at all.
If you’re a family with young children visiting Los Angeles, or just a visitor who is a fan of saving some cash, a great alternative to these pricy options is to hunt down filming locations from your favorite movies or television shows.
Because so much filming has taken place in Los Angeles over the decades, the city is full of recognizable locations, almost all of which you can visit for absolutely free.
When my parents came into town from Charlotte, North Carolina, I wanted to take them to see a filming location that I knew my mom would LOVE: The Brady Bunch House.
Here’s how I made it happen:
1. Find the Address
Using a quick Google search, I was able to locate the address of the house that was used for the exterior shots of the classic television series, The Brady Bunch.
The house is located at:
11222 Dilling Street, North Hollywood CA 91602
This particular location is a great spot to check out if you’re staying in the Burbank or North Hollywood area.
2. Pull the Address Up On A Map
Quickly pulling the address up on a map app is key to making this a low-stress outing. You’ll be able to instantly see how far away the place is and if a visit is realistic schedule-wise. If you’re doing some pre-planning before your visit, check out the distance from the hotel you’re staying at to make sure you’re not driving 50 miles away. (That Los Angeles traffic is no joke, so try to stay in your neighborhood if you can, or travel midday during the week when traffic is a little lighter.)
You can also check out the address in “Street View” on GoogleMaps to make sure it seems like a place that you’ll feel comfortable visiting.
Los Angeles is an interesting place in that you can get a completely different vibe depending on which block you’re on. Some filming locations may be better suiting for an in-your-car viewing, while others make great spots to pop out of your car and take some photos.
Spoiler alert: The Brady Bunch House is a great place to pop out of your car and take some photos. Even with young kids!! Proof below. 🙂
It’s located in a lovely little neighborhood with plenty of (free!) street parking (just make sure you keep an eye on those parking signs just in case).
3. Visit the Location—And Use Proper Etiquette!
When you arrive to any filming location, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Real People Live Here
Filming locations that are houses are homes to real people. Not celebrities. Not cast members. Just average people who happen to own and operate out of a little piece of Hollywood history.
Whenever you’re exploring a filming location, always be respectful of both the occupants of the home, and the neighbors who live nearby.
Calm voices. No screaming. No matter how exciting seeing a filming location can be—try to keep your cool.
And 100%, do not trespass on the property itself (the yard, the porch, the driveway, etc.). Stay on the sidewalk.
Exterior Shots Only
Almost every recognizable filming location in Los Angeles was used for exterior shots only.
This means that if you were to look inside the house from The Brady Bunch, it would look absolutely nothing like it did in the show. The interior to the house was all shot in a studio on a set that no longer exists.
Don’t knock on the doors. Don’t try to peek into the windows. It’s not respectful to the occupants, and wouldn’t be worth your time, anyway.
Be Timely With Your Visit
Definitely take the time to ooh and ahh at the location, and capture a few fun photos in front of it—that’s why you’re there!
But also be mindful that, because these homes are well-known locations, they probably get a lot of visitors. After snapping the pictures that are sure to make all of your Facebook friends jealous, head on to another activity. No need to spend extended time hanging out.
Have fun exploring! We sure did. 🙂