Four major studios spread around town sell daily tours for visitors. On all but Universal Studios' tours, you will usually be able to go onto the set of a show that is currently in production. For film buffs, our favorites are the last two.
Universal Studios in Universal City offers daily 1-hour tram tours of its studio lot as part of the general admission price to the amusement park, which is open from 9am to 7pm in the summer and from 10am to 6pm in the winter. Bonus: You'll get to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as part of your ticket. www.universalstudioshollywood.com
Sony Pictures in Culver City also does tours, but its lot has gone through several owners, so you'll see little of the old MGM days an more about the current Sony franchises. Book via www.sonypicturesstudiostours.com.
The last two have the most intact history on display. Paramount in Hollywood does tours that combine walking with golf cart transportation. Book via Paramount Studio Tour (www.paramountstudiotour.com).
Warner Bros. in Burbank has tours of its backlot and soundstages conducted on small-group golf carts. The entire experience takes three hours and should be pre-booked via www.wbstudiotour.com.
The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank does not regularly open to the public, but Adventures By Disney often includes tours into expensive 5-day vacation packages that also include time at Disneyland Resort.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.