As the Hollywood Sign comes into view, make sure you wave hello to Selena Gomez and Natalie Portman. Both stars have been known to frequent the walking trails through the thick scrub of the Santa Monica Mountains. 

Perhaps a spot of shopping is more your style? Keep an eye out for Mark Wahlberg as you enter the huge retail and entertainment complex, The Grove.

For a spot of family fun on your Los Angeles holiday, try your luck at stargazing. As you’ve probably realised, we don’t mean night-time galaxies and telescopes, although you will feel sky-high after sighting your favourite actor, musician or pop culture icons. Teens especially will have a ball brushing shoulders with A-Listers, so check out the best places to encounter your favourite celebrities as a family.

Look out in Los Angeles International Airport

So you’ve hopped off the plane at LAX with your dreams and your cardigans – don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for jet-setting VIPs. Many will stick to the lounges, but you might be lucky to catch a glimpse in departure gates.

Shop ‘til you drop

Shopping centres and entertainment venues like The Grove are a good place to start. Luxury shopping strip Rodeo Drive is also worth a visit, even for a window-shopping excursion.

Grab a bite to eat

Craig’s is a West Hollywood eatery popular with George Clooney and Mariah Carey. The Ivy and Gracias Madre are also hot spots for hungry celebrities, as is the ritzy Sunset Marquis Hotel, the home away from home for many a rock and roll star.

Catch a game

Located in downtown LA, the Staples Center is the premiere multi-purpose sporting venue of choice for stars wanting to catch a game. The arena hosts loads of professional sporting games each year including basketball and ice hockey, as well as live music events and the annual GRAMMY Awards. Front up for a LA Clippers or Lakers game and you might see famous talent on and off court.

Walk the walk

About once a month, a new star is unveiled in a ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a stretch lined with the names of important figures in showbiz. Even if you don’t see its namesake in person, it is worth grabbing a photo beside the star belonging to your celebrity idols.

Runyon Canyon is an awesome hiking trail with kids and a great way to shake off your jet lag – go for a stroll alongside Channing Tatum, Justin Bieber and sometimes celebrity dogs. Amanda Seyfried lives right next door, in fact you can spot many a celebrity house from the track.

Another famous stretch to traverse is the Sunset Strip, the hottest segment of film-famous Sunset Boulevard.

Take a tour

Sunset Ranch Hollywood is a good place to see household names in the flesh. You can take a guided tour that takes you through Griffith Park with views of the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory and downtown LA. Chris Pratt was spotted here not long ago training for a film.

Beach vibes

Venture out of the city to see where fame and fortune goes to relax. Familiar faces like Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth live in Malibu as does Cher, so check out beaches like Zuma Beach. In fact, Cyrus recently released a song in honour of the west LA city.

Close to home – here in Australia

You don’t have to fly across the seas to see the stars – Australia has some of its very own hangouts for celebrity spotting. Conventions like Comic Con crop up in Melbourne, Sydney, the Gold Coast and more, and movie premieres in capital cities also lift your chances of meeting local and international heroes. Check out the filming locations of Aussie TV classics, such as Palm Beach which doubles as Summer Bay on Home and Away.

Madame Tussauds is an awesome family opportunity to get up close and personal – and totally starstruck. The waxworks museum has amazing likenesses of famous personalities from all walks of life, making for an awesome photo op. There are branches all over America, Europe, Asia and Australia, including Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

Famous people visiting Australia will often eat in restaurants run by celebrity chef. When Kim and Kanye visited, they enjoyed Jamie’s Italian. Masterchef George Calombaris’ Gazi is another favourite. Nobu Restaurant, serving Japanese and Peruvian fusion cuisine and run by celebrity chef Nobuyuki Matsushisa, has restaurants in Honolulu, London, Tokyo and more, but also in Melbourne and Perth. In fine-dining hotspots like these, their celebrity head chefs might make an appearance. 

For celebrity stars of a different kind, read up about Australia’s Animal A-listers.

Discover more about Los Angeles right here, or read about why California’s Anaheim is so much more than Disney.