I am in the very fortunate position of having been to both Patrick Swayze and Britney Spears’ houses.

And Hugh Hefner’s infamous playboy mansion, come to mention it. Unfortunately, I haven’t actually been invited inside any of these palatial homes, but instead hopped on one of the many guided bus tours that take visitors to LA around the homes of the Hollywood elite in Beverley Hills.

Admittedly it did feel a bit touristy at first, but you can’t help but enjoy yourself and marvel in the sheer decadence of it all.

The same bus tour also took us to Rodeo Drive, where I happily indulged in a bit of window-shopping. I did venture into Jimmy Choos with great anticipation, but as nothing had prices on (as you would expect) I wasn’t about to start asking.

Fellow Pretty Woman fans were as excited as I was when we spotted the hotel where she and Richard Gere stayed as well as THAT shop where she was famously refused service in the film.

In what was starting to feel like a very surreal day indeed, we continued on to Hollywood and the Walk of Fame. The star-filled pavements were much longer than I expected, although the novelty didn’t wear off at all. I trundled up and down for ages, taking photo on photo of the various stars, but still didn’t get round them all.

This is also the place to see the legendary Mann’s Chinese Theatre, the most famous movie theatre in the world, and, outside, the legendary footprints, handprints and autographs of the stars immortalised in cement.

The whole of the next day was dedicated to Universal Studios. And believe me when I say you don’t need kids to justify a trip here – we had an absolute ball.

While I posed with Dracula for photos, hubby wandered off with Marilyn Monroe before bumping into Shrek and the legend that is Spongebob Squarepants. On a tour of the studios themselves, we spotted the Scooby Do van, Jaws (himself), the original Psycho Motel and a genuine Norman Bates sighting and even got a glimpse of the set of Desperate Housewives.

The whole place is filled with famous characters and cartoons wandering around and we quickly reverted to childhood when we spotted the Simpson family and rushed to shake hands with them – I even got a kiss from Homer!

For a few extra dollars, you can also get some cool queue-jumping passes, which are well worth it if you’re there in peak season.

I can’t imagine ever growing tired of waking up in the morning to blue sky and sunshine, although some LA locals will tell you that it all becomes a little predictable. I said I could probably live with that kind of predictable.

Next stop was Venice Beach, the second most popular California tourist destination after Disneyland, and just a short walk away from our hotel, the lovely Marina del rey Marriott.

We walked right along the famous bohemian boardwalk, with its eclectic mix of stalls, wannabe musicians, restaurants and cafes to Santa Monica Boulevard, while the many rollerbladers and cyclists went flying past (there’s no age limit on rollerblading by the way, I saw a suntanned chap on skates who must have been at least 80).

Lunch was on Santa Monica Pier at Bubba Gump, the restaurant named after Forrest Gump’s shrimping company that featured in the film.

There’s plenty to do in the evenings in Los Angeles, but because our days were so jam-packed that we didn’t venture further than the hotel bar – Glow – a contemporary open-air lounge featuring fire pits, mini waterfalls and radiating amber-hued lamps; and a wonderful escape from the frenetic pace of the city.

In complete contrast on the last day, we donned our cultural caps for a visit to the Getty Center, a museum housing one of the world’s most spectacular collections of art, photography and sculptures. Admission is free and among the works on display is the painting Irises by Vincent van Gogh and Monet’s Haystacks. It would be quite easy to spend an entire day here.

But, after four action-packed days, it was time to wave California goodbye and fly back to a rather chilly UK.

With its sun-soaked Pacific coastline, Los Angeles is the perfect holiday destination for its beaches alone. But with all of its other attractions thrown into the mix, you’ll probably need another holiday when you get back