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An Oscar statuette
Robert Couse-Baker/Flickr

FEBRUARY/MARCH

Academy Awards

Every February (or early March), film buffs, entertainment industry VIPS, celebrity-spotters, the press, and of course the paparazzi descend upon the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, for one of the world’s most star-studded affairs, the annual Academy Awards.

This exclusive red-carpet event may be reserved for of-the-moment celebrities and VIPs, but that doesn’t mean that adventurous travelers can’t get in on the excitement. Fans have been known to arrive outside the Dolby hours, or even days, in advance to stake out a prime viewing spot. Be aware that many streets are closed and there’s usually traffic gridlock on the day of the event. But summon enough patience to really get in the mix and it will likely be one of the most exciting and charged experiences of your trip.

A word for aspiring seat fillers: If Neil Patrick Harris’ drawing attention to them during the 2018 Oscars inspired you to find out how to be one, the unfortunate truth is that without connections, the chances of landing a spot are nil. Seat-filler duties are reserved for those with family members in the Academy and employees of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm that oversees the vote counting and vote distribution of the awards.

Other high-profile affairs certain to be brimming with celebrities—after-parties celebrating the awards—include Elton John’s annual multimillion-dollar fundraiser for the AIDS Foundation at the Pacific Design Center and the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in a custom-built space adjacent to the Wallis Annenberg Center and Beverly Hills City Hall. It doesn’t hurt to dream, right?