LOS ANGELES- Each year, Angelenos wait eagerly for Los Angeles Magazine's Best of L.
A. issue, packed to bursting with terrific small businesses and attractions, many of them lesser known. This year, 7 Days in L.A., the independent guided tour consortium, is proud to be featured twice: member Jonathan Kaplan of VINTAGE VENICE REEL TO REAL was honored as proprietor the Best Walking Tour of 2012. And members Richard Schave and Kim Cooper of ESOTOURIC were honored for their recently launched LAVA SALON AT MUSSO AND FRANK, named Best Literary Salon of 2012. For more info on the LAVA Salon at Musso & Frank, visit http://www.lavatransforms.org/mussosalon4 ABOUT VINTAGE VENICE REEL TO REAL Vintage Venice Reel to Real owner and tour guide Jonathan Kaplan is proud to add this honor from Los Angeles Magazine to his January 2012 designation as one of CBS Los Angeles's eight âTop Unique Tours in L.A.â VIDEO LINKhttp://losangeles.cbslocal.com/top-lists/top-unique-tours-in-la/ ) Since December, 2011, Mr. Kaplan has been making Venice Beach's rich past come to life by taking guests to the sites of long-gone canals, roller coasters, piers, movie stars and rock stars, revealing each with on-the-spot film clips and photos dating back to 1910. The film clips, featuring everyone from Charlie Chaplin to Jim Morrison and from Bill Cosby to Sylvester Stallone, are shown on an iPad, while photos of generations of everyday Venetians and celebrities are shown on glossy, high-quality 8 ½ x 11 prints. While most other tours cover Ocean Front Walkâand perhaps a drive through the Venice CanalsâVintage Venice Reel to Real Tours is the only guided tour that features off-the-beaten-path Venice neighborhoods, like the walk streets with their century-old mansions, the historic Abbot Kinney Canal District, where water once flowed instead of asphalt, and the eclectic arts and shopping district Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Of course the tour also covers the meat and potatoes, including Ocean Front Walk, the Basketball Courts, Muscle Beach, the Graffiti Pit and the Skate Park, as well as the Venice Canals. But Vintage Venice Reel to Real Tours also shows what was there before, as well as what lies beneath, like Venice's fabled underground tunnels. Tours go out seven days a week, with a minimum of two guests and a maximum of eight, guaranteeing an intimate, personalized experience. Tours range from two hours ($25.00 per guest) to three hours ($40.00 per guest) to four hours ($50.00 per guest). Jonathan Kaplan started his career as a TV writer, his work including âNYPD Blueâ and âJAG,â so he knows the importance of telling an entertaining story with a beginning, middle and end. He also has experience designing and guiding tours for the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation and docenting for the Los Angeles Conservancy. His love of Venice and intimate knowledge of all its hidden treasures come from living there since January 1, 1995. In fact his apartment is on the tour, having been featured in 1998's âAmerican History Xâ and 1921's âThe High Signâ with Buster Keaton. This summer, numerous 7 Days in L.A. members are offering special discounts for visitors to the independent tour guide consortium website. Offers include a 25% discount on Vintage Venice Reel to Real Tours weekend âBasics + Canalsâ tours. The offer id good through 9/21/2012. To redeem, just mention 7 Days in LA. For more discounts, see http://www.7daysinla.com/summerdeals ABOUT 7 DAYS IN L.A.Why 7 Days in L.A? Because this city is too big and too complicated to understand without a native guide, and because you're smart enough to know that a one-size-fits-all experience is the wrong size for you. 7 Days in L.A. isn't a tour operator, but a consortium of the region's best independent tour operators. Whatever your interest-from architecture to true crime, film locations to graveyards, gay history to iconic L.A. literature-you'll find the perfect excursion on the 7 Days in L.A. community calendar, and all the information needed to book a high quality tour to suit any budget. Sign up for the weekly newsletter to receive coming event announcements and special offers, exclusively for 7 Days in L.A. subscribers. Like the website says, âGive us few hours, or your whole week, and we'll change the way you think about Los Angeles forever.â 7 Days in L.A. is the brain child of Kim Cooper and Richard Schave, the husband and wife behind Esotouric bus adventures, the cultural tourism company known for eclectic offerings like âThe Real Black Dahlia,â âPasadena Confidentialâ and âCharles Bukowski's L.A.â Because Esotouric only offers tours on weekends, Kim and Richard regularly recommend select L.A. tour companies to customers inquiring about weekday excursions or companies on a similar wavelengthâand these folks often return the courtesy. 7 Days in L.A. is a real world extension of that spirit of cooperation and mutual support that makes L.A.'s independent tour guide community so special. Participating tour companies and solo guides include: Architecture Tours L.A., Crimebo the Clown, Dearly Departed Tours, The Dorothy Parker Society, Esotouric Bus Adventures, Felix in Hollywood Tours, Hollywood Forever Cemetery Tour, L.A. Active Adventures, L.A. Double Decker, L.A. Gang Tours, L.A. Woman Tours, Out & About â Hollywood's 1st & Only Gay Bus Tour, Santa Monica Venice ToursâŠ Now and Then, Southwest Adventures, Take My Mother*Please (*or any other VIP), Terry Bolo â The Hollywood Gal, TOURific Escapes and Vintage Venice Reel to Real Tours. 7 Days in L.A. is something new in the competitive world of tourism: the first consortium of independent tour companies and solo guides who actually want you to check out the other guy or gal's tour. Since the summer 2011 launch, the one-stop website calendar featuring the most interesting guided bus, car, hike, camping and walking tours in Los Angeles has made America's second largest city a lot easier to navigateâand a lot friendlier. You'll find the 7 Days in L.A. online calendar packed with a wide array of urban and natural tour options, with Saturday listings regularly exceeding ten different tours to choose from, spanning the city from the beach to the foothills to the urban core, even out to Joshua Tree and Death Valley, with something to attract all types of tourists or curious natives. For more info on 7 Days In L.A., visit http://www.7DaysinLA.com The creation of 7 Days in L.A. represents a landmark moment in the history of L.A tourism, and the participating guides each have incredible stories to tell about how they got here and what comes next. All participating tour guides are available for interviews, and journalists on assignment can often be accommodated on their tours. Contact Kim at amscrayATgmailDOTcom, 323-223-2767. VINTAGE VENICE REEL TO REAL INFOJournalists wishing to experience the Best Walking Tour of 2012 can contact Jonathan Kaplan at vintagevenicetoursATgmailDOTcom, 424-999-8687. Website: http://vintagevenicetours.comFacebook: http://www.facebook.com/vintagevenicetoursTour Reel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJerk6m9yfo&feature=g-upl