CityWalk: A Free Taste of Universal

UNIVERSAL CITY -- Entertainment breaks out quickly here.

Even before visitors set foot in Universal Studios Hollywood, there is the Universal CityWalk.

Accessible without paying an entrance fee to the theme park, the adjacent street of that name is a minivacation in its own right.

Jugglers, magicians, comics, musicians line the walkway (no automobiles are allowed) outside an 18-screen cinema and Universal Amphitheater, a facility that attracts the world's finest performers.

Immaculate fast-food counters and trendy coffeeshops compete for business with first-rate, full-service restaurants such as Victoria Station's Merry Olde England.

The street's stores offer a variety of products, including fine clothing, novelty items like Universal Studios Hollywood T-shirts and caps, as well as books and fine crafts.

The CityWalk is within easy reach of Universal City's Sheraton and Hilton hotels and, of course, Universal Studios Hollywood.

It has become an integral part of a visit to the movie-themed park, an aperitif before -- or dessert after -- a main course that includes the likes of Jurassic Park: The Ride, Water World, King Kong, Backdraft and the E.T. Adventure.

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