I knew this would happen- I talked up my L.A./Disneyland trip so much, and then I forgot to post about it (well, besides one blog on Universal Studios Hollywood). In this post, however, I want to give you, my lovely readers, a few tips on how to get a good view of the Hollywood Sign if you’re visiting L.A.
Last time I went to L.A. in 2015, I didn’t get to see the Hollywood Sign at all. I thought it would be right there waiting for me as I got out of LAX (just like in the Miley Cyrus song). I think I caught a far-off glimpse of it while we were driving north on the 101 one day, but my husband and I never actually got close enough to take good pictures.
Well, luckily, that all changed during our summer 2017 trip. Below, you’ll find the two places I recommend the most for Hollywood Sign glory.
Lake Hollywood Park
This was my favorite spot to take good, close-up pictures of the Hollywood Sign without going on a hike. It’s a little difficult to get to, as you must drive through a lot of uphill, winding roads through residential streets- however, the view at the top is incredible.
My husband was stressed out driving our rental car here. We’re used to flat, Florida roads, and we don’t go uphill very often. Plus, we were in celebrity territory- nice cars and fancy houses were everywhere. I was almost expecting a Kardashian to pop out and tell us to get off her lawn.
We parked on the side of the hill (which was free), and got out right in front of the “Lake Hollywood Park” sign. There are a lot of grassy fields and trails located here, as well as a small playground and picnic benches. There were a few people out walking their dogs yet, surprisingly, it didn’t seem packed with tourists. The park was rather quiet, and there were still lots of nice families peacefully taking in the scenery and who nicely offered to take some pictures for us.
There are a few hills you can walk up to get closer to the sign- just be careful to stay on the path. If you do bring your dog, make sure it’s leashed (I’ve heard park rangers can get you), and be careful driving in and out of the park. If possible, wear hiking boots/sneakers and drink plenty of water to enjoy your experience. Keep in mind, however, that I did not see any restrooms while I was there.
If you’ve seen any pictures or movies centered around L.A. (most recently, La La Land), then you’ll recognize the famous Griffith Observatory. This is also a great place to see the Hollywood Sign, but you can do so much more here.
Parking here is not free, but there is plenty of it. We ended up parking far away, and had to board a shuttle to get to the actual observatory (we parked near the Greek Theater, which was a cool way to check that site off our list). Once at the top, we wandered around the building and saw many trails leading in every direction- so, if you’re looking for a nice afternoon hike, this is the place!
The Observatory was very crowded, but we managed to get tickets to a planetarium showing and spent some time wandering the inside of the building, which has a lot of neat exhibits on space and science. They also have a café at the top, so we could hydrate ourselves with some water while enjoying the incredible scenery.
I really wanted to reenact the La La Land dance scene, but alas, it was just too crowded (and I wasn’t in a dress). So, we took in all the sights, peeked through all the telescopes surrounding the edges, and made our way into the Griffith Theater when it was our turn to see the show. This was the best planetarium show I had ever seen- it was narrated by a woman with a very soothing voice, and the projections on the domed screen were so beautiful. I could have fallen asleep right there, but not because I was bored- just because I felt so calm.
Griffith Observatory is closed on Mondays, so keep that in mind if you’re visiting. There are also plenty of places to picnic here, and you could easily spend a whole day at the rest of Griffith Park, if you were so inclined. The only downside, for us, was the money we spent on parking, and the wait for the shuttle to get back to our car.
I highly recommend visiting both places if the Hollywood Sign is on your L.A. “must-see” list. Also, if there is any location I didn’t mention, let me know! We love L.A., and I am sure we will be back very soon.
Stay tuned for posts about other sites in L.A., such as the Santa Monica Pier and the “Urban Lights” exhibit at LACMA!
Hugs and Fishes,