When talking to people when in Hollywood one of the most common questions we hear is “Where is the Sign?” This may seem a little odd as the Movies make it seem that the sign towers above Hollywood and is clearly visible from anywhere. This is unfortunately not the case and the buildings, trees, and even other hills obscure it. So where is the best place to view the Hollywood Sign?
Sunset from the Griffith Observatory
Here is our guide on how to view the Hollywood sign so you can get that perfect souvenir photo or Stunning selfie to turn all your friends and family green with envy. Our 5 best places to get the best view of the Hollywood Sign offer a number of different options to get up close and personal with the sign. But not too close as the Sign needs to be viewed from a distance to appreciate it properly. Up close it is just corrugated Steel.
The Map below shows all the locations listed including the ones we don’t really recommend (Red X) This should help planning routes to get to your chosen location.
5 – Mulholland Drive
If you are taking a Hollywood homes tour or any other type of tour that promises views of the Sign then this is the location you will be brought to. You can easily drive up yourself though to get exactly the same view. It is quite a distant view and any selfies will only show a very distant Sign. Overall the view of Hollywood, the valleys, and Downtown L.A. is fantastic and the drive is well worth it for the incredible view. But the actual sign is a little distant.
4 – Hollywood and Highland Centre Terrace
Actually a very poor and distant view of the sign. It makes the cut as it’s one for the Lazy or very time-pressed. It doesn’t actually require you to go anywhere. Assuming you are in Hollywood. The terrace provides the best view of the Sign from Hollywood Boulevard. It won’t be a close-up view and again selfies will show the sign badly but your friends and family at home will at least know you are in Hollywood. So if you are really unable to spend the time heading to one of our better locations this one will give you what you desire.
Head up North Highland Ave and turn left onto Johnny Grant Way. From there head back into The Hollywood Highland Center and you will see a tall open Stairwell that leads to the top terrace of the Center. From the top of this stairwell, you can look northward over Johnny Grant way and you should see the Sign. If not then you are witnessing one of L.A’s famous “smog” days!
3 – Griffith Observatory
Now we are getting to the good stuff. The view of the Sign from up at the Griffith Observatory is probably worth the drive by itself but on top of that, you get the observatory and the phenomenal view of the city. You can either drive up to the top or hike up through the canyon but once up at the top, you will be in awe. The view out across the Sprawling metropolis of L.A. is like no other and of to the north-west, the legendary Hollywood sign is in clear and close view. The balcony looking out to the north gives perfect views and you can take selfies Galore to send back home to show you are living the dream.
Take the time to Check out the observatory too while you are up here and truly drink in those unbelievable views out across L.A. Come just before sunset to see the sign in the light but hang around to check out the Cityscape at night. It is unforgettable!
2 – Innsdale Trail
This short trail runs right along the bottom of the hill that the Sign Sits upon and the trail offers some fantastic views of the sign. It narrowly falls into second place as it does require a walk. Not a long walk the whole round trip will only be around 1.2-3 Miles. But the views are not SO much better than you need to bother hiking in the hot sun. If you want to, It’s a very pleasant walk and you will certainly enjoy it. It’s just not necessary to see the Sign. Which leads us to our top pick…
1- Lake Hollywood Park
Or more specifically the park overlook. The best route to get here is to follow Lake Hollywood Drive, Exit 11b/11a off the 101. Drive-up Bahram Boulevard until you see Lake Hollywood on your right. Follow the road around until you hit Canyon Lake Drive. Head up the large uphill with the park on your left. There is parking on either side of this road. At the top is a grassy overlook with some of the best views of the sign in Los Angeles.
It is close enough to get a VERY clear picture but not too close to lose its magic. There are a few trees and rocks so you can mess around with different shots and angles. There will also be a whole load of people around to help take a Couple/Family photo. Just offer to take a photo of a friendly-looking couple.
Canyon Lake Drive – Park Here
You can also head down to the park or walk the Innsdale trail if you want some different angles or just a nice walk. There really is no need to go anywhere else for the best view.
Some common recommendations are actually very poor choices and you will not get a clear view or will cause unnecessary upset to locals. These places are best avoided. And really if the above suggestions are not enough your expectations of the Sign are probably greater than reality.
1 – Hike up to the Sign
Now, there is a big caveat to this one. Hiking up to the Sign is a pretty good hike. And the views from the top are fantastic. However, the View of the actual Sign is rubbish. The sign is best viewed from a distance not up close as it loses a lot of the “magic” It is really just white corrugated steel. Once up close all you get is the back of the sign from behind a high fence.
The only reason to hike up is for the hike itself and the view of Los Angeles. And then we prefer the hike and view from the Griffith Observatory.
2 – Mulholland Highway
Continue up past Lake Hollywood Park and the road becomes Mulholland Highway. Not to be confused with Mullohand Drive. This is often recommended as a great place to get a view of the sign and from Google Maps looks very promising. It is, however, a quiet residential neighborhood and the locals don’t take too kindly to hordes of visitors flooding their narrow winding roads with hire cars. The view is marginally better in places than Lakeland park overview, but not so much it’s worth upsetting the locals for. You will also find at busy periods the road is blocked off and guarded by police.
If you want to quietly and respectfully walk up the street to check it out that is usually considered acceptable. We find the view from the Park perfectly fine. It really isn’t worth going much further.
Have Your Say
Let us know if you have any questions below. Just drop us a comment. We would love to hear from you. Or let us know if you know any better locations?