Your guide to LA’s viewpoints

by Katherine Buecheler

Los Angeles is home to some of the most beautiful viewpoints in the country. It is easy to stay in the bubble surrounding the university and forget about the unique sights that LA has to offer. Thus, we are here to provide you with all the information you need to take advantage of the beautiful sightseeing in the city of stars!

Griffith Park & Observatory

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Griffith Park is home to some of LA’s most famous, must-see attractions. Countless movies—including “La La Land” and “Rebel Without a Cause”—filmed at Griffith Observatory have proven it to be one of the best spots to visit. The view from the observatory indeed shows it all: the Pacific Ocean, the downtown LA skyline, the Hollywood sign, and more. Along with providing one of the best views in the city, you can also enjoy educational planetarium shows inside the observatory. If you want to be more active, there are also countless hiking trails, several of which will take you closer to the Hollywood sign. Whether you are on a date, exploring the city with friends or your family is visiting, Griffith Park and Observatory will not disappoint.

Notable Information: There are paid parking spots at the top, near the observatory, and along the drive up to it. The price depends on the time of the year. The alternative is parking for free at the bottom of the park and taking the shuttle up to the observatory.

Baldwin Hills

Baldwin Hills, which lies just south of Culver City, provides a scenic view and a walk that will take your breath away (literally). Get your steps in with the 2.5-mile hike or take the stairs that lead straight up to the view. The lookout provides a glimpse into the surrounding areas: Santa Monica Bay, the San Gabriel Mountains and the Hollywood Hills. This site provides an especially incredible view of the city at sunset. Be mindful, however, that the park closes shortly after sunset.

Notable Information: There is paid parking for $2 per hour or $6 per day at 6300 Hetzler Road, off of Jefferson Boulevard.

Jerome C. Daniel Overlook

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Home to one of the best views of the Hollywood sign, the Jerome C. Daniel viewpoint—on a clear day—allows tourists to see as far as Catalina Island. The viewpoint was built in 1984 originally in preparation for tourists that came for the Olympics that year. Located on the all-famous Mulholland Drive and providing a fantastic view of Griffith Park, the overlook provides the quintessential LA experience.

Notable Information: The parking lot is very small and fills up quickly, but there is street parking as well. Dogs are allowed. The address is 7036 Mulholland Drive.

The Bluffs

Sunset view from The Point at the Bluffs, in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California. Photo via Adobe Stock

Sunset view from The Point at the Bluffs, in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California. Photo via Adobe Stock

One of the closest and most spectacular sights of the ocean can be experienced from The Point at the Bluffs in the Pacific Palisades. Located at the water’s edge, this spot gives incredibly close-up views of Santa Monica Beach and Malibu. Close by is the Temescal Gateway Park, which has a nice hike with a steady incline. This hike also provides a fantastic view of the Pacific Palisades and the ocean. It is also easy to explore the nearby Will Rogers State Historic Park, which has a beautiful beach that is easily accessible and very popular amongst students.

Notable Information: There is only street parking in the neighborhood. Search “The Point at the Bluffs” to get directions to the lookout.

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