Best Places to See the Hollywood Sign Without Hiking

10 Best Places to See the Hollywood Sign Without Hiking

Just reach Griffith Park or anywhere in Los Angeles, and the common question you will get tired of hearing is, “how do I see the Hollywood Sign”?

This sign has become a landmark since the day it was showcased on the Santa Monica Mountains in the bold letters “Hollywoodland”, back in 1923. Initially, it allured future homeowners to purchase plots in the housing development of Hollywood. It then emerged as a symbol of the American entertainment sector, and now, it has turned into an international touristic icon of L.A.

People from all across the globe come to see those big white letters. However, the sign is sited in a challenging location over a mountain top, with no address and zero parking area, so it’s not easy to figure out how to see it perfectly. That’s why we’ve selected this list of places from which you can see the Hollywood sign in a wonderful way, without hiking.

These are the Best Places Where You Can See The Hollywood Sign Without the Need for Hiking!

Lake Hollywood Park

Lake Hollywood Park
Credit: @lcarlo5

If you want the closest and simplest view of the Hollywood sign, Lake Hollywood Park is undoubtedly your best bet. The dog park offers great parking space and a beautiful Hollywood Sign perspective. Just walk up the hill along the pathway if you want to see another little varied view of the sign.

Sited at a distance of just 0.6 miles, the sign is pretty clear and looks fantastic from all angles. If you visit in the early morning, you will find little to no crowd; however, weekends can be crowded sometimes.

The intersecting point of Canyon Lake Drive with Mulholland Highway is the major location where most tourists end up. Though you can quickly grab a selfie here, the park itself is a great place to spend some time. If you want the comfiest and nearest view of the Hollywood Sign, then this is it.

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Hollywood & Highland Center

Hollywood & Highland Center
Credit: @travelroads

Another recommendation which is nearest to the sign attracting too many tourists is the Hollywood & Highland Center. If you visit the mall at Hollywood & Highland Center and walk to the second or third floor, you can see the sign clearly in the distance. It is one of the best ways to see the Hollywood sign if you don’t want to go out of the downtown area.

Sited at a distance of 2.4 miles, it gives you a pretty good view. The view indeed is innovatively developed and is a charm in itself. The lounge area is surely angled towards the big sign, and you can use the place to take amazing pictures. However, the sign may appear a bit far, so you may have to tell people about it before showing the picture.

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Hollywood Reservoir / Mullholland Dam

Hollywood Reservoir
Credit: @silverback1121

Lake Hollywood Reservoir offers a pleasant view of the Hollywood Sign on the Southwest Side. Just park your car at the Hollywood Reservoir Trailhead and walk a little to get the best lookout, or park on Lake Hollywood Drive and move for a mile to get this majestic view.

The Department of Water and Power controls the area, so the rules and hours are different compared to Griffith Park. The sign is more nature-focused and doesn’t have too much urban involvement.

Sited at a distance of 1.3miles, the view is pretty clear with water in the forefront, and the selfie quality is surprisingly outstanding. You can also reach the Mulholland Dam on transit for a better view. Just a flat hike on the road that rings the Hollywood Reservoir to get amazing views of the Sign from the Reservoir’s West. Continue moving to the south to get to the stunning Mulholland Dam. It is also an excellent spot to snap selfies with the Hollywood Sign.

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Mulholland Drive

Mulholland Drive
Credit: @rcohen2

The place can be reached as a small spur from a short walk around the Hollywood Reservoir or as a pathway to link the Reservoir and Lake Hollywood Park. It can be reached through an uneven segment of Mulholland Highway. Call this mini-hike a sliver of Griffith Park that spans between the DWP area around the reservoir and offers clean, green-space connectivity.

Sited around 1.2 miles away from the sign, the view is quite good. Though you can get some good selfies, but also receive hindrance from chaparral and newly- constructed houses. You may also notice the amazing views of Mulholland Dam along with scenic views of the Hollywood Sign.

So, overall, driving Mulholland Drive is a fantastic experience in itself, but the easternmost viewpoint on the drive offers a terrific view of the Hollywood Sign.

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Jerome C Daniel Overlook

Jerome C Daniel Overlook
Credit: @amazingdroneshotz

Jerome C. Daniel Overlook is a beautiful tourist spot in L.A. along the visually appealing Mulholland Scenic Parkway and Corridor. It is situated above the renowned Hollywood Bowl amphitheater and provides beautiful scenes over the tiered seating arrangement, with pleasant views of the San Fernando Valley, Catalina Island, the Pacific Ocean quite distantly, and the very much renowned Hollywood Sign.

You can admire the extraordinary beauty of the sign at dusk when the vibrant sky teams up with the lights of the Hollywood sign to greet the night. You can also take the stone stairs and go up to the vantage point to see the other side of the mountain. There are telescopes available at the hilltop to help you enjoy the scenic view.

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Griffith Park & Observatory

Griffith Park & Observatory
Credit: @griffithparkadvisoryboard

Well, if you are looking for not just a viewpoint for the sign but a place to discover on its own, then Griffith Observatory is the best place for it. You will cherish watching the sunset on the sign from the Observatory, and even though the distance is quite considerable, it still proves to be a great viewpoint. And, on second thought, if you hike Mt. Hollywood from the Observatory, you will get a bonus view from there.

Sited at a distance of 1.5 miles from the sign, you can enjoy a good view from here. Mornings are recommended as the other hours may get crushing. Overall, it is an amazing building with dynamic exhibits and events and extraordinary views of the park as well as the city.

Though the place is heavily crowded, you have quite a lot of infrastructure to manage the crowd. You do have a DASH shuttle line to reach the Observatory conveniently. If you don’t love hiking or have mobility problems, it is surely the most amazing place to see the Hollywood Sign.

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North Beachwood Drive

North Beachwood Drive
Credit: @laloylila

Well, the North Beachwood Drive is a stretch of 2-mile, and once you reach the end, you stand at the entrance of the Sunset Ranch. However, you don’t have to go to the end to get a good view of the sign. You will notice some amazingly dramatic views of the sign at the intersection with Scenic Avenue, moving to the Hollywood Hills. Overall it is a trendy tourist destination as it sits directly below the Hollywood sign. However, with time, the greenery and obstructions have hindered the view, though you can still glance at the sign clearly through them.

Sadly, the simplest and most known route from Beachwood Drive has been shut down for hikers.

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Sunset Ranch Hollywood

Sunset Ranch Hollywood
Credit: @sunsetranchhollywood

If you love horse riding, you will surely love the amazing guided riding experience from the Sunset Ranch Hollywood. And, you only have one horse ranch in greater LA, so make sure you make your bookings beforehand.

Sited in the center of the beautiful Hollywood Hills, with the landmark sign right above it and the Griffith Park just close by, Sunset Ranch provides you with a plethora of amenities and activities, comprising of horse rides, boarding and guidance to its renowned Sunset Dinner Rides.

There were a lot of film shoots in the 1920s in Los Angeles, and most of them chose this scenic location. You will still find an extensive history of that Hollywood at the Sunset Ranch. So, if you wish to experience the dazzling view of the sign on the back of a horse, then this ranch is a must-visit.

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Barnsdall Art Park

Barnsdall Art Park
Credit: @barnsdallpark

Sited close to the intersection of Vermont Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard, the Barnsdall Art Park lies on 11 acres above Olive Hill, yielding amazing awe-inspiring scenes of the city and the great SIGN. The site was marked as a cultural center and deeded to LA in 1927.

At present, it abodes Frank Lloyd Wright crafted Hollyhock House, the Barnsdall Art Center, the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, the LA Municipal Art Gallery, and The Junior Arts Center. There are some seasonal events which include Saturday night outdoor movies, wine tasting on Friday night at the Hollyhock lawn, and workshops on Sundays.

The place is a great site to take pictures with the big Sign and get some amazing breath-taking views.

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From The Air

From The Air
Credit: unsplash

Though the hiking method is the most physically beneficial approach to witness the sign, an air trip will indeed prove to give you a dazzling and extravagant experience- not to say the most appealing. Flying out of the heliport sited at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, IEX helicopters pick people and provide a close view of the Hollywood Sign and the other landmarks around going from the coat to the high-buildings of Downtown.

You can also enjoy a tour from a 30-minute flight from Group 3 Aviation offering the Hollywood Trip or a 45-minute tour covering Hollywood along with the beach. There is yet another flight from Fly & dine that starts with supper at the 94th Aero Squadron restaurant.

If you want to make your Hollywood sign viewing experience a once in a lifetime event, then Orbic Air keeps you covered. You can enjoy themed packages to make your experience mesmerizing. Lastly, you have Star Helicopters that aims to give two types of experience – the Star VIP tour or the Hollywood and More tour.

Things You Should Know About the Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood sign stands sentinel over all the Hollywood movies, old and new. It is an icon showcasing optimism, glamor, and grandeur defining Hollywood since its birth. Here are a few things that you should know about the Hollywood sign.

  • It’s not allowed to climb the Hollywood sign. When hiking, please walk on the authorized trails only. Trespassing is not allowed. There is always an LAPD officer present near the sign to prevent you from climbing the Hollywood sign.
  • The Hollywood sign is almost a century old. The first sign was created in 1923, the same year when Rin Tin Tin got famous as a canine actor. Though it wasn’t constructed to work as a film industry icon, the sign was made during the start of the first golden period of Hollywood, when Ben Hur was released.
  • The original sign was ‘Hollywoodland’. The original sign read “Hollywoodland” as an advertisement for a housing development above the Hollywood region of LA. However, the “land” part was removed during the 1940s.
  • The first sign was bigger. The initial Hollywood sign was made of huge chunks of sheet metal that stood as high as 50 feet in height. They stood erect using a complex framing system that involved pipes, poles, wires etc. The sign was decorated with more than 4000 light bulbs.
  • The sign is an official landmark. In 1973 the sign was drastically damaged again, broken down, and all rusty. However, the city added another renovation program and declared it a Los Angeles Cultural and Historical Monument.

Enjoy The View of The Most Well-Known Billboard Sign in The World!

It may be tough to think of Los Angeles without picturing the Hollywood Sign. So, now you have all the access you need to see this amazing piece of history from many vantage locations. So, whenever you are in the city, no matter which location you are at, make sure you choose to see the iconic sign once before you leave the place. No matter if you are in the mood for a hike and enjoy a close-up view or don’t want to go for a hike and enjoy a distant view or get an unparalleled view from the saddle, you have all the options open to see this world-famous, historical landmark.

Pick your option now, and don’t forget to take selfies!

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