During your visit to Hollywood, you will have various opportunities to view the Hollywood Sign
There are multiple viewpoints from which to view the Hollywood Sign at Hollywood and
This is another good opportunity for tourists, since the Griffith Park Observatory (website) is in itself an interesting attraction. The best viewing is from the west side, along the perimeter of the Observatory. You can also get unobstructed views of the Hollywood Sign from the hiking trails above the parking lot, although it's a side view and not the best angle for picture-taking.
Public Transportation - On Saturdays and Sundays, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) operates the Observatory
LA City Tours' Hollywood & Movie Star Homes tour (pricing info) takes you to Mulholland Drive to view the Hollywood Sign, as well as Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Sunset Strip and 45 movie star homes. The tour is three hours in duration, including two 15-minute stops. One of those is at the Mulholland Drive overlook where you can get spectacular views of the city, plus a close-up view of the Hollywood Sign.
Starline Tours' Double-decker tour bus (pricing info) offers various views of the Hollywood Sign on the Red Route as it returns to Hollywood Boulevard. For best viewing catch the earliest bus and sit on the top level. In addition to the Hollywood Sign, on this tour you'll see Sunset Strip, Beverly Center, Museum Row on the Miracle Mile, Farmers Market, The Grove, shops on Melrose Avenue, Pink's hot dog stand to the stars, and of course, Hollywood Boulevard.
You can get a fantastic picture of the Sign from the bleachers at the Hollywood Bowl (website) when it's open to the public in the mornings and afternoons (until 4:30PM, as the schedule permits). You can park for free and visit the amphitheatre, as well as the museum (also free) and the gift shop. If you walk up high enough in the bleachers, you can get an angle that includes the Hollywood Bowl and the Hollywood Sign in one frame. This location is a bit closer to the Sign than Hollywood and Highland, although it's not quite as convenient.
If you do not have a car, you can take a Guided Tour (many stop there), or you can take public transportation (see below). You can walk from Hollywood and Highland to the Hollywood Bowl in about 25 minutes uphill, and 15-20 minutes to get back down. A mixture of methods could involve taking a bus up to the Hollywood Bowl and then walking back down the hill.
Public Transportation - There are various Metro Local (orange) buses that run on Highland Avenue and stop near the Hollywood Bowl (examples: Line 156 and Line 222, both $1.25). See Metro.net for MTA bus schedules and routes.
Located between Hollywood and Beverly Hills, the Beverly Center Shopping Mall features anchor stores Bloomingdale's and Macy's, along with 160 specialty stores, restaurants and a large theatre.
As you ride up the multi-level escalator along La Cienega Blvd, near the top look out the windows to the right and you can see the Hollywood Sign off in the distance. The view is partially obscured by power lines, and the glass window of the escalator makes it difficult to take a picture. But it's a place where you can point and say, "Look, there's the Hollywood Sign!"
There are some local streets from which to view the Hollywood Sign. These locations can offer optimal viewing conditions (distance, angle, etc) but with some caveats, especially for tourists:
Beachwood Drive is easy to find and offers a great view of the Hollywood Sign while driving. However, the view is limited from the sidewalks on this street. There is enough traffic on Beachwood to make it too dangerous to try to get an unobstructed photo while standing in the street. To get a really good photo from Beachwood you will need to drive all the way to the top, park and climb a small hill.
Public Transportation - You can take a bus to get near this location. From Hollywood and Highland, take any eastbound bus on Hollywood Blvd to Gower Street (it is one mile), then take the DASH
Gower Street is supposed to be a good place to view the Hollywood Sign, but it's really overrated. The view is at least partially obstructed on most of Gower. The best unobstructed view of the Hollywood Sign on Gower Street is north of the 101 freeway at the gas station at the corner of Gower and Franklin Avenue. There you will need to sort of walk around to find the best view that's unobstructed by power lines. It's not easy but it's possible. At Hollywood Blvd and Gower Street there's a mostly unobstructed view, although it might be tricky to get a photo from there. South of Sunset Boulevard, in the area of De Longpre Avenue (first street south of Sunset Blvd) you can also get a view without all the wires, buildings and foliage in the way.
Officially named the "Hollywood Bowl Overlook" in the Mulholland Scenic Parkway and
The address of the Hollywood Bowl Overlook is 7036 Mulholland Drive. But if you search for that address on Google Maps, the pointer will be off by a few hundred yards to the west. Here is a link to the overlook on Google Maps using coordinates instead. There is a small parking lot that can accommodate only a few cars, and it is typically full on weekends. After you park, walk up a short path on the left side, to view the Hollywood Sign.
Click here to view the Hollywood Sign on Google Maps. The search term is "Mount Lee Drive" rather than "Hollywood Sign" in order to minimize the number of markers that appear, obstructing the view of the sign. You easily find it from here, near the end of Mount Lee Drive where it curves back around. Switch to satellite view in order to see the sign.
You can download a free photo of the sign from this website. It was taken from a relatively close vantage point, so you can see many of the individual panels that form each letter. There's no need to spend hours of your vacation time wandering around in the local neighborhoods when you can simply download it from here for free!
Do not attempt to approach the Hollywood Sign. First of all, it's dangerous. Also, it's illegal. The sign is in a restricted area that's guarded by sensor equipment on par with what you'd see in Mission Impossible. Finally, the Hollywood Sign is too big to take a photo from up close!