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Viewing the Hollywood Sign

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During your visit to Hollywood, you will have various opportunities to view the Hollywood Sign (official website), although most of the time the view is at least partially obstructed by power lines, buildings and palm trees. There are places that offer the optimal distance and angle, however those locations might not be ideal for tourists who have limited transportation options, do not know the neighborhoods, or simply don't want to spend a long time just to get a picture. If you really want to save some time, you can download a free photo of the Hollywood Sign below.

Following are some locations you can view and photograph the Hollywood Sign, with a focus on areas of interest to tourists.

Hollywood and Highland

Hollywood Sign View from Hollywood and Highland. [Photo Credit: LAtourist.com] Hollywood Sign View from Hollywood and Highland

There are multiple viewpoints from which to view the Hollywood Sign at Hollywood and Highland (website). Two levels of observation decks near the back of the courtyard are open the general public (level numbers 3 and 4). On level 2 there is a California Pizza Kitchen restaurant which has outside seating where you can view the sign while you eat lunch. On the same level there's a patio with a large bench where you can sit and have your photo taken with the Hollywood Sign in the background. If you have limited transportation then this could be one of your best options outside of a guided tour. Hollywood and Highland is probably already on your itinerary, so while you're there be sure to take plenty of photos of the sign.


  • If the observation decks are too crowded, on level 4 go all the way to the east side of the structure, where the courtyard overlooks Highland Avenue.
  • When a tour group comes through, the viewpoints can become extremely crowded. But don't worry - they only have 15 minutes! Just browse a shop or two and when you come back out, the decks will have plenty of room.

The Griffith Park Observatory

Hollywood Sign from the Griffith Park Observatory. [Photo Credit: LAtourist.com] Hollywood Sign from the Griffith Park Observatory

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 Shuttle (website) from Hollywood Blvd and Vermont Avenue to the Griffith Park Observatory. The cost is only 50 cents (35 cents on TAP cards), although it's almost 3 miles from Hollywood and Highland to Vermont Avenue, so you might need to take another bus. You can get to Vermont Avenue on the Hollywood DASH bus (slowest method), the Red Line train (fastest method but limited entry points), or one of many Metro buses that run on Hollywood Boulevard. (More info: How to Use L.A. Metro).

A Guided Tour

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 Hop-on Hop-off 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.

Sunset Ranch Hollywood (website) offers horseback riding tours that include views of the Hollywood Sign. There are tours of various lengths, including day and evening rides, plus a "Best View and BBQ" tour every Saturday that offers a horseback view with incredible views and an evening BBQ meal.

The Hollywood Bowl

Hollywood Sign from the bleachers at the Hollywood Bowl. You can park for free and visit the amphitheatre most mornings and early afternoon. [Photo Credit: LAtourist.com] Hollywood Sign from the Hollywood Bowl

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.

The Beverly Center Mall

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!"

Local Streets

Lake Hollywood Overlook on Canyon Lake Drive [map link] is difficult to find and is crowded on the weekends. However, this location offers a fantastic close-up and head-on view of the Hollywood Sign, with great sunlight (for photo exposure) and legal street parking. But if you are easily confused while navigating unfamiliar streets – beware – even locals can get lost here!

Beachwood Drive is easy to find and offers a nice view of the Hollywood Sign from a side angle. However, the view is limited from the sidewalks along this street, and traffic is sporadically heavy on Beachwood, which makes it too dangerous to get a photo while standing in the street. To get a really good photo from Beachwood Drive, go all the way to the top, park near Sunset Ranch Hollywood (horseback riding) and climb a small hill on the right side of the road. The Hollywood Sign is close and the trail provides awesome views of downtown L.A. and the metro basin. Public Transportation - You can take the DASH Beachwood Canyon bus to get near this location. There are bus stops at Hollywood Blvd and Vine Street, among other places. The bus takes you about half way up the hill, and turns around in front of the Beachwood Cafe. This is near the original archway at the entrance of the Hollywoodland Estates. However you can not see the Hollywood Sign from here and it's a long walk to the top of the hill (approximately one mile, mostly uphill).

Gower Street The view of the Hollywood Sign is at least partially obstructed on most of Gower Street in the Hollywood area north of Sunset Boulevard. Near 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, but this is not very close.

Mulholland Drive

View of the Hollywood Sign from the Hollywood Bowl Overlook on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles. [Photo Credit: LAtourist.com] View of Hollywood Sign from Mulholland Overlook

Officially named the "Hollywood Bowl Overlook" in the Mulholland Scenic Parkway and Corridor (website), this scenic vantage point offers stunning views of the Los Angeles basin, the Hollywood Bowl, Griffith Park and the Hollywood Sign. At night, viewing the city lights below can be mesmerizing. 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 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.

Satellite Photo on Google Maps

Click here to view the Hollywood Sign on Google Maps - you cannot drive to the Hollywood Sign, because the nearby roads are blocked to prevent vehicular traffic. This link is provided so you can see it from a satellite view. The map page should be in "Earth view" in order to see the Sign.

Download a Free Photo!

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!

Click here to download a free photo of the Hollywood Sign

Where NOT to see the Hollywood Sign

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!

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