Viewing the Hollywood Sign
During your visit to Hollywood, you will have various opportunities to view the Hollywood Sign
Following are some locations you can view and photograph the Hollywood Sign, with a focus on areas of interest to tourists.
Hollywood and Highland
There are multiple viewpoints from which to view the Hollywood Sign at Hollywood and
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
A Guided Tour
Guided Tours from Hollywood Boulevard - some of the tours offered in Hollywood will take you to Mulholland Drive to view the Hollywood Sign, as well as Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Sunset Strip and movie star homes.
Starline Tours Hop-on Hop-off double-decker tour bus 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
You can get a fantastic picture of the Hollywood 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). See Metro.net for Metro 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!"
Lake Hollywood Park 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 - Access is closed to the public.
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.
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.
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!
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!