The City of Angels is blessed with some pretty amazing views giving a whole new meaning to “view from the top.” And don’t worry, they don’t all involve hiking. You can go to these seven places as a fun morning or afternoon excursion from your Los Angeles vacation rental, or as something new and fun to do if you’re a local. Here are our favorite Los Angeles views, and some tips on how to get there. Just don’t forget to bring your camera!
1. Getty Center
The Getty museum is breathtaking in its own right, but the views are equally as marvelous. Time your visit during sunset to catch the most epic views facing Downtown Los Angeles towards the east and the ocean to the west. And, admission to the Getty is always free! Parking is $8 so try to carpool or take public transportation. Metro bus lines 734 and 234 stop at the Getty Center entrance, located at the intersection of Getty Center Drive and Sepulveda Boulevard.
2. Turnbull Canyon
A 4.3 mile round-trip hike in Puente Hills will reward you with views of the Hacienda Heights area, the Hsi Lai Temple, the peaks near Schabarum and Powder Canyon, and even Downtown on a clear day. The trail begins at the Turnbull Canyon trailhead, east of Whittier on the circa-1915 Turnbull Canyon Road. There is a small dirt parking area right outside the trailhead that offers free parking during the day, but it’s often full, so try to get there early! If the lot is full, the closest areas of non-permit parking begin at the corner of Beverly Boulevard and Painter Avenue, about half of a mile from the start of the hike.
3. U.S. Bank Tower
On top of the 72-story U.S. Bank Tower is the OUE Skyspace LA, California’s tallest open-air observation deck offering a panoramic, 360-degree view of Los Angeles. If you really want to see the city in a whole new light, check out the Skyslide. This outdoor slide is 45 feet long and connects the 70th floor to the east observation terrace. Did we mention that it’s entirely made of glass? The U.S. Bank Tower is located at the corner of S. Grand Avenue and W. 5th Street. 2 hour parking is available at the Westlawn parking garage for $8 with validation.
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4. Angel’s Point
A beautiful 2.8 mile loop through Elysian Park will take you past several jaw-dropping overlooks of Dodger Stadium and Downtown Los Angeles before ending up at Angel’s Point. The trail starts at a gated fire road at the corner of Angel’s Point Road and Stadium Way. There’s no parking on the side of the road where this route begins, so you’ll have to park on nearby Elysian Park Drive.
5. Vista Hermosa Park
This little hidden gem just northwest of downtown and across the 110 freeway provides an excellent view of Downtown. There is a small parking lot as well as some street parking available. Just be sure to double-check the signs! Our favorite part of Vista Hermosa Park is the incredibly Instagram-able bench situated in perfect symmetry with the Downtown skyline. Now all you have to do is come up with the perfect caption.
6. Griffith Observatory
Southern California’s gateway to the cosmos also gives you spectacular views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign. The Observatory is located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, just above the Los Feliz neighborhood. Admission to the building, grounds, and parking is always free. The busiest times are usually on weekends and holidays so you may have to park along the roads near the Greek Theatre.
7. The Hollywood Sign at Mt. Lee
There are a few different paths to get to Mt. Lee, but every route will take you right behind the world-famous Hollywood Sign. You’ll also get views of Lake Hollywood, Griffith Observatory and Downtown Los Angeles. The easiest way to get there is the Hollyridge Trail which climbs for half a mile and meets the Mulholland Trail. Head left and look for a paved road heading off to the right named Mt. Lee Drive.
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