Discover the Best Views of the Hollywood Sign
From horseback to helicopters, see the iconic Hollywood Sign like never before.
Since its debut in 1923, the Hollywood Sign has become a Los Angeles icon and synonymous with the city. Celebrating its centennial in 2023, the 45-foot-tall, 350-foot-long sign is in its best condition ever, thanks to the ongoing preservation efforts of the Hollywood Sign Trust.
Originally built as "HOLLYWOODLAND" for a real estate development, the sign was rebuilt as "HOLLYWOOD" in 1949 and was nearly lost in the '70s due to vandalism and neglect.
In 1978, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce launched a "Save the Sign" campaign that met its $250,000 fundraising goal thanks to celebs like Hugh Hefner, who hosted a fundraiser at the Playboy Mansion. Rock star Alice Cooper donated $27,700 to replace an "O" (in honor of Groucho Marx), the "singing cowboy" Gene Autry sponsored an "L," and Andy Williams the "W."
From hiking trails to aerial views by helicopter and even on horseback, read on for the best ways to view the world-famous Hollywood Sign.
Take a dip in the pool, sip cocktails and enjoy panoramic views of the Hollywood Sign from these hotel rooftops.
- Bar Lis at Thompson Hollywood - Take a trip to the French Riviera at Bar Lis, which evokes the South of France with a chic design that includes a retractable roof, central water fountain, plush banquettes and dozens of cypress trees.
- The Highlight Room at Dream Hollywood - Spanning 11,000 square feet of the Dream Hollywood's entire top floor, The Highlight Room has incomparable city views from the Hollywood Sign to Downtown LA. It's rosé all day by the pool on a plush lounger or private cabana while you nosh on bites from The Grill. Enjoy a spectacular sunset then dance the night away to DJs while your crew shares a pitcher of Bubbles & Berries (Belvedere Vodka, St. Germain, Chandon, strawberries, cold pressed lemon sour).
- I|O Rooftop at The Godfrey Hotel Hollywood - Located on the hotel's 7th floor, the 12,000 square-foot I|O Rooftop features indoor and outdoor bars. Enjoy the views and nosh on light bites while you sip on the Peachy Keen, made with gin, sake and peach puree. If you're in an agave spirits mood, try The A-List with mezcal, yuzu juice and a tajin rim.
- Mama Shelter - The rooftop opens daily at noon for your day drinking needs. Surrounded by 360° views, sip on signatures like the Mamacita (wildroots cucumber & grapefruit infused gin, elderflower, grapefruit juice, fresh lime juice, hibiscus, jalapeño) or the frozen Day Dream (Milagro Tequila, Captain Morgan White Rum, pineapple, orange, orgeat, vanilla). The veg-friendly bar bites include Grilled Flatbread with Whipped White Beans and Crispy Tofu Bao Bun.
- WET Deck at W Hollywood - High above the iconic intersection of Hollywood and Vine, the WET Deck offers stunning views of the Hollywood Sign and LA. The WET Deck offers a laid-back setting for hotel guests, complete with your own W lounge chair, daybed or private luxury cabana. The scene heats up on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with DJs spinning from 1pm to 5pm.
DASH Observatory Bus
The service runs every day of the year — including holidays and even on Mondays when the Observatory is closed.
Connect to the DASH Observatory bus via the Vermont/Sunset Station of the Metro B Line (Red).
The DASH Observatory Bus runs every 20 minutes Monday through Friday from noon to 10 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Board at the northeast corner of Vermont/Sunset.
DASH fare is $.50 if you pay cash, or $.35 with TAP card. Save with a 7-Day DASH Pass ($5) or a 31-Day DASH Pass ($18).
For more information, visit the DASH Observatory Bus website.
In 2010, Hugh Hefner came to the Sign's rescue again. Thanks to Hef's $900,000 donation, a $12.5 million fundraising goal was met and the area around the Hollywood Sign was saved from developers. The 138-acre parcel became part of Griffith Park, preventing any construction that would affect the world-famous view. So it's only fitting that there’s a great view of the Hollywood Sign just a short distance from the parking lot of the Griffith Observatory.
To make the most of your visit, be sure to take advantage of free admission to the Observatory, an icon in its own right that's appeared in movies like La La Land and Rebel Without a Cause.
Griffith Park Hiking Trails
The best place to see the Hollywood Sign is at Griffith Park. There are multiple hiking trails on Mt. Hollywood that start from the back corner of the Griffith Observatory parking lot. The main Observatory hike leads to a popular spot, and a 3-mile loop can be accessed from Vermont Canyon Road.
Bikes and Hikes
Consistently rated LA's top outdoor tour provider by TripAdvisor, Bikes and Hikes offers Hollywood Sign hikes with highlights including the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Park Observatory, Greek Theatre, Mount Hollywood and spectacular city views. Bikes and Hikes offers two Hollywood Sign options: the 90-minute Express Tour and the more challenging 2.5-hour Original Hollywood Sign Hike. Private Tours are also available and are ideal for travelers on a set schedule or families/groups.
Sunset Ranch Hollywood
For an "only in L.A." experience, book a tour with Sunset Ranch Hollywood, the only horse ranch in Greater Los Angeles. Centrally located in the Hollywood Hills, Sunset Ranch offers guided trail rides with spectacular views during the day and evening. In the 1920s, the film industry came to Los Angeles to take advantage of the sunny weather and scenic locations, especially for Westerns. A piece of that Hollywood history can still be found at Sunset Ranch - an unforgettable way to view the Hollywood Sign as you ride into the sunset.
Formerly known as Hollywood & Highland, Ovation Hollywood is a shopping and entertainment complex that houses the Dolby Theatre (home of the Oscars since 2002) and the TCL Chinese Theatre. There are multiple areas throughout Ovation Hollywood that are dedicated to viewing the famed sign, especially the 4th level bridge. While you're there, you can also shop major retail stores and dine at one of the many restaurants in the center.
Barnsdall Art Park
Located near the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vermont Avenue, Barnsdall Art Park sits on 11 acres atop Olive Hill, offering breathtaking views of the city and the Hollywood Sign at the nexus of East Hollywood and Los Feliz. The site was deeded to the City of Los Angeles in 1927 as a cultural art center.
Today, Barnsdall Art Park is home to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Hollyhock House, LA's first UNESCO World Heritage Site; the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, Barnsdall Art Center and Junior Arts Center.
While hiking will be the most physically rewarding way to view the Sign, an air tour will undoubtedly prove to be the most extravagant - not to mention the most stylish.
Flying out of Van Nuys Airport, Group 3 Aviation offers a 35-minute Hooray for Hollywood Tour and the 50-minute Hollywood & The Beach Tour, which combines the Hooray for Hollywood and California Coast tours.
Based at Hollywood Burbank Airport, Orbic Air boasts the closest views of the Hollywood Sign with its ten-minute tour, which includes bird's eye views of Universal Studios Hollywood and the Griffith Observatory.
Star Helicopters' one-hour Star VIP Tour takes off from Hawthorne Municipal Airport and includes a fly-by of the Hollywood Sign along with sweeping views from the South Bay to the Valley. The Hollywood and More Tour is a shorter version of the Star VIP Tour.
From the Queen Mary Heliport in Long Beach, IEX Helicopters takes passengers up-close for an incredible view of the Hollywood Sign, soaring over landmarks from the coast to the skyscrapers of Downtown L.A.
It is hard to imagine Los Angeles without the Hollywood Sign. Now you have all the tools you need to see this piece of history from multiple vantage points - including from above. Whether you're in the mood for a hike and an up-close view, or a unique view from the saddle, the way you see this world famous, historic landmark is completely up to you.