— Beautiful Places of LA —
The question, posed to the discover Los Angeles Facebook page, was a fairly simple one: “What is your favourite view in LA?” Hundreds of comments later, familiar favourites emerged on top and a few hidden gems were uncovered, as chosen by great fans of LA from near and far.
The Griffith Observatory™ was by far the most popular choice. With panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, the Hollywood Sign, and Downtown LA, not to mention its fantastic space and science exhibits, it’s no wonder the Griffith Observatory was voted ahead of other views by a 3-to-1 margin. This comment is representative of the dozens of similar votes for the landmark, which opened in 1935: “The amazing view of the city lights on a painfully cold, crystal clear night from the Griffith Park Observatory.”
Downtown LA city views were the second most popular choice, with numerous suggestions on where to enjoy the best view, including this standout from the road: “On the Hollywood Freeway at Alvarado, on the bridge looking toward Downtown at sunset. The way the dimming light hits the cityscape, beautiful.” And then this lesser known gem, also seen from a car: “Here’s a good one nobody really knows about. Driving north on the First Street Bridge.”
There were several votes for the view from inside Dodger Stadium, which surely must make new owner Magic Johnson and his partners proud. Dodger Stadium celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012, the view from Chavez Ravine has never been better, and it continues to be regarded as one of the country’s great ballparks.
While the Standard Hotel Downtown is still a favourite view for many, a new contender has emerged since its 2011 opening: “The view from Perch in Downtown LA. Breath-taking!” French-inspired décor and a stunning rooftop setting are paired with Parisian bistro fare and craft cocktails. Besides its high-rise view of the city, on any given night Perch features a live cabaret act, a funky jazz trio, indie bands or a late night DJ. The mood is set with two outdoor fi replaces, various fi re pits, as well as lounge and table seating.
Another perennial favourite is Yamashiro Restaurant, located in Hollywood. Spectacular backdrop aside, this Los Angeles mainstay has one of the most stunning environments in the city. The restaurant was built in 1914 as a replica of a palace in the Yamashiro Mountains, complete with a pagoda, koi ponds and gardens. Sunsets stretch above the LA metro area in an endless sky — hence a designated section called the “Sunset Room.” Couples battle for Table 8, one of the best seats in the house.
Of course, the higher you go into LA’s hills the better the sights, and that’s why Runyon Canyon was another top vote-getter: “View from Runyon Canyon of LA and the canyons on the 405 on a sunny day (which is every day).” As noted in the discoverLosAngeles.com guide to LA’s best hikes, “this is a fun hike highlighted by million dollar mansions and priceless views of the Hollywood sign, the Sunset Strip and the LA Basin.”
Overlooking the Los Angeles harbour and the Catalina Channel, the Korean Bell of Friendship was given to LA in 1976 as a gift from Korea. Intricate reliefs represent spirits and goddesses of liberty, victory and peace, while architectural details impart the colourful nature of Korean culture. Best visited on a clear, sunny day for a picnic and a stroll, the area features pristine views complemented by the yachts and charter boats of the harbour below.
Regarded as one of the world’s great scenic drives, Mulholland Drive winds from the Hollywood Hills, across the spine of the Santa Monica Mountains, and west towards the Pacific Ocean. It also offers spectacular views of the San Fernando Valley, as described by this fan: “If you take Mulholland towards the west, there’s a point where you can see the entire Valley, Los Angeles and the Ocean all at once. Brilliance. During massive wind storms I would go up there and watch LA and the valley ignite with transformer black outs with the moon illuminating the ocean.”
The view of the Valley from Mulholland also got some love from fans who couldn’t limit their votes to just one view. This fan shares a few of her favourite sights and a love for LA shared by millions of Angelenos: “The SFV from anywhere on Mulholland, Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles from the eastern edge of Mulholland, looking out onto Los Angeles from