The Hollywood sign is probably the most iconic symbol representing Los Angeles, the neighborhood of Hollywood, movies, glamour and dreams in the world. Perched on the side of a mountain the sign adorns all of the immediate Hollywood area and on clear days can be seen throughout the greater Los Angeles area, from Beverly Hills to Downtown to down at LAX. The sign has been featured in hundreds of movies, television shows, advertisements and has been recreated in thousands of forms of art and images. Every year millions of people flock to Hollywood and LA in hopes of seeing their favorite celebrity, getting discovered themselves or just to embrace the sunshine. However whatever their true intention is for a visit, the Hollywood sign is a must see for all who come to LA. Thankfully due to the sign's prominent placement, most can see it fairly easily especially when in the Hollywood area.
See it closer:
There are several methods for those looking to take their very own photograph of the Hollywood sign to getting unobstructed close up views.
The easiest way to get a good shot of the Hollywood sign is from the Hollywood and Highland center located at the intersection of Hollywood and Highland Blvd. If when in entering the center from the Hollywood Blvd side and walk all the way to the back of the center and ascend to the next level you will see a bridge (see Figure 1.2) where when walking on it gives you total access to seeing the sign. There are two different levels of this bridge, one on top of the other, so it is up to you which one you want to stand (obviously try both) to see which one gives the better view of the Hollywood sign. Usually these levels are packed with tourists and visitors with their own cameras and camcorders, sometimes it is difficult to get in for the best shot.
Up Close and Personal-Beachwood Canyon
Those looking to get a closer view of the Hollywood Sign should travel down Franklin Blvd (one block north and running parallel to Hollywood Blvd) past the 101 freeway to a street called Beachwood Canyon. Make a left on to Beachwood Canyon and travel about a ½ mile up. From here you will be staring dead center at the Hollywood sign and all its glory. There are usually hoards of people traveling up this route all looking for that perfect shot. Be careful of other pedestrians and cars. By standing in the center lane of Beachwood you will be able to get that perfect photo where the sign is centered. If you travel further north towards the sign the road becomes increasingly more narrow and trees and other hills begin to block the view. Those looking to explore what is known as the "Hollywood Hills" with no expectation of getting closer to the sign should by all means travel as far north as they can and enjoy the climb, twists, and drops while looking at some of the most expensive homes in LA.
The Griffith Observatory
Perhaps the best way to get close to the sign, but at an angle is to go up to the Griffith Observatory. The Griffith Observatory is open all year long to the public. Home to a planetarium and dozens of exhibits, the land around the observatory includes vast lawns that open up and face out onto the southeast corner of the Hollywood Sign. These are great photo opportunities. This same area also opens up out onto downtown Los Angeles. To get her just follow Franklin to Western, make a left onto Western and stay on Western as it makes a sharp turn to the right. You will see the entrance to the Griffith Observatory on the left hand side.