The entrance may look intimidating, but don’t worry – a timed lock opens the gate from sunrise to sunset
Public parking is available but limited and includes a fee Monday-Friday from noon to 10pm and on weekends from 10am to 10pm. Alternatively, the DASH Observatory/Los Feliz public bus service stops at the observatory every 20-25 minutes and costs just 50 cents. Deronda Gate gets you even closer. Though parking is permitted on Deronda Drive, it’s best to have a ride service drop you off (better for ogling the surrounding real estate, too). Right past the gate, you can capture dream selfies near Tyrolian Tank, or follow Mt Lee Drive for a hike to the back of the sign. This route meets up with the second hike mentioned below.
Hikes to the sign Although you can’t actually touch the Hollywood sign’s letters (not only is it illegal, the sign is set behind a fence and monitored by camera 24/7), the closest you’ll get is by foot. The Mount Hollywood Trail, which is the most popular and least strenuous hike with views, will bring you up a neighboring peak for an eye level, though slightly side-angle, look at the sign. For a three-mile round-trip route, start at the Charlie Turner Trailhead, which leaves from the parking lot of Griffith Observatory. Bonus: the parking lot area has bathrooms and drinking fountains. If you’re set on summiting Mount Lee (home to the sign), head to the Brush Canyon Trail for a 6. There are free public parking lots near the trailhead at 3200 Canyon Drive, Griffith Park.
Once the very end of the legendary Route 66 and still the object of a tourist love affair, this much-photographed pier dates back to 1908 and is the city’s most compelling landusement park with arcades, carnival games, a Ferris wheel and roller coaster
Are there any tours? Plenty of LA’s greatest hits tours (like those that include stops at the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Rodeo Drive) also include photo ops for the sign. If you’re down for a hike but don’t trust your sense of direction, Bikes and Hikes LA will take you on a guided group amble. Or, see the sign from horseback on a one- or two-hour tour through the Griffith Park hills with Sunset Ranch. Top spots near the sign At 2700 N. Beachwood Drive, you’ll find a storybook cottage that’s the original Hollywoodland Realty office. In the same area, two stone gates mark the entrance to the historic neighborhood, and Beachwood Cafe makes for a charming lunch spot. Changes to the sign In addition to losing its H and later “LAND,” the Hollywood sign has appeared altered a number times due to pranks.
Most notably, strategically placed fabric made it “HOLLYWeeD” in 1976 and again in 2017. Is the sign lit up at night? Today, the Hollywood sign does not have lights, though back in the 1920s bulbs did illuminate the billboard in four flashing stages: “HOLLY,” “WOOD,” “LAND,” and finally “HOLLYWOODLAND.
Santa Monica Pier
Nearby is a vintage carousel and an aquarium. The pier is most photogenic when framed by California sunsets and when it comes alive with free concerts and outdoor movies in the summertime. The pier extends almost a quarter-mile over the Pacific, so you can stroll to the edge, hangout among the motley anglers and lose yourself in the rolling, blue-green sea. What to do on Santa Monica Pier Pacific Park Kids and kids at heart will get their kicks on Santa Monica Pier at www.fetlife.com this small, classic Americana amusement park, with a solar-powered Ferris wheel, tame roller coaster, family-friendly rides, midway games and food stands.