Lights, Camera, LA: Best Views in Los Angeles

Lights, Camera, LA: Best Views in Los Angeles

The sights of Los Angeles are synonymous with stars. The sprawling streets of North Hollywood and Burbank are littered with them (literally), the flower-carpeted hillsides of Topanga and Fryman Canyon almost touch them, while the golden beach-backed Malibu mansions that house them are proof that dreams really can come true. Fortunately, mother nature and the city’s early forefathers understood the city’s assignment and gave Angelenos plenty of opportunities to ogle at their starry-eyed city. From the futuristic Griffith Observatory and sharp lined Getty Center to Runyon and Topanga Canyon Road, which offer soul-stirring slices of urban wilderness and outback adventure, the best views of Los Angeles will truly leave you feeling spoilt for choice.


  1. Griffith Observatory
  2. Runyon Canyon
  3. Santa Monica Pier
  4. Topanga Canyon Road
  5. Getty Center


Griffith Observatory

With eyes on both the skies above and the streets below, Griffith Observatory deserves to be considered one of the best views of Los Angeles in itself. Sitting tall above the city like a futuristic spacecraft, this Art Deco-inspired planetarium isn’t short on photogenic panoramas. Unfurling like a page from a 3D picture book, the view from the building’s rooftop platform feels almost fanciful. Head out during the day and you’ll be in for a spot of real-estate-ogling and Hollywood-sign-gazing, while at twilight you’ll be greeted to a sea of starry skies and scintillating street views that’ll have you wanting to strap on your tap shoes and waltz your way to La La Land à la Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

Griffith Park Observatory, Los Angeles


Runyon Canyon

If you’re happy to hike for a good view, join the legions of Angelenos up Runyon Canyon. Sandwiched between Hollywood Boulevard and Mulholland Drive, this 130-acre sliver of shrub in the Hollywood Hills is as famous for its views as it is for its celebrity spotting. Don’t be fooled by the number of topless bros and yoga bunnies merrily sprinting and stretching their way to the top though – the trail is quite the workout. But the view makes it all worthwhile. With the Hollywood sign behind you, Griffith Park Observatory to the east and the city’s impressive circuit board of boulevards and sparkly skyscrapers to the west, Runyon is as LA as it gets – that is until you find yourself queuing at Melrose Avenue’s Urth Café after, pining for a matcha iced tea…

Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles


Santa Monica Pier

You can’t write a blog about the best views in Los Angeles and not include a beach backdrop, especially one so synonymous with the city. Famed for once being the end of Route 66 (the new end now extends somewhere along the Pacific Coast Highway), the pier now feels like one big party. Dominated by Pacific Park’s Ferris wheel and rollercoaster, it still manages to retain its hundred-year history with regular free concerts, (good) street entertainers and (very good) painters. If you’re after a killer backdrop for your enviable Instagram stories, nothing beats the pier at sunset. With Venice Beach to your left, Palisades Park to your right and the pearly blue Pacific in front, Santa Monica is a postcard-pretty classic.


Topanga Canyon Road

Not a specific viewpoint as such, but Topanga Canyon Road tops it when it comes to California road trip vistas. Meandering through the Santa Monica Mountains from coast to Canoga Park, it quickly changes its tune from shady and overhung with oak trees to twisty open stretches of mountain road.  Swing by Topanga Village for a lesson in laid back bohemia and artistic license and stretch the legs on a short two-mile loop to the Topanga Lookout. With views stretching across the Santa Susana Mountains, the Valley (or the San Fernando Valley to you out-of-towners) and Calabasas (famed for housing the majority of the Kardashian Klan), Topanga Canyon is the perfect example of Los Angeles’ wild roots. In fact, you’ll find it hard to believe that the bright lights of Hollywood and mega mansions of Beverly Hills are a mere 30-minute drive away.

Glendale Mirror, Los Angeles


Getty Center

If like us, you think the best views in Los Angeles should come with a side of art and culture, then the Getty has to make your list. Home to art collections from every corner, period and style of the world, the Getty is where style, splendour and cityscape marry. From its cutting-edge architecture, that’ll have every wannabe photographer clamouring to nab shots of its impressive alchemy of light and shadow, to its seasonally changing gardens that act like the perfect buffer to the urban sprawl beneath, the 110-acre campus is the perfect spot to pretend the entire city is yours. And even if you aren’t an ‘art-ficionado’, views of the 405 – a true LA icon and antihero – are bound to amaze. Who knows, the stand-still traffic may even treat you to their own rendition of La La Land’s ‘Another Day of Sun'.