Los Angeles is a city of incredibly diverse landscapes. The Pacific Ocean, the many mountain ranges, the cityscape and small town feel of beach towns each play their significant roles in making Los Angeles and its surrounding environs one of the most unique and oft-visited destinations in the world. Below are just a sampling of the incredible scenery to behold in the City of Angels.
 

Hollywood Hills

Situated high above the city, Hollywood Hills is both one of the most affluent and one of the most scenic areas in LA. It boasts some of the most  breathtaking vistas around, both of the city and of the incredible homes that absolutely defy gravity. As either a local looking for a “staycation” day or a visitor to the City of Angels, a trip to Hollywood Hills is the ideal way to feel the heartbeat of the city. As you twist and turn through the streets, you’ll see extravagant mansions, spellbinding views of the city, homes that cling to the face of cliffs, and more. “No outlet” streets are rumored to have the best views of all.

 

Hollywood Bowl Overlook

This location is very easy to reach, requires no physical exertion and is also totally free. Best of all, the Hollywood Bowl Overlook is not as well known as other observation spots in LA. It does, however, offer stunning views of the Hollywood Sign, The Griffith Observatory, the Hollywood Bowl, AND downtown Los Angeles. On a clear day, you can see both the ocean and Catalina Island. As you enter the lookout point, you’ll find stairs that lead up to more panoramic views. Coin-operated telescopes are also available. Enjoy a brief history lesson thanks to strategically placed signs. Whether a local or a tourist, don’t miss out on the amazing views from the Hollywood Bowl Overlook, located at: 7036 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068.

 

Beverly Hills

This fabled city lives up to its reputation for opulence and grandeur. It is, inarguably, a stunningly beautiful neighborhood. It’s commercial area is immaculate and lined with ultra-exclusive boutiques and world-famous restaurants. Between Wilshire and Sunset Boulevards is the Golden Triangle, at the center of which is the famed Rodeo Drive, featured in many popular movies. Its Civic Center is a gorgeous, mission-style landmark. Its residential streets are lined with jaw-dropping true mansions, acres of meticulously manicured lawns and towering trees. Just visiting this enclave can lift your spirits. You’ll enjoy particularly stunning views of LA from Coldwater Canyon Park.

 

Santa Monica

Located right on the ocean, there is no one best scenic spot in this stunning beach town that tourists can’t wait to get to and locals can’t imagine leaving. With that in mind, here are just a few suggestions for enjoying nature in all her glory in Santa Monica. For a summertime concert under the stars, head down to the beach at the south side of the pier. Here, you’ll enjoy free live bands. Get in your exercise while taking advantage of the ocean views! Start the bike path on Ocean Avenue and if you follow it all the way, you’ll walk or bike through Venice and then end up looking up at beautiful homes in Manhattan Beach. Lastly, the Paseo Miramar trail, off Sunset Dr.,  offers a fabulous view at the top.

 

Los Feliz - Griffith Park

Griffith Park boasts over 4,210 acres of both wild terrain covered in shrubs and bushes and landscaped parkland and picnic areas. Fun fact: It is one of the largest municipal parks with urban wilderness areas in the United States. It’s location in the eastern Santa Monica Mountain range, creates the Park’s elevation range from 384 to 1,625 feet above sea level. To take in the scenery, plan a hike along the 53 miles of pristine trails along the park’s surprisingly unspoiled terrain. You can choose to follow the well-marked paths through the fern-filled glen at Fern Dell, or trek through an urban wilderness to Bronson Caves and then make your way to the Griffith Observatory, where you can take in the stunning vista of all of LA.

 

Pacific Palisades

There are many ways to enjoy the outdoors in Pacific Palisades, most of them along the many hiking trails on the community. All boast incredible views of the ocean and some also offer city views, as well. Palisades Bluffs park has amazing views of Santa Monica and Malibu. The Temescal Canyon Gateway Park has a trail with a nice incline, as well as gorgeous views of Pacific Palisades and the ocean. The Will Rogers State Historic Park was built on the grounds of the western star’s property and features trails of various difficulty levels. The Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook offers an amazing view of the ocean at the top of the stairs.

 

Downtown LA

Though most folks may not equate downtown LA with scenic views, there is much to see and appreciate in this legendary City of Angels. The Hollywood Bowl Overlook offers legendary views of the downtown skyline all the way to the ocean on a clear day. The Griffith Observatory view is totally captivating, particularly at night looking over the lights of LA. Though a bit outside of LA, the San Vicente Mountain Park is worth the 40-minute drive for fantastical 360-degree views of the entire county. Lastly, but most definitely not least, is the absolutely mesmerizing view from both Skyspace LA and Skyslide. It’s worth the fee (currently $33 total) for the view over LA from 70 stories up atop the US Bank Tower.

 

Malibu

The beauty and allure of Malibu is legendary. This oceanfront gem is a playground for Hollywood royalty and other high net-worth individuals. However, the views and the beaches are there for everybody. The Solstice Canyon Trail is an easy 2.6 mile trail with a waterfall at the end. This is also a dog-friendly trail. El Matador State Beach offers a clean beach and breathtaking views. Pointe Dume State Beach offers a beautiful hiking trail that rises in altitude, a clean beach and if you get lucky, a glimpse of marine life such as sea lions or even whales. The Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak offers an 8-mile loop trail with incredible views. You can catch a glimpse of Catalina or the Channel Islands.

 

San Fernando Valley

The Top of Topanga Overlook provides magnificent views over the San Fernando Valley and a picnicking area. It’s also a great spot to watch some of the local wildlife. ET Park is the spot to see where the famous movie was filmed and enjoy amazing views of the Valley at night. For hiking enthusiasts, take a trip to O’Melveny Park, with its breathtaking expanse and gorgeous views. The Stough Canyon Nature Center rewards you with a stunning view when you make it the top of trail. Hikers say it’s not too intimidating for a beginner, but still challenging for an intermediate hiker.

 

The Getty Center

The Getty Center is a unique destination that incorporates architect Richard Meier’s modern design with the beauty of the outdoors, including gardens, open spaces and spectacular views of Los Angeles. The Getty Center unites these varying design elements as part of the J. Paul Getty trust and makes them accessible not just to Los Angelenos, but to visitors to the city of Angels and to the world. The Getty Center is situated just off the San Diego Freeway, on a hilltop in the Santa Monica Mountains. Here, visitors can immerse themselves in the diverse characteristics of the landscape of Los Angeles, including the Pacific Ocean, the San Gabriel Mountains, and the vast grid of streets in the city. Finding himself inspired by all disparate relationships between all of these elements, Richard Meier designed the complex to highlight both nature and culture, and their interrelationship.