Views of LA at night.
November 10, 2008 12:18 AM   Subscribe

Where are the best views in LA at night?

I'm going to have some free time in LA with my camera, mostly after dark, and I'm wondering where I can get good shots of whole neighborhoods, skylines, etc. I'll probably check out Griffith Park Observatory - what other good spots are there? Thanks for your help!
posted by EnormousTalkingOnion to Technology (21 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
i was just up at the getty center on saturday and there's some pretty good photo opportunities up there, particularly at night.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 12:30 AM on November 10, 2008

Response by poster: Ah, I thought about the Getty, but unfortunately I think it closes before sundown on weekdays. :(
posted by EnormousTalkingOnion at 12:36 AM on November 10, 2008

Best answer: Mulholland Drive is classically good for this. You can even go from having an awesome view of downtown and Hollywood to having an awesome view of the Valley within a few minutes at the far eastern end. Unfortunately the Mulholland lookout closes at sunset and the pullovers have weird restrictions, but I never tended to let that bother me.

During the day, the bar at the top of the Hotel Angeleno (used to be the Holiday Inn - that round tower next to the 405 south of the Getty) has some rather awesome views of Westwood and out to Santa Monica. Tends be to be very quiet during the day. At night it gets really busy with people drinking, etc, but the views are even more spectacular.
posted by wackybrit at 12:48 AM on November 10, 2008

Oh, and you get some awesome views from the top of The Standard downtown - especially if you want to get pictures of downtown "from the inside" as it were. I wouldn't go in with a camera round my neck though, although on a quiet night I doubt they'd care - it's usually quite chilled out on week nights.
posted by wackybrit at 12:49 AM on November 10, 2008

I promise to stop now, but I thought of one more I've enjoyed. The top floor of Hollywood and Highland. It's a bit of a maze of escalators and stairs, but you can get right to the top overlooking Hollywood Blvd and you can even make out downtown. This location gives you a rather classic Hollywood view - but I tend to prefer pointing the camera straight down to get the crowds circling around the street performers!
posted by wackybrit at 12:52 AM on November 10, 2008

Response by poster: Mulholland is a great suggestion, I can't believe I didn't think of that! And I'll be staying close to Hollywood and Highland, so I will definitely check that out.
posted by EnormousTalkingOnion at 1:40 AM on November 10, 2008

take highway 2 (the angels crest highway) up to mount wilson. you'll have a massive view from the tv relay stations and the observatory over pretty much all of pasadena, glendale, burbank and adjacent areas. griffifth park closes at night and you may run the risk of getting a ticket if the park rangers get you.

consider google earth. there are nice spots everywhere around mulholland drive and where the 101 cuts through to the valley but you need to climb a bit sometimes and if you don't look in google earth first you might just drive past the best spots.
posted by krautland at 1:47 AM on November 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

I was going to say "as you come into land at LAX" - but this might not be very amenable for photography.
posted by rongorongo at 1:55 AM on November 10, 2008

this might not be very amenable for photography

oh yeah?
posted by krautland at 4:41 AM on November 10, 2008

Yamashiro (Japanese Restaurant).
posted by boeing82 at 5:05 AM on November 10, 2008

You might try Signal Hill in Long Beach. I'm sure the parks all close at sunset, but you can probably find a road or something to park on and maybe sneak in.

Kenneth Hahn Park has a classic view of Los Angeles (that's a photo I made). That park does close at sunset, but if you went there just before sunset, you may be able to stay up at the top of the hill until nightfall without somebody bothering you.

The Getty can also provide some interesting views.
posted by willnot at 8:03 AM on November 10, 2008

Griffith Park Observatory (and this isn't even the best view).
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 8:10 AM on November 10, 2008

Hollywood Hills. Take Highland Blvd. up past the Hollywood bowl. Pass the 101 entrance, heading toward the valley. I can't remember the names of the streets - but there are entrances to the hills here on your left (there are also signs warning you to beware of deer crossing the road, I find this hilarious). Go up the steepest hill you can find, drive around until you find a good look out, and marvel at the view.

Bring someone to make out with, 90210 style!
posted by pazazygeek at 8:30 AM on November 10, 2008

Best answer: You can see the whole of downtown, all the way out to Santa Monica, the Hollywood sign/Griffith Observatory, and a good chunk of Silverlake/Glendale from my roof in Echo Park/Angelino Heights. The only view I'm missing is due East thanks to Chavez Ravine. Echo Park lake is just down the street and offers some picaresque shots as well. If you can get up on a rooftop (maybe mine?) in this neighborhood you've got yourself some great views.
posted by carsonb at 9:01 AM on November 10, 2008

I was riding my bike along the section of Griffith Park Dr between Sunset and Hyperion last night and was struck by the view of Hollywood.

The Getty closes at 6pm, so you should be able to get some nighttime pics soon.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 9:13 AM on November 10, 2008

I'll second the Standard for views of downtown. My rooftop has an amazing view and the Standard is pretty damn similar.
posted by ob at 10:36 AM on November 10, 2008

I've never taken pictures there, but the parking lots at the Arclight and the Grove both have good views.
posted by mogget at 11:42 AM on November 10, 2008

Seconding a good table at Yamashiro.
posted by lottie at 1:27 PM on November 10, 2008

Take the (outdoor) elevator to the top floor of the Bonaventure Hotel. Then go down. And up. And down....
posted by HotPatatta at 2:47 PM on November 10, 2008

Best answer: I'd say you can't get a more panoramic view of LA than at Runyon Canyon, just north of Hollywood Blvd, before Highland. The park has a few hiking trails which go all the way to the top of the hills overlooking Hollywood. On days when the smog isn't bad you can see as far as the ocean off Santa Monica. It also has a direct view of the Hollywood sign, from an angle not many people see. Runyon closes at dusk, but people are still out and about well after dark. And after the gates close, it's not too hard to climb a fence and enjoy the empty park's night view--just be quiet and don't go alone(I'd be more afraid of wildlife like coyotes, snakes and tarantulas than people).
posted by archae at 7:41 PM on November 10, 2008

Response by poster: Wow, lots of great suggestions. Thanks guys!
posted by EnormousTalkingOnion at 8:01 PM on November 10, 2008

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