Winters in Southern California are usually pretty perfect. The air is crisp and the skies are blue making it the perfect time of year for a nice, relaxing hike. So let your inner explorer run wild, and take some time off your busy winter quarter schedule to enjoy some of the best views Los Angeles has to offer. Here are seven of our favorite spots:
1. Runyon Canyon
One thing's for sure: The deeper you go into the hills of LA, the better the view. That's why Runyon Canyon is at the top of our list. This landmark of a hiking trail is notorious for leaving all of its guests in complete awe. Runyon Canyon also has an off-leash dog park so you can bring all your furry friends on the journey!
2000 N Fuller Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90046 | (323) 666-5046 | Directions via transit from UCLA
2. Yamashiro Restaurant
Another one of our favorites is Yamashiro Restaurant, located in the vibrant community of Hollywood. Besides its breathtaking backdrop, this popular Los Angeles eatery is known for having one of the most stunning environments in the entire city. Equipped with a pagoda, numerous ponds, beautiful gardens, some spectacular dishes, and a marvelous sunset that stretches above the LA metro area to an infinite sky, this spot will soon become the topic of all your conversations. Try your best to get a seat at table 8—it’s the best view in the house!
1999 N Sycamore Ave., Hollywood, CA, 90068 | (323) 466-5125 | Directions via transit from UCLA
3. Griffith Observatory
Located in the Hollywood Hills just above the Los Feliz neighborhood, this iconic Los Angeles structure offers you one of the best views in town. The observatory provides you with a perfect Instagram worthy view of the Hollywood sign, Downtown LA and, on a clear day, even the Pacific Ocean! Not only do you get to experience a magnificent view, but you also get a chance to visit one of the best museums Los Angeles has to offer, at no cost! If you're up for a good hike, journey down the trail that starts from the Greek Theatre or Fern Dell toward the Observatory. During the weekends, LADOT offers a DASH Observatory Shuttle at a low cost.
2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles, CA 90027 | (213) 473-0800 | Directions via transit from UCLA
4. OUE Skyspace LA
If you’d like a 360 degree view of LA, this is most definitely the place for you. The all-new OUE Skyspace LA, California’s tallest open-air observation deck, is located nearly 1,000 feet above the city in the iconic U.S. Bank Tower. The observation terraces cover a complete 2,800 square feet of outdoor space and feature glass balustrades that showcase its spectacular view as far as possible. For the true and honest dare devils, OUE Skyspace LA is also equipped with a “sky slide,” a 45-foot outdoor slide that wraps around the exterior of the tower! Now that’s a view, am I right?
633 West Fifth Street, Suite 840, Los Angeles, CA 9007 | (213) 894- 9000 | Directions via transit from UCLA
5. Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
This recently restored area offers a magnificent view of the Los Angeles basin, the Pacific Ocean and all of its surrounding mountains. Not only does it offer you an amazing scenic view, but it also offers a state-of-the-art visitor center. Baldwin Hills is a great opportunity to enjoy and connect with nature as it's overflowing with many seasonal native wildflowers. If you are looking for a good, fairly easy hike and a great workout, the park's main attraction is its steps, which will take only 20 minutes to climb to the top.
6300 Hetzler Rd., Culver City, CA 90232 | (310) 558-5547 | Directions via transit from UCLA
6. Mount Hollywood
If you still find yourself wanting more amazing sights after your visit to the Griffith Observatory, then a hike up to Mount Hollywood is a definite must. Just head toward the Charlie Turner trail north of the Observatory parking lot and soon you will find yourself with a 360° spectacular view. You will be dazzled by many sights including the famous Hollywood sign, the Los Angeles basin, the San Gabriel Mountains, the San Fernando Valley and the Observatory itself! If you venture up on a clear day you might even be able to catch a sight of Catalina Island and the Pacific Ocean. This relatively short and easy hike is definitely a must-do.
2800 E Observatory Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027 | (323) 913-4688 | Directions via transit from UCLA
7. Barnsdall Art Park
Located at the crest of Olive Hill and overlooking the city of Los Angeles, Barnsdall Art Park offers you a grand and unique view of Hollywood. Just an easy hike up the hill and you will find yourself reveling in a great view of the Hollywood sign and the Griffith Observatory. The park also offers several unique installments to visitors, including the Hollyhock house, the Los Angeles Municipal Art gallery and the Barnsdall Gallery theater. On certain days you can catch an outdoor screening of your favorite movie or participate in the many activities the park hosts, such as summer wine tastings, a farmer's market and several art classes. When you plan your visit, be sure to catch a view of the sunset from the top of the hill.
4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027 | (323) 660-4254 | Directions via transit from UCLA