Standing tall and proud, the Hollywood Sign is a cherished icon that has come to symbolise the dreams and allure of Los Angeles. Its journey began as a marketing ploy for housing development in the 1920s, but it soon evolved into an emblem for the entire city.
Today, as the Hollywood Sign celebrates its centennial anniversary, travellers from around the world are invited to explore the myriad of outdoor activities and experiences that offer panoramic views of this legendary landmark.
The Hollywood Sign’s popularity transcends its association with the movie industry. According to Jeff Zarrinnam, chairman of the Hollywood Sign Trust, people are drawn to the sign because it represents aspirations and possibilities in their lives. As visitors approach the Hollywood Hills, the allure of the sign becomes irresistible, urging them to explore its history and the city it represents.
Over the past century, Hollywood Sign has faced numerous challenges, including threats from developers and potential disrepair. However, thanks to the dedication of citizens and celebrities alike, the iconic landmark and the surrounding area have been protected and preserved for future generations. The Hollywood Sign Trust, a non-profit organisation, was formed to ensure the cultural and historic significance of the sign remains intact. Through their efforts, the 45-foot-tall letters have been meticulously maintained and refreshed, allowing the sign to continue shining brightly as a beacon of hope and inspiration.
Beyond being a symbol of Hollywood’s movie industry, the Hollywood Sign holds deep cultural significance. A survey revealed that nine out of ten Americans consider the Hollywood Sign an iconic American landmark, on par with other national treasures such as the Statue of Liberty, Washington Monument, Mount Rushmore, and the Golden Gate Bridge. It is a testament to the enduring impact of the entertainment industry and the city itself on the American psyche.
To commemorate the Hollywood Sign’s centennial anniversary, the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board encourage tourists to get outside and appreciate the iconic landmark from various vantage points. Hikers can choose from several trails, each offering unique views of the Sign and the city.
Some of the best ways to experience the Sign
Griffith Park: Offering multiple hiking trails, Griffith Park is a perfect spot to witness the Hollywood Sign’s grandeur. The Cahuenga Peak Trail rewards hikers with a spectacular view from behind the Sign, overlooking Downtown Los Angeles.
Bronson Canyon: Known for being the Batcave from the 1960s Batman TV show, Bronson Canyon features a selection of hikes and vantage points to view the Sign from different angles.
Lake Hollywood Park: For those seeking a more leisurely experience, the reservoir at Lake Hollywood Park provides a direct and stunning view of the Hollywood Sign, accessible by car and a short walk.
Runyon Canyon: As one of LA’s most popular locations, Runyon Canyon offers distant and dramatic vistas of the Sign, along with the chance to spot celebrities and play with dogs.
The Hollywood Bowl: Climb to the top of The Hollywood Bowl amphitheatre for striking views of the stage and the Sign perched in the hills beyond.
Accommodations with a View
While LA can be known for luxury, there are also affordable hotels that offer picturesque views of the Hollywood Sign.
The Kimpton Everly Hotel: This boutique hotel provides views of the Sign and Hollywood hills from its rooftop and selected guest rooms.
Tommie Hollywood: Enjoy panoramic city and Hollywood Sign views from the colourful rooftop pool and Hollywood Hills view guestrooms.
Thompson Hollywood: With its chic rooftop pool and dining experiences, the Thompson Hollywood offers impressive views of the Hollywood Sign.
W Hollywood: In the vibrant setting of Hollywood Boulevard, W Hollywood provides sweeping views of the iconic Hollywood Sign from its rooftop pool, lounge, guest rooms, suites, and event spaces.
Affordable Experiences Unique to LA
For travellers seeking unforgettable experiences on a budget, Los Angeles has plenty to offer.
Griffith Observatory – An iconic experience in Los Angeles, and the gateway to the cosmos in Southern California, offering stunning views of the city and the famed Hollywood Sign, all accessible with free daily admission.
TV Tapings: Attend free TV tapings at major studios, where popular shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Late Late Show with James Corden film their episodes.
Dodger Stadium: Catch a baseball game at Dodger Stadium, a true cathedral of Major League Baseball, where tickets start at just $12 for home games.
Vintage and Thrift Stores: Unearth hidden treasures at world-renowned vintage and thrift stores, such as Crossroads Trading Company, Melrose Trading Post, and It’s a Wrap in Burbank.
Dine and Delight on a Budget
Los Angeles offers a diverse culinary scene with options for every budget. Visitors can savour multicultural cuisine and cutting-edge fusion fare without breaking the bank.
Iconic LA Markets: Head to places like Grand Central Market, Smorgasburg in the Arts District on Sundays, or the Original Farmer’s Market, where visitors can enjoy delicious dishes and soak in the city’s vibrant atmosphere.
Food Trucks and Stands: Los Angeles’ food trucks, often run by renowned chefs, provide an array of eclectic and affordable meals, reflecting the city’s diverse culinary culture.
The Hollywood Sign’s centennial anniversary invites travellers to explore the essence of Los Angeles through its numerous outdoor adventures and affordable experiences. As the iconic landmark continues to represent dreams and aspirations, visitors can hike through scenic trails, relish diverse cuisines, and create unforgettable memories with breath-taking views of the Hollywood Sign, all while enjoying the charm and allure of the City of Angels.
“As Spring transitions into summer, opportunities to enjoy the sunshine, fresh air, and gorgeous views of The Hollywood Sign abound,” said Adam Burke, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board.
“The Hollywood sign is an integral part of the LA story. It is more than an icon; it is where dreams come true! Perched atop, the sign is visible from hiking trails, restaurants, and luxury hotels. No visit to Los Angeles is complete without visiting this iconic landmark. On the centennial anniversary of the Hollywood Sign, it allows us to celebrate the true spirit of Los Angeles,” said Seema Kadam, Regional Director Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board.