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Eye-Popping Views

Perch yourself high above Hollywood Hills and have a picnic at the Hollywood Bowl. Choose your soundtrack from a lineup of rock concerts sponsored by local radio station KCRW or time it with a Los Angeles Philharmonic concert.

Top off any trip to Los Angeles—literally—by taking in the view from the Griffith Observatory. Located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, the 75-year-old icon offers stellar views of the heavens thanks to the observatory's original 12-inch Zeiss refracting telescope as well as a trio of solar telescopes.

Griffith Observatory is one of the best vantage points to see the Hollywood Sign. For a view of the sign from the ground, walk, run, or bike around Hollywood Reservoir Trail. The 4-mile walk around also offers great views of hillside mansions. The reservoir was built by the god of Los Angeles water, William Mulholland; its dam has a memorable movie cameo in Roman Polanski's Chinatown.

Seemingly floating above Downtown Los Angeles like a Jetsons-age oasis, the rooftop bar at the Standard Hotel attracts everyone from buttoned-up office workers, who flock to the space for happy hour drinks, to the swanked-out, late-night crowd. It’s a great place to take in the surrounding scenery.

Get a bird's-eye view of the city from the Getty Center, in Brentwood. Wander among the stunning, travertine marble-clad pavilions and explore the gardens. And then there's the art, including exceptional European paintings and antique French furniture. But it's hard to tear your eyes from the view, especially at sunset. Dine in nearby Brentwood, West Hollywood, or back in Beverly Hills—Spago, anyone?

Updated: 2014-07-24

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