Friday, December 13, 2013

mt. lee & the hollywood sign

when i think of los angeles, i think of the huge hollywood sign set high above the city in the hollywood hills. the letters are over 50 feet tall and can be seen from miles around, and it symbolizes all of the glitter and glitz of tinsel town. but despite my previous trip to la, where we did every typically touristy thing one should do in hollywood, i never really had the opportunity to appreciate this iconic image; it was always too far in the distance, spotted through skyscrapers. this trip to la would be different -- we were going all the way up there. 


to get up to the hollywood sign, you drive up through hollywoodland, a neighborhood built into the hollywood hills. the road is extraordinarily narrow, with cars having to pull over for others going the opposite way to pass, and the houses that line the road are spectacular. they're huge, beautiful, and in every style imaginable. once you drive as far as the road will allow, there's a tiny place to turn around and park. when we visited, it was rainy and gray out, so there weren't too many cars, but as we were leaving the sun was out and it was packed, so go in the middle of the day if you don't want to get stuck in a traffic jam. from that small parking area you can walk to the top of mt. lee (the "mountain" that's home to the hollywood sign). the road leads all the way up and it's a quick 2.5 mile round trip; at no point is the road particularly steep as there are a lot of switchbacks, but it can still be a bit strenuous if you don't do a lot of walking normally. 

the view from to the top is amazing: on one side, downtown la is spread out before you (above), and on the other, burbank (below). we even saw a rainbow!

to read more about the hollywood sign and it's history, check out this website. and i can't recommend this quick side trip enough -- there are a million and one things to do in la, and you can't possibly do them all, but this is definitely something you should make time for. it's not to be missed!

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