Let me take you on a tour of arguably one of the best places to get a huge variety of Instagram shots, my favourite city: Los Angeles.
1. Hollywood Sign
There are three amazing places to get shots with the world famous Hollywood sign:
Hike to the sign
For shots with the back of the sign you want to hike up to the top of Mt. Lee. To find out exactly how to get there take a look at my post How to hike to the Hollywood sign.
Lake Hollywood Park
With the sign smiling down on it, this park is the perfect place for a picnic and a cute couple shot whilst you’re at it.
Street parking is free from 6am-8pm, spaces are usually available on both sides of the road on Canyon Lake Dr.
Hollywood sign viewpoint
This is actually right next to Lake Hollywood Park, it’s just a few steps further up the sloped footpath.
Up here there are plenty of spots to get photos. Everyone queues to stand up on the rocks but really you can stand anywhere to get great photos with the sign in the background. For a slightly quieter spot, walk a little further on to where there’s a couple of trees.
2. TCL Chinese Theatre
“Mary’s got the same size hands as Marilyn Monroe, she put her fingers in the imprints at Mann’s Chinese Theatre Show” – Kelly Rowland.
Miss Monroe undoubtedly brings in more tourists than any other name scrawled in concrete. The proof is in the prints; the colour of her imprints compared to everyone else’s are much much darker and worn.
To protect Sid Grauman’s legacy the forecourt is roped off every night and is washed first thing in the morning before it opens at 8.30am.
PFH Top Tips for getting a photo with your hands in your favourite star’s imprints:
Know where you’re going, Marilyn is located near the back on the left hand side. I suggest researching who you want to see and where they are before you go so you can make a beeline for them.
Wait out front at 8.30am, they open up from the left so stand there to get in first.
Bring a towel or tissues to mop up the water, the sun won’t have dried them off at 8.30am.
Bring antibacterial hand gel or wipes because your hands are going to look grim when you’re done.
3. Central Perk
What? Really? Central Perk, as in the coffee shop from F.R.I.E.N.D.S? Yep, you read it right!
The Warner Bros Studios Tour features a chance to sit on the famous brown couch whilst pretending to sip out of coffee cups the size of buckets. The full Central Perk set was rebuilt for our enjoyment, and there’s even a functioning café where you can pick up a coffee and pose with the Central Perk window shown so many times throughout the show.
Of course this isn’t the only piece of T.V. history you can get a snap with. The tour includes Rosewood from Pretty Little Liars, Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls and the exterior of the Full House house!
You may even be lucky enough to visit one of their current production’s sets such a Big Bang Theory, Fuller House or Ellen – you won’t be able to take photos in these though, but it’s an amazing opportunity either way!
Tour tickets start from $55 for children aged 8-12 and $65 for adults. You can purchase them here.
4. Beverly Hills Hotel
My favourite photos from my whole three week trip were taken in the driveway to this hotel!
The Beverly Hills Hotel is part of the Dorchester Collection and oozes Hollywood history and glamour, it’s iconic!
For the best angle that will allow you to get in the full sign, you’ll want to stand between the first and second lamp posts and keep to the left. SAFETY PRECAUTION: This is the main entrance to the hotel by car so vehicles come through frequently. Keep alert, be patient and you’ll get your shot, but remember no photo is worth getting run over!
5. Palm tree lined road
One of the first things that comes to mind when I think of L.A. is cruising towards the Hollywood sign down a long stretch of road lined with skinny palms trees that are reaching up to a bright blue sky, the sun flickering between each tree as you pass.
For a chance to stand in-between all of this perfection head over to where S Windsor Blvd meets W 5th St, and face North down Windsor Blvd. The sign might not seem close enough for your liking but it’s the best chance you’ve got of framing it between rows of palm trees.
It’s a pretty quiet residential area but there are still a few cars passing through, the road is also located close to a crossroad so stay alert and make sure it is completely clear before stepping out into the road. I suggest going early in the morning, it will be safer as there are less cars about.
“June Gloom” was taking over at the time we shot here so not only did we not get that dreamy blue sky but we also didn’t stand a chance of getting the Hollywood sign in the background, but hopefully you’ll have better luck and a clear day.
There is parking all along these streets but keep in mind where you’re snapping from when you park your car so it’s not in your shot.
6. Beverly Gardens Park
This 1.9 mile park goes from Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevard to Dohney and Santa Monica Boulevard and features one of the most photographed spots in town! The 40 foot long “Beverly Hills” sign, accompanied by a big water feature, sits between N Beverly Dr and N Canon Dr.
There is free parking along the back of the park but if those spaces are full the surrounding streets also offer parking. Just make sure you check the time allowance if you’re planning on being in the park longer than just to take photos.
7. Urban Light
LACMA’s most famous art installation is lit up 24/7 so if you can handle it, arrive as late as you can to get nighttime shots that don’t have people zipping in and out of the background.
PFH Top Tip: Save money on parking by ditching the pricey LACMA multistories and use the Whole Foods parking lot located on the corner of S Fairfax Ave and W 3rd St. it’s a 15min walk to Urban Light with 1hr 30mins free parking for customers but if you are aiming to shoot late then you shouldn’t have a problem.
8. Colette Miller Wings
Miller painted a series of wings across the world “to remind humanity that we are the angels of this Earth”. Six years later they’re still crazy popular on the gram.
As L.A. is where they first made an appearance there are five across the city:
Traction and Hewitt in the Arts District.
Angel City Brewery.
St. Regis Wine & Liquor.
9. The “Made in L.A.” Wall
Located on the side of Cisco Home on the corner of Melrose Ave and N Laurel Ave.
10. Paul Smith Pink Wall
If you want a free fashion show you’ve come to the right place! People really step up their game at the pink wall and bring a multitude of props. In the 10mins I was there I saw flowers being thrown and even a fake picnic being set up!
Luckily queues go down quickly for this one because the wall is long enough to accommodate at least five people to pose away at one time, with plenty of space in-between so that no one else is in your shot.
FYI you can’t use any kind of professional camera equipment to take photos with the wall it’s “cell phones only” so make sure to use the best one out of the people travelling with you. Sounds strange I know but there’s actually a man whose sole job is to monitor people at the wall, making sure they only use phones and keep a good distance. I swear the security for this wall is tighter than Beyoncé’s Deréon jeans.
If you make it to the Paul Smith wall there’s an instaworthy coffee shop on the opposite side of the road called Carerra Café. They also have an awesome hand painted mural wall that changes frequently. Unfortunately it was in the middle of being painted with the latest Hollywood mural when we tried to shoot there and couldn’t make it back for when it was finished. The wall isn’t even the best bit though. Here you will find the most snap-worthy coffee in town. Using the Ripple Maker they can print a multitude of images from slogans to Kim KW’s ugly cry onto the foam of your latté or cappuccino! If you’re super prepared you can even download the Ripple app and have any image of your choice printed on your coffee!
They’re open everyday 8am-6pm.
For a chance to be featured on my Instastories use #postcardsfromhawaiiblog on your snaps at these locations!