Thursday, August 19, 2010

Best Place to Take your Picture with the Hollywood Sign

Confession- Up until a couple weeks ago, I had lived in California pretty much all my life and never did the Hollywood thing.  You know, the whole Hollywood and Highland, Walk of Fame, Mann’s Chinese Theater, hope to spot a celebrity and then take your picture next to the Hollywood Sign thing.  I guess growing up so close to Hollywood, it just didn’t seem that big of a deal.  My uncle was an actor, I went to school with child actors, and attended the same church as Kirk and Candace Cameron.  I was a jaded Southern California kid.

I am sure there was a time, probably in my pre-pubescent years, when going to Hollywood would have been a huge thrill, but my parents never took me.  It just wasn’t what you did.   Hollywood was for tourists and I was a local.   I think so many of us fall into that trap.  We have traveled all over the country yet we haven’t ever really explored what tourists come to see in our own neck of the woods.

This summer, my 11 and 13 year old niece and nephew came out from Texas to spend a week in California and they wanted to see Hollywood!  I got on the computer and did some research.  If we were going to sit in traffic for God knows how long on a Saturday afternoon, we had better do this right.  I knew one thing for sure- we were going to get a fabulous picture in front of the Hollywood Sign!

After spending a few hours walking amongst the mass of tourists on Hollywood Blvd, we traveled into the foothills and towards the entrance to the Mt Lee hiking trail, which takes you as close to the Hollywood Sign as you can legally get.  The roads up in the Hollywood Hills are notoriously narrow and windy.  There was more than one occasion in which one car had to pull over so another car can pass (so leave your motorhomes and trailers at home). It wasn’t long before we reached roads end and were so close to the sign I felt like we could touch it!

I admit, I was excited.  I mean we were at the world famous Hollywood Sign taking our picture!  We started snapping photos and suddenly the camera stopped snapping. WE WERE OUT OF BATTERY! No! No! No! We traveled all this way and we had to get a picture. Luckily, my husband had his Blackberry with him so we asked another tourist to take a family photo of us all. Yes, the resolution isn’t the best and I could have hoped for better lighting, but we had our proof!

August 2010


Next year, when my niece and nephew come back out to California, we are going back to that dang sign. We will hike the Mt Lee Trail and take in all those amazing views of the LA Basin. Oh, and don’t worry- I am charging my camera, bringing a reserve battery, and we are getting that perfect picture with the Hollywood Sign!

If you want to get that perfect picture with the Hollywood Sign then follow these directions to the best spot to take your picture in all of Hollywood: From Hollwood Blvd and Highland head east on Hollywood Blvd until you reach N. Gower Street. Left on N. Gower, then Right on Franklin Ave. A couple blocks later, take a left on N. Beachwood Drive. Follow this for a bit and laugh at the people stopped to take their Hollywood Sign pictures because yours are going to be so much better! Take a left onto Ledgewood Drive and start winding up the canyon. Soon you will come to a bit of a complicated intersection of a few different residential streets. This is where you will make a right onto the very narrow and windy Deronda Drive. Follow this to the end and find someplace to park alongside the road.  You have arrived!

 Playing along with Trekaroo’s Spotlight Thurdsay.


Jess said...

Nice Hollywood pics! We did that on the way back north from your house, when we were down in May- found a dog park with a playground, real close to the sign. Fun!

Debi said...

I haven't done this hike, so thanks for the info. The closest we've gotten to the sign was from the Griffith Observatory, which was just this summer! So sad.

debi9kids said...

Very cool Shar and honestly, the picture isn't bad for being taken by a phone.
I'm so glad you got to view Hollywood through your niece & nephew's eyes :)

Carolina said...

I haven't been to Hollywood since I was a surly teenager (I did enjoy it then) but I've heard that they cleaned it up a bit since then.
I always drive by the sign, but don't stop for the picture. Will keep this place in my files for future reference.