The canyons and slopes of the Hollywood Hills, which run from Hollywood west to the canyons above Beverly Hills, are best seen from the winding concourse of Mulholland Drive, threading the crest of the mountains. With its striking panorama after dark of the illuminated city-grid stretching nearly to the horizon, the road is a prime axis for the LA good life, with mansions so commonplace that only the half-dozen fully blown castles really stand out. For a more up-close look at landmark architecture, take in a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N Highland Ave (Los Angeles Philharmonic concerts July–Sept, the massive concrete bandshell whose summer music offerings tend toward the crowd-pleasing variety.

Throughout Hollywood you can see the Hollywood Sign, erected as a property advertisement in 1923 (it spelled “Hollywoodland”, until 1949) and illuminated with four thousand light bulbs. Nowadays, infrared cameras and radar-activated zoom lenses have been installed to catch graffiti writers. Curious tourists who can’t resist a close look are liable for a steep fine. The best views can be had from the Griffith Observatory (opposite). For a much simpler look, see Whollywoodsign.org.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

King of the road: on the Civil Rights Trail through America’s south

King of the road: on the Civil Rights Trail through America’s south

Next year marks 50 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr and also the launch of a new Civil Rights Trail through the USA's south. On a road …

05 Dec 2017 • Ella Buchan local_activity Special feature
Weird America: 9 of the USA's most bizarre traditions

Weird America: 9 of the USA's most bizarre traditions

Despite being a relatively young nation – at just 240 years old – America has developed its fair share of traditions. Most of us are familiar with the big h…

24 Nov 2017 • Helen Abramson insert_drive_file Article
Video: a brief history of the American road trip

Video: a brief history of the American road trip

We dug into the visual archives of yore to bring you a brief history of the American road trip. From the first coast-to-coast car voyage in the USA to today…

10 Nov 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right