For when you just need a rewarding view without breaking a sweat.
L.A. has no shortage of jaw-dropping panoramas to take in, whether it’s rolling hills, steep cliffs with the ocean below, palm tree boulevards or the twinkling lights of Downtown L.A. With so much to admire, there’s only so much time we all have to dedicate to working out for a glimpse of the city. With that in mind, we’ve gathered some incredible spots that offer those sweeping vistas with little to no physical effort.
1. LA City Hall Observation Deck
Views of this historic building itself are pretty great but the views from the 27th floor don’t disappoint either. From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays you can head to the City Hall Observation Deck and take in sunsets over L.A. at absolutely no cost. Plus there’s an elevator, so no workout required.
Location: 200 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
2. Yamashiro Hollywood
This 1920s Japanese palace is perched high up on a Hollywood hilltop. You can dine on sushi or Cal-Asian fare in the stunning outdoor spaces or just wander around the pool, koi ponds to take in the scenery while waiting for your takeout. And don’t miss the 600-year-old pagoda with a giant antique Buddha.
Note: Street parking is not available and valet parking costs $10.
Location: 1999 N. Sycamore Ave, Hollywood
3. Griffith Observatory
No list would be complete without this L.A. spot. The views from the Art Deco landmark are epic at any time of the day. So while the Observatory is currently closed, you can still drive up there just before it closes at 10 pm and get a parking spot right outside it.
Location: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Griffith Park
4. Baldwin Hills
Baldwin Hills might be famous for the steep 282 step climb that leaves your legs numb, but if you’ve already met your leg day quota for the week (or just don’t feel up to it) then all you have to do is drive up and park at the top for a small fee. It costs $2 per hour or $6 per day and it’s open from 8 a.m. to sunset.
Location: 6300 Hetzler Rd. in Culver City off of Jefferson Blvd.
5. Bluff Cove
While this is technically L.A. County, Bluff Cove is worth a mention considering those scenic rocky shores and the lush vegetation. You can even park at one of the Palos Verdes trailheads and take a short walk to a hidden swing (if it’s still there). While Bluff Cove Trail offers the most majestic views of the Pacific along with incredible marine life to marvel at, you could also just park along Paseo Del Mar for a quick photo session.
Location: Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274, USA
6. Vista Hermosa Natural Park
This is a popular spot for good reason; it offers an iconic framing of the city and it has just the right amount of people to make you feel like you have company but don’t feel suffocated. You can run, workout, walk your dog, picnic and read, or just sit down people watch. There a small parking lot or street parking available, but it does tend to get busy on weekends.
Location: 100 N Toluca St, Los Angeles, CA 90026
7. Elysian Park Near Dodger Stadium
There’s practically no bad view in Elysian Park, but the one overlooking Dodger Stadium is simply iconic. You can also take a short drive to Angels Point further down the road with an equally epic views.
Location: Academy Road, Los Angeles, CA 90012
8. Echo Park
Despite what anyone says about Echo Park, the swan boats are offer one of the best views of both the city and park itself. With lush greenery, lotus flower beds atop the lake and the Downtown skyline as a backdrop, you’ll get the best of both worlds and have fun doing it.
Location: 751 Echo Park Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026
9. Perch LA
While most of the vantage points listed above will make Downtown L.A. feel miles away, Perch will make you feel like your soaring amongst the city skyscrapers. Get cozy on the plush sofas, sip on delicious cocktails and take in a gorgeous sunset for almost no effort.
Location: 448 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
10. Mulholland Drive
There are several scenic outlooks along the iconic road and none of them disappoint. Parking may be difficult and law enforcement officers have been known to doll out tickets, so be vigilant and follow the rules.
Location: Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles, CA, USA
11. Spire 73
For an elevated cocktail hour with sweeping views, look no further than the 73rd floor of the highest rooftop bar in the Western Hemisphere. You won’t need to do anything more than take an elevator up to enjoy this plush setting with divine beverages and food.
Featured Image: Yamashiro Hollywood via Facebook