This gorgeous outdoor amphitheatre has been hosting concerts since the LA Philharmonic first played here in 1922. Nestled in an aesthetically blessed fold in the Hollywood Hills, the 18,000-seat venue can bring out the romantic in the terminally cynical. It’s the summer home of the LA Philharmonic (who host free weekday open rehearsals; call the venue for more info), but it’s hosted everyone from the Beatles to Big Bird, and today mixes classical concerts with all manner of rock and pop.
Sunset Ranch Hollywood
If you keep driving up Beachwood Driv in search of the Hollywood Sign, eventually you’ll hit a dead end at Sunset Ranch Hollywood’s cluster of horse stables. The ranch offers a variety of daily trail rides through Griffith Park, and you can book ahead on their website. Pricier and longer rides include meals or a trek to the top of the park or Mt Lee, but even the basic one hour ride ($40) lets you snag a close-up look at the Hollywood Sign along with sweeping views of the hills and LA cityscape below.
It’s still a great place to catch a movie but most people come to the Chinese Theatre for the hand and/or foot imprints of around 200 Hollywood stars. The courtyard is usually choked with snap-happy tourists measuring their own extremities against the likes of John Wayne and Judy Garland, but you can avoid the crowds by catching a flick inside, where the auditorium is as stunning as the IMAX screen’s projection quality.