5 min read

Los Angeles After Dark: Top Scenic Spots for Night Owls

As the LA skyline twinkles, uncover the city's best-kept nocturnal secrets where the night view isn't just a backdrop, it's the main event. Ready to see Los Angeles in a whole new light?

Tobi Miles
February 9, 2021

Los Angeles is one of the largest cities in the world. A vast area of urban diversity equates to great views if you know where to look for viewpoints and observation decks.

Although it does not have skyscrapers like Chicago or New York, downtown LA still has quite an impressive skyline. The Pacific Ocean is another great view. After bustling traffic and sightseeing, there is a certain serenity in watching the pulsating City of Angels from the best viewing points in town.

Even the worst neighborhoods in LA like Boyle Heights, Watts, and some parts of East LA look great from above at nighttime when the lights erase differences between parts of town.

Top views in LA

Among the best-known viewing points, the Griffith Observatory is definitely in the top three spots. Located in big 4,210 acres Griffith Park, the area offers an incredible view of downtown LA, and you should visit it at night to see the lights of the metropolis underneath you.

Easy access from Mulholland Drive makes Hollywood Bowl Overlook one of the premier places to gaze at the huge city under the Hollywood Sign. The area has telescopes, and you can see the town and the Pacific Ocean.

Another Mulholland Drive spot is Universal City Overlook. You will great view of San Fernando Valley, Verdugo Hills, and Universal Studios.

San Vincent Mountain Park is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts. You can select from various hiking, cycling, and other trails and picnic areas. On top, there is a 360-observation deck where you will see Los Angeles, Santa Monica Mountains, San Fernando Valley, and Encino Reservoir.

You can go to Kenneth Hahn Recreational Area for another skyline perspective, where you can take great pictures both day and night.

Los Angeles Night

A great spot close to the town center is Elysian Park. His peak is Angel’s Point, and you can look at downtown LA and San Gabriel Mountains from the oldest park in LA.

LA City Hall has a free observation deck on the 27th floor. Besides great views from downtown, you can also explore this historic building finished in 1928.

Things to do alone in LA

You can lose yourself and blend in the enormous Los Angeles. The city offers so many attractions and things to do. For those who wonder is los angeles safe, there is no short answer. It is mostly safe, and you can walk through all neighborhoods during the day, but you might want to skip some parts of the town at night, especially if you are alone.

You can head down to one of the beaches and sunbathe, drink coffee or beer and enjoy views on the ocean. Some of the best spots are Malibu, Venice, and Santa Monica Beach. Huge sandy beaches attract crowds throughout the city, but that is part of the appeal.

Suppose you like art and nature, head down to the Huntington Library Art Collections & Botanical Gardens. Stroll through the Zen Court, Jungle Garden, or grab a quick snack at the Rose Garden.

Los Angeles Nighttime views

LA is a huge concrete jungle, but the city has great parks and outdoor areas all over. You can go hiking at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park, Corral Canyon Park close to Malibu, or Griffit, San Vincent, and Elysian Parks mentioned above.

LA is a synonym for visual arts and cinematography. It is also a place with great theatres where you can enjoy vintage and modern arenas. The Crest is a smaller theater built-in 1940 in Westwood Blvd. Aero Theatre in Santa Monica also has an old-school appeal. Disney’s El Capitan is situated in a restored 1926 colonial-style building on Hollywood BLVD, but it is full of the latest cinema technology inside.

The Palace Theatre dates back to 1911, and its 1100 seat and original decorating look vintage and offer a great atmosphere. Other notable theatres include Vista, Chinese and Egyptian venues.

LA is also a great place for shopping, or if you visit Rodeo Drive window shopping.

If you need a break, there is a huge selection of excellent street food vendors in food trucks and stands.

Santa Monica Beach

A long sandy beach might be the best feature of Santa Monica, but it is not the only one. You can blend in with big crowds under the Cali sun, and after a laid-back afternoon, there are some great attractions to explore. Historic Santa Monica Pier is the final station of Route 66. It also has a roller coaster and Ferris wheel, great bars, and restaurants. Check out the Farmers Market and pedestrian zone in Third Street Promenade.

Los Angeles Nighttime

Bottom line

There is nothing better than to sit and relax on one of the hills surrounding the enormous LA metropolis and gaze in the city lights. Some views are spectacular, and if you spent your day exploring the town, it would be a perfect closure.

Article updated:
January 5, 2024

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