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Want to get the best photo of the Hollywood sign on your Los Angeles trip? Ditch your maps app.


LOS ANGELES (CIRCA) — With 590,000 tags on Instagram and growing — and dozens of related tags under its belt — the Hollywood sign is easily one of the most popular tourist spots in all of Los Angeles.

The Hollywood sign is probably the No. 1 picture taken in LA. It’s trending on Instagram all the time. And Hollywood generally is a top draw for tourists in Southern California.

Tourists at the #HollywoodSign get that picture they came for.

At any given time, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of tourists trying to get that one iconic shot of the Hollywood sign.

Ready to find out how to get the perfect shot? Follow us.

The sign is in an area called Beachwood Canyon in the Hollywood Hills. But if you type “Hollywood sign” into a maps app, that’s not where it’ll take you.

Quiz: Which national park are you?

The app drops the pin in the right location, at the top of Mount Lee. But if you ask it for directions, it offers a route to the Griffith Observatory. While the observatory is famous in its own right, that’s not where you’re trying to go.

That’s how the city wants tourists to experience the sign. But if you’re a tourist and don’t know the city like a local, you’ll likely be disappointed when you show up at Griffith Observatory with a very disappointing, tiny view of the sign.

If you follow your maps app's directions to the #HollywoodSign, this is the view you'll get. Disappointing, right?

Instead, type “Lake Hollywood Park” into your app. This is where the travel bloggers go. It’s a public dog park, and there are multiple perfect spots for your picture.

Here’s where things get a little complicated, though: Parking is free, but only on one stretch of road in front of the park. If you go wandering past the park on foot, the neighbors are … let’s say far from welcoming.

What you’re not able to tell from the beautiful Instagram shots of the Hollywood sign is that it sits above a neighborhood. And that’s the crux of the problem. Tourists trying to get that perfect shot of the sign clog the narrow neighborhood streets residents use to just get about in their daily lives.

For years, the residents of Beachwood Canyon have waged war on tourists for disturbing the peace. That’s not hyperbole. In fact, the residents have made such a fuss, it’s the reason your maps app originally redirected you to the Griffith Observatory.

Follow the #travel crew's way to the #HollywoodSign and here's what you get.

One of the most problematic intersections is at Mulholland Highway and Ledgewood Drive. Tons of people drive up to the area looking for a parking spot only to find there are none. Parking enforcement officials turn tourists back toward Lake Hollywood Park. It’s a U-turn fest that further complicates things.

But if you catch a ride to the park or luck out and get one of the parking spots directly in front of it, you’ll not only avoid the headache, but you’ll plant yourself in the prime spot for that iconic travel blogger-esque picture of the Hollywood sign.


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