Los Angeles astounds with its oozing cultural diversity and a myriad of photogenic places. You can spend day and night photographing one of the most remarkable cities in the world. But while Instagrammable options are plenty, there are only a few iconic photo spots in Los Angeles you can’t miss.
Iconic Photo Spots in Los Angeles
Oh, Los Angeles! There are no other places like this sprawling city on California’s Southern Coast. Classic and wild, impeccable and flawed – the famous La La Land is a city of many hats and the most photographed landmarks in the world. Home to Hollywood, Los Angeles intermixes extravaganza and exuberance of the movie industry with laid-back culture of a coastal city. There is pitiless negligence and glamor of the 20th century, expressed in eye-catching architecture and street art of the city.
But the true nature and spirit of Los Angeles shines through its iconic photo spots. Whether it is a classic hotel or a world-famous attraction, the capital of Hollywood expresses its quintessential side in the exquisite photographic landmarks. For those who dare to find them, here are the 12 iconic photo spots in Los Angeles.
The Classic Photo Spots in Los Angeles:
1. Santa Monica Beach and Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Beach and the Santa Monica Pier rightfully belong to the most visited and photographed places in Los Angeles. Be it an iconic photo of you burying your feet in golden sand with the Santa Monica Pier in the background or a dreamy picture of vibrant colors of amusement park cutting through reddish sunset, the place guarantees some of the iconic photo spots in Los Angeles. Every stretch of land, every corner of the pier ensure the unforgettable moments and saturated images that will make overused Instagram filters fade.
Address: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
2. Hollywood Sign
The Hollywood Sign is one of the indisputable iconic photo spots in Los Angeles. The massive white letters symbolize the essence and unprecedented character of the city. Featured in countless Hollywood movies, the familiar sign lures every visitor aiming for the stunning photos of Los Angeles.
Fortunately, the iconic landmark towering over the city displays itself from afar. Thus, you don’t need to search for a specific address or hike up the hills to feast your eyes on it. However, an exceptional photo asks for the particular Hollywood Sign photo spots in Los Angeles.
3. Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame barely presents ideal conditions for photography. And yet, it is one of the most sought-after iconic photo spots in Los Angeles. The classic sidewalk with embedded brass stars seduces millions of visitors, dreaming of those perfect pictures with the names of their favorite celebrities.
Address: Hollywood Boulevard, Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028
4. Griffith Observatory
The stunning photos of Los Angeles often are the main reason to see the capital of Hollywood in person. Interestingly though, just a few visitors realize how many of those classic pictures are taken at the Griffith Observatory. The iconic structure sits on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood and is among the best photo spots in Los Angeles.
The locals and visitors organize their special moments photoshoots on the ground of the Griffith Observatory. Fashion bloggers admire its massive white walls that provide crisp, undisturbed background to the images. Travel photographer also hasten to the Griffith Observatory to capture the views of downtown Los Angeles and the famous Hollywood Sign. Even night photographers regards this place as one of the classic photo spots in Los Angeles to shoot the starry sky.
Address: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
5. Rodeo Drive
Fashion and photography go hand in hand on Rodeo Drive. One of the world’s most exclusive luxury destinations, it is also one of the iconic photo spots in Los Angeles. American classic comedy Pretty Woman certainly plays not the last role in it. But can you blame the movie for this? Hollywood doesn’t do mediocre things. And it surely doesn’t choose mediocre shooting locations for its blockbusters.
Address: Beverly Hills, CA
6. The Beverly Hills Hotel
The iconic five-star hotel has seen some of the biggest names in the world over the past century. It was used as a shooting location and featured in some of the most prominent publications. But famous for its legendary service and notable guests, the Pink Palace is hardly affordable for the average visitors of California. Yet, there is no charge for popping up in the entrance and snapping a few photos for your iconic Los Angeles collection.
Address: 9641 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
7. Venice Beach Boardwalk
The Venice Beach Boardwalk strikes as the place where people of all walks of life come together. Hipsters, bodybuilders, street performers, avid beachgoers – you don’t need any other iconic photo spots to capture cultural diversity of Los Angeles.
Address: 1800 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291
8. Venice Sign
While the Hollywood Sign is a symbol of Los Angeles, the Venice Sign celebrates quintessence and free spirit of Venice. Set amid busy intersection, the iconic sign spans across Windward Avenue at Pacific. Despite the heavy traffic, it is one of the most popular photo spots among the locals and visitors of Los Angeles.
Address: Pacific Ave & Windward Ave, Venice, CA 90291
9. Getty Center
The Getty Center allures connoisseurs of art and history and surprisingly photography. The central museum of Los Angeles offers remarkable opportunities for photographing its impeccable architecture, lush gardens, and scenic city views.
Address: 1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049
10. “Urban Lights” at LACMA
The outdoor “Urban Lights” installation is a highlight of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art at least according to its picture-thirsty visitors. The exhibit features 202 vintage street lamps and belongs to the most iconic photo spots in Los Angeles. Nestled in front of the museum entrance, the place seems to exist independently. But it doesn’t take long to dispel this illusion. Moreover, this photogenic place in Los Angeles is free of charge and is open any time of the day.
Address: 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
11. The Last Bookstore
Your regular bookstore is probably not an ideal place to take great photos. But The Last Bookstore is not an average book sanctuary. Decorated with book arches and perfect round windows, the vintage bookstore is hands down one of the favorite iconic photo spots in Los Angeles. Its distinct shapes made with help of the books surely power your imagination and ensure the stunning shots you have never dreamed of. Even the non-book lovers can’t skip this photogenic place when strolling down the streets in downtown LA.
Address: 453 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
12. Venice Canals
The Venice Canal Historic District is an American answer to Italian Venice. Built in 1905 by developer Abbot Kinney, the place adopts countless man-made canals along with pedestrian walkways and fetching bridges. Colorful boats and occasional ducks adorn the Venice canals, presenting ample photo opportunities.
Address: Venice, CA 90292
Although the Hollywood Sign is indeed iconic, it isn’t a particularly good photo spot, since it is so far away that it is difficult to get a good shot of the sign without hiking for miles uphill.
The Venice canals and the Venice Boardwalk are intriguing locations to explore, but aren’t ideal photo spots.
The Getty Center is great, but the original Getty Villa in Malibu is much more photogenic, resembling an ancient Roman villa in its prime.
The Griffith Park Observatory is wonderful, but if you want a view of the downtown skyline from that location, you have to wait until you have a super-clear day (such as following a rain or strong winds), or else the smog/haze tends to obscure the view.
And while on the walk of Fame, Be sure to visit the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (now renamed TCL). It’s free for court out front is filled with the footprints and handprints of countless Hollywood superstars, from Clark Gable to Marilyn Monroe to the Star Trek cast, that all preserved in cement where the stars left them.
Extremely photographic locations that were left off the list include the Huntington Library and Gardens, the Palos Verdes cliffs with its ocean views (including the Point Vicente lighthouse and Wayfarers Chapel), and The Los Angeles County Arboretum.
The places you mentioned are great indeed. Each of them have a plentitude of spots that look oh so incredible in pictures. In this article, though, I was focusing on the classic, iconic destinations within the Los Angeles area. I have other blog posts devoted to hidden gems and popular locations, including the Hollywood Sign (both hiking and photographing) and the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden.