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Top Vantage Points for Views of Los Angeles

If you think there's little more to Los Angeles than sun, sea, sand and celebrities, you must discover some of the city's hidden gems, where you'll find beautiful natural scenery and breathtaking views.

The City of Angels is California's most populous metropolis and it's no wonder as the area is a thriving hub of commerce. As well as being a shopper's paradise, LA is a centre for culture, entertainment, media and fashion, also boasting a range of wonderful beaches and a stunning skyline.

As you travel towards Los Angeles Airport, you're sure to notice the scene below is a mixture of vast open sea, mountains and glittering urban areas. And when you touch down after completing your Los Angeles cheap flights you might like to explore all the different types of terrain during your holiday.

The area's climate is one of its biggest draws and it's no wonder as the subtropical-Mediterranean weather means it's rarely cold here. Be sure to pack plenty of summery clothes if you're travelling during the especially warm months.

Of course the beaches are another top attraction and there's plenty of choice, whether you enjoy hustle and bustle at places like Venice Beach or quieter, isolated spots, such as El Matador. If you're something of a beach bum, this might be a consideration when you choose the accommodation for your stay. However, if you're hoping to find more during your break, you might not mind being somewhere further from the sand.

To take in superb views of Los Angeles harbour and the glistening Catalina Channel, journey to the neighbourhood of San Pedro where you'll find Angel's Gate Park. Inside is a massive bronze bell house situated in a stone pavilion and it's from here that you'll be afforded some beautiful vistas. The creation was a gift to the city from Korea in 1976 and is the ideal spot for some wonderful views as well as a pleasant picnic.

In the evening, when your tummy's rumbling, why not head into the city and decide on a place for dinner? You'll find a wealth of eateries here but if you'd like to combine sampling some culinary delights with enjoying more memorable views, you might want to choose a rooftop restaurant to visit for your meal.

This is a great way of experiencing Los Angeles' imposing skyline all lit up, or visit by day to see the city in full swing.

Meanwhile, why not call in at some of LA's attractions? The Griffith Observatory is a great day out and offers all kinds of exhibits relating to space and science. Wander through the Hall of the Eye and the Hall of the Sky and take a look through the Zeiss Telescope at night to observe the stars. Around seven million people have put their eye to the lens in the observatory's history. Take in a show at the planetarium and then have a look at the exhibits outside.

While the facility offers a fascinating glimpse into space, the setting is also ideal for an equally stunning view over the Los Angeles Basin. In fact, the location is among the most renowned in the city for admiring the surroundings, so be sure to have your camera to hand.

Another of LA's attractions is, of course, Hollywood. The historical centre of film studios and celebrities, don't be surprised if you spot a few famous faces as you make your way towards the Hollywood sign for a great photo opportunity. Continue on and you'll reach the picturesque park of Runyon Canyon, which runs over 160 acres and is situated at the eastern side of the mountains in Santa Monica.

The rugged natural landscape here is in total contrast with the built-up city centre and it's great place to take a walk on the wild side, following the hiking trails. Stretch your legs as you climb towards Indian Rock - a peak standing 402 metres tall and affording truly awesome vistas over downtown LA and the surrounding scenery.

Nature fans will be in their element as you can spot hawks, owls, coyotes and deer, among other species.

Not far away is Temescal Canyon, which can also be found in the Santa Monica Mountains. This is another ideal vantage point, especially on clear days when you can enjoy wonderful views of the ocean. There's a seasonal waterfall and surrounding dense woodland to take in as you climb up to 1,000 feet. Deep down in the canyon you'll come across various tiny waterfalls and a bridge by a larger flow of water to make your adventure ever more picturesque and enjoyable.

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