One of LA's most distinguishing icons, the famous HOLLYWOOD sign proudly stands on the hillside of the Hollywood Hills, overlooking its namesake city and the movie industry it has come to symbolize.
LA's most famous landmark first appeared on its hillside perch in 1923, as a advertising gimmick for a real-estate development called Hollywoodland. Each letter stands 50 feet (15 m) tall and is made of sheet metal painted white.
Once aglow with 4,000 light bulbs, the sign even had its own caretaker, who lived behind the letter L until 1939. The last four letters were lopped off in the 1940s as the sign started to crumble along with the rest of Hollywood. In the late 1970s, Alice Cooper and Hugh Hefner joined forces with fans and other celebrities to save the famous symbol.
The best view of the Hollywood sign is from down below, at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Bronson Avenue. Other top viewing spots include Hollywood and Highland, the top of Beachwood Drive, and the Griffith Observatory. You can reach the sign on foot by taking the 5-mile (7.5 km) round-trip hike on the Brush Canyon Trail in Griffith Park - the trail head is at the end of Canyon Drive. You can also get great views of the Hollywood sign on various LA helicopter tours.