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Top of Topanga Overlook

Top of Topanga OverlookTop of Topanga OverlookTop of Topanga OverlookTop of Topanga Overlook

…More like top of the world overlook, or at least that’s how it feels on these crisp Santa Ana mornings.  There’s a dinky little park with some benches and native landscaping.  But let’s be serious, this place specializes in views and it’s doing a mighty fine job.

 

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Stough Canyon Nature Center

Stough Canyon Nature Center Stough Canyon Nature Center Stough Canyon Nature Center Stough Canyon Nature Center

The trek to the Radio Towers from the Stough Canyon Nature Center delivers 360 views of Tujunga, the Valley, and Downtown.  We were there on a cloudy day, but I could’ve sworn I even saw the ocean over the Santa Monica Mountains.  I’d go back to double check, but my muscles are still sore.  It’s a good thing there were chaise lounges set up along the trail for snacks and breaks.

San Vicente Mountain Park

San Vicente Mountain ParkSan Vicente Mountain ParkSan Vicente Mountain ParkSan Vicente Mountain Park

Remnants of the Cold War Nike-Ajax anti-aircraft base furnish aeriel views of the city, ocean, mountains and valley. Quite impressive. There’s also a self-guided tour around the park.

While the history is fun, San Vicente Mountain is most often visited for its convenient location at the edge of paved Mulholland.  Hikers, mountain bikers, and nature seekers can access dirt Mulholland and the mountains beyond from San Vicente’s parking lot.

For more about this park check here: http://www.lamountains.com/parks.asp?parkid=54

The Getty Center

The GettyThe GettyThe GettyThe Getty

I enjoy $15 parking, Renaissance art, and oil money about as much as I enjoy lectures on electromagnetism.  This is to say I don’t understand them and moreover, I try to avoid thinking about them.

Fortunately, the Getty Center is so much more than what I’ve boiled it down to. The views alone make the Getty a worthwhile venture, but the architecture is also one-of-a-kind.  American born though internationally acclaimed architect, Richard Meier, puts to use the ridges of the Santa Monica Mountains and 1.2 million square feet of travertine limestone.  The stone, which built most of Rome, does nothing short of transport the visitor to the Mediterranean.  Additionally, the “rational” design produces an irrational sense of wonder.

Between the 134,000-square-foot central garden, the continuous calendar of public lectures, and the 28 modern sculptures meticulously dispersed throughout the grounds, visiting the 110-acre compound has a little something for everyone.

Mount Lee

Hollywood SignMt. LeeMt. LeeMt. LeeHeading up Beachwood to Sunset Ranch, there are many signs that declare “NO ACCESS TO THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN.”  However, the fire road to the summit of 1708 foot Mount Lee gradually rounds its way to the top with incredible views of both the city and the Verdugo Mountains.  Once you get to the top, the fences and barbed wire and NO TRESPASSING signs make it inaccessible, but you can still get pretty damn close.  This is not to say nobody’s accessed it before… some have even executed alterations like HOLLYWEED and GO UCLA. Go figure.

 

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