Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The many delights of scenic Mulholland Drive...

Providing wonderful views of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, Mulholland Drive is part of the Mulholland Scenic Parkway and Corridor. This fifty-five mile thoroughfare starts west of the 101 Freeway in Hollywood and becomes the Mulholland Highway which stretches all the way to the Pacific Coast Highway and to Leo Carillo State Beach.

Named after the City Engineer, William D. Mulholland, Mulholland Drive was constructed in 1924. The famous stretch of road has several scenic overlooks where you can stop off and enjoy spectacular panoramic city, mountain and ocean views. It also has many parks and canyon trails on offer to hikers and dog-walkers alike, including my favourite off-leash dog park, Runyon Canyon.

Hollywood Bowl Overlook
Sun drenched Hollywood Bowl amphitheater
The Hollywood Bowl Overlook provides an excellent view of its namesake outdoor amphitheater and of Downtown L.A. (depending on the air quality of course). 
Hollywood Bowl from above
We love attending the Hollywood Bowl and enjoying its eclectic mix of live concerts in the open air, from classical to pop, movies and musical theatre.
Hollywood Bowl Overlook view
This Overlook also offers a great view of the infamous Hollywood Sign to the east...
Hollywood Sign from Hollywood Bowl Overlook
and as I mentioned the city skyline of Downtown L.A. to the south. 
Hollywood Bowl Overlook Downtown view
Apparently this Overlook was built in 1984 at the same time as the Universal City Overlook in preparation for the Summer Olympics and the floods of tourists.
View from Hollywood Bowl Overlook

Runyon Canyon
Runyon Canyon trail
Probably the best off-leash dog park in L.A., Runyon Canyon is a popular hiking trail, with entrances on Mulholland Drive and down in Hollywood, at Fuller Avenue and Vista Street. 
Runyon Canyon views
The park offers spectacular views of the Los Angeles basin and some of its famous L.A. landmarks - The Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory, Downtown city skyline, Pacific Design Center, Capitol Records Building, Cinerama Dome and many more.
Runyon Canyon off leash dog park
As well as dog walking, the park is also popular with people exercising - jogging or hiking the various trails. You get to see a lot of L.A.'s beautiful people, plus you can often spot some celebrities out and about there too.
Runyon Canyon hike
I talk often about Runyon Canyon and realise that usually I show the views on offer from its elevated position, so for once enjoy these photographs of the trail itself, which is looking especially lush and green at the moment. I'm sure it won't be too long before it's looking dry and brown once the Californian sunshine has its way. 

Universal City Overlook
Mulholland Overlook view
On the north side of Mulholland Drive, this Overlook provides a wonderful view of the San Fernando Valley and Verdugo Hills
Mulholland Overlook view of San Fernando Valley
As its name suggest it also looks down upon Universal Studios Hollywood and its various entertainment attractions, like the theme park, cinemas and studio tours.
View from Universal City Overlook
I'll leave you now with my partner in crime on my travels, our fabulous Labrador Cooper, who is admiring the views from the Hollywood Bowl Overlook after an exhausting trek around Runyon Canyon.
Cooper at the Hollywood Bowl Overlook
I'm sure we'll be exploring more of Mulhollland Drive together in the future...

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