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Off the beaten path interesting photo ops in or near LA

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Toronto, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
posts: 3,855
reviews: 26
Off the beaten path interesting photo ops in or near LA

Delighted to have my employers paying the airfare to send me to LA for a training course. Arriving evening of Tues Apr 2, departing early Sun Apr 7. Training all Thurs, up to 2 pm Friday, most likely in a hotel near LAX, specific still TBD. I will rent a car for the other time.

My grandmom was a California girl, but it's been more than 20 years since my last trip there. I want to bring my camera gear; landscape photography is a passion. I've been exploring this forum a bit, got a few ideas for some short rides, would love your expert input.

I saw a thread that talked Palos Verdes; seems easily drivable, and looks to be a good place for some great spring photography. I have to be up in Woodland Hills on the Wednesday & Saturday, not sure if there's anything near there I should make a point of getting to. I don't mind the highway driving, and am willing to drive for up to an hour out if you think it's interesting. I want to try to get to Japantown, too; I remember it fondly from that last trip.

Any and all suggestions entertained, thanks in advance.

Anaheim, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
posts: 23,686
reviews: 13
1. Re: Off the beaten path interesting photo ops in or near LA

A recent OC Register article talked about some great parks that are not well known. If you are willing to take a hike, you can get some great shots.

ocregister.com/articles/county-383163-orange…

Santa Monica...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
posts: 20,673
reviews: 21
2. Re: Off the beaten path interesting photo ops in or near LA

When driving to Woodland Hills, take Pacific Coast Highway and go over Mailbu Canyon Road through the mountains to the valley. Lots of great photo ops through there, also consider driving over Topanga Canyon Road to the valley. Google Santa Monica Mountain Hikes and you'll see the many trails in that area.

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
posts: 34,385
reviews: 342
3. Re: Off the beaten path interesting photo ops in or near LA

In Orange County, Limestone Canyon, OC's answer to Zion National Park is one of the most unknown wonders in So Cal.

irlandmarks.org/Explore/Limestone-Canyon-Wil…

Be prepared for a healthy hike though.

Santa Monica, CA
Destination Expert
for Santa Monica
posts: 7,679
reviews: 175
4. Re: Off the beaten path interesting photo ops in or near LA

I'd recommend the Santa Monica Mountains, as well, especially if you will be working in Woodland Hills.

The Santa Monica Mountains have many hiking trails of every ability level and views of the Pacific can be terrific. I really like Solstice Canyon:

www.everytrail.com/guide/solstice-canyon

Along the Pacific Coast Highway through Malibu up to the Ventura County line is a great drive where the views are beautiful, especially around Pt. Mugu State Park.

Anaheim, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
posts: 23,686
reviews: 13
5. Re: Off the beaten path interesting photo ops in or near LA

As for the Palos Verdes area, it is better to drive North to South, since the pull-outs are on the coastal side of the road. Point Vicente is a great place to take phots. Here is a link to the Coastal drive in Southern California that shows a map with the route in the Palos Verdes area.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c174834/Califo…

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
posts: 13,708
reviews: 57
6. Re: Off the beaten path interesting photo ops in or near LA

I agree with the suggestion to drive from Woodland Hills to Malibu via Malibu Canyon Road or Topanga Canyon Road from Woodland Hills. In Malibu try to drive through Pepperdine University (its gated but the guards will usually let you through if you tell them you just want to drive through the campus) - the campus is up in the hills and there's some great landscape photography opportunities from up there but there may be limited opportunities to stop for photos - still worth a try. Also worth a quick stop is the Adamson House in Malibu - good views of the ocean and coastline and if you go to the north edge of the property there's some good photo opportunities of the lagoon there.

Another thought from Woodland Hills would be to drive north to Chatsworth, where you'll find some interesting rock formations.

Other thoughts would be to go up to the Getty Center, Griffith Observatory and the parking lot at Dodger Stadium (go on a non-game day so you won't have to pay for parking) for sweeping views of LA. Dodger Stadium has great views of the downtown LA skyline. Getty Center and Griffith, the quality will depend a bit more on the weather/haze/smog conditions - after a storm its very clear and you can see a long way. Other times not so much.

Edited: 12:10 pm, March 20, 2013
Thousand Oaks...
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 8,785
reviews: 13
7. Re: Off the beaten path interesting photo ops in or near LA

If you are really wanting a quiet and photographic spot try visiting the Japanese Garden in the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area.

It's located on Woodley Ave, not far from Woodland Hills.

Website..... http://www.thejapanesegarden.com/

Dr. Z

Toronto, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
posts: 3,855
reviews: 26
8. Re: Off the beaten path interesting photo ops in or near LA

Ahhhh, you know I love you guys, right??!!! Great work, forum mates. So much thanks, and feel free to drop up to Toronto forum for a little cool weather fun!!!

NoCal
posts: 1,869
reviews: 63
9. Re: Off the beaten path interesting photo ops in or near LA

I remember a spot in Ventura off the 101 where the road seems to be right where the water is. On a clear day and no waves the water looks like glass it is beautiful but its probably 90 minutes to 2 hours away from your location

Teaneck, NJ
Destination Expert
for New Jersey
posts: 6,946
reviews: 16
10. Re: Off the beaten path interesting photo ops in or near LA

You should read this article about driving through the hills around LA tripadvisor.com/Travel-g32655-c86961/Los-Ang…