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Late night spot to hang out in parked car, w/decent view.

ny, ny
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Late night spot to hang out in parked car, w/decent view.

A bunch of old buddies are getting together this weekend -- unfortunately, we're doing so in LA, which none of us have any familiarity with.

My assignment is to come up w/ some sort of bluff, some sort of park, some sort of beachfront location -- or anyplace w/a decent view, where we can drive to late at night and just sit around and hang out.

Basically, sort of like reliving a decade-old high school experience (though this time, maybe w/o the cheap booze) -- that is, if I weren't from NYC, if not for the fact that most of us can't drive, etc etc. Sort of the idealized, TV version of kids in high school after the big game...or something like that.

It doesn't have to be remote (though it can be) -- I'm totally fine just parking somewhere in the hollywood hills (maybe looking onto the HOLLYWOOD sign, as tacky as that may sound to you natives). I just have no idea if doing so is feasible.

Biggest Constraint:

-we need to be able to drive there and park even if it's fairly late -- like past 10:00 PM or so.

-fine if it costs money -- that's not a problem

-closer to Anaheim the better, but anyplace within 2 hours driving distance is fine (1 hour is preferred though).

-the view really doesn't have to be that "special" -- I just don't want to end up parked by the side of the freeway on a saturday night, with all my buddies tossing stuff at me because of my lame location choice...


-a place where we can park our car and then walk/hike a couple hundred feet is fine. I have no frame of reference -- for instance, with respect to the tongue-in-cheek hollywood hills example, could we get away with driving to some random road, parking a car, and then hiking a couple hundred feet?

ny, ny
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1. Re: Late night spot to hang out in parked car, w/decent view.

Anything reasonable is fine -- I'm really pressed for time -- and thanks in advance!

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2. Re: Late night spot to hang out in parked car, w/decent view.

Manhattan Beach would be fun, the downtown area is just a block from the ocean. There are pubs & bars, pretty lively until midnight....and then you could walk down to the pier or along the beach. There is an all-night-restaurant(THE KETTLE) there for afterwards.

West Hollywood...
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3. Re: Late night spot to hang out in parked car, w/decent view.

Your request SEEMS reasonable but -- in thinking about it -- I'm not coming up with too many options. Here's what I have so far...

You could park in one of the beach areas -- Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, etc and walk onto the beach (hang out on top of the one of the lifeguard towers, look at the surf). The problem is: parking is tough in these areas, especially at night since the locals park when they come home from work. Santa Monica has lots of parking structures -- many of which are open 24 hours. Google SANTA MONICA PARKING for a map of their parking structures. There's a bluff along Ocean Avenue (the westmost street in Santa Monica, overlooking the beach) but a good part of it is occupied by the homeless who camp there. They are largely harmless and you would have no problem finding a place where they weren't camped out but you'd have to search around a little.

Here's a map of the bluff (aka Palisades Park):


The bluff is the narrow strip of land between Ocean Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway running parallel with the Santa Monica State Beach.

A second option in the same neighborhood is to park and venture out onto Santa Monica Pier (which juts out into the Pacific south of the area marked by the red star. This Pier is far from deserted: there's a ferris wheel and a mini roller coaster on it but itf you walk all the way to the end of it, it's a little bit isolated. The Pier is open until Midnight (M-Th) and 2 am (Fr, Sa)

BTW. even if you could find an area that looked onto the Hollywood sign, you'd need to bring your infrared glasses since the sign is not illuminated in the evening.

The other option is to drive up to Mulholland Drive. This road follows the ridgeline near the top of the Hollywood Hills. There are "scenic overlooks" (parking lots) for looking at the view but they are closed in the evenings. You MIGHT be able to pull onto the shoulder along Mulholland, and see something in the way of a view but there isn't a specific point that comes to mind. Maybe others will make recommendations.

If it's Friday or Saturday night, you can drive up to Yamashiro -- http://yamashirorestaurant.com/index.html

This is a well-known Japanese Restaurant overlooking Hollywood which has a popular outdoor bar and an extensive "Japanese Tea Garden" on the hillside overlooking the city. They close at 10 (S-Th) and 11 (Fr, Sa) but I'm not sure if you can "hang out" past that.

Well, I'm out of ideas.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Late night spot to hang out in parked car, w/decent view.

Best way would be to have dinner at something liek Gladstone's or Duke's in Malibu so that you can hang out and drink with a few appetizers.

Other option could be Fisherman's Village, but it will be very quiet.

Another option is the bluffs in Pacific Palisades

Topanga, California
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5. Re: Late night spot to hang out in parked car, w/decent view.

Our lovely California governments have declared war on late night parking.

You can't park on PCH in Malibu after 10pm. You can't park on Mulholland Drive turnouts after 9pm. Other lookouts, such as Stunt/Scheuren/Saddlepeak have early cut off points.

There are probably others I can't think of right off hand.

I do not like it at all!

Los Angeles...
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6. Re: Late night spot to hang out in parked car, w/decent view.

This might sound weird to some LA people, and it's not on the beach, but my friends and I used to drive up to the parking lot of the Castaway restaurant in Burbank, and there was a great view of the city lights because it's high up on a hill. If I remember correctly, there was a parking lot a little further up the mountain above it, and we used to park there and walk around and hang out up there. If you're looking to just entertain each other, that could be a good place. If you're looking to meet other people who are hanging out admiring the view, you should probably stick to something beachfront, though I can't come up with anything more than anyone has already posted. The reason I came up with this place is that we used to park there until 2 or 3 a.m. and it didn't seem to bother anybody.

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7. Re: Late night spot to hang out in parked car, w/decent view.

How about Huntington Beach? It's only 30 minutes from Anaheim and people hang out there at night on the weekends and build bonfires. There's also plenty of bars and restaurants by the pier if you get tired of sitting on the beach.

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8. Re: Late night spot to hang out in parked car, w/decent view.

Head over to Ranchos Palos Verdes for great views! This is the town just south of Redondo Bch. This is a peninsula with a huge hill. You can park along side Palos Verdes Dr. West (a really cool and curvy road along the ocean and hillside) at many of the turnouts for nice oceanside views, or go to the top of the hill off of Hawthorne Bl or Crenshaw Bl for great city views of all of LA, including Downtown. Best bet is to grab a map or Thomas Guide and just head out there to explore. It's perfect because you'll be able to find the best of both worlds in terms of views, the ocean and the city!

9. Re: Late night spot to hang out in parked car, w/decent view.

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