“Culver City Steps” Best. View. Ever.

After five years, I would still be considered a relative newcomer to Los Angeles, so I am still discovering things that natives and long-time residents of the city have known about for years. But there are some things I’ll bet most people don’t know about regardless of how long they have been here. And I just found out about one of those things this weekend.

Runyon Canyon is a good example of a place everybody knows about. From almost the first day since I moved here, almost all of my friends mentioned Runyon Canyon to me. It took a few years, but I finally got there. But in five years, I never heard of the “Culver City Steps.” Not a peep, not a whisper. Until this weekend, when even a newer friend to LA found out about it from another friend. And it is spectacular. I’ll go out on a limb and say it is the best possible view of the city that you could imagine. But you don’t have to imagine it — it is real.

The official name is the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, located off Jefferson Blvd in Culver City at 6300 Hetzler Road. The view is at the peak of a 511 foot hill. But the fun is getting there. Sure, you can drive up the hill and pay $6 to park. But why would you want to do that when you can park for free at the bottom, and walk up an extremely steep staircase of more than 200 irregular steps?

There is also a nice winding path that climbs the hill for those not in the best of shape. And I can’t stress that enough — I parked at the top, then walked down the steps. Even that was a chore, but everyone who was walking up was drench in sweat and panting heavily. I then took the path up.

The view is incredible — a 360 degree view that takes you downtown…

…to Miracle Mile and the Hollywood sign…

…to Century City…

…all the way to the ocean.

This hike is way better than Runyon Canyon. It is far less crowded and the scenery — both natural and man-made — is much more beautiful. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.