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Classic L.A. to Z: L is for LAKE HOLLYWOOD

Seeing Lake Hollywood—hidden among so much urban density—for the first time can be knee weakening. Formed by the Mulholland Dam in 1924 just below what was then the Hollywoodland sign, it was once part of the Los Angeles Aqueduct system and can hold 2.5 billion gallons of water (hence its nickname, the Hollywood Reservoir). While the lake earned screen time in Chinatown, the best way to see it is on foot. You can’t swim the waters, but you can hike the perimeter path and follow the trails into oak and pine trees that mingle with chaparral on secluded hillsides.

Be a Tourist in Your Own Town