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Parking at the Hollywood Bowl is rough. Here’s how to do it anyway

A high-up view shows the empty Hollywood Bowl amphitheater with the Hollywood sign visible on a distant hill.
Parking at the Bowl can be a slog. Arrive early to guarantee a space — and get views all to yourself for a little while.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

The Hollywood Bowl, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, is one of the most iconic places in Los Angeles to experience a live performance. It’s the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. It’s where your friends packed a picnic dinner for the “Sound of Music” sing-along. The memories created there are so priceless that it’s worth figuring out the sometimes difficult commute — and parking situation.

There are on-site lots, but even the Hollywood Bowl’s reps encourage alternate options.

“We really advise people to catch our Park & Ride buses and shuttle service as a convenient option and avoid disappointment in case our parking lots sell out,” said Laura Connelly, general manager of the Hollywood Bowl.

For some, it might be easiest to get dropped off. There are easy dropoff and pickup locations for the shuttle or any drivers (Uber/Lyft, significant other, friend who owes you a favor) who aren’t staying for the show.

But here are the options if you prefer to take your own car.

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The Hollywood Bowl is celebrating its centennial. Learn about its history with the L.A. Philharmonic and the Beatles, Janis Joplin and more.

On-site parking lots

There are four on-site parking lots — A, B, C and D. Prices and availability vary depending on the show.

All parking is stack parking. That means there are no early exits, and your trip home will have to wait until the cars in front of you leave. How long that takes will depend on how full the lots are.

Accessible parking, which the Bowl’s website notes often sells out in advance, is available in Lots A and B.

For events presented by the L.A. Philharmonic: Tickets for Lot A, which is closest to the main gate, are available 10 or more days before your event by contacting Audience Services between noon and 6 p.m. at (323) 850-2000 or in person at the Box Office. Lot B — which is also close to the amphitheater — is available for advance purchase online. Lots C and D, which are near the intersection of Highland Avenue and Odin Street, require less than half a mile of walking. They are not available for advance purchase.

For other events: Advance purchases for Lots A and B must be made in person at Hollywood Bowl Box Office up to one day before the event. Lots C and D can be purchased upon arrival.

You don’t need to deal with gridlock and stacked lots at the Hollywood Bowl. You can take the Metro B (Red) Line and walk, ride a shuttle or, for the truly daring, bicycle.

Unofficial parking lots

Connelly recommends checking the ParkWhiz app to find parking lots nearby.

A couple of the closer examples include:

  • The American Legion lot (rates vary depending on event): It’s a half-mile south of the Bowl and an estimated 11-minute walk, according to Google Maps. This lot is not stack parking.
  • The United Methodist Church lot ($10 to $30 per car, depending on the event): According to its website, it’s first-come, first-served and it opens about 2½ hours before the show starts. It’s also not stack parking, and all the money collected goes to the church.

If you arrive very, very early

The Food + Wine market, in the box office plaza, and the Hollywood Bowl store are open at 5 p.m. You can peruse the merchandise or look at the wine, beer and picnic offerings, including sandwiches and salads. You can also preorder picnic boxes for pickup at this location.

The picnic areas are all open, and 12 of the 15 can be accessed before the theater opens, a Bowl rep said. (There are 14 official picnic areas; the 15th is unofficial and is called Toyon Terrace.)

You can also visit the Hollywood Bowl museum. During the summer season, the museum is open from 10 a.m. until showtime Tuesday to Saturday. On Sunday and Monday, it opens four hours before the show.

Park near the Ovation Hollywood shuttle

If you park at the lot at Ovation Hollywood (formerly called Hollywood & Highland), it’s $3 for up to 2 hours with validation; $1 for every 15 minutes thereafter. Daily maximum is $20, and there is a shuttle that goes directly to the Hollywood Bowl. It departs every 15 to 20 minutes, beginning 2½ hours before the concert.

There are numerous lots in Hollywood within walking distance of the Ovation Hollywood shuttle. Parkopedia is another resource that maps out where the lots are and what they charge.

Depending on time or mobility restrictions, you could also walk or get a rideshare to drive you up to the Hollywood Bowl dropoff locations.

You can bring your own food and drink to the Hollywood Bowl.

Use a Park & Ride lot near you

Hollywood Bowl provides numerous Park & Ride lots throughout Southern California, from Ventura, Pasadena, Torrance, Lakewood and more.

Prepurchased round trips cost $7 per person — it;s $12 when purchased at the lot (exact change only). The buses will take you directly to the Hollywood Bowl and back to the lot afterward. Search by show to find which locations are operating near you.

Valet (if you’re a high-level donor)

One of the perks of being a dedicated donor to the L.A. Phil is valet parking — subject to availability. Any patron may purchase a single-night valet for a $500 donation, plus a parking fee of $55. Different donation levels, from bronze to gold to platinum, are explained on the website.

When a whiskey-swigging Janis Joplin played the bucolic Hollywood Bowl in September 1969, it was an odd match. But it left a lasting impression on Robert Hilburn.


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