The views from the Hollywood Hills and Malibu are the stuff of movies, but those locations certainly don't have a monopoly on attractive vistas. Our suggestion? Head to the lovely campus of Loyola Marymount University, where you'll see Los Angeles from a whole new perspective. Situated on a bluff overlooking the city, the university allows you to take in downtown, the Ballona Wetlands, the sea traffic coming in and out of the Marina and, of course, Fourth of July fireworks. (It's funny, even smog seems to look better from this angle.) The best part is that, unlike the bustling Hollywood Hills, you can enjoy LMU's view in peace, since the foot and car traffic tend to be minimal. So bring your books and your paints or, even better, just sit back and think. Lord knows it's been a while. 1 LMU Drive, Westchester.

—Andrew Courtien

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