The Best Views of Downtown Los Angeles
My daughter, Alison, showed me around L.A. while I visited for her college graduation. Following our excursion to The Last Book Store, we checked out one of the best views of downtown Los Angeles at The OUE Skyspace Los Angeles. It was the perfect pinnacle from which to get a bird’s-eye view of Los Angeles’ expansive cityscape.
Editor’s Note: As of 2022, the OUE Skyspace is closed. Please check their website before making plans to visit. Continue reading to learn more and see the panoramic views it offered!
In this article, you are invited to learn about the Skyspace in Los Angeles:
- Discover the Tallest Building West of the Mississippi River
- Learn How to Get to the OUE SkySpace L.A.
- Find Out Where to Get Tickets and Enter the Attraction
- Check Out the Interactive Media Level
- Visit the Skybar for Drinks and More
- Take a Ride on the Skyslide!
- Enjoy the Best Views of Downtown Los Angeles and Beyond
- Try On Some Angel Wings
Discover the Tallest Building West of the Mississippi River
OUE Skyspace Los Angeles is on the 69th and 70th floor of the U.S. Bank Tower at 633 W 5th Street, Los Angeles.
The attraction features two observation decks, a Skyslide, an interactive Media level, and a rooftop bar with light fare. It also includes a Gift Shop and Cafe on the first floor.
Overseas Union Enterprise (OUE), a Singapore-based hotel and property company, purchased The U.S. Bank Tower in 2013. At the time it was the tallest skyscraper in the West at 1,018 feet. (The Wilshire Grand Tower claimed the title in 2017 at 1,100 feet.)
The new owners revitalized the U.S. Bank Tower and made many improvements, including OUE Skyspace Los Angeles, which opened in 2016.
A look up from the foot of the tower gives a sense of how high above the world the observation decks are! OUE Skyspace Los Angeles offers one of the best views of downtown Los Angeles. The unobstructed, panoramic view is California’s tallest open-air observation deck.
How to Get to the OUE SkySpace L.A.
We parked at the Pershing Square Garage, but several parking lots and public transit (the Metro) are nearby.
The tower’s chic lobby welcomes occupants and provides handicapped access to the OUE Skyspace Los Angeles lobby on the second floor. However, the General Public uses a difference entrance by way of the outside steps to the left of the entrance.
Note: Once inside OUE Skyspace Los Angeles, the attractions are 100% wheelchair and ADA accessible.)
Where to Get Tickets & Enter the Attraction
Ticket purchased inside the OUE Skyspace Los Angeles lobby begin at $25 per person and permit entry during a certain window of time. Flex Tickets ($40pp) are not based on a particular entry time. However, to avoid lines and capitalize on savings, you can look for special offers online, including through AAA. Or, you can do what we did: Get a Go Los Angeles Card.
The Go Los Angeles Card is a great option if you’re touring the city because it gives you access to more than 35 Los Angeles attractions (including the OUE Skyspace Los Angeles) at one price over a period of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 7 days. Or, you can customize your ticket to maximize savings for specific attractions.
On a pretty tight budget for this trip, I’m not sure I would have purchased two tickets for the view alone — although Alison was quick to point out that everything “out here” is more expensive than back east. And truly, how do you put a price tag on the best views of downtown Los Angeles?
But as part of the Go Los Angeles Card, it was a perfect fit for me and Alison, since we planned to spend the day in L.A. With our Go Los Angeles Cards on our phones, we sailed past the ticketing booth and embarked on a journey to the top of the tower!
Tip: Go Los Angeles Card admission to OUE Skyspace Los Angeles is valid for entry until 5:30 pm, but once inside guests may stay until closing. You can print out an actual access ticket, or load the scan code to your mobile device for quick access. Click for a List of Attractions and custom options included with this card.
After a Security check a bit reminiscent of an airport TSA check, we stepped into a “starry” room and then a “starry” elevator and began our ascent to the top.
Check Out the Interactive Media Level
The U.S. Bank building was not originally intended to offer a public lookout of the city. It is designed so that one elevator reaches the 51st floor, and some distance across the building lies the second elevator to the top. This forced a creative solution to the passageway when the OUE Skyspace Los Angeles was conceived.
As a result, an interactive Media Level was designed to engage viewers as they make this transition. It also provides interesting information about movies, music, sports, and culture in Los Angeles in classic Hollywood style.
A glass-covered “hole” in the floor colorfully plunges 51 floors in green and purples. As it turns out, this is actually a clever illusion created by mirrors and lights. It’s so realistic that Alison grew queasy and stepped away from the edge. Well done!
We passed an interactive heat-sensing screen and stepped over star replicas like those on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Going up?! Having completed the interactive experience, we entered the next elevator and soared to the top floor.
Visit the The Skybar for Drinks and More
The café was well-stocked with delicious offerings, and the fully stocked Skybar offers tasty drinks and hors-d’oeuvres.
This venue would make a delightful meeting spot or solo workspace (with free Wifi) featuring the best views of downtown Los Angeles.
It’s worthy of an upscale cocktail party or social event, smacking of the posh Los Angeles scene, complete with white leather sofas out on the patio. Seriously, where can you find better views of downtown Los Angeles?
It’s also worth noting that, though not affiliated with OUE Skyspace Los Angeles, there is a restaurant on the 71st floor, called “71 Above.” While we didn’t check it out because our itinerary was jam-packed, what a great idea to dine before or after a Skyspace experience!
Take a Ride on The Skyslide!
We also checked out the world’s first Skyslide, made of plexiglass and affixed to the outside of the building. It offers thrill-seekers unparalleled views of the city as they speed between the 70th and 69th floor. Tickets are $8 per person ($12 for one person to take two rides), provided you are age 5+ and over 42” tall. Children meeting the age and height requirements may also ride tandem with an adult. Don’t blink. It’s fast but what an experience!
Neither Alison nor I were feeling particularly dare-devilish that day, so we passed on this attraction. However, the slide is rigged with a camera to capture the brief but thrilling descent on film. (The photo is available for purchase at the Gift Shop.)
Enjoy the Best Views of Downtown Los Angeles and Beyond
So, this is what we came for…Ready for the best views of downtown Los Angeles? Check it out!
The Observation Deck
So, let me just say, the views from the Observation Deck do not disappoint.
I think these truly are the best views of downtown Los Angeles. The patio walls are all glass, providing a 360-degree unobstructed view of Los Angeles, as advertised. From the top of the (almost) tallest skyscraper in the West, we could see all around Los Angeles for miles. It’s a sight worth seeing!
My daughter pointed out the various neighborhoods in L.A. as seen from this birds-eye perspective.
We also noticed a lot of helicopter pads on building tops. I wondered what famous movie stars might jet to these building tops? And which might fly out of the city, avoiding L.A.’s notorious traffic jams?
Try on Some Angel Wings
Before Alison and I wrapped up our tour of the OUE Skyspace Los Angeles, we had some fun with the angel wings painted by Colette Miller on the glass panels. The wings are part of the Global Angel Wings Project created in 2012 “to remind humanity that we are the Angels of this Earth.”
What a lovely sentiment and a cool experience to “soar” high above the City of Angels with my daughter.
Our visit to the OUE Skyspace Los Angeles is one of many treasured memories from my trip to L.A. to celebrate Alison’s college graduation. (I’m so proud of you, Alison!)
With more time to spare, we might have soaked up the California sunshine with drinks in hand and some tasty apps, taken in the thriving city scene below, and maybe even watched the sunset here. (I highly suggest so if you have the time!)
Even still, it was an opportunity to experience a perspective of my daughter’s new world—the “City of Angels”—that she now calls home. That alone was worth the trip.
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Special thanks go to Smart Destinations for their generosity. This article is part of a sponsored collaboration between Smart Destinations and Enjoy Travel Life. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. For more information, please see the following Disclosure.
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18 thoughts on “High Above “The City of Angels” at Skyspace Los Angeles”
That Skyslide sounds so fun!!! I am always up for adventurous things like that so I’ll have to put it on my list for next time I am in LA.
You are braver than I am, Laura! Let me know if you enjoy the Skyslide!
Wow! What amazing views of Downtown LA! I know my kids would love that Sky Slide but I don’t think I could do it….
The views are so great, Jennifer! I bet your children would love the Skyslide…Kids are fearless!
Wow! My daughter lives in Los Angeles, but I have not heard of Skyspace. I want to go on my next visit! The photo of you and Alison with wings is adorable!
Skyspace is one of those hidden gems, right under your nose in downtown L.A.! It was a really special trip and a treat to spend quality time with my daughter, Sharon. Glad you liked our photo!
Goodness I feel dizzy looking at those photographs. I love getting up to high places for those 360 views but always approach the edge nervously! This looks an amazing experience and I would definitely want to stay and see the sunset 🙂
Dizzying, indeed, Carol! It’s totally safe, but the clear deck walls definitely play tricks with your mind. Sunset would be amazing…
I visited LA many moons ago but looks like you had way more fun than I did! The Skyslide looks like fun but I confess, I probably would have passes on that ride too?. My kids and hubby would do it though.
Sometimes it’s just as fun (and feels safer) to capture the photos of those adventurers! LOL. (It was a fun time!)
The views from the top are awesome. I haven’t been to LA yet but I have been to many other cities and witnessed something similar. The $8 is reasonable but the food prices seem to be a little higher. I guess that’s where they make money!
You may be right about that, Arv!
Looks like they’ve packed in a lot of experiences into the one observation deck attraction. That slide looks so fun, I’d definitely give it a go! Love the photo of you and your daughter Jackie 🙂
There is a lot to do up there, Freya. Thanks for your compliment about the photo of me and Alison. It’s one of my favorites! <3
OUE Skyspace LA looks really really tall in the first picture. Great shot! I was so happy to stumble upon this post because my 6-year old has been crazy about skyscrapers lately. We recently did the SkyWalk in Bangkok and he was thrilled. A Sky Slide would excite him beyond imagination. I would love to do the skyslide too. And those views are definitely worth making that trip to OUE. Will check this out when I am in LA.
Oh, perfect! I hope your son enjoys the photo. 🙂 I’ve heard about the SkyWalk in Bangkok, cool attraction. You would have to be really brave to go out on the glass tray…EEK!
Your review of the Los Angeles OUE Skyspace is FANTASTIC. You covered all aspects of the location including handicap access which I completely appreciate. Your pictures are lovely, crisp and clean. I am following your travels and look forward to more postings in the future! Thanks for the great read. Julie
Thanks, Julie! I so appreciate you following along!
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