The Griffith Observatory – Tips and recommendations
Tips and recommendations for visiting the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles
One of the things to do in Los Angeles is to go to the Griffith Observatory. You will have the entire city at your disposal, and if you go at sunset, you will be treated to a magical moment (although also very crowded). In this post, I’ll explain how we got to the Griffith Observatory, how to get to the park, and a possible route you can take in the area to get a close look at the Hollywood sign. Take careful note of everything!
This 17km2 green space is one of North America’s largest urban parks. Griffith Park is more than just a park; it has a variety of recreational areas, attractions, cultural spaces, and hiking trails to enjoy during your visit.
Griffith J. Griffith is responsible for Los Angeles’ vast green space. This Welshman amassed a fortune through mining and decided to repay the favor to the city. So, in 1896, he gave Los Angeles 1,200 hectares. Griffith had apparently traveled extensively and was aware that many European cities had large public parks, and he wished for Los Angeles to have its own.
People questioned whether anyone would ever travel as far as Griffith Park. The city of Los Angeles had 100,000 people at the time (it now has about 4 million people) and was much, much smaller, so getting there was quite a drive. However, it was eventually designated as a public park. And I thought it was a fantastic idea.
Griffith Space Telescope
This observatory was also inspired by Mr. Griffith’s ideas. As I previously stated, this man traveled extensively and interacted with scientists, professors, and astronomers. So he left money in his will to build a public observatory. His goal was for ordinary people to be able to observe the universe and discover new ways of seeing the world, and for scientists to not be the only ones to have access to the privilege of looking through a telescope.
Because of its proximity to the ‘Hollywood’ sign, this observatory is a popular tourist destination. Also, this location has been mentioned in several films, the most recent being ‘La La Land.’
The Griffith Observatory has been open to the public for free since its inception in 1935, at Griffith’s request. Nowadays, you only have to pay to see some of the dome-broadcast shows.
Going to the Griffith Observatory
I’m going to suggest a few activities you can do on the day you go to Griffith Observatory to make your visit as complete as possible. This is how we did it, and it worked.
Take a walk through Griffith Park; we chose the Mount Hollywood trail. The ‘Hollywood’ sign, the observatory, and the entire city can be seen from this route. It is approximately 3-4 kilometers long.
Have a picnic at sunset: we refilled one of our water bottles with some red wine, purchased some crackers and cheese, and had a great time.
Purchase tickets to one of the shows that are broadcast in the observatory’s domes: they are $7 per person and are fantastic. You can purchase them on the spot, depending on the show and the time it is on.
Stargaze through one of the observatory’s public telescopes: three are installed outside and one is installed inside. There are long lines, but it’s worth it, and it moves quickly.
Take a stroll through the observatory, which is filled with exhibits and information about the universe and our planet. It’s a must-see if you’re traveling with children, but it’s also a lot of fun for adults.
As you can see, going to the Griffith Observatory isn’t just about doing pirouettes like in ‘La La Land,’ but the place is designed to do a variety of activities. It’s a fantastic plan, in my opinion.