An amazing place to visit - and it is FREE! Interesting museum exhibits make science understandable. You can go to the roof and look through the giant telescope, and also overlook the city of Los Angeles. If possible, do NOT go when there is a concert at the Greek Theatre (traffic and parking will be awful), or on the weekend (same reason). There is a nominal charge if you want to see one of the shows in the planetarium (which are really cool).
Many tips have been given for Los Angeles. Way too much to repeat, except for one. One tip that I feel a part of since my birth has been the Griffith Observatory. Today, as a member of FOTO, I smile for the grand reopening of the Observatory. This was the dream of Griffith J. Griffith, who donated money and land in 1912 for this complex that did not become reality until May 14, 1935.
The Griffith Observatory that sits on Mount Hollywood is fully owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles. It was closed down for renovation and updating from 2002 until November, 2006. The Observatory has much to offer. This renovation has made the Griffith Observatory a world class study of the heavens with great displays and shows. Views of Los Angeles and the stars above. Story telling and picture museum, planetarium and theatre, exhibits and hands on classrooms. Restaurant and gift store. Entrance is still free, (hours open vary, so check out their website) thanks to Griffith J. Griffith. One who cared for the future. The City of Los Angeles, www.ci.la.ca.us and Friends of the 0bservatory (FOTO) www.friendsoftheobservatory.com both helped to make the beautifully renovated Griffith Observatory a reality.
Open Tuesday-Friday 12:00 noon to 10:00 p.m. Open Saturday-Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Closed on all Mondays.
There are parking places on the upper lot, but the road leading up has parking available, if no spaces remain. There is no limit to enter as of Nov. 2007. Trust you get to visit and enjoy this fascinating landmark of Los Angeles. 2013 is a great year to check out the many sky displays at the Observatory. Please see my Griffith Observatory travelogue for additional photos.
if you like to learn while sight-seeing. If the cosmos are your thing, this is a first stop on your Los Angeles journey. Stars of Los Angeles are not just the ones on the sidewalks of Hollywood and in the glaring lights of studios and paparazzi cameras- the stars of the world's sky can be best viewed atop the hills of Los Feliz.
After a triumphant re-opening in November 2006, the observatory continues to gain much local and outsider fanfare. Try for going to the observatory on a weekday. There will be fewer crowds. Also, try to go in the Spring or Fall to avoid the high-tourist summer season.
Be forewarned: Wear comfortable shoes. be prepared for much walking. Also, bring your own bottled water, especially on a hot day as I experienced during reopening weekend. Pack a lunch or snacks and eat on the front lawn. The observatory cafe is average, nothing special and has long lines. Don't wait 40 min to sit down and eat a measly turkey sandwich at the table as many did during reopening.
There is no cost to enter the observatory (Yay, free !!) However, costs involved in your GP Ob trip if attending the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. (about $8). Also, costs may incur for a taxi, which is advantangeous to take especially for high-tourist seasons and weekends since parking is extremely limited. Otherwise, there is free parking available along the roads leading to the observatory. Disabled visitor parking is well designated and is available. There is a bus option for arrival which is very economical via LA DOT bus - just 50 cents for one-way service. You can catch the bus at Hollywood Blvd/Vermont Ave, conveniently just over a block away from the Metro rail Sunset-Vermont Red Line stop. Bus service is only on weekends. Bus schedule is subject to change. Check website below for updates (go to Griffith Park Observ- "Visiting")
The Griffith Observatory (pic 3) is amazing, it‘s a small museum, a planetarium and a theatre at the same time. It is open Tuesday-friday (12.00-22.00) and weekends (10.00-22.00). There’s no entrance fee except some specific shows from time to time.
We went up to the Griffith Park on our last day in LA, it was just before sunset so we saw the city lights and this was great as a memory to carry with us back home. The view from the Griffith park is really great day and night, you can see down to downtown but also far away to the beach! It is also a good spot for the Hollywood sign pictures of you, some people want to prove that been somewhere by showing in front of the landmarks, I prefered to spend the whole time just admiring the landscape, a sight to behold(pics 1-2). The park is nice for hiking too and we noticed a lot people jogging at the stip road.
You need to wait until just after a rainy day (I know we don't get a lot, but we do get them) and the view from the observatory is incredible. Here is what it looked like a few days ago (www.photopilot.com/blog/index.php/2009/12/09/griffith-park-observatory). Don't miss out on checking out the Observatory after this storm passes!!
The Griffith Observatory has finally reopened after many years of restoration and renovation. The views of Los Angeles are spectacular from the observatory. Unfortunately, it's not so easy to get to. Refer to the website on which shuttle works best for you. We found it easy and convenient to park at a covered public parking structure at Hollywood and Highland (part of the Kodak Theatre Center). Parking costs $10 there for all day. We purchased our shuttle tickets online and it was easy to find where to catch the shuttle. There is a show you can watch at the observatory that explains our universe, planets, stars, etc. The show is an additional cost, the seats are comfortable. The Hall of the Sky exhibit is very cool. Gives you a perspective of what size the earth is in relationship to the other planets in our solar system. You can also see how much you would weigh on each of these planets. My boyfriend was skeptical - wasn't convinced it was all that accurate. All in all, I thought it was a worthwhile visit.
The Observatory Reopens! I got in line, got my reservation, got on the shuttle bus and saw the wonder! The four year, 93 million dollar rehab has transformed the Observatory from an aging, sentimental hulk into a world class museum. Whether you're fascinated by the heavens or looking for LA panoramas a trip to the observatory grounds and a hike through this massive urban wilderness park is a must for any visitor. Don't miss the bizarre sculpture of James Dean(commemorating the knife-fight scene from "Rebel Without a Cause" filmed at Griffith). It's frightening & hilarious. And, if you hike nearby, watch for rattlesnakes. They are EVERYWHERE.
The views are phenomenal if the smog is not too thick. One caveat: The delayed opening created a flurry of interest, and the Observatory has limited parking. Initially, you had to reserve and use a shuttle bus, but this restriction has been lifted...for now. So, you can drive up at will, but don't be surprised if during peak visiting hours/season you need to reserve ahead of time and use a shuttle.
Griffith Observatory is a national leader in public astronomy, a beloved civic gathering place, and one of southern California's most popular attractions. The Observatory is located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, just above the Los Feliz neighborhood.
The Griffith Park Observatory finally reopened! And with the free shuttle from Hollywood and Highland (there's a subway stop), this is really one of those must see local sights. This is one of the few true monuments in LA, and it is fantastic. Going at sunset is a sight to behold. Plenty of hiking in the area, and the renovated planetarium and museum is awesome.
Okay, The Griffith Observatory is being renovated and expanded for three years, beginning 2003 and ending in Fall 2006. In the meantime, you can visit the Griffith Observatory Satellite, which is nothing nearly as good as the big one. They have a small display of exhibits, a lecture area, and a telescope to view the moon and planets at night.
The Griffith Observatory Satellite is open from 1 p.m. - 10 p.m, but closed on Monday.
The main observatory is very cool, so visit when it's open. They have a monument to Hipparchus (?-125 B.C.), Copernicus (1473-1543), Galileo (1564-1642), Kepler (1571-1630), Newton (1642-1727), and Herschel (1738-1822).
There are three big telescopes, a theatre, and a Foucault Pendulum. This experiment proves the earth spins on an axis.
A ton of stuff has been filmed at the observatory, but the most famous is Rebel Without a Cause...you'll see a bust of James Dean on the grounds.
Lots more to see and do there.
In LA, the combination of dense smog and bright city lights make seeing the stars (the celestial kinds) very difficult. However, the Griffith Observatory is one such exception in LA. In fact, I was brought to this very site for an Astronomy class "field trip." It is amazingly, almost eerily, quiet here - and you feel like you're in the wilderness, as it's very dark and secluded. However, the views of the stars in the sky are wonderful, unparalleled, and very worth it! In the daytime, this site is very popular for picnics. At night, bring flashlights, blankets, warm clothes, hot chocolate, and some food!
The construction of this art deco observatory was completed in the early 1930s and has provided a great view of the area during both day and night ever since. Anyone even vaguely interested in astronomy will find the exhibits and planetarium shows fascinating. Griffith Observatory is of an interest to cult film fans because it was a site in the James Dean movie "Rebel Without A Cause."
The best of all Hollywood, we left it for Sunday and we visited in our little tour around with Hans, Lori and Sharon. From here on a clear day, you can have great views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign.
The park seems very busy, but we did not had time to explore it :( The summer of 2004, the observatory and the car park was under renovations so it was difficult to park and we could not see the observatory
The Griffith Park is very nice place to start your day in LA. Built on the slopes of a mountain it gives you a great view of both the city of LA and the Hollywood Sign. The best viewpoint is the Griffith Observatory. As far as I know this place provides the closest (generally accessible) view on the Hollywood Sign. Mind that the Observatory building itself is not open to public.
One remark. If you want to take pictures of the city here during the morning, you will be looking into the sun.
We headed out from Manns Chinese Theatre and up towards the hills adjacent to the Hollywood sign. Although the Observatory is closed you can still park at the top and get a fantastic panoramic view over LA.