Griffith Park Observatory, Los Angeles

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 Reviews

2800 East Observatory Road (323) 664-1181

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  • In front of the Griffith Observatory backdrop
    In front of the Griffith Observatory...
    by TravellerMel
  • LA at night, from the Griffith Observatory
    LA at night, from the Griffith...
    by TravellerMel
  • view from Griffith park
    view from Griffith park
    by mindcrime
  • GracesTrips's Profile Photo

    A Los Angeles Landmark Anew

    by GracesTrips Updated Jun 19, 2014

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    The Griffith Observatory has finally reopened after many years of restoration and renovation (my tip posted in 2007). The views of Los Angeles are spectacular from the observatory. Unfortunately, it's not so easy to get to (back in 2007). There may be less traffic now. 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. It appears this service may not be available anymore. However, here is a link to the weekend shuttle service available today (click on days of service and route):

    http://www.ladottransit.com/other/observatoryshuttle/observatoryshuttle.html

    Otherwise, there is free parking at the Observatory and adjacent roads leading up to the Observatory. Entrance to the Observatory is free.

    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.

    Here is an additional link for information regarding the observatory:

    http://www.friendsoftheobservatory.com/Getting-to-Griffith-Observatory.html

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  • travelgourmet's Profile Photo

    STARS IN THE SKY, NOT JUST HOLLYWOOD

    by travelgourmet Updated Jun 19, 2014

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    GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY

    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. Trust you get to visit and enjoy this fascinating landmark of Los Angeles. Please see my Griffith Observatory travelogue for additional photos.

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  • TravellerMel's Profile Photo

    Griffith Park Observatory

    by TravellerMel Written Oct 10, 2013

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    In front of the Griffith Observatory backdrop
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    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).

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  • marinarena's Profile Photo

    Do the Observatory- it should be mandatory...

    by marinarena Updated Nov 20, 2012

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    people flocking to Griffith park Observatory, LA
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    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")

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    Griffith park and observatory

    by mindcrime Written Feb 3, 2010

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    sunset at Griffith park
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    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.

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  • Great views from the Observatory

    by steven.photopilot Written Dec 11, 2009

    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!!

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  • gilescorey's Profile Photo

    Griffith Park & the Observatory

    by gilescorey Updated Nov 10, 2007

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    The City Sentinel
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    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.

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  • warmhug's Profile Photo

    Science and Technology Icon

    by warmhug Written Oct 7, 2007

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    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.

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  • A rare LA monument

    by Powerkeni Written Jan 11, 2007

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

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  • blaird's Profile Photo

    Griffith Observatory

    by blaird Updated Sep 17, 2006

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    From the Griffith website

    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.

    It's Free!!

    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.

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  • USCgirlie's Profile Photo

    Rare place to enjoy the (celestial) stars in LA...

    by USCgirlie Written Mar 28, 2006

    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!

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  • draguza's Profile Photo

    Griffith Observatory

    by draguza Written Aug 26, 2005
    Los Angeles panorama

    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."

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  • JanPeter74's Profile Photo

    Griffith Park / Hollywood Sign

    by JanPeter74 Written Apr 16, 2004

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    Hollywood Sign taken from Griffith Obs. with zoom

    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.

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  • Russ60's Profile Photo

    Great view over LA

    by Russ60 Written Dec 13, 2003

    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.

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  • PartyRambo's Profile Photo

    You never know who you'll meet...

    by PartyRambo Written Oct 23, 2003

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    Galileo Galilei, meet Johannes Kepler...

    At the top of Griffith Park, the (largest?) public park area in the continental United States, lies one of the best views of the city.
    I went during the day, but at night it must be brilliant with lights.
    Here the observatory probably sees very little of the cosmos, what with the smog you can slice with a knife & take home in a doggie bag, but still, it's a well known landmark, and one of the best locations from which to see the famous Hollywood Sign.

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