In an effort to get me out of the funk I’ve been in lately, my husband suggested we take a day-trip somewhere in Los Angeles. We settled on the Griffith Observatory. While the actual museum inside the observatory is a little small, the views of the LA Basin are spectacular, especially on a really clear day. Unfortunately we got some smog and weren’t able to get clear pictures of Downtown Los Angeles. Here are some of the highlights of going to the Griffith Observatory.
- It’s free! Admission to the museum and premises is free. Although there is now a fee for parking. Parking in the actual lot is very limited and I’m not sure if you have to pay there. But the parking along the side of the road–which used to be free–is now $4/hour. Yep.
- The views! As mentioned, you can get a full view of the LA Basin on most days. The best days to go are right after it rains, the wind and rain clear the LA skies to an abnormally bright blue and you can get some great shots. Also, some out-of-towners may not know, but some of the best views of the Hollywood sign are from the Griffith Observatory. You can always hike closer. But for those of us who prefer to stay at a safe distance, you can still get some decent pictures.
- The planetarium. With shows given daily, the planetarium is an immersive experience where images are displayed on a dome-screen. While you gaze up at it, you feel as though you are staring up at the heavens themselves as you zoom through our solar system, learning about the various planets. Shows vary, and prices start at $7 for adults.
- The museum. With plenty of interactive exhibits, there is something for most. Personally, I like the area where you can stand on different scales to see what you’d weigh on different plants. My husband enjoys seeing real specimens from the moon and asteroids on display. Whether you like the more static, or the more interactive exhibits, you’re sure to enjoy the Griffith Observatory’s inventory of space artifacts.
Unless you’re a very careful museum visitor, you can go through the entire space in about an hour. If you add stopping by the planetarium, eating at the cafe and taking pictures on the balconies, it could be about a 3-hour experience. One I would recommend for tourist and locals alike.