Our flight wasn’t scheduled to leave Los Angeles until 6:45pm on Sunday so we had most of a day to fill with sightseeing. At first we considered spending the day at Disneyland but then realized that it is pretty far away from LAX and didn’t want to pay $105 per person [disneyland.disney.go.com] for a half day. In the end we decided to drive around town for the day (as you can see in a previous post about generating a GPS trip map [averagetraveller.com]). The last thing that we did before heading back to the airport was to drive up to Griffith Observatory [www.griffithobservatory.org].
Initially I had just planned to drive up to check out the view of the city. After driving through Griffith Park all the way up Mount Hollywood (yes, it’s actually called that) we found that many many other people also had the same idea. We drove past the sign telling us that the parking lot was full and circled until we found someone leaving. The views were as nice as promised, with great shots available of the LA skyline and the world famous Hollywood sign. We even saw a few people setting up tripods in prime positions getting ready to capture a sunset that wasn’t expected for a few more hours.
Luckily we made great time and went looking for a gift shop. After some browsing through the cool little shop for awhile we were surprised to find that there is no admission fee for the main exhibits at the observatory [www.griffithobservatory.org], just for the planetarium shows. In about 30 minutes we were able to do a quick walk through and have decided to make sure to return with a couple of hours the next time we’re in LA. As we were in a bit of a rush I didn’t take many pictures but I did take one of a moon rock that they have on display.
If you’re ever in LA and want to take in some great views and some really nice exhibits about the universe and our solar system I highly recommend checking out Griffith Observatory, especially if you have kids.
This post was submitted to Travel Photo Thursday, a weekly collection of travel photos hosted by Budget Travelers Sandbox [budgetravelerssandbox.com]. Be sure to check it out to see some great travel photos from all over the world!
Update: February 3, 2012: This post was also submitted to Friday Daydreaming
Thanks. We were lucky that it rained a couple of days before so the smog had all been washed away.
Nice write-up. This is definitely on my list!
that hollywood sign sure is photogenic!
Not too shabby for an old real estate sign!
What great views! Kind of looks like a mosque, doesn’t it?
You’re right. It is a bit odd looking for an observatory. It as built in 1933 and I think it was one of the first intended to be both a scientific and educational facility.
Pretty nice way to kill some time. And a whole lot cheaper than the Disney thing.
I was shocked at the price for Disney. It’s been awhile since I’ve been there and I assumed it would be around $65 for a ticket! To be fair, $105 was for tickets to both Disneyland and California Adventures but still….
I live in LA so am glad you were able to see one of our best attractions! 🙂
It was one of the few times when the reality exceeded my expectations!
Los Angeles is a very beautiful place when it is clear. Love your pictures. Griffith Park is a great to visit and the planetarium shows are equally as impressive!
You’re right about the whole park being great. There seems to be so much to see and do there. http://www.laparks.org/dos/parks/griffithpk/ I should actually revise my recommendation. When I go back next I’ll try to find the greater part of a day and explore the entire park as well as the observatory.
The observatory is one of my favorite places in LA and it looks like you were there on a very clear day! Great shots.
Nice way to spend time before heading out of LAX. Good choice! Very cool to know that admission to the main exhibits is free. Great shots, too.
Great shots! What a nice way to spend a day.
We haven’t been to LA yet but have heard that the Griffith Observatory is a great place to visit. The views look amazing!
I haven’t been to LA YET but I’m going to Long Beach in May and I can’t WAIT! We’re taking one night to go around and do all the touristy things in Hollywood.
Love the Griffith Observatory, and the views are just a great bonus. If you go on the right night, the astronomy club of Los Angeles sets up telescopes all over the yard in front of the building and will let you check out all sorts of wonderful things in the sky, and it’s free as well.
It sure could use some better parking though.
I’m planning a trip to LA. I might need to put this on my to-do list!
This is the second time I have read about Griffith Observatory recently. It must be a sign that I need to visit.:) Thanks for sharing.
my hub has promised to take me to Cali. There are so many things to see and do… it may take more than one trip.