Parks >Griffith Park Observatory
2800 E Observatory Ave, Los Angeles, CA | Directions 9002734.118378 -118.300353
The observatory never disappoints. Perfect for a date. Went last week for the star party and got to see Jupiter!
I'd definitely add this neat landmark to your tourist to-dos list, the views are amazing, admission is free, and if you've got any scientific inclinations whatsoever, you'll appreciate the interior exhibits. You can drive up to the park easily, there's plenty of parking along the road (you might end up a ways away if it's a busy day) and you can even walk if you're a crazy Portlander who thinks everything is within walking distance (from my hotel to Griffith was a two-blister trip for me, but a great workout).
The view is amazing on a good day and there are so many things to see. Perfect day and night time activity with the family. Make sure you catch the show in the planetarium, it's the best part of visiting.
A centerpiece of many a movie, the Griffith Park Observatory (and the amazing views it offers) is still better taken in in person.
Forget about the hike and head here after dark for one of their Public Star Parties, a free monthly stargazing gathering where astronomers explain how to use telescopes so you're not just pretending to see whatever planet "is unusually close to earth right now"
Parking can seem like a pain, but it's worth it. This is a good place to spend a leisurely afternoon. The view is really cool, too, when the air is clear.
Must See – I've been to many observatories but this one by far is the best. I was lucky enough to come the first Saturday after the full moon and there were many people with their own personal telescopes set up on the lawn....that they allowed you to use!!! It was amazing!! We were able to see Jupiter up close and personal as well as several different starts etc. Great place to visit and definitely come the first Saturday after the full moon...you wont regret it!
great to hike up to and look out – this is a great place to hike up to and view the city, there are always tours and exhibits to learn from. great place to relax, make a day of it.
The cafe & terrace are awsome! one of the best views – As you walk towards the observatory from the parking lot, to the right the steps lead you to the cafe which is perched on the side of the hill along with a terrace and white umbrellas... i uploaded a photo). Wolf Gang Puck sandwiches and salads are fresh and yummy (though basic and inexpensive), and the views are the best you can get. I bring guests here (like my parents type thing).
Don't Be Late!! Ripoff Alert – I was EXTREMELY disappointed with my experience here; I came on a rainy day looking for something to do - my first time since it reopened in 4 years. Bought 3 tickets to the planetarium show for myself and my brothers who were visiting from the east coast. Decided to grab a bite to eat before the show and was horrified by the ridiculous prices at the cafe -- $2.75 for a small bottle of soda? $3 for a snack bag sized chips? I spent more on one small meal than on three show tickets (as the prices were not all listed). Then when we went back upstairs for the planetarium show, we were about 30 seconds late, and the door was already closed and locked. I asked the girl at the front desk, and she told me rudely to look at the clock, I was two minutes late and would not be let in. I said, well then when's the next show? She tells me it doesn't matter because my tickets would not be valid for any other show. No refunds. No late entry. No seeing a later show if you are 30 seconds late. I was stunned; then said I would never be coming back, ripped up my tickets and left them on the counter. The girl says "Thank you" on my way out. She was rude and snippy. I was severely disappointed; not only was it a rainy day, and there was hardly anyone there -- but they are rude to some of the few customers they have? Their policy should at least be that if you are late getting to a show you should be able to exchange your tickets for a later show. And it was raining and I'm sure that theater was only half full if that! I felt so ripped off! After they gouged me for the food in the cafe, I ended up spending $40 on the food and tickets for a show that I did not get to see. Boy, if Griffith J. Griffith could see this I think he'd turn over in his grave. I don't think he gave money for an observatory to swindle as much money as possible from people interested in what I was hoping would be a wonderful astronomical experience. Observatory Management, you should be ashamed.
Following a multimillion-dollar facelift, this world-famous, locally beloved landmark is truly out of this world. – In Short
First opened in 1933, this Los Angeles icon is the most visited public observatory in the world. After four years and $93 million in renovations, the expanded facility (it's twice its former size now) has debuted the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, a copper-sheathed dome with 300 reclining seats, a computerized star projector and laser technology for all-dome animated videos. Other additions include a multilevel exhibit gallery, a sprawling bookstore and a Kubrick-esque, white-hued Wolfgang Puck cafe called (what else?) Cafe at the End of the Universe.
Highly interesting plus stunning LA skyline view from the patio – The observatory is certainly an unmissable sight. It is located in the beautiful Griffith park and offers besides the exhibits also a stunning LA skyline view from the observatory's extensive patios which are accessible on every floor. The observatory's guide was conversational, knowledegable and available for questions at any time. Interactive exhibits made the exhibition more interesting and fun.
What a blast - even for locals. – My date and I decided to do something out of the norm and went to the new observatory on a Saturday night. It was SO much fun. Totally out of the norm. And really, really interesting/educational. Kind of mind blowing. What a fun date, double date, event for out of towners, family, kids. So cool. Beautiful view. Romantic if you want it to be. A "must do".
The renovations are superb! – The Griffith Observatory has reopened this year after 5 year, multi billion dollar renovation project. I finally was able to visit it to see what was done and I was very happy to see that this landmark got the upgrade that it was in dire need for. The building and courtyard look almost the same and the pendulum is still in the center of the main lobby. But the big changes are the new underground exhibit area featuring an enourmous photo of outer space called "the Big Picture". The new planetarium show is a definite must see and you get a good crash course in astronomy 101 with all the observatory exhibits. The views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign are always picturesque (smog permitting) and the addition of the new cafe allows for a nice afternoon outing at the top of Griffith Park.
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