Griffith Observatory Sign

The Griffith Observatory: Exploring a Los Angeles Landmark

The Griffith Observatory is an iconic Los Angeles landmark. Like the famous Hollywood Sign, the Griffith Observatory is visible throughout most of LA from its perch on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood.

Built in 1935, the observatory was one of the country’s first institutions dedicated to public science and housed the nation’s third planetarium. Admission to the public is, and always has been, free.

Griffith Observatory

Eric Photographing Statue

Griffith Park Parking Sign

We arrived at the observatory by following Vermont Avenue through Griffith Park. You can also get there by taking Fern Dell Drive. Regardless of the route you choose, signs very clearly direct you towards the observatory. There is a small parking lot at the top of the drive, which fills quickly. Many visitors park on the street leading up to the observatory and walk the short distance uphill.

We were a little worried about parking on the street, as nearly all the parking signs are unreadable due to graffiti. I managed to piece them together to discover that parking is only disallowed during the late night and early morning. As long as the observatory is open, you should be fine to park alongside the street.

On weekends, the City of Los Angeles operates a shuttle to the Observatory.

Observatory Main Entrance

Once we figured out where the entrance actually was, we perused the many exhibits inside.

Eric Looks at Photos

Observatory Pendulum

Observatory Artifact

Einstein Statue

Malfunctioning Telescope Viewer

Sadly, many of the exhibits were not functioning during our visit. I’m not sure if this is normal, but Eric did mention that the Tesla Coil hadn’t been working during any of his previous three visits to the observatory. Regardless, we made sure to deposit a donation that will hopefully help with the upkeep of some of these exhibits. Those that were functioning were quite fascinating!

Strangely, the donation containers were located on the lower level, rather than by the main entrances. Be sure to head down there if you want to leave a donation for this historic facility. While you’re there, explore the lower level exhibits, too. You can discover how much you weigh on each of the planets in our solar system! Pretty exciting.

To Telescope Sign

Observatory Telescope Dome

City Skyline Telescope Sign

Griffith Observatory Telescope

Griffith Observatory

PS: Headshots in the Park and Hiking Mount Lee to the Hollywood Sign

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    Hello! I'm Erika, a quiet girl living in the noisy city of Los Angeles with my husband Eric and my cat Cookies. I enjoy exploring new places, going on adventures, eating delicious food, and taking lots of pictures! >> Read more

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