City Views From Griffith Observatory - Los Angeles California
An Amazingly Clear Day
We've been living mostly in Los Angeles County now for about 14 years, but only just yesterday decided to drive up to the Griffith Observatory for the first time. Amanda's dad was on his last day here visiting from the UK so we wanted to do something interesting.
The building itself is actually quite amazing and interesting in itself. Apparently, the founder was a man named Griffith J Griffith. Yes, you read that correctly. Back in the 1800s, he moved from Wales to the United States and managed to become wealthy very quickly from mining and real estate profits.
The way it was explained, he visited some giant telescope nearby here in Southern California where he looked through and saw celestial objects for the first time and was basically mind blown by the whole experience. He promptly bought about 4000 acres of land and presented 3015 of it to Los Angeles as a "Christmas present" which was to be the location for the observatory.
Griffith is also responsible for the Greek Theatre which is just a short 0.8 mile walk down the sidewalk from the observatory. In fact, we ended up parking at the Greek and walking up the hill to the observatory because parking was free there, vs $10 per hour in the nearest parking lot!
The views of Los Angeles up here are second to none. I've been in this area plenty of times, but more often than not there is a massive smog cloud concealing quite a lot of the view. Not on this day, though! You could see all the way to the harbor where we live; even beyond to Catalina Island.
The LA skyline was very easy to see from the top of the hill. Sadly, the images don't do the view much justice. Everything appears so much smaller in the cellphone photos. I recently bought a brand new Canon EOS R mirrorless camera but forgot to grab it before we head out the door. Next time!
To the right, another group of skyscrapers are visible. This may be the Santa Monica skyline, but I could be wrong. I am terrible with this sort of thing.
Of course, just turn around and face the other direction and you're looking at the famous Hollywood sign. Honestly, I think that the Griffith Observatory is probably the best place in Los Angeles to get the best views of everything all at once. It's no wonder that this is where all the rich people live. The houses around this area are unimaginably expensive!
We had planned on doing a lot more exploring, but my father-in-law's knee replacements weren't having it. But it still turned out to be a pretty awesome day! Definitely a place to stop if you are visiting LA and not knowing what you should do.
Also, the observatory itself is free to visit. There are a few paid shows inside, but they aren't that expensive. Where they get you is the parking - so park down the hill at the Greek Theatre, otherwise you'll be paying a hefty parking fee. Be sure to pack some snacks too! There is a cafe but it is insanely expensive. I hope you get a chance to visit!