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Ways to Experience Griffith Observatory
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Reviews (19,686)
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Traveler rating
12,705
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103
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

After decades of seeing the Griffith Observatory on TV shows, I decided I had to see it for myself. It did not disappoint.

First, the bad news: the traffic in LA is terrible. The drive to get there took way longer than we thought it would, and we arrived about an hour later than expected, so we missed the daytime views (which others say are marvelous and I don't doubt it). I was hoping to see the Hollywood sign from the observatory (it's supposed to be a great view), but the sun was down. Oh well. Parking is tough - my LA-native brother-in-law bravely volunteered to stay in the car while we hiked up to the top. He joined us almost an hour later after he found a spot. In addition, the observatory was VERY crowded. Everything had a line, and a crush of people. But we all wanted to see interesting things, so we were all calm and enjoying ourselves. So plan for all this, and don't let it stop you from having a great time.

The observatory art deco architecture is beautiful and interesting. Even the bathrooms are beautiful.

And, oh, the science! There's a Foucault pendulum (the pendulum swings all day long, with a circle of objects around it. As the earth rotates, the pendulum will knock down the pegs one-by-one. I didn't count the pegs, but usually one falls every 30 minutes or every hour...be patient if you want to see something knocked over). There's a VERY large Tesla coil. Check the sign for when the next demo will be, then stake out a good place to stand. You will want to see the neon sign (you can see it from the front from one side, and from the back from the other 2 viewing sides). Then, get ready to geek out. My poor sister got to see me in all my science nerd glory. Great (and brief...stay alert) demo.

As we were there at night, and because it was so crowded, I didn't see most of the exhibits, but the staff had three 8-or-10-inch telescopes set up outside to view Saturn (yes, you could see the rings), Jupiter, and another planet (I can't recall right now). The lines moved quickly and we had fun seeing planets, and seeing others seeing planets. Great.

The view of LA at night is spectacular.

Admission is free. Plan for traffic and crowds and enjoy.

Date of experience: August 2019
Thank Loribbb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

If you hate science there are still the views we got great photos and the short show about the universe on the 365 theatre was well worth the 7 dollars each

Date of experience: September 2019
Thank Carl K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Make sure you get there before 4pm as the top car park can fill up and you have a steep hike up (we struggled in the heat). Worth it in the end with some amazing views of then city.

Date of experience: September 2019
Thank lmsincla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We took a cab up to Griffith Park and enjoyed some lovely sites from the observatory and surrounding area. The Hollywood sign is located in the mountains opposite the park. There is a golf course lovely park to walk around and a great place to see Los Angeles from the highest point in the city. Well worth a visit

Date of experience: September 2019
1  Thank Shirley16061954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Great place to visit when in Los Angeles Excellent for all ages especially young people who are so devoid of education about the universe.

Date of experience: September 2019
Thank Michael B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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