Tourist attractions are a necessary evil of big-city life. You can’t deny that when you hear “Los Angeles,” chances are an image of The Hollywood Sign flashes in your mind, along with some over-surgeried celebrities and surfer dudes at a generic ocean pier. Luckily, the days of cringing at tourist traps can be halted when you simply want a good view of the Hollywood sign. Griffith Park is the perfect spot to create a memorable experience, and totally worth being a little touristy.
And so it begins…
The adventure to Griffith Park begins as you drive through winding hills of trees and mansions, each elegantly tucked into twisting streets like a Department 56 decorative neighborhood display. There is even a moment to pass by the historic Greek Theater as the road climbs onward and upward. If you ever have the chance to see a show there, I highly suggest it.
Creeping higher up the mountain, Griffith Observatory will peek into view, promising the pristine views ahead. If you’re lucky enough to find parking at the main parking lot atop the mountain, well done! You’ve basically pulled a King Arthur and should try your luck pulling swords out of stones. If not, no worries. One of the approach streets will have a spot on the side of the road, as long as you are comfortable with cliff sides and sharp corners. Honestly, you’ll be fine.
Welcome to Griffith Park Observatory!
The Griffith Observatory itself is an architectural masterpiece. Its hard not to be amazed by its beauty as you approach from the expansive lawn, gazing at the building’s white exterior walls and green-gold copper accents. I highly suggest exploring the outdoor area first. A climb up the outer winding staircases that flank either end of the building will take you to various levels of observation decks, each with a sweeping view of Los Angeles as a whole. Of the few times I’ve visited, only once has the smog been dense enough to disrupt views of the city. For the most part, its an impeccable sight that stretches out to the ocean on the clearest days.
Feel free to explore the insides of the observatory and gain some knowledge regarding space and science that you never knew you needed before. But, from past experience, I’m certain the majority of your time will be spent wandering the grounds and taking in the commanding sights.
This is, by no means, a tourist trap to fear. Feel free to bring friends, family, and visitors through Griffith Park and welcome them to the city by getting the most appropriate birds-eye view from the observation decks of Griffith Park Observatory.