What Is Griffith Observatory?
Sitting high above Los Angeles, the Griffith Observatory provide an out of this world experience. Visitors can look through telescopes, explore exhibits, and watch live shows in the Planetarium.
It’s named after Colonel Griffith J. Griffith (Yes, that was his real name). He donated 3,000 acres of land to the city of L.A. in the 1800s. When he died, he left funds to build the observatory to make astronomy accessible to the public.
Where is Griffith Observatory?
The Griffith Observatory is in Los Angeles and sits atop the south slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park. It’s 9 miles north of downtown Los Angeles and 5 miles from Hollywood.
2800 East Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Traveling to the Griffith Observatory from Los Angeles International Airport can take an hour or more with traffic even though it’s just 27 miles away. The Metro Red Line and public transportation is available. Flying into Burbank Airport will cut the trip in half. The Griffith Observatory is 12 miles south of the Burbank Airport.
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What Can I Do at Griffith Observatory?
There are live daily shows in the 290-seat Samuel Oschin Planetarium. Each show is hosted featuring a live storyteller to engage audiences. The Planetarium itself is a modern marvel. It spans 75 feet with a seamless, perforated aluminum dome – one of the largest in the world.
The Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon, named after the Star Trek actor that portrayed Mr. Spock, features a 200-seat theatre used for lectures, films, and demonstrations. It is often used for educational programs for schools.
Millions of visitors have taken their turn looking through the Zeiss refracting telescope located in the dome of the east end of the facility. You can see the Moons, planets, and other bright objects in the Miley Way. Up to 600 visitors are treated to a talk each evening from a staff member that orients the giant telescope and answers questions.
Exhibits include the “Hall of the Eye,” which documents the progress of astronomy over the years. It includes a Tesla coil built in 1910. Another must-see is The Big Picture located on the lower level. It’s 152 feet long and 20 feet high and contains nearly a million galaxies, quasars, and asteroids.
The Gottlieb Transit Corridor is a unique experience. The 10-foot wide, 150-foot long passage is an immersive experience. Through the glass-walls, visitors can see how the Sun, Moon, and Stars appear in motion and are linked in time.
The Griffith Observatory also features spectacular views of the L.A. Basin. Visitors can view downtown Los Angeles and the city of light to the southeast. To the south sits Hollywood. The Pacific Ocean frames the shoreline along the southwest. You will also be able to see the iconic Hollywood sign that sits 8 miles away on Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills area of the Santa Monica mountains.