Griffith Observatory

On Wednesday, we decided to head up to the Griffith Observatory to see what’s up.

Griffith Observatory

Located on the south end of Griffith Park, the 80 year old observatory features a vast selection of space and science themed displays. It is also a really popular location for filming, having been featured in dozens of different movies and television shows.

Griffith Observatory panorama

It’s also a great photo stop, providing views of downtown LA and the Hollywood sign.

Hollywood Sign and tree

The only catch is that you have to be there at the right time on the right day. It was fairly overcast when we were there, so there’s a definite haze in a lot of these pictures. They say the smog is the reason they have such beautiful sunsets.

Downtown in the Distance

Blech. I do wish we had had better luck with the conditions, because you can definitely see how pictures from up here could be stunning.

Griffith Observatory Front

Here’s a straight up shot with the Astronomers Monument front and center.

James Dean Head

The observatory’s popularity skyrocketed in 1955, when it was featured in “Rebel Without a Cause.” In honor of that, this bust of James Dean is prominently placed.

Griffith 9

Honestly, that’s not the movie that made me want to go there. For me, it’s all about “Midnight Madness.” In fact, I wanted to plan this entire trip around the amazing locations featured in that seminal 1980 film. I gave up on that plan as soon as I priced staying at the Bonaventure Hotel.

Griffith 6

I feel a little embarrassed because we didn’t really explore Griffith Park other than the observatory. We only had so much time to work with, unfortunately. Hopefully next time we’ll be able to dedicate a bit more time into properly checking the place out.

Griffith 7

The place is littered with walking trails, so be sure to bring proper footwear.


There’s no shortage of excellent vantage points to get pictures.

Griffith 8

Hey, remember back at Knott’s Berry Farm when Karen kept taking those damn jokey pictures of “Lee” things? She totally missed the fact that the Hollywood sign is located on Mount Lee.

Griffith side

Okay, enough with the view. Let’s get back to the observatory.

Griffith 3

Admission to the museum is free, although the planetarium shows cost a few bucks. Don’t be cheap.

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