Griffith Park is an enormous, dimensional recreation spot in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, filled with locals and tourists enjoying its stellar views, extraordinary science, and spectacular hikes.
Contrary to typical expectations for a city park, Griffith is no square field of green. With its tall mountains and 50 miles of hiking trails, it has more in common with a national park. The difference is, it’s surrounded by city, which makes it a great viewing platform.
Griffith Park Observatory
The Griffith Observatory is a popular destination and a must for anyone in town for more than a few days. Placed on Mount Hollywood, the art deco building was first opened in 1935. Its many science exhibits and displays are free to visitors but you’ll have to pay to watch the planetarium show.
Seeing the Sights at Griffith Park
Walking along the grounds of this beautiful white building is wonderful and its views of the city are perhaps unmatched. It’s certainly one of the best spots to check out the Hollywood sign.
The park is also home to:
- The Pony Rides
- The Bird Sanctuary
- Los Angeles Zoo
- Bronson Canyon
- Roosevelt Golf Course
- Travel Town Museum
- Museum Of The American West
The many hiking trails allow you to escape city life and really feel like you are in the middle of nowhere.
History of Griffith Park
Looking at the landscape you’d think you were in a western film and that’s because many a western was shot there. You may also come across Bronson Caves which was used as the Bat Cave in the 1960′s Batman TV series.
Colonel J. Griffith donated the land to the City of Los Angeles in 1896. One story says Griffith believed every great city needed a park; another story says he wanted to get rid of the land after being spooked by the ghost of previous owner Antonio Feliz.
Ghost or no ghost, Griffith was constantly trying to improve the park, but after spending time in jail for shooting and severely wounding his wife in 1903 the city wanted nothing to do with him and refused his money. Instead, Griffith created a Trust Fund for the park which eventually funded The Griffith Observatory after his death.
Residents of Los Angeles can also enjoy the yearly Griffith Park Holiday Light Festival which takes place every Christmas.
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