Did you know one of the largest parks in the United States is located in Los Angeles? It is Griffith Park.
Griffith Park is located in the Santa Monica mountains and home to more than 56 miles of hiking trails, a number of train attractions (including Travel Town), the Los Angeles Zoo, the Observatory, and great views of LA.
Our first few visits to the park we ended up at the Griffith Observatory. The museum located inside the observatory focuses on science and discovery with a number of interactive exhibits. If our kids were older maybe I could give you more details. But alas I was chasing a two year old. I do remember a lot of stuff about the moon, planets and the solar system. There is also a movie (24-minute) about the history of the Observatory in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater. Another great thing they have to offer is the Planetarium, with shows (fee) offered daily every 60 to 90 minutes. Unfortunately, for us, only the first show allows children under five to attend and since we visited later in the day we didn’t get to see the show, maybe next time.
To get a great view of the city (day or night) visitors can climb to the top of the Observatory. There you can check out the telescopes, which are open to the public each evening the skies are clear. The views of both Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign are stunning.
Love to Hike?
Interested in hiking? Griffith park offer tons of trails and there are a few that start from the Observatory’s parking lot. The Charlie Turner Trail head takes you to the top of Mt. Hollywood and offers even better views of the city. There is not a lot of shade on these trails so make sure you plan ahead and bring plenty of water and sunscreen. We have done a couple of hikes and the trails were pretty easy. The main thing that made it hard was the lack of shade and the heat. There are both wide paths that are great for strollers and more adventurous hiking that is not so stroller friendly.
Our most recent visit to Griffith Park led us to meet up with friends at Travel Town. If you have a little boy or even a big boy who loves trains you have to check this park out. There is a short train ride around Travel Town along with a number of train engines and cars to see and explore. Our little guy loved running down the empty train tracks and climbing on all the different train cars. There is also a free museum and inside the museum there is a small miniature train village set up, which is neat to see. Travel Town was more than I expected and a definite must do if you are in the LA area.
Tomorrow I’m going to hit another spot within Griffith Park, the LA Zoo…