Bucket List Los Angeles: The Griffith Observatory

The Griffith Observatory is a landmark attraction located in Los Angeles, California, and is one of the most visited tourist spots in the city. It has served as an iconic feature of Los Angeles since it opened in 1935 and has been a center for astronomical research, education, and public engagement ever since. Here is everything you need to know about the Griffith Observatory.

History and Architecture

The Griffith Observatory was gifted to the city of Los Angeles by Griffith J. Griffith, a Welsh-American philanthropist, and amateur astronomer. Griffith donated funds to build the observatory in order to provide the general public with an opportunity to observe the universe and learn about astronomy. The building's architecture reflects a combination of Art Deco and Greek revival styles, making it a remarkable example of 1930s architecture.

Exhibits and Collections

The Griffith Observatory has numerous exhibits and collections that are both entertaining and educational for visitors of all ages. The most popular exhibit is the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, which features a state-of-the-art Zeiss star projector that can create an incredibly realistic view of the night sky. Additionally, the observatory has several telescopes that visitors can use to observe the sun, the moon, and other celestial objects.

The observatory also has several permanent exhibits that cover topics such as the formation of the universe, the science of light, and the history of space exploration. The observatory's Foucault pendulum, which demonstrates the rotation of the Earth, is another popular exhibit.

Public Programs

The Griffith Observatory offers a wide range of public programs throughout the year. The observatory's public programs include lectures, star parties, and special events. These programs are designed to provide visitors with an opportunity to learn more about astronomy and space science in a fun and engaging way. The observatory also offers free public telescopes every evening for visitors to use to observe the night sky.

Visiting the Griffith Observatory

Visiting the Griffith Observatory is free, although there is a fee for the planetarium shows. The observatory is open every day of the week, except for Mondays. Visitors can take public transportation to the observatory or drive to the top of Mount Hollywood, where the observatory is located. The observatory is open until 10:00 PM, so visitors can observe the night sky during evening hours.

The Griffith Observatory is an amazing attraction that offers visitors a unique opportunity to learn about astronomy and space science. With its stunning architecture, fascinating exhibits, and engaging public programs, it's no wonder that it's one of the most popular tourist destinations in Los Angeles. If you're planning a trip to Los Angeles, be sure to include a visit to the Griffith Observatory in your itinerary.