Griffith Park is Hollywood's celestial playground. Set at the eastern edge of the Santa Monica Mountains, Griffith Park offers more than 4,000 acres of urban wilderness pressed up against the glitter of Los Angeles. The park is also home to some of Hollywood's most iconic attractions. Of course, the views alone are worth the trip! This list of five iconic things to do in Griffith Park will help guide your way during an unforgettable visit.
Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California, is truly a gateway to the heavens. Perched on Mount Hollywood's south-facing slope, this landmark offers views of downtown Hollywood, the Pacific Ocean, and other parts of the Los Angeles Basin. It's also a nice spot to glimpse the Hollywood Sign! The Griffith Observatory has appeared in dozens of films over the years. Movies ranging from "Back to the Future" to 2016's "La La Land" have helped to make the observatory recognizable to people across the globe! The crown of the observatory campus is the Samuel Oschin Observatory which houses the world-famous Zeiss star projector in a state-of-the-art aluminum dome with a sound system, theatrical lighting, and seating for nearly 300 people. Presentations are offered every 60 to 90 minutes on days of operation. The Griffith Observatory is open from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Hiking to the Hollywood Sign is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should be enjoyed by anyone visiting California. Visitors can choose from several authorized hiking trails that allow for safe passage to the sign all year long. The Mount Hollywood Trail and Brush Canyon Trail offer 5.3 miles or 6 miles in relatively easy conditions. For those seeking a bigger challenge, the Cahuenga Peak Trail lets you breeze through just 3 miles worth of trails in exchange for a steeper climb. As the highest summit inside Griffith Park, Cahuenga Peak offers exceptional views, including greater Los Angeles, Burbank, and the Hollywood Sign.
Did you know that you can see Sumerian tigers, koalas, meerkats, jaguars, Grevy's zebras, giraffes, Asian elephants, and African-painted dogs inside Griffith Park? A day at the park can quickly turn into a day at the zoo if you want adventure. The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is a 133-acre natural oasis founded in 1966. Currently, more than 270 different species call the L.A. Zoo home. During a visit, guests are transported to African grasslands, the Australian Outback, tropical forests, and many more environments that serve the needs of the zoo's eclectic residents. Top attractions within the zoo include Chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains, Elephants of Asia, Campo Gorilla Preserve, Rainforest of the Americas, and Red Ape Rainforest.
The Greek Theatre is a 5,900-foot amphitheater located inside Griffith Park. When Griffith J. Griffith gave his 3,000-acre donation to create Griffith Park, he also left money to construct a Greek-style theatre. Builders intentionally chose the theatre's canyon site due to its marvelous acoustics. After the theatre was completed in 1930, the first performance occurred in June of 2031 in front of 4,000 onlookers. People who have never visited the Greek in person will likely recognize it from a long list of films that includes "A Star Is Born" and "Get Him to the Greek."
Griffith Park & Southern Railroad has been chugging along since 1948! Hundreds of thousands of riders hop on this mile-long track each year to travel through a forest, over a bridge, and across Old Western Town. After riding the train, visitors can also explore a collection of old-time railroad locomotives and cars.
Keep the Wonder Going When Visiting Los Angeles
With so many fun things to do in Griffith Park, you may wonder how people can see the rest of the attractions around Los Angeles! The truth is that a great itinerary should branch out to explore the city's many diverse neighborhoods and enriching attractions. If you want to combine culture, fun, and food, there's nothing quite like visiting Little Tokyo!