Moon Over Mount Hollywood, Griffith Observatory Vista by Phil Bonniwell


This award-winning photo of the L.A. basin seen from Griffith Observatory, was taken by Phil Bonniwell.

Griffith Observatory is one of southern California's most popular attractions. As an icon of Los Angeles, a national leader in public astronomy and a beloved civic gathering place, the free admission attraction is extremely popular. At one time reservations were required to visit but that is no longer true-you can just show up during open hours (always check before going!)

The Observatory is located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, just above the Los Feliz neighborhood. It is 1,134 feet above sea level and is visible from many parts of the Los Angeles basin.

The mission of Griffith Observatory is inspiring everyone to observe, ponder, and understand the sky. Admission to the Observatory building and grounds (open every day except Monday) is FREE, though there's a nominal charge to see shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. The attraction is one of the highlights to Hollywood vacations and not to be missed.

Special shows currently featured at the Observatory:

  • Centered in the Universe — Be transported back in time and space to the Big Bang to find mankind's cosmic origins true place in the cosmos.
  • Water Is Life -Journey through the solar system in search of water. Blast off to Mars, crash through the ice of Jupiter's moon Europa, and travel alongside a comet in a search for habitable worlds beyond Earth.
  • Light of the Valkyries — Explore the true nature of the aurora borealis - the northern lights. The Vikings believed the northern lights were valkyries, warrior spirits who descended from heaven to take fallen heroes from the battlefield to Valhalla, the palace of the gods.

Tickets to the shows can only be purchased on location at Griffith Observatory. General admission is around $7 per show, with discounts for seniors, students and youth. (

Griffith Observatory, which is owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation and Parks, first opened on May 14, 1935, and was recently renovated, costing $93 million. The Director of Griffith Observatory is Dr. E. C. Krupp. The Observatory Deputy Director is Mark Pine. The Curator is Dr. Laura Danly.

Griffith Observatory
2800 East Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027
General Information Line: (213) 473-0800
L.A. City's "311″ Information Line: 866-4LACITY

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