L.A. is not Colorado, of course, but that doesn’t mean that mountains (or, large hills from my biased perspective) are not within close reach. There are views aplenty in Los Angeles and the surrounding San Gabriel Mountains, and some of the easiest and accessible areas are a 15 minute drive from USC near Downtown LA. Last weekend, I visited the Griffith Observatory. The best time to visit, in my opinion, is near sunset – you can see a whole range of colors as the bright afternoon sky fades to orange and then purple, and once night falls the lights of Los Angeles unfold beneath you.
Not only is there a great view, but the Observatory has some really cool science exhibits as well. In the basement, there’s a whole exhibit on the planets in our Solar System (including Pluto, wuppie) and also some informational videos. Besides the obligatory gift shop, there’s also a few sights that you may find familiar if you watched La La Land – for instance, the giant circular swinging pendulum in the main entrance that hangs from the ceiling of the observatory and goes all the way down to the bottom floor.
The fun doesn’t stop there, either, if you’re astronomically inclined – the Planetarium offers shows twice an hour that five you history of the observatory and some knowledge about the stars – I definitely recommend checking that out as well.
As with any place, seeing pictures is just level of experience – getting out and doing it is completely another, and so worth it. Next blog, I’ll go over some of the cool hiking spots around L.A. (some of which are near the Observatory).