The Griffith Observatory is a spectacular place, filled with amazing exhibits! It’s understandable that some people are frustrated, but with a little patience and some good planning, you can have a wonderful visit! Here’s the 10 best tips for your trip: (1) GO ON A WEEKDAY. It’s very busy on Sat and Sun, shows sell out, and tons of people make it hard to get a good view of the exhibits. (2) BRING A LUNCH.
The cafe is okay, not great, and the prices are kind of silly ($2. 50 for a bag of chips). You can eat your own food at the cafe tables, but not outside on the lawn.
No picnicking. (3) SEE THE PLANETARIUM SHOW. It is by far the coolest thing at the Observatory. It’s sort of like an imax film. Very moving! (4) ASK A GUIDE FOR INFO. As I described above, the guides can tell you what you’re looking at, and it will blow your mind! (5) COME AFTER SUNSET. You can look through the telescope on the roof and see the rings of Saturn, or the craters of the moon.
Also, if the line on the roof is really long, you can see just as good of stuff by looking through the telescopes on the front lawn. (6) BE PATIENT.The Observatory was reopened about 6 months before it was really ready – they wanted to give people the chance to get in to see what’s there – but as a result there’s no brochures or organized tours yet. Remember, though, the Guides will answer your questions! (7) SEE THE FREE DOCUMENTARY. There’s a new theater in the lower levels (The Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon) that has a free documentary film about the Observatory. It’s 25 minutes long and it’s a great way to get some background information and have a break from walking around. (8) TAKE THE ZOO SHUTTLE.
The Zoo shuttle is easy to find, easy to drive to, and free to park at.However, if you want to sightsee, don’t mind paying a few bucks for parking, then park at Hollywood ; Highland and see the Chinese Theatre as part of your tourist activities. (9) HIKING UP IS FREE. If you can find the path up to the Observatory through the park, you can go in for free. (10) USE WEBSITE TO MAKE RESERVATIONS. It is so easy. Just follow the links under “Visiting” to “Make a Reservation” and you can choose the shuttle you want, the date you want, and the time you want and then you can print your tickets out from home! Don’t bother with the reservation line, the wait is forever, and they have to email or fax the tickets anyway.