LA for a Day: Griffith Park
Part one in a series of worthwhile destinations in Los Angeles, CA.
It’s time for a word association game.
The Word: Los Angeles
The Associations: Beaches, palm trees, movies, traffic?
I am a San Diego native. I come from a place that shares the beauty of beaches, palm trees, and frequent sunshine with LA. They also share a unique Southern California vibe, even though the personalities of both cities are distinctly their own. I have been to LA many times, but thoughts of traffic, smog, big city crime, and a Death Cab for Cutie song used to deter me from sticking around for too long. Suffice it to say, I never really gave the place a chance.
While the traffic really is as bad as you might have heard (note: in LA “freeway” is synonymous with “parking lot”), there are a lot of great things about the City of Angels and today I will focus on one of my favorites: Griffith Park & Observatory.
Griffith Park is a 4,310 acre recreational area with attractions from a 53-mile network of hiking trails, multiple golf-courses, observatory, concert venue, zoo, and more. Even if you don’t know it by name, you have probably seen photos. The infamous Hollywood sign, which is arguably the most iconic landmark in Los Angeles, is part of Griffith park and sits atop Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills. The sign itself, along with a 360 degree view around it, is accessible to the public via a 4.3 mile hiking trail.
Fun Fact: the Hollywood sign, which stands 45 feet tall, was set up by a real estate company in 1923.
I haven’t had the chance to hike the trail to the Hollywood sign, but when I do I predict the view from the top might be my favorite spot in Griffith Park. Until then, I have to say the Griffith Observatory is one of the best spots in both the park and LA. The observatory is just a short drive from the base of the Hollywood hills. It is great place to sit down, distance yourself from the hustle and bustle of the city, and enjoy the California sun. The observatory itself is also a beautiful building with multiple-levels and beautiful view points of the LA basin and skyline.