When I first moved to L.A. 15 years ago, I used to visit the Griffith Observatory a lot. It offered the perfect view for a newbie Angeleno to get a lay of the land, get some perspective, and take a breath from the hustle and bustle of the city — something, as a Northern Californian suburbanite I wasn’t accustomed to. Plus it’s where James Dean got in a knife fight, where Arnold Schwarzenegger bared his ass walking around its parking lot and where Keanu did a music video with Paula Abdul. You could say it’s where stardom is born and I felt closer to the stars up there in more ways than one.
And after a $93-million four-year renovation, the legendary, hard-to-miss Griffith Observatory is finally reopening next month. But you have to reserve a spot to be able to visit this legendary L.A. landmark in the coming months. This will only be a temporary setup until the buzz dies down, I guess. But until then, they’re not allowing any cars to drive up there. Instead, visitors will have to catch a shuttle from either the L.A. Zoo or Hollywood & Highland. Hiker and cyclist timed-entry reservations will be available 48 hours in advance. Parking for those guys is in the lot near the Greek Theatre.
A lot of the tickets still available for opening day on November 3 are for the daytime hours (with the lastest time at 6:10pm), but who wants to go to an observatory when the stars aren’t visible yet? And I don’t understand why they only have reservations until 7 when the Observatory doesn’t close until 10pm. Hmm. (The soonest available 7pm time is Tuesday, November 7.) It would be really cool if they had evening events, like the Getty Center. Ah well.
2800 East Observatory Road
Los Angeles, California 90027
Lat = 34° 06′ 46.8″ N; Long = 118° 18′ 5.5″ W
elevation = 1134 ft = 345.5 m
magnetic deviation = 14° 7.5′ E
General admission: $8