Griffith Observatory

View on Map Address: Griffith Observatory, 2800 East Observatory Avenue, Los Angeles, CA Website:

The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles first opened to the public in May 1935, but the idea for the attraction came from mining mogul and philanthropist Colonel Griffith J Griffith in the late 19th century.

He was keen to create a center for astronomy that could be used by members of the public instead of only scientists, so he donated a vast tract of land on the slope of Mount Hollywood and a substantial sum of money with which to create one when he died in 1919.

The resulting building became one of the most popular attractions in the city and is still visited by thousands of people each year. It features a planetarium, an array of space and science-related exhibitions and the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater for special events and lectures.

Visitors can also take a look through public telescopes each evening when the skies are clear, so it is the perfect place to learn more about the stars and planets.

The Griffith Observatory is free to enter and is open six days a week, although an admission fee applies for the planetarium and for events in the theater.