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Stargazing in Griffith Park and the Observatory

Plus the L.A. zoo, hiking and rides on historic trains, a carousel and ponies
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 20.4 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview :  As the largest municipal park with urban wilderness areas in the country, Griffith Park is easily a destination in itself. Much more... more »

Tips:  With so much ground to cover, it's a good idea to map out your visit. If you plan to spend substantial time at each attraction, give... more »

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Points of Interest

Plan to arrive in the morning so you can see the animals while they are awake and active. Plus, parking lots fill up quickly. Allow two to three hours to explore the zoo and gardens, situated on 133 acres.

The zoo, which opened on Nov. 28, 1966, is home to more than 1,100 mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles representing more than 250... More

You don't have to be a kid or have kids to be impressed by this transportation museum, which focuses on the history of railroad transportation in the western United States from 1880-1930s.

Since its opening in 1954, Travel Town has been a popular Griffith Park destination with both visitors and TV studios. "Adam-12," "Knight Rider," "Columbo"... More

3. Shane's Inspiration Park

The playing field is leveled at this park, designed for children with and without disabilities. Located near the carousel, the two-acre park is a universally accessible playground with equipment that includes an airplane with cockpit controls, slides with a bouncy landing pad, a Lucky Star Chaser space shuttle and Ronald's Ship of Dreams, an... More

Make a pit stop here for a spin on the carousel or for a picnic. Built in 1926 and operating in Griffith Park since 1937, this classic carousel features 68 carved horses, which are designed with jewel-encrusted bridles and draped blankets. The Stinson 165 Military Band Organ plays more than 1,500 selections of waltzes and marches.
4730 Crystal... More

Driving along Crystal Springs Drive, the train and pony rides will be on your left side. They share a parking lot.

This Griffith Park staple has been attracting visitors since the 1940s. The miniature trains, which easily seat two people per bench, chug along an approximately one- mile track past an arena housing ponies, an old Western Town and a... More

Since 1948, parents have been bringing their kids here for pony rides. It's an L.A. family tradition. The stables are on the same property as the Griffith Park & Southern Railroad. So after parking in the lot, you can ride the train and then the ponies (doesn't matter in which order). Children up to age 13 (and less than 100 pounds) are... More

From Los Feliz, turn right onto Vermont Avenue. You'll pass the Greek Theatre (on your left), a popular venue for summer night concerts. Drive through the tunnel and veer left to park in the observatory's lot.

There's no better place for stunning views of Los Angeles or the twinkling night sky. Located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood,... More

8. Ferndell Park

After stargazing and taking in the views of L.A., come back to terra firma at this lovely park-within-a-park just past the observatory. You can park your car anywhere you find a spot.

It's worth a stop to enjoy some hiking, a picnic, and/or dedicated play areas for children. Pack a snack and enjoy a stroll under a canopy of sycamore trees and... More