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People travel to LA for different reasons. Some go for California’s vast beaches, and others for the culture. Then there is a special group whose vacation is inspired by the Griffith Observatory. It is among the most popular attractions in the southern part of California.

From its strategic positioning on the slope of Mount Hollywood to its free entry, vacationers have no excuses to make for missing out on this iconic landmark. Deciding to visit either during the day or night will depend on personal interests.


Here is a distinction between day and night visits to the Griffith Observatory.

Griffith Observatory Description

What is so unique about this observatory that it has continued to put Southern California on the global charts? As the name suggests, it is an observatory whose intention doesn't lean on the astronomical aspect alone. Observations of the natural surrounding are also part of the plan. Standing 1134 feet above sea level, this observatory is elevated enough for the average vacationer to have a good glimpse of the wild side of LA.

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The history of this observatory dates back to 1896, when a philanthropist called Griffith donated land and issued instructions on the intended use. Fast-forward, a 67,000-square feet structure was set up and opened to the public for the first time in 1935. Since then, it has been a free area for the public that serves close to two million vacationers annually.

While the park can be used for other activities, including filming and private events, the main business of the area is astronomy. After all, it is called an observatory for a reason. It is the place where vacationers come to have a glimpse of the sky and make observations about the important components of the solar system as well as other features.

  • Griffith Park Access: Free
  • The observatory’s parking lot for the public is charged
  • Griffith Park Opening: 5:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m daily
  • Griffith Observatory opening hours: Thursday and Friday (12:00 noon - 10:00 p.m), Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (Closed), Saturday and Sunday (10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.)

For shows at the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, the prices are:

  • Adults (13-54 years): $10
  • Members: $6
  • Seniors (55years and above): $8
  • Students and teachers: $8
  • Children (5-12 years): $6
  • Kids (under five years): Free

Visiting The Griffith Observatory During The Day

The time of the day that vacationers settle for while touring LA will depend on individual interests. Each time has its ups and downs. Vacationers planning to spend up to three days in LA can enjoy the following activities during the day.


Hiking is an underrated experience that only those visiting Griffith Park during the day have a chance to explore. Hiking allows vacationers to have a better and more intimate interaction with the environment.

Hiking also allows vacationers to explore more than what they had initially asked for. LA is versatile, so vacationers have a lot to explore on their way up. With multiple hiking routes from the parking lot, vacationers will have a choice to make. All routes provide breathtaking views of the area on the way to the observatory.

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Biking is another exciting activity that daytime visitors will truly love. There are dedicated paths for cycling. With Griffith Park, vacationers have finally found the perfect spot to adventure while still keeping fit.

Tourists who want to bike all the way up to the observatory must use the path on the west. The one on the east is one way down, making it dangerous for both the cyclists and those strolling.

Visiting The Griffith Observatory At Night

While visiting during the day is a great option, there’s a lot that can still be done at night. Here are some activities to try.

Telescope Viewing

The highlight of the Griffith Observatory is the free telescope viewing offered to the public every day whenever the facility is open. Telescope viewing happens in the evening, meaning only night vacationers get a chance to experience this spectacle. Star-gazing lovers will also fall in love with this place.

Visitors interested in this activity start streaming in shortly after sunset. However, the activity is preserved for days when the sky is clear. If anything, there will be no features to observe in the sky on a cloudy night. The facility has technicians who help vacationers interpret what they see.

Sunset Hikes

While hikes are predominantly a daytime activity, there is something special with the observatory’s sunset hikes. They offer vacationers an intimate interaction with the environment. Sunset hikes are largely a preserve for adults who want to explore the Southern California wild away from the sun. With an elevation of over 1000 feet, the beauty and view of the sunset keep getting better, step by step.

Beautiful Skyline

Griffith Observatory is the place to be beautiful views of the LA skyline. While views of LA are incredible during the day, they are nothing closer to what vacationers are subjected to at night. LA is popular for its vibrant nightlife. The city has multiple skyscrapers decorated with beautiful lights that breathe some life into the city. The well-lit skyscrapers create a glittering skyline that makes the hike to the top of the observatory worth it.

When deciding whether to visit the Griffith Observatory at night or during the day, vacationers must be ready to make compromises. Each of them has unique activities that can never be substituted. With LA’s captivating environment, vacationers can settle for both day and night experiences because there’s a lot to enjoy.