Have a Great Date at Griffith Park Observatory

Updated on Nov 14, 2019

The Griffith Park Observatory is not only one of the most popular tourist attractions in Los Angeles, it’s also a great place to go for an after-dinner date with someone special, and most of the attractions there are free! Here are my top recommendations to have a great time there.


Why I Like Going at Night

Griffith Park offers great hiking trails during the day, but I think it’s most romantic to go to Observatory is at night, when the view of the city is spectacular, and when they have telescopes out for people to check out. It’s a great after-dinner activity if you’re in or near Hollywood. Keep in mind that it closes at 10PM, so don’t make it a late dinner. As of this writing, it’s open Tuesday through Sunday, but check their site to be sure of the hours.

Griffith Park Observatory lawn
Griffith Park Observatory lawn

Warning: Traffic Can Be an Utter Nightmare

The next thing to think about is traffic. When a concert at the Greek Theater is starting or ending, traffic can come to a complete standstill, which is no fun, believe me. You should make sure there are no shows going on at the Greek Theater the night you want to go.

The crowds during holidays can be tough as well, so you might want to think of a different time to go other than the holidays, although I went the weekend after New Year’s Day, and found street parking without too much difficulty.


Preparation

It can be quite a bit colder on the mountain than down below, so bring jackets! Also, wear good walking shoes.

If you have a good camera, bring it! The views are spectacular.

View from Griffith Park Observatory
View from Griffith Park Observatory

How to Get There

You can get up to the observatory either by going up Vermont in the east, or Fern Dell Drive in the west.

Even though I come from the west, I like the Vermont route because it’s a bit shorter and much less winding. The Fern Dell route is really winding and might even cause your passenger(s) to get car-sick.  (Ginger gum is a great cure for nausea).

On the other hand, the Vermont route goes right past the Greek Theater, so traffic can be bad during shows.

When in doubt, I go up Vermont and exit on Fern Dell.

Parking

The Observatory’s parking lot is free, but will probably be full, so be prepared to park on the street and do a lot walking. If someone is wearing high heels, this is not a good place to go!

I usually drive up Vermont and find the best street parking that is available, then walk the rest of the way up. Use your best judgment based on how many cars you see parked on the side of the road, and how many people you see walking up.


Activities

The main attraction at Griffith Park Observatory is the view. It offers some of the best nighttime views of the Los Angeles basin!

Griffith Park Observatory and view
Griffith Park Observatory and view

Don’t forget to go check out the view from the roof as well.

Griffith Park Observatory view from roof
View from the roof

Next are the astronomy exhibits, which are free. Honestly, unless you’re really into astronomy, you’ll probably go through these pretty quickly.  But, they are worth a quick look.

But, don’t miss the downstairs exhibits, which are pretty cool.  There are exhibits for each planet there.

Griffith Park Observatory exhibit
Science exhibits

You can also see some of the science shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, which features immersive 360-degree films and projections. Check the observatory site for showtimes.

Finally, there are smaller telescopes available for free public viewing, but there usually is about a 15-minute wait to use them.



Overall, you won’t need to spend a whole lot of time at the Observatory unless you’re watching a show. You should have some other activities in mind for the night.

Griffith Park Observatory view
View of mid-city Los Angeles

Conclusion

The Griffith Park Observatory is a great component of a Los Angeles date itinerary. While I would not make a trip to Hollywood just to see the Observatory alone, it’s a great after-dinner activity if you’re already nearby, offering some of the best nighttime views of Los Angeles and a romantic atmosphere.

What do you think of the Griffith Park Observatory? – Brian

Shares

0 Comments

Leave a Comment or Question

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Articles

14 Ways to Meet Amazing Single People in Los Angeles

14 Ways to Meet Amazing Single People in Los Angeles

I think almost everyone would agree that Los Angeles is a tough city for dating. Everyone is so busy, and the people you meet at bars and clubs may not exactly be what you would consider “quality”. But, there are actually plenty of single people in the same boat who...

Date Night at Spago’s New Outdoor Pavilion

Date Night at Spago’s New Outdoor Pavilion

Like many restaurants during the pandemic, Spago in Beverly Hills was in need of additional outdoor dining space. It recently expanded its outdoor dining capacity big time with the 6,500 sq. ft. "Spago L’extérieur", or what people like me call the "Spago Outdoor...

Have a Romantic Weekend Getaway at Ojai Valley Inn

Have a Romantic Weekend Getaway at Ojai Valley Inn

It all started on a hot summer day when I wanted to go for a swim. But, I did not want to go to a pool full of hipsters holding drinks at a Hollywood hotel. I wanted to go to a real pool and swim some laps! I did a search online and concluded that I'd need to get out...

The Best West L.A. / Beverly Hills Date Ideas

The Best West L.A. / Beverly Hills Date Ideas

As I write this in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, so many of the things that we love to do in Los Angeles are closed. Yet, things will return to normal someday, and I write this article with that fact in mind. Some of the great date spots below are closed now...

Six Non-Obvious Virtual Dates To Try During Quarantine

Six Non-Obvious Virtual Dates To Try During Quarantine

Guest post by Alessandra ContiMatchmaker at Matchmakers In The City. I asked my friends at Matchmakers in the City, a certified personal matchmaking firm with offices in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., for date ideas in the age of...

Ten Ways to Meet Single People During the COVID-19 Shutdown

Ten Ways to Meet Single People During the COVID-19 Shutdown

Dating doesn't have to stop during the quarantine I read an article about how a guy got to date a young woman that he saw from his window by sending his phone number using a drone! These are strange and grim times, with a terrible disease threatening us and many out...

The Most Romantic Restaurants in Los Angeles for Those Special Occasions

The Most Romantic Restaurants in Los Angeles for Those Special Occasions

This is my list of the most romantic restaurants in Los Angeles that you need to book for anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine's day, or when you really want to impress someone special. The restaurants on this list either have exceptional ambiance, or exceptional...

The Best Date Ideas in Malibu, Topanga, and the Pacific Palisades

The Best Date Ideas in Malibu, Topanga, and the Pacific Palisades

Malibu is a great place for an all-day or half-day date when you want to get away from it all without straying too far from the Los Angeles area. You get beautiful beaches and mountains, as well as great restaurants and other attractions. Check out these date ideas in...

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares