LA Days: Griffith Observatory


My time in Nicaragua reminded me what it’s like to see new things everyday. It’s not that I don’t love you Newport Beach, you know I do! But consider this: the last place I lived had a population of over 11 million and Newport Beach has a population of 60,000. Or this: Beijing is 6,487 square miles and Newport Beach is 52 square miles. Isn’t the difference insane? Newport Beach has a beach and I get to spend weekends on a paddle board, so it obviously wins. But after my Nicaragua trip I had a renewed interest to get out and see more new things, especially city things. Which is weird because, apart from Managua, the cities in Nicaragua are tiny. I’m sure there’s logic in there somewhere.

So, the first Saturday after I returned to California was declared (by me) to be an LA day. There is always something new and exciting to see in LA and I haven’t spent nearly enough time there recently.

Griffith Observatory

View of LA Griffith park

My first trip to LA was when I was 14 years old. From the age of 9 to about 24 I was dedicated to keeping a journal. I have no doubt I wrote about that trip to California extensively. Unfortunately my journals all live in a different country to me and I’ve forgotten most of it in my old age. But one thing I do remember is going to the Griffith Observatory. It’s funny to think of how much I loved California then, never imagining I would end up marrying a Californian and living here.

The weather was absolutely beautiful in February, so Griffith Observatory was the perfect choice. Griffith Park itself is beautiful and there are fantastic views across LA. If you’re wondering where to see the Hollywood sign, look no further than the Griffith Observatory car park. There’s a great view from here (though unfortunately I only had my phone to take photos so it looks too small in the pics).

View of LA Griffith park 2

Griffith Observatory LA

 Hollywood sign Griffith Park

Right in the entrance of the observatory is the Foucalt Pendulum. It’s one of the first methods they used to demonstrate the Earth’s rotation. I remembered it well from my first trip! The roof of the observatory is a great place to snap some photos. But mind you don’t get told off for sitting on the walls like err.. someone else I know.

After the Observatory we popped over to Silver Lake for some vegan food at a place I can’t remember the name of and a coffee at the popular Intelligentsia, before stopping by to visit friends in Echo Park. I really like Silver Lake and Echo Park- two neigbourhoods on the East side. I’ll be sure to post more photos of them soon.


It was fun revisiting Griffith Park after all these years. I definitely want to revisit some more of LA’s popular sights. If only I could convince Justin to revisit the Hollywood walk of fame with me, which I went to on a road trip across the US 10 years ago (what..?!). Maybe next time…

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Griffith Observatory

Have you ever revisited a place you went to as a kid? 

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12 thoughts on “LA Days: Griffith Observatory

  1. Is it still a functioning astronomical observatory?

    I love all things space, and whilst LA has never been high on my to visit list (in fact all of the US is much lower now that I can’t use the Visa Waiver and it will cost me $160.00 US) things like this all help to build a case for it!

    Such beautiful weather and views you got!

    1. Yes, I believe it is. They have this huge, amazing telescope they open up on certain evenings for the public to use. I haven’t been there when it’s open for use but I’d love to. Oh woah- $160?? Why do you have to do that? Is that for everyone now? I had no idea.

      1. The $160 US my dear, is a legacy of having visited Iran… wouldn’t change that fact for the world.

        Probably the friendliest country we’ve ever been to!!

  2. The weather is probably the only reason any of us are here in L.A.

    I stand firm with Justin – NO WALK OF FAME – once in a lifetime is enough.

  3. You can’t even see the LA smog, haha. So beautiful. Wow. And that’s such a great picture of you two. I’m going to have to put the observatory on my list the next time I visit. Stunning!

    1. Haha I know it looks so nice and blue- it hasn’t seemed polluted whenever I’ve been up there, but then again I am comparing it to Beijing. Sometimes I get paranoid and think it’s smoggy down here in Newport, then I realise it’s just mist from the ocean ha!

  4. I don’t think I ever made it here! Although of course I made it to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and I’m sure you can convince Justin to join you soon enough. Life in the US must be quite different from the UK and China. I’ve finally had a chance to catch up on your blog, and it looks like you’re having a great time!

    1. Thanks, Lily! I am having a great time but, you’re right, it is very different to the UK and China. Thanks for catching up- I love reading about your adventures in Myanmar. We had (part of) our honeymoon there a few years ago and really loved it- beautiful country.

  5. Hi Joella,
    I discovered you via your post on the WITS Facebook group. I live in LA County and don’t make enough time to explore LA, so I’m impressed you trekked from Newport all the way up to the Griffith Observatory and Silver Lake/Echo Park! But the views from Griffith are indeed beautiful, especially on a clear day. Hope to say hello to you this weekend!

    1. Hi Kiera! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Orange County is really fun but I love going up to LA for the “big city” stuff. I was living in Beijing for two years before this so Newport seems very tiny in comparison haha. We were just at the Broad museum the other week- so fun. Hope to see you this weekend too.

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