Comprising over 4,000 acres, Griffith Park one of the largest urban parks in the world and is home to a number of wonferful  attractions.  Also, if you're from out of state, it may be your only chance to see the natural chapparal which covered most of California's hills and valleys before they were built over. 

Foremost among the attractions is the  LA Zoo .  What can you say about a zoo: lots of animals in natural settings, etc., etc.  If you're a member of your local zoo be sure to bring your membership card because they honor many, but not all, in a reciprocal agreement.

For the locomotive buffs among you there's Travel Town which has literally dozens of old steam locomotives, diesel locomotives, train cars, trolleys as well as some other forms of mechanical transportation.  My parents took me there as a boy when it opened and for years thereafter and it remains among my fondest memories.  Also check out L.A. Live Steamers which offers lots of scale model trains, including one you can get a ride on, it's next door to Travel Town.

Then there is the Griffith Observatory, closed for renovation until later in 2006.  Built in the 1930s, the observatory building itself is one of the finest examples of art deco architecture in the world.  Inside was for decades a wonderful museum of astronomy and earth science.  Along with Travel Town (above), going to the Grifith Observatory is, for many science oriented adults, among the fondest memories of childhood.  Of course it will all change (for the better, one expects) due to the renovation, but some old exhibits may still be there including:

  • 12 inch refracting telescope that was (and will be again) open to the public one night a week 
  • Meteors 
  • Submarine periscope
  • Tesla coil (about   500,000 volts of sparking electricity-- surely a most spectacular exhibit)
  • Seismology exhibit including actual seismographs during the 1972(?) earthquake

Plus pony rides, horseback riding, a carousel, a little train ride, and much more.

Note also that directly across from the zoo is the Autry National Center of the American West.