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Griffith Park: Zoo and Observatory in the same day

Los Angeles, CA
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Griffith Park: Zoo and Observatory in the same day

Hi: I wanted to get some advice about going to the zoo and the observatory on Saturday, January 12:

*Can I park in one location for both attractions? If so, where?

*I would like to get an early start on Saturday morning..should I go to the zoo first? or the Observatory?

*Do I need a reservation for the Observatory or the parking shuttle?

*Any particular highlights that I must see at either attraction?

Anything else I should consider? Thank you so much!

Rancho Santa...
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1. Re: Griffith Park: Zoo and Observatory in the same day

"Can I park in one location for both attractions? If so, where?"

No, they are on opposite sides of the park. It is necessary to drive from one to the other.

"I would like to get an early start on Saturday morning..should I go to the zoo first? or the Observatory?"

I think that's a matter of temperment and your plans for the Observatory. Many people enjoy the view at Griffith Observatory at dusk. If that's your plan, do the Zoo first and Observatory last. However, there is limted parking at the Observatory and most people have to park on the western approach road. (it is impossible to do so on the eastern side.)

"Do I need a reservation for the Observatory or the parking shuttle?"

No reservation required that I'm aware of. But, I never go to the Observatory shows. Check their website. What parking shuttle are you referring to? I've never heard of that.

I prefer to approach Griffith Observatory from the Western/Los Feliz entrance and take the more scenic route. Further, at this entrance to the park, there is the Fern Dell. This is a nifty little creek around with walking paths along it. If you're interested, there's a hike up to Griffith Observatory from the playground at the top of the Fern Dell area. It is a good hike up of maybe an hour or less on large trails.

HTH

Los Angeles
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2. Re: Griffith Park: Zoo and Observatory in the same day

I agree, it probably makes more sense to save the observatory for later in the day. If you get there before sunset and stay into the evening, you should get great views of the sunset from a great vantage point above the city, and you can participate in a bit more stuff at the observatory at night - i.e. the telescopes there can only be used at night.

West Hollywood...
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3. Re: Griffith Park: Zoo and Observatory in the same day

The LA Zoo is open 10 am to 5 pm.

The Observatory is open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm on Saturdays. Free telescope viewing from the roof begins at sunset and ends at 9:45 pm.

So, you could start at either place since they open at the same time. The two attractions are over 6 miles / 10 km apart. You cannot park at one place for both. Both have free parking adjacent to the attraction but the Observatory's parking lot is much smaller so to avoid having to walk a long distance from a neighboring area of the park (if the parking lot is full), you might go to the Observatory first (but maybe not, more below).

I don't know what you mean by the 'parking shuttle'. There was such a shuttle, a few years ago but no longer. No reservations are needed except for the following. The Planetarium inside of the Observatory has several shows each day (you must purchase tickets for this show inside of the Planetarium). Seats are limited so buy these tickets as soon as you arrive.

The roof of the Observatory has a free (giant) telescope on the roof (open from sunset to 9:45 pm). So you might want to go to the Observatory later in the day so that you can follow your visit with a visit to the telescope on the roof.

The Zoo and the Observatory won't take 8+ hours to visit so if you want to start early, you probably won't visit the telescope. BTW, Griffith Park has a dozen attractions besides these 2. One is the Autry National Center which is on the opposing end of the Zoo's parking lot. Here's a link to other attractions in the Park that might be of interest.

laparks.org/dos/…attractions.htm

There are also a dozen hiking trails that you can explore.

Santa Monica, CA
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4. Re: Griffith Park: Zoo and Observatory in the same day

Griffith Park is large and entrances to it are at different sides. I love the LA Zoo and am glad you will be visiting it. We usually take about 4 hours there. I actually prefer to be there near closing time. The animals are fed then and they get really excited about an hour before closing. We got a good view of the snow leopard once; spectacular!

So Cal
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5. Re: Griffith Park: Zoo and Observatory in the same day

How funny - I did this exact thing a couple Saturdays ago. My thoughts:

Zoo first, given that it closes first. I did stay till 5, although I arrived a bit later than I had originally planned. Obviously how long you stay depends on how much you enjoy zoos.

What did surprise me was how busy the Observatory was. Everybody and his brother was up there! I did luck out with a close parking spot, but you will probably have to park down the road and trek up. Truthfully, on my own I wouldn't have been comfortable making that walk, although it's probably perfectly safe.

I didn't see a show this time, but Centered in the Universe is really good. Tickets are sold onsite only.

Other than that...wander around. Spend some time looking at the Depths of Space wall. Be sure to note the solar system model outside.

The Cafe is technically open till 9pm, but the kitchen closes as 7pm - they sell packaged stuff after that.

6. Re: Griffith Park: Zoo and Observatory in the same day

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