Los Angeles is home to several fun and inexpensive places to visit, including two show-stoppers with serious history. The first sits high on a hill and seems plucked right out of a movie: the Griffith Observatory.
The Griffith Observatory, 2800 E. Observatory Road, originally opened in 1935. The enormous Art Deco facility features dome ceilings and offers breathtaking views of L.A. — the famous Hollywood sign can be seen in the distance. Telescopes beyond imagination are open for public viewing.
The observatory has been the backdrop for numerous movies,
including “Rebel Without a Cause” (1955), starring James Dean. It has also graced the small screen in many hit television shows — “Adventures of Superman,” “The New Adventures of Wonder Woman,” “Star Trek,” “Dragnet,” “MacGyver,” “Mission Impossible,” “CHiPs,” “Quantum Leap,” “The Wonder Years” and many more.
Griffith Observatory is open to the public from noon to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. There is also a café on site. If you plan to go, wear comfortable walking shoes, as overflow parking is along a steep road leading up to the observatory. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.griffithobservatory.org.
Also in Los Angeles is the Space Shuttle Endeavour, on display at the California Science Center at 700 Exposition Park Drive.
Upon entry into the California Science Center, visitors are drawn to look upward to actual aircraft on display. Vintage through modern-day aircraft can be seen, along with an array of spacesuits and space capsules. Yet there is no doubt that the shining star at the center is Endeavor.
Visitors can see the shuttle up close. If there were ever a moment to take a selfie, this would be it. Upstairs, the center holds a treasure trove of equipment from the inside the shuttle.
The California Science Center is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Reservations to see the Space Shuttle Endeavor, $2 per adult, can be made online at www.californiasciencecenter.org. If you go, plan to spend the entire day, as there is a lot to take in. The center has a public café area. Regular general admission is on a donation basis. Parking is $10 per car.
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