My trips to LA always start at the Griffith Observatory - after In-N-Out, of course. It's the perfect place to see downtown LA, the Hollywood sign and do a little light hiking.
The “hike” up to the Griffith Observatory is always the first thing I do. I call it a “hike” because the car is usually parked in the observatory’s free, but limited, parking lot. The Griffith Observatory is not the only place with a panoramic view of LA, but it is one of my favorite. The fresh air, the winding drive up the mountain, and as it usually is in LA, the bright sun and blue skies are always such a refreshing contrast to the concrete jungle.
I try to make it up to the observatory as early as I can. Free parking gets filled up very quickly. The mornings are more pleasant with fewer visitors and selfie sticks. I usually have a better, less foggy, view of downtown LA in the mornings too than the afternoon. When it starts to fill up with visitors, I head into the observatory and take my time browsing through the exhibitions. Hand sanitizer comes in handy as many installations are interactive.
If the afternoon's aren't too hot, there are plenty of trails to stroll or hike on near the observatory. I'm usually starving by the end of these hikes and crave something more than just granola bars. My favorite place to eat everything in sight? The Farmer's Market