Posts Tagged ‘Griffith Park’
Griffith Observatory Is on this Private Tour
There are things to see when we arrive at the fabulous Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles on a private tour. Day or night the stars are shining. And not just Hollywood stars like James Dean whose bust is prominently displayed outside this fantastic science museum along with tributes to great astronomers and cosmologists. Sometimes we have to remind our guests that the observatory is not named for either Melanie Griffith or Andy Griffith, both of whom assuredly walked around on this promontory overlooking Los Angeles at one time or another. Rather, it is Col. Griffith Griffith who bankrolled the facility. He is the same wealthy father of Los Angeles who set aside the more than 4,000 acres that is today’s Griffith Park wherein the observatory is located. Another unrelated Hollywood figure who spent time up here is D.W. Griffith, the famous director who was among the earliest creative geniuses making movies what they are today. For our science and hiking-inclined guests the Griffith Observatory is a very special destination for a custom sightseeing expedition around Los Angeles. Lately, though, it is fans of the critically and popularly acclaimed movie musical, La La Land, who are urging us up into the Hollywood Hills to visit the location of one of the important musical numbers of the film.
Our Private Tour Visits the Griffith Observatory
Everyone coming to Southern California and joining us for a private Los Angeles tour is interested in the stars. Most of the time a lengthy and thorough exploration of Hollywood and Beverly Hills will satisfy our guests’ curiosity. From time to time we have a group that is also interested in the stars above Hollywood, way above, and a visit to the Griffith Observatory is in order. This recently renovated science museum was opened in 1935 with funds set aside by Col. Griffith J. Griffith (of Griffith Park fame, the country’s largest urban park at one time). Col. Griffith was so moved by a visit to the nearby Mt. Wilson Observatory that he decided he wanted the general public to have an opportunity to view the heavens and so financed the observatory. The first equipment purchase was the 12″ Zeiss refracting telescope housed in the east observatory dome and looked through by more people than any other telescope in use today. This precisely maintained optical instrument allows many their first opportunity to truly see the planets and stars and can be the beginning of a real wonder about the cosmos for many of our guests. This day we were enjoying views of Venus and Jupiter, in planetary conjunction, and bright in the western sky soon after sunset. Our guide will also entertain our guests with tales of Hollywood stars at the observatory, too.
Free Shakespeare in Griffith Park
Witches, intrigue, murder, tongue twisting turns of Old English — what more could make for a fine summer evening with hundreds of Shakespeare-loving theater goers? And, it is outdoors in Griffith Park, at the Old Zoo site. And, it is free! You get considerably more than you pay for in this riveting production of Macbeth by the Independent Shakespeare Co. After 10 years bringing the Bard’s works to outdoor crowds the ISC has well-produced and acted theater productions each summer. Tonight Macbeth but on Thursdays through Sundays in July and August you can also enjoy As You Like It and She Stoops to Conquer (we know, not Shakespeare but still excellent and fun). Los Angeles is better for the opportunity to enjoy great theater. What better place than Griffith Park, too, where we often spend much of a summer with our private Los Angeles tour guests at the Los Angeles Zoo, the Autry Museum, the Griffth Park Merry Go Round and walking through Fern Dell.
Great Photographs Mark Hollywood Tour
Among the many things we do so well on our private Los Angeles tours is capture great photographs. We know our guests love that we take these photos because we generally have the best camera in the van (prosumer digital SLR camera) and we take so many photographs every day that we really do know how and where (and when) to get the best shots of the area and of our guests. Each of them have extensive digital photo albums after their tour to share with family and friends. This photo was taken from a hilltop in Griffith Park on a perfectly clear evening looking out toward Santa Monica Bay. Palm Trees — so Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Do you know who else loves our photographs? Our followers at Pinterest.
Our private luxury tour guests couldn’t wait to get going on their custom hiking tour with us. Angie and Kevin, being fit and adventurous and wanting to explore some of the 4,300+ acres of Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country, enjoyed a little Hollywood sightseeing before heading over to Los Feliz and a trailhead we like. We hiked up around the Griffith Park Observatory and reached a small summit where we snapped this great photo of the setting November sun with the Hollywood Sign in the background. The beauty of our cooler autumn and winter days is the clear skies with great visibility. We might not be able to see forever, but you can see Catalina Island and the Palos Verdes Peninsula easily from all around Los Angeles, especially up in the local mountains. It is the perfect time for our fitness tours and some fun hiking adventures!
It is still summer in Los Angeles, temperatures in the mid-70s-80s, clear blue skies, the Channel Islands coming into view from the mainland as the marine layer disperses, so it is not surprising that our private luxury tour guests decide to engage us on hiking tours around Los Angeles. It is a different sightseeing thing to do that we really enjoy providing. Griffith Park is one of our favorite hiking destinations (as well as the Hollywood Sign trail and Runyon Canyon). All of these urban trails are easy and scenic with lots of photo opportunities like the one above that we took while climbing up toward the Griffith Park Observatory.
The beautiful Mulholland Memorial Fountain, just outside Griffith Park on Riverside Drive, is currently being renovated. What a surprise to us as we ventured over to that entrance of the park with our private luxury tour guests wanting to talk about William Mulholland, the Irish immigrant responsible for bringing water to Los Angeles so the city could prosper as it has. The fountain was dedicated in 1940 and should be back in service before Christmas. If you are sightseeing in Los Angeles, Hollywood and Beverly Hills there are a number of great fountains to visit and enjoy.