Posts Tagged ‘observatory’

Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 19 January 2017

This Way to See the Stars

A sign to the telescope at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles

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.

A great view of downtown Los Angeles from the Griffith Observatory parapet

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 2 November 2016

Here Are the Stars in Los Angeles

The 12" refracting telescope at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles

Our Private Tour Guests Spend Time with the Stars

What does a 4.5 ton, 200″ long, Zeiss telescope with a 12″ lens and James Dean have in common?  They are both to be found at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.  Since 1935 this wonderful feature of the Los Angeles park system has been open and free to the public according to the wishes of Col. Griffith Griffith who provided the more than 4,000 acres for Griffith Park (you probably guessed that) and also bequeathed the funds to build the observatory and purchase the two  telescopes (there is also a 9″ Zeiss refracting telescope mounted atop the larger scope).  James Dean is of the stars you can see in the daytime at the Griffith Observatory in Los AngelesEven without the draw of Hollywood and its stars (like James Dean) this museum of astronomy and cosmology has been one of the most popular of public astronomy facilities in the world.  What this museum has going for it in terms of public relations and advertising is its iconic beauty (Russell Porter’s original sketches and John Austin’s final design) and its proximity to Hollywood and the filmed entertainment industry.  Movie and television production companies have been up on this promontory since it opened capturing the views and the location in countless films and shows.  Most notably, in 1955, Rebel Without a Cause with its young star, James Dean.  This classic film about teenage angst remains beloved among film lovers and historians and is always recalled when guests with us on a private tour of Los Angeles come up to the observatory and see James Dean’s bust on a plinth amidst sculptures of historic figures associated with science and astronomy.  A star beneath the stars.  Make sure you tell us you want to visit the Griffith Observatory when you start your custom tour of Los Angeles and we will show you around.





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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 6 July 2015

The Stars Shine in Los Angeles During the Day

The sun shines on our private Los Angeles tour group visiting the Griffith Observatory

The Griffith Observatory is a Delightful

Private Tour Stop in Los Angeles

Almost everyone who joins us for a private Los Angeles tour wants to see the stars.  Generally they mean movie stars and performing artists but sometimes what they have in mind is a visit to the Griffith Observatory, one of the oldest science museums in the west.  Endowed by Colonel Griffith Griffith (no mistake, that was his name, we’ll tell you more about him during your tour) the fabulous museum and exquisite grounds overlooking Hollywood and Los Angeles are free of admission according to his wishes.  Renovated in 2002 the facility provides a modern look at all things astronomical and allows the good folks of Los Angeles and our esteemed visitors to learn about the cosmos and participate in skywatching events.  Two powerful Zeiss telescopes are available for viewing the night sky each evening and the planetarium show is, well, out of this world.  The views of the city, the sea and the Hollywood Sign from the grounds and the parapet surrounding the classic building are extraordinary.  The museum stands as one sign of the deep connection Los Angeles has to modern science and space exploration.  So, plan a visit to Griffith Observatory when you come to Los Angeles and see the stars in the cosmos as well as those we encounter in the nice restaurant we stop at for lunch.


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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 12 February 2014

Hollywood and the Stars on a Los Angeles Tour

The Nighttime Stars Come Out in the Day at the Griffith Observatory.

The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles and our L.A. tour guestsOn a hilltop overlooking Hollywood and offering sweeping views of the Los Angeles basin, Santa Monica Bay, downtown Los Angeles, the Hollywood Hills and Hollywood Sign, the Griffith Observatory is a not-to-be-missed stop on a private Los Angeles tour.  One of the best science museums on the west coast and whose history alone makes it worthy to visit, the grand observatory provides an experience any guest will remember.  Built with monies dedicated by Griffith Griffith, of Griffith Park fame, who wanted astronomy made accessible to the general public and not hidden away on distant mountaintops, the museum opened in 1935 to staggeringly large crowds eager to visit the grounds and see the exhibits.  The distinctive architecture of Russell Porter is a visible landmark from much of Los Angeles and has been featured in a vast number of films (most notably Rebel Without a Cause with James Dean in 1955), television shows, commercials and advertisements.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 18 August 2013

The Griffith Observatory Observed from Below

Photograph of the Griffith Observatory seen from Hollywood

Private Tour Photo of the Griffith Observatory

Los Angeles, Hollywood, perfect summer weather — the Griffith Observatory is clearly seen on the promontory above through the trees and structures.  Like the Hollywood Sign nearby these two structures create landmarks visible from almost everywhere in the Los Angeles basin.  While the Hollywood Sign is a destination for almost every private Los Angeles tour we guide we are always pleased to take our guests up to the observatory whenever they wish to see the beautiful (recently restored) structure and enjoy the views from there.  Hint: It is a perfect location for wedding photographs, graduation pictures, proposing marriage, renewing vows, going steady and just watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 25 May 2013

Observe the Observatory from Above

Aerial photograph of Griffith Observatory

Los Angeles Tour Like a Hawk

Golden Time is what the filmmakers call it, that late afternoon golden light accompanied by long shadows and clear skies.  As the hawks and other local raptors glide the updrafts looking for small prey emerging as the day cools, we flew with our private Los Angeles tour guests on a luxury French helicopter over the 4,300 acre urban forest of L.A. — Griffith Park.  The Griffith Observatory is a monument to astronomy as it sits on a bluff overlooking Hollywood and the Los Angeles basin.  It offers great views of the city, the Santa Monica Bay and mountains, Beverly Hills and Century City and on very clear days the Channel Islands and Palos Verdes Peninsula.  Inside there are great views of the night skies through telescopes and in the planetarium.  Though the observatory did not open until 1935, the land and the promise of an astronomical museum was given in 1896 by Colonel Griffith Griffith for whom the park and observatory are named.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 2:50 13 November 2012

Observe the Observatory

Photograph of Griffith Park Observatory taken from a hiking trail below

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.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 2:25 29 May 2012

Look Up, Look Down and See the Stars

Griffith Park Observatory at night

Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in the United States, is home to the Griffith Observatory, a wonderful science museum focusing on our place in the cosmos.  We drive up there often with our guests on our private luxury tours of Los Angeles to see the museum and the amazing views afforded by its mountainside location overlooking the city and Hollywood.  On clear days you can see the beaches and Catalina Island.  At night the views are even more spectacular with dazzling lights and colors plus you have the night sky to watch.  In the front of the observatory there is a bust of James Dean, a star you can touch!  What James Dean movie was filmed at the observatory (hint below)?

Don’t forget to drop by MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) to see the Rebel exhibit.  Also, REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE is playing at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) on June 2, 2012.

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