The greenery and mountain slopes that make up Griffith Park, northeast of Hollywood, offer lush gardens, splendid views and many miles of fine trails – though hillside wildfires regularly menace the park in summer. Otherwise, it’s a great place for a long stroll, hike or bike ride. The one major sight here, the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens, 5333 Zoo Drive, pales in comparison to its San Diego counterpart.

The landmark Art Deco Griffith Observatory has a twelve-inch Zeiss refracting telescope, solar telescopes for viewing sunspots and solar storms, and modern exhibits covering the history of astronomy and human observation. The observatory has been used as a backdrop in innumerable Hollywood films, most famously Rebel Without a Cause, and the site offers great views over the LA basin and out to sea (provided the smog isn’t too thick).

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