Runyon Canyon Park#10 in Best Things To Do in Los Angeles
Just two blocks from Hollywood Boulevard, Runyon Canyon Park is an often overlooked urban park that offers some great views. Atop the canyon, you can glimpse views of the San Fernando Valley and the Pacific Ocean, as well as the Hollywood Sign and Giffith Observatory. The park also boasts several hiking trails and is a popular spot for celebrities to exercise.
Travelers say that the canyon is reminiscent of Old Hollywood with several old mansions and estates scattered throughout the park – keep your eyes peeled as you follow the trail. Because of the hot, dry climate, the hike can be rough (even for those in great physical condition), so bring plenty of water.
Runyon Canyon is free to visit every day from dawn to dusk; however, there is no staff to enforce these hours or to rush to your aid. If you are hiking alone, make sure someone knows you're out in the park and when you expect to return. In addition to the park's trails, you'll find a nature center, picnic tables, a children's play area and limited (but free) parking. To learn more about the park's flora and fauna, trails and history, visit the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks' website.
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#1 Griffith Observatory and Griffith Park
Griffith Observatory sits on the south face of Mount Hollywood and overlooks the Los Angeles basin. Its location gives visitors impressive views of the surrounding area. But there's more than just a pretty photo-op here. The observatory hosts fascinating exhibitions and features a top-notch planetarium.
Most recent visitors cited the beautiful setting as Griffith Observatory's main draw, though the free entry was certainly a bonus. However, you will have to pay between $3 and $7 to see the planetarium shows. Griffith Observatory is open from noon to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, with extended hours on weekends. Free but limited parking is available along the winding roads leading up to the property, or visitors can park in the small lot by the observatory for $4 per hour. A gift shop and cafe can be found on-site as well. For more information, check out Griffith Observatory's website.
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