One Monday during my visit to Southern California, I decided to see both the Griffith Observatory and Beverly Hills.One of the worst things about Los Angeles is the traffic so timing is key.  Best to wake up early enough so you can hit several landmarks in a day because of their close proximity. This is what I did and I will describe some fun things to do and see.  

I have visited the Griffith Observatory before. There were so many interesting exhibits inside that is worth seeing especially since the admission price is free! Unfortunately it was close this time around and were not able to get in, but exploring the grounds and watching the views from up here were just as satisfying.

My honey and I were not in the mood to hike that day, so we decided to pay $4 to park for an hour at the top. However, if you have time, there is free parking on the side of road before reaching the observatory. Even from here, the view of the City is pretty amazing already.

When you reach the observatory itself, you can explore the ground and walk around to get 360 degree view of Los Angeles. There was a couple that parked their car here and asked the guard how much should they put into the meter as they plan to hike up to the Hollywood sign and back. The guard said about 1.5 hours each way.

Personally, when I hike up to the sign, I park my car at the Lake Hollywood Park where parking is free. And if you are not up to doing the hike all the way to the top, you can still get some pretty good shots of the sign from this area. As a word of caution, always check for parking signs. Ordinance can change and you want to avoid getting a ticket or your car being towed.

Anyway, in this post I will focus on the Griffith Observatory and the views from here because they are just as awesome.

After the Griffith Observatory, we decided to head over to Beverly Hills. I love coming to the Rodeo Drive area not necessarily to shop, but rather to walk around and take in the sights. This really is a beautiful area with many fancy stores to browse through and multi-cultural restaurant options. Many movies and shows have featured Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive, and a few celebrities have also gotten married at the courthouse.

N. Cannon Drive, Beverly Hills

Rodeo Drive with it’s fancy, designer shops

The photo above and below are of the Beverly Hills Courthouse and Civic Center. Celebrities have gotten married here, like Cash Warren and Jessica Alba, and more recently, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepherd.

Finally after all the walking around, I decided it was time for a coffee break. I stopped by Le Pain Quotedien, a Belgian Restaurant in S. Santa Monica Blvd. It is bright, spacious, and has a relaxed atmosphere. They serve a lot of pastries here, salads and sandwiches, as well as a good cup of latte.

However, I especially like it because it is just right across from one of my favorite cupcakes place, Sprinkles.

yum! 🙂

I always manage to stop by here every time I visit. Next time, I am going to try their cupcake ATM. I’m curious to see it in action!

I hope you enjoyed my tour of the Griffith Observatory and Beverly Hills. Please leave me a comment below. Also, let me know what other places you would like me to visit in California and post about and I will try my best to give you a tour 🙂