The Griffith Observatory may get all the press, but high up in the San Gabriel Mountains is another space-gazing outpost equally worth a visit. The Mount Wilson Observatory, on a summit 5,712 feet above Pasadena, is a haven for astronomers both amateur and professional. Founded in 1904 by George Ellery Hale, who was looking for a place to continue his studies of the sun, the isolated grounds and beautiful natural setting are ideal for pondering the universe's metaphysical mysteries and magic. Guests can schedule a public viewing to use the observatory's incredible 60-inch nighttime telescope and view the 100-inch tower telescope. Or bring a picnic and take a free weekend walking tour of the grounds and a small museum where you can learn about Mount Wilson's 60- and 150-foot solar telescopes, and the instruments that led scientists to first recognize that the sun is not the center of our Milky Way galaxy after all.

—Molly Lambert

Location Details

Holladay Road
Pasadena CA 91106
800-843-2763

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