Mount Wilson provides a look at the heavens via the museum that's situated closer to them than any other in L.A. Built in 1936, the Mount Wilson Astronomical Museum contains old photographs of how the galaxy looked in the 1930s and '40s, plus equipment used to haul pieces of the observatory's famous telescopes up the mountain. This free museum is a curious combination of new and mostly old science, much which is still used today in searching the skies. The grounds of adjacent Skyline Park are fun to walk around, with lots of labeled scientific apparatuses to gawk at. The Cosmic Café provides sandwiches and drinks and, at 5,700-plus feet, is the highest restaurant in the L.A. area. Check the Observatory website for information about tours and public telescope hours. Note that the Observatory is inaccessible during winter months and during off-season snowstorms. Plus, year-round, a National Forest Adventure pass is required in the parking lot, as well as on adjacent roads. (You can pick one up at nearby sporting goods stores, forest ranger stations and at the café.) Mount Wilson Red Box Road, Angeles National Forest, 91023. (626) 440-9016, —Suzy Beal

LA Weekly