Griffith Park : Michelin's recommendations
One of the largest urban parks in the US, rugged Griffith Park straddles some 4,103 acres of the Santa Monica Mountains, 5mi northwest of downtown Los Angeles and immediately northeast of Hollywood.The majority of the land was donated by Griffith J. Griffith, a Welsh immigrant who made his fortune quarrying granite in the Gold Country. In 1896 he gave 3,015 acres of a ranch he owned to the City of Los Angeles for public use. Griffith also contributed money for an observatory within the park as well as the Greek Theatre, an open-air summer concert venue. The Los Angeles Zoo, a merry-go-round, children's pony rides and two museums have subsequently joined those attractions. Three golf courses, tennis courts, a baseball field, an equestrian center and picnic grounds are also available for public use. Nevertheless, Griffith Park remains largely a setting of untouched natural beauty inhabited by deer, opossums, quail, hawks and kestrels. Just north of Los Feliz Boulevard, near the park's southwestern corner, the cool glade known as Ferndell offers a primeval setting of tall pines shading a fern-fringed brook. The Bird Sanctuary, at the head of Vermont Canyon .3mi north of the Greek Theatre, invites wandering along wooded pathways alive with birdsong. Some 53mi of hiking trails and 43mi of bridle trails allow closer appreciation of the park.