Sights to See Before You Head Off to School

Sights to See Before You Head Off to School

As seniors prepare to face the final door leading to a life away from home, many of us can’t help but wonder where in the world we’ll end up. Some of our fellow Brahmas plan to pursue an education near home, while others wish to travel to a nearby state, and still others to the opposite shore of our nation.

For many this also means risking the chance of never again setting our sights on the City of Angels. True, many of us may attend a school near Los Angeles, but will we honestly have the time and resources to explore it of our own volition? Chances are, we won’t; our waking hours will be spent dealing with the stresses of (unfortunately) becoming a freshman again.

So it seems only logical that we take the time now to do so. After all, we have our friends to drive us, our parents to pay for us, and our weekends to spare (that is, if you have already finished a significant amount of your college applications). Anyhow, the point is that if you haven’t already, it’s high time to feast your sights upon L.A., preferably beginning with area just shy of Glendale named Griffith Park–nestled there are two must-see sites for any current or former Angeleno.

The first stop is the Griffith Observatory, a facility that was built with Colonel Griffith J. Griffith’s objective of making astronomy accessible to the public.

The observatory features a planetarium and exhibit hall; it’s also home to one of the world’s largest Foucault Pendulums. For us near-the-city dwellers who rarely have the chance to see the stars at night, the Griffith Observatory provides the perfect opportunity to do so.

Additionally, in accordance with Griffith’s will, admission to the observatory is free. You’ll only need to pay if you wish to watch the planetarium’s feature show, “Centered in the Universe.”

Next up is the day’s highlight: a night hike in Griffith Park. Grab a few friends, invest in a flashlight, pick a trail that starts from the Merry-Go-Round parking lot, and you’re set. The park starts restricting entry at dusk so the recommended time to start the hike is around 6:30.

The mountain-tops of Griffith Park offer a beautiful 360-degree view of the Los Angeles Basin area. Nights with a full moon are especially unique; sometimes, if the conditions are right, you may not even need to use a flashlight—the moonlight will illuminate your path instead. After this evening trek, you can officially say that you’ve been to the place where the picture on that 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle of L.A. was taken.

Finish your L.A. trip with food; located 4 miles away from Griffith Park is patio restaurant Cliff’s Edge. The restaurant has no obvious sign signifying that its there so you’ll need to locate the 99-cent market that is right next door to it. Although a bit on the pricey side, this café offers a unique dinner setting–it features walled gardens and an enormous ficus tree in the center of the restaurant, much like a secret garden.

Cliff’s Edge offers a wide selection of Italian and Mediterranean dishes, ranging from Alaskan halibut to baby eggplant. It also doesn’t close until 10:30 p.m. on the weekdays and opens even later on weekends, so you’ll have plenty of time after you hike to enjoy a hearty meal.

Selfishly gather the moments you spend in or near Diamond Bar, with your friends, and with your family, seniors. This is your much-deserved break at the end of a rigorous four year education, the perfect and probably the only chance you’ll have to experience “high school life” in all its glory.