Travel Town: Griffith Park's Portal To The Past
By David Lockeretz of Nobody Hikes in L.A. / Special to LAist
It's summer, and what better way to beat the infamous San Fernando Valley heat than with a trip to a shaded park where you can not only enjoy a picnic, but see vintage locomotives, learn about the history of transportation in California and actually go on a train ride?
Travel Town, an outdoor museum at Griffith Park, just a stone’s throw from the 134 Freeway, is a place where you can do all of the above. Locomotives that used to be in service on the AT&SF, Southern Pacific, Santa Maria Valley and several other railroad lines are now on display here. Inside a barn-like building, visitors can see classic railroad service cars and wagons. There’s also a dining car on site that can be rented out for events. A miniature railroad offers rides that circle the property.
Expect to spend an hour or so enjoying the good, clean fun of Travel Town. Kids of all ages are sure to enjoy it. Of course, there’s plenty to do at Griffith Park. The Skyline Trail, which starts near the Travel Town entrance, runs east-west across the northern end of the park, is a good workout with some great views of the San Gabriel, Verdugo and Santa Susana mountain ranges. You can also see the back side of Mt. Lee, home of the Hollywood Sign.
To get to Travel Town, take the 134 Freeway to Forest Lawn Drive. Head south and take the first left onto Zoo Drive, and the entrance will be in front of you. Admission is free, although it costs $2.50 to ride the railroad.