Let's run wild, baby! If you’re looking for a free, off-the-beaten path adventure, I’d recommend you schedule a visit to the old abandoned L.A. Zoo. The Old L.A. Zoo (originally named The Griffith Park Zoo) opened in 1912, only a few miles from the current Los Angeles Zoo site, with just 15 animals. After the city realized the zoo was too small and that conditions weren’t ideal for the animals housed there, a new, much larger zoo was built. Since it’s closure, the Old Zoo has been used in a number of movies, including “Anchorman" and is now frequented with adventure seekers, curious minds, and photographers.
Throughout this eerie abandoned zoo are old animal cages and enclosures, covered in graffiti of all colors, which makes it a really interesting place to explore. It was definitely a little strange and also sort of sad to think that the animals in this zoo lived in such small cages and enclosures. I also couldn't help but think of how eerie this place would be at night...haunted much? Most of the cages are locked up or fenced off, but there are some places where the fence has been cut and you can squeeze your way in. Of course my friend Evelynn and I crawled through every opening we could find to explore and take pictures (sorry for trespassing, mom)! The cement stairways were my favorite part of the zoo...Lions and tigers used to crawl through these stairways from their cages to their exhibits for the public to see. You can cover all of the Old L.A. Zoo in less than an hour, and make sure you bring a camera/phone if you have one because there are a ton of cool photo opportunities.
Because it can be a little confusing to find and I like to help make your adventures as smooth as possible (insert *virtual hug*), here are instructions on how to get there: Coming from the Hollywood area, take Los Feliz Blvd, make a left on Crystal Springs Rd (toward Griffith Park), and then a left onto Griffith Park Dr. Once you get to the intersection of Crystal Springs Rd. & Griffith Park Dr. you'll see signs for the Merry-Go Round and Park. Park in the Merry-Go-Round Lot One. Walk from the Merry-Go-Round to the large childen’s playground called Shane's Inspiration. When you reach the playground/multi-colored bathroom, you will make your way up the hill to your left hand side. You will see a stair case, which you climb up and then BOOM, you’re there! You can also follow the signs for the Shakespeare plays and they will take you there. Don’t be discouraged if you get a little confused…it took us a few tries to find the right place! I guess that makes it more of an adventure, right?
Bring a camera/phone, comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and set aside some time to explore and let your inner animal out!
EXPLORE YOUR HEART OUT
L.A. is an amazing and diverse city full of culture, history, art, nature, museums, and attractions - which results in countless things to do & see - no matter your budget. Time after time I find that when you seek new adventure, you will find it!
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