Old Los Angeles Zoo

Los Feliz & Griffith Park

What look like Aztec ruins in a picnic-friendly park are actually the abandoned remnants of the city's original zoo. The site opened in 1912 with a modest 15 animals, though many of the (rather tight) enclosures, which housed everything from lions and bears to monkeys, date from the 1930s. The site was abandoned in 1966, when the current zoo opened its doors just to the north.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Los Feliz & Griffith Park attractions

1. Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round

0.29 MILES

This richly festooned 1926 merry-go-round was brought to its current home in 1937, where Walt Disney would bring his young daughters and find inspiration…

2. Griffith Park

0.51 MILES

A gift to the city in 1896 by mining mogul Griffith J Griffith, and five times the size of New York’s Central Park, Griffith Park is one of the country’s…

3. Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens

1.05 MILES

Home to 1100 finned, feathered and furry friends from more than 250 species, the LA Zoo rarely fails to enthrall the little ones. Adults who have been to…

4. Autry Museum of the American West


Established by singing cowboy Gene Autry, this expansive, underrated museum offers contemporary perspectives on the history and people of the American…

5. Griffith Observatory

1.26 MILES

With eyes on both the galaxy above and palm-flanked boulevards below, the Griffith Observatory hovers above LA like a hulking spacecraft. This is one of…

6. Los Angeles Live Steamers

1.58 MILES

Just east of Travel Town is this group of local folks with a passion for scale-model locomotives. On Sunday afternoons they offer rides on their one…

7. Travel Town

1.77 MILES

This delightful rail yard displays dozens of vintage railcars and locomotives, the oldest from 1864. Kids are all smiles imagining themselves as engineers…

8. Hollywood Sign

1.85 MILES

If you go to Los Angeles and don’t catch a glimpse of those nine letters looming large on a Hollywood hillside, did you really even visit Tinseltown? Just…