BY: KARINA ANASTASIA ROCHE
On Wednesday, January 31st, countless sky watchers in the northern hemisphere and Los Angeles will gather to witness a lunar quadruple event: the simultaneous occurrence of a super moon, blue moon, and blood moon. For those unfamiliar with the terminology, this means that the moon will not only be full and at its closest to the earth, but it will be the second full moon of the month, one also cast in the ruddy glow of a lunar eclipse. This astronomical phenomenon hasn’t been seen since 1866–if you’re in Los Angeles during the event, make sure you plan ahead and don’t miss it: the event begins around 3AM and the moon will set by 7AM. There are many beautiful locations perfect for watching the moon rise. We’ve picked our five favorite ones for moon-watching.
1. Point Dume
One of the most romantic locations in Malibu, Point Dume’s observation deck, perched on the cliffs overlooking the beach, is the perfect moon-watching spot. Take a trail through Point Dume Nature Preserve to the top of the bluffs, and settle down on the benches to watch as the moon rises directly over the glittering bay and Pacific Ocean. We recommend parking at Point Dume State Beach and hiking up to the park, as parking in the neighborhood around Point Dume is extremely limited, and will be undoubtedly busy on the 31st.
2. Griffith Observatory
The famous Los Angeles observatory, overlooking the Hollywood sign and sprawling L.A., is a must-see destination on any day of the lunar calendar. On the 31st, however, the park will have special hours from 2:45 A.M. – 7:00 A.M. for viewing the eclipse. For a stress-free and truly delightful moon-viewing, we recommend parking by Griffith Park’s Greek Theatre and hiking up to the observatory. Not only does the park recommend this (due to road congestion during holidays and limited parking), but you will get to enjoy a beautiful moonlit hike before peering at the moon through a telescope—without the stress of trying to find a parking spot. See the park’s transportation guide here for more details.
3. Malibu Lagoon
Feel like you’re in Old California again, watching the moon reflect off the channels and streams of Malibu Lagoon. Where the river meets the ocean, an oasis forms, a home to countless birds and the once-upon-a-time “King and Queen” of Malibu. Take a peaceful stroll through lagoon paths, then settle down on the beach for a truly beautiful evening.
4. Santa Monica Pier & Beach
The famous pier and its amusement park may not be the first place that comes to mind for moon-watching, but it is the perfect spot for an evening filled with both night-life fun and nature’s beauty, all walking distance from each other. Watch the moon rise from the height of the Ferris wheel; then, when the amusement park closes, visit the local restaurant and bars at the Third Street Promenade, always a lively area. Finally, for the eclipse itself, return to the beach for a stunning ending to the night.
5. Topanga State Park
Our favorite moon-watching spot of all is close to home, sitting atop Elephant Rock in Topanga State Park. Hike through the rugged nature of Topanga up to the famous rock, where you can watch the moon rise and glitter over the ocean. This serene location is quiet and less frequented than some of L.A.’s more popular outdoor destinations, but boasts sweeping views of both sky and earth. Guests at our inn have free parking and quick access to the park entrance: the main feature is only a thirty-minute hike from the bed and breakfast.
There are so many breathtaking places in L.A. from which you can view astronomical wonders. The Topanga Canyon Inn is a just a short drive away, but sheltered from the noise and bustle. Book your stay with us today for the perfect moonlit getaway this week.