I had the best time during my visits to the Getty Villa and the Getty Center, two world renowned art museums, and I didn’t even look at the art. Yep, it’s true! I was so busy enjoying everything else they had to offer, I ran out of time, which is why both of these LA institutions will be going on my Repeat List and should definitely be on everyone else’s Must List.
The Getty Villa
Located on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, the Getty Villa is dedicated to the antiquities and features 7000 years of ancient art. Even if antiquities aren’t your thing, The Villa itself is a site to see.
Built in the early 1970s it was modeled after the Villa dei Papiri, a roman country home which was located in Herculaneum, Italy. Herculaneum, along with Pompeii, was buried in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD and has only been partially excavated.
My friend, Melissa, and I had the most amazing time here, it was the perfect day out. We enjoyed two guided tours, architecture and garden, watched a brief film about the history of the Villa and its creator, J. Paul Getty. We also enjoyed a fabulous lunch at the Getty Cafe.
As I mentioned we ran out of time and didn’t see much art, even so, this may have been the most fun I’ve had at an art museum… well… ever!
Tips & Advice:
- Entry to the Getty Villa is free, but reservations, which can be made online, are required. There is a $15 fee for parking.
- The museum tours of the art, architecture, and gardens are complimentary.
- The food in the cafe was excellent. Consider eating there while you enjoy beautiful views of the Villa and gardens from above.
- I hope to visit again in the summer when the there will be performances in the Villa’s amphitheater.
- Don’t forget to leave time for the art!
The Getty Center
If you’ve been to LA you might have noticed the Getty Center, a large white building perched on the hillside above the 405.
While the Getty Villa features antiquities through the fall of the Roman Empire, the Getty Center features American and European art from medieval times to the present. Not only is it considered an architectural masterpiece, but it’s surrounded by beautiful gardens and on a clear day the view of Downtown Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean are spectacular.
The museum campus is vast and there are many different areas to explore. My boys loved the gardens and it is our goal to come back each season to see how they’ve changed. Hopefully, we’ll find time to see some of the art during one of those visits! Stay tuned!
Tips & Advice:
- Entry to the Getty Center is free. There is a $15 fee to park. Unlike the Villa reservations are not required.
- Once parked you’ll take a complimentary tram up the hillside to the Getty Center.
- If you’re visiting with children, the casual Getty Cafe is cafeteria style and offers something for everyone.
- We plan to come back every season to see the changes in the gardens.
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