The Getty Center
The Getty Center is one of the most impressive architectural achievements in the United States – and it also contains some of the finest works of art in the world. The circular concrete-and-steel structure was designed by renowned architect Richard Meier, and it houses an abundance of art from various ages and nations. Here you’ll find Renaissance paintings, 20th-century American photography, Baroque sculptures, historic manuscripts and more, all housed inside a sprawling, modern campus amid the Santa Monica Mountains. The museum also offers spectacular views of Los Angeles on clear days.
Recent travelers loved the museum for its value and beauty, highlighting the contrast between the art center’s subtle refinement and the over-the-top glitz of Hollywood. Many visitors suggest taking a guided tour, noting that the tour highlights interesting parts of the museum they wouldn’t have stumbled upon on their own. Free 45-minute guided tours are provided at 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. for groups with 15 to 30 people, while complimentary headsets can be borrowed for self-guided audio tours.
Located just north of Santa Monica near the UCLA campus, the Getty Center can be a bit tricky to get to. (Note: The only public entrance to the Getty Center is by Getty Center Drive from North Sepulveda Boulevard. Some GPS devices offer misguided directions.) Parking costs $20 per vehicle or $15 after 3 p.m. For evening events and Saturdays after 6 p.m., parking is $10. Upon arrival, you board a tram that ascends the hill to the museum grounds. Best of all, entry to the museum is free and no reservations are required. Available facilities include two coffee carts, two cafes, a restaurant, gift shops and a garden with more than 500 kinds of plants. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., except on Saturdays, when it stays open until 9 p.m. Visit the Getty Center’s website to learn more.