07 April 2010

The Getty Villa -- A Hideaway Oasis


On a last minute whim we went to the Getty Villa this weekend. I have to say it was just what this girl needed to get inspired, revived and invigorated. It's impossible to know what lies behind the gates of this heaven on earth from the Pacific Coast Highway entrance. With each step farther into the complex I became more and more amazed at all there is to see and drink in.

At every turn there was a new and amazing vista from the gorgeous tall trees, architecture, stonework, stunning gardens, and ocean view. My breath was taken away and we hadn't even gone into any of art exhibits halls yet. Walking through the outdoor gardens was by far my favorite activity and there were so many to see. Just as I felt I'd seen the most beautiful garden on earth, I would turn a corner and see a new delicious spot.

Right now there is an exhibit about the art of the Aztec Empire. Celebrating the bicentennial of Mexico's independence, the exhibition compares the Aztec world with that of ancient Greece. The cost to visit The Getty Villa is free, with $12 parking fee. It's a great place to lunch outside in the sun, enjoy nature and can be a great spot for children to wander outside. It's a bit grown up, so children are expected to behave themselves, but I think they would definitely enjoy themselves. They probably won't spend a lot of time in the exhibits admiring art, but there are so many things to do that it's a nice day's outing without too much time in the exhibits.

The Getty Center in the Sepulveda Pass, is another great location that is very kid friendly and free with $12 parking. At The Getty Center, kids love riding the tram from the parking structure to the hilltop museum complex. You can have lunch on the patio, sit in the sun, roll down grass hills and "ice skate" on the glossy marble patios. There are beautiful gardens to explore and the views of Los Angeles, Santa Monica city and mountains, and the Pacific Ocean are phenomenal.

I always feel a little sad when I hear about people visiting Los Angeles and only going to Disneyland. There is SO much more to see in this city and it's just a shame to miss out on it. This year I'm attempting to see this city in a new way, with broader eyes, to not miss out all the amazing parts of this city I call home. There are so many amazing sights to see. What are your favorite hidden spots in Los Angeles. Please do share!

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