Getty Villa

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Los Angeles, CA
Getty Villa
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There are two Getty museums created by generous oil tycoon J. Paul Getty. This one, the Getty Villa, is by far my favorite. It is warm and inviting, whereas the other one, the Getty Center, is more cold and modern. The architecture at the Getty Villa will wow you around every turn. Each room has an exquisite ceiling, columns, marble, the works. It feels as though you are in one of France's castles. The collections of Greek and Roman antiquities are equally as marvelous. There are bowls, jars, ornaments, necklaces from thousands of years before Christ.

Outside, a long reflecting pool dazzles as it stretches out toward the sea below. A sculpture of a man lazing in the sun sits in the midst of the pool. Grapes hang from vines overhead and frescoes decorate the walls. Children love to run around here enjoying the open space. There is also a pleasant herb garden around the corner.
When the Getty collection became too big to display here, the Getty Center was created. It is entirely different to the Getty Villa. It boasts amazing massive travertine marble buildings, sleek lines and fountains in the modern outdoor spaces, a large central garden with floating hedges, a charming sound garden, a cactus garden, and impressive city views. Kids like to ride the free monorail to the top.
J. Paul Getty was the richest man in the world in 1966. Starting in Oklahoma, he expanded his oil wells by buying a barren tract of land in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. No oil was found there for four years but after $30 million was spent, the land produced 16 million barrels a year. Getty learned Arabic and with tough negotiating expanded his holdings in the Middle East, saying "The meek shall inherit the earth but not the mineral rights." At the end of his life, Getty lived in a 16th century Tudor estate in England, and never saw Getty Villa, which was built two years before his death.
Before your visit, grab a coffee at classy Malibu Colony Plaza. For an imaginative playground nearby, check out Las Flores Creek Park. Also nice for kids is Malibu Country Mart Mall, an outdoor mall with glorious mountain views and a crowded kid's playground with swings and sandpit. My favorite mall is Malibu Lumber Yard, a two-storey mall made entirely of hardwood with palm trees, mountain views, and live music on weekends.
While in LA, make sure you head over to Santa Monica Beach and Pier - it's a gorgeous spot with all the best Southern California has to offer- the beach, long walks at Palisades Park, shopping plaza at 3rd Street Promenade, and the carnival rides and carousel on the pier.

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View as you walk out the parking garage- from the very beginning the Getty Villa is gorgeous.

Getty Villa cafe with hillside behind.

The wonderful ceiling outdoors at the entrance.

The sumptuous middle courtyard.

The back patio- such lovely foliage.

The tilework fountain on the back patio.

Elephant sculpture.

Black sculptures against white columns, and a pool, in the middle courtyard.

Marble everywhere...

Decorative harvest sculpture.

The patio you step out onto before you reach the pool...

The reflecting pool.

Great contrasting patterns.

Grape vines by the pool.

Oh to be this sculpture, sunning by the pool!

Desert-style palms and grape vines, very mediterranean-looking.

It's so lovely to sit under the pergola beside the pool and look up at the grape vines!

The wavey hedges in the gardens beside the pool.

So many pretty colors!

Herb garden.

Gorgeous lines.

View of the ocean from the overlook at the end of the pool.

Directions

Click "satellite" to see the gorgeous villa from the air.
The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades CA 90272. It's a little tricky entering the driveway. You must enter from the Pacific Coast Hwy (Hwy 1) going north. Though it looks like you can just turn left at the light by the villa when southbound, that road doesn't lead into the villa. If you're on the PCH southbound, you must pass the villa and make a u-turn. After your u-turn, there is a wall on your right and then you see the driveway.
If coming from the 405 Freeway, take the 10 Freeway west until you reach Santa Monica and then take Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) north for 5 miles.
You must get your free tickets online and print them before you come! There is a $15 fee for parking.
The Getty Villa is open from 10-5 every day except Tuesdays. Closed on January 1, July 4, Thanksgiving, and December 25.

map

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Comments

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Ricardo

Thu, 01 Oct 2009

Getty Villa is the pearl of Los Angeles....

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KL

Sat, 13 Nov 2010

This is a lovely museum, take some time to walk through the entire museum, check the website or call ahead for more info because you may need a reservation/ticket

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Jim

Fri, 23 Oct 2009

wow must be nice to be living in CA at the moment lol

Last Updated: Tue, 02 May 2017 16:43:56 GMT

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