I spent most of my life in California – Southern, Central Coast and Northern. But for the most part, I lived in Souther California. One of So Cal’s top visitor attractions in Los Angeles is the J. Paul Getty Museum (Getty Center or The Getty). It is one of the top-ranked museums in the world. The J. Paul Getty Museum has two locations one in Brentwood area of LA (The Getty) and the other The Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades/Malibu area. If you’re looking for something more than hanging out at the beach, working on your suntan or checking out Hollywood, The Getty is the perfect place for you to visit. We love visiting some of our favorite places that we’ve been to hundreds of times or trying out fun, new things. The Getty is a must if you’re in Southern California. It’s an awesome place. If you have visited this LA treasure, you know what I mean. Here is an aerial view overlooking the huge grounds and buildings.
If heading to CA is on your summer bucket list this year, you’re going to love my posts about this California classic built in 1997. In this post, My Guide to The Getty – Part 1, I’ll talk about logistics, tips, and the details of the museum and its grounds. In My Guide to The Getty – Part 2, I’ll focus more on the amazing artwork and exhibits.
Location and How to Get There!
The proper name of this famous museum is The Getty Center- but if you’re from the area, you probably refer to it as The Getty. If you’re native to LA or driving by on a road trip, you’ve probably seen The Getty from the 405 as you’re stuck in traffic. It’s a stunning landmark, with a prominent location on the top of a large hill.
Let me set the scene for you. You park at the bottom of the hill on one of the many, many levels of underground parking. Parking is $15, but admission to The Getty is FREE, no reservations or tickets are required. After driving around trying to find the perfect spot (you’ll pay for parking after you’re done), it’s all worth it when you board the cable tram. The cable tram has a breathtaking view as you head up the steep hill to the museum. You’ll see the busy city all the way to the Pacific Ocean! It really is spectacular- and nice to not have to walk up that beastly hill!
The cable tram stops at the top and everyone gets out. Right away you are faced with a large building that has some really cool architecture. There’s usually a big crowd of people there and you’ll probably see families with strollers! It’s always nice to see families out and about, spending some quality time together. Now, let’s head inside!
Inside The Getty
This is what you see when you first walk into The Getty. I love the natural light that streams in through all the windows.
Don’t forget to look up! These giant skylights are awesome and make the entry room so bright and open.
This is one of my favorite parts- a phone charging station! You lock your phone in the cubbies to get some charge when you’re low on juice. With this ingenious idea, you’re ready to take as many beautiful pictures during your visit as you want. And even better, it’s conveniently located right inside the museum entrance across from the coat check.
There are helpful maps and diagrams- pointing out the exhibits, coffee carts, cafes, shops, children’s shops, etc. Even better, there are really nice employees that are willing to help you and will even share interesting facts with you. One employee told me that the whole building is on wheels for Earthquake reinforcement.
Before you start exploring, I would definitely recommend watching the 10-minute orientation video. You will see the signs when you first enter the building. It really gives you a good overview of what you’ll see and a bit of background about this amazing museum. There are also tours available, but we enjoyed exploring at our own pace.
Also, for those needing a wheelchair or stroller, these are available at the lower tram station and at the coat check inside the museum entrance free of charge.
The grounds of The Getty are so fun to explore. There’s something new everywhere you look! The architecture is very modern.
Everything about The Getty is artful and unique, even the simple fountains. The texture of the different rock surfaces is really cool.
The View from The Getty
How about that gorgeous view! A great lookout point to see the whole city with he pacific in the background.
The Getty Terrace Gardens
Now, onto one of my favorite parts of The Getty, the terrace gardens which is 134,000 sq ft.
Walking around the gardens outside was as fun as walking through The Getty and seeing all the beautiful art. The garden is certainly art too and water plays a major part.
All the foliage was so lush and exciting to look at! The streams and water features were very unique.
Wow, what a perfect picnic spot! You can bring your own lunch and enjoy a picnic at any of the public seating areas or on the lawn adjacent to the Central Garden. Picnic tables and lawns for lounging are located at the Lower Tram Station A picnic is a great idea for a family with kids that would love to run around and enjoy the beautiful weather! You can’t bring food inside the galleries (except baby bottles). So you might want to have your picnic first or leave the food in the car. It takes 5 minutes to get back down to the parking garage from The Getty.
Now, this is something I’ve never seen before! Bougainvillea is one of my favorite plants that grows in most areas of California. This was a new idea to me, using rebar to grow the bush in the shape of a cascading tree. I think it’s a clever idea with a beautiful effect!
My hubby and I, enjoying this inspiring and beautiful day together.
We love adventuring together!
I hope you enjoyed a peek into our time at The Getty – Part 1. But, with all I talked about, I didn’t even get to the art! That’s saying a lot for an art museum. Be sure to check out My Guide to The Getty – Part 2 post for a recap on some of my favorite pieces. Here’s a little taste of the amazing art to get you excited for my next post.
This painting, titled “Spring”, really spoke to me. The rich colors and intricate details, with the overall stunning style, made this one of my favorite pieces of art in the whole museum.
If you are wanting to visit The Getty, make sure to check out their website for hours, events and more.
Make sure to see My Guide to The Getty – Part 2 to read more about our wonderful trip and to see more of the stunning art.