Opened in 1997,  The Getty Center and Getty Villa Museum are part of a billion-dollar trust that runs both public museums. Founded from the personal collection of oil tycoon, J. Paul Getty, the grounds alone are something to see!  Here’s what I found to make your next trip more enjoyable at these FREE travel destinations in Los Angles, California.

In the Heart of L.A.

If you plan your trip for a long weekend, the Getty visits can easily take up two days. Both museums are located about 30 minutes apart, so planning your visits accordingly is advised. The Getty Center is in the hills of downtown Los Angeles. Arriving close to opening is advised due to the traffic of California. A tram will take you from the parking lot (or you can walk) up the steep hills to the Center’s entrance. The gardens surrounding the Center and Art Library are truly a site to see.


Classic Monet and Picasso paintings along with abstract works and can be found at the Getty Center. While the collections on display were not plentiful, (I visited right after the Covid restrictions were lifted.) I would plan for at least three hours or longer to enjoy the museum.  Especially if you’d like to enjoy a picnic on the grounds or walk the flower gardens, a half day is neededLife size sculptures dot the outside patio area along with breathtaking views of the valley below.  Docent led tours are hosted on the hour explaining the collections, gardens, and architecture of this magnificent campus. Getty is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Getty Villa Museum

Located 13 miles west of the Center is the Getty Villa Museum off Pacific Coast Highway. Housed in the original Getty Museum, the Villa is a re-creation of an ancient Roman country house. In the heart of Pacific Palisades, enjoy the ancient Greek and Roman art along with the surrounding gardens.  There are also cafes and tea service at both locations, and reservations are required.

While timed-entry tickets can be made online for both museums, book early as some weekend dates and times fill up fast. There is a fee to park, and dress in layers as some indoor temperatures are very cool in the museums.

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