In Los Angeles? Get Yourself to The Getty!

Hello SHABL,

I’m writing this post a little embarrassed because it’s about my first trip to The Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Why embarrassed, you say? Well, first of all, because visiting this museum is FREE and free tourist attractions in Los Angeles are pretty much a rarity these days so for someone to pass up an opportunity like this is just plain lazy (that was me). Second reason is perhaps worst of all…The Getty is literally 6 miles from where I lived for nearly a year. I’d see it up there on the hill almost every day and be like “Yeah, yeah…I will go this weekend”. Never happened.

So the last time I was in LA I decided to stop lying to myself and actually make this 6 mile trip. Let me just start by saying I set off on this journey a bit late, at 3:45 on a Friday afternoon. For anyone who is familiar with Los Angeles roads at 3:45 on a Friday afternoon…yeah.

I immediately regretted my decision once I saw what I was getting myself into but it was too late to turn back. 45 MINUTES LATER (and remember, only 6 miles away), I finally made it to The Getty’s parking garage. This is where I should mention that although visiting the museum is free, it costs $15 to park there. Depending on how many people you are with this could still work out to be a dirt cheap museum visit; however, if you go alone and want to avoid paying the $15 then you should look for somewhere free to park near a Metro Rapid Line stop where you can hop on the 761 and get dropped off at the main gate on Sepulveda Boulevard. You could also walk or ride a bike, but I guess that would entirely depend on where you were staying in this sprawl of a city and your stamina.

By the time I made it up the hill, it was 4:30 and the museum closed at 5:30. Cool.

No, but it really was cool. Between you and me, I didn’t even look at one exhibit while I was there because I was too enthralled by the museum’s architecture and surrounding views to care about what art I was missing out on inside. Not to mention the sun was beginning to set and if you’re into photography like me, you know you gotta snap those magic hour shots while you can.

So, the moral of this story is GET YOURSELF TO THE GETTY if you have the possibility. It’s free, it’s beautiful, and if it’s a clear day, you will most definitely have amazing views of the city. I will be back in Southern California soon and will for sure be going again and giving myself more time so I can check out the interior as well. It seemed like a mission and sitting in a ridiculous amount of traffic almost made me believe it wasn’t worth the hassle, but in the end, I couldn’t think of any better way to have watched one of my last sunsets in Los Angeles.


  1. Rob

    March 28, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Stunning photos, going to look into it the next time I am in LA.

    • Larissa

      March 29, 2012 at 8:39 am

      Thanks and yes, you better do that.

  2. Julia

    March 28, 2012 at 6:36 am

    I adore the Getty — though I do remember getting a bad case of the dizzies from that gorgeous terrace (if you hang over the edge it’s surreal)! The architecture is a national treasure, IMHO.

    • Larissa

      March 29, 2012 at 8:48 am

      Ahhh, I know, I can’t wait to go back! The architecture + setting make it some sort of national treasure for sure.

  3. Carlo+Geneva

    March 28, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Love the Getty! Great photos! Did you eat at the restaurant there or have drinks?

    • Larissa

      March 29, 2012 at 8:38 am

      Thanks! Unfortunately I didn’t make it to the restaurant or have drinks but I will definitely will the next time I’m there – especially drinks. Watching a sunset like that with a glass of rosé in hand sounds like a divine thing to do 🙂

  4. jRo

    March 29, 2012 at 10:26 am

    My brother proposed to his fiancee at the Getty. You should take the garden and architecture tour there next time.

    • Larissa

      March 29, 2012 at 11:37 am

      What a perfect place! I knew about the garden tour at the Getty Villa but didn’t know the Getty Center had one too. Will check that next time as well.

  5. Marianne

    April 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I’m a local – Live in L.A. — The Getty Center and the Getty Villa are both very special museums in the Los Angeles area. Great photos!

  6. Larissa

    April 6, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Yeah, I have been to the Villa before. Also a gorgeous place to spend some time. Thanks for the compliment!

  7. Nate

    April 28, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Hey Larissa – I enjoyed reading this. Two secrets about me : I have been to LA 6 times, and not once been to Getty …yes, I know 😉 Second secret : LA is my favourite city on Earth.

    • Larissa

      April 28, 2012 at 9:26 am

      Well now you know what you must do the next time you’re in town!

      WOW, I don’t know why I find that second secret so shocking. I’m used to hearing people *think* it is going to be their favorite city on Earth. Then once they arrive they change their tune when they figure out they can’t walk everywhere and renting a car is more than a necessity in order to really get around.

      I personally have a love/hate relationship with the place. I was born here and enjoy coming back from time, but I also get tired of it very quickly. Keeping my eye out for some LA posts on your site. For having been here 6 times already, I’m sure you’ve got some stories to tell 🙂

  8. Casey Camilleri

    May 11, 2012 at 12:39 am

    I went there for the first time a little over a year ago and it’s so worth it just for the views alone! I love your pictures with the sun setting. What a great time of day to go, minus the traffic.

    • Larissa

      May 11, 2012 at 1:56 am

      Some of the best views of LA I’ve seen, for sure. Traffic is horrible but would brave it again just for that sunset!

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