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"Liquid Gold" | Maui, Hawaii

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Several summers back I took a trip to Maui, and I experienced one of the most memorable things I had ever witnessed. After a sleepless night, and waking up in the early hours of the morning to see the sun rise almost 10,000 feet above sea level at the Haleakala National Park high above the clouds. At sunrise the sun creeped over the horizon, and it looked as though liquid gold was being poured. There was a pitch black darkness, and out of no where the sun broke the darkness, and the sky was filled with an array of hues.

www.nps.gov/hale



Grand Park

where is it?:

"Grand Park is located in downtown Los Angeles between The Music Center and City Hall."

what is it?:

"A city’s urban heart is an expression of its people, its diversity, its interests, and its passions. The new Grand Park...provides Angelenos of all walks of life a place where they can come together to celebrate, reflect, and shape the future, in one central gathering place. Throughout Grand Park, open spaces are available not only for casual sitting and leisurely strolling, but also for civic gatherings...The new Grand Park allows for a strong visual and physical connection from Grand Avenue via a series of stairs, accessible ramps and sloped walks as well as a new elevator to invite more pedestrians into a vibrant garden environment, a place to come together in a welcoming and distinctly urban oasis."

how much is it?:

FREE

when is it open?:

Every day from 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

is it worth it to go?

This place is always an oasis from the hustle and bustle of downtown. I was fortunate to be here for it’s first New Years celebration, and I look forward to coming back this New Years. This will also be the site for the Made in America festival late this summer. This park has positioned itself as being an icon for this great city, and an amazing hub for people to come together.

questions?

(213) 972-8080

www.grandparkla.org 


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Urban Lights by Chris Burden

 where is it?:

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LAMCA)

5905 Wilshire Blvd,

Los Angeles, CA 90036

what is it?:

Urban Lights is an art sculpture created by Chris Burden that is constructed of 202 restored street lamps that once lit up the night in the 1920’s and 30’s. There are 17 variations of these street lamps, each with their very own unique character and flare. This art installation is often seen as the entrance way to LACMA, and is adored by many art enthusiast and spectators alike. It’s become such a beautiful, as well as icon symbol of the art found Los Angeles.

how much is it?:

FREE

when is it open?:

24/7 - street access off of Wilshire Blvd.

Is it worth it to go?

This place is very dear to my heart, normally a pit stop in the middle of the night after enjoying some cupcakes (@sprinklescupcakes) in Beverly Hills or some pizza (@800degreespizza) in Westwood. Urban Lights has single handedly become one of my favorite artworks in Los Angeles, and without a doubt a place everyone must go, just to enjoy the sights and sounds.

questions?

1.323.857.6000

www.lacma.org 


Plaza Mexico

where is it?:

3100 E. Imperial Highway, Lynwood, Ca 90262

what is it?:

"Truly a one-of-kind Mexican masterpiece, Plaza Mexico is a lavish 650,000 square foot commercial venue housing over 250 stores. It is located in the city of Lynwood, directly in the heart of the entertainment capital of the world: Los Angeles, California. Prime positioning in the LAX area make Plaza Mexico easily accessible from all major freeways. Being a state-of-the-art venue, it offers a truly unique and unforgettable cultural dining, shopping, and entertainment experience – immersing the visitor in a never-before-seen environment."

how much is it?:

Free 

is it worth it to go?

This shopping center is a cultural center piece that transport visitors from the heart of Los Angeles into a Mexican oasis. Plaza Mexico does an awesome job preserving the architectural heritage of Mexico. I’d recommend this place to anyone looking for a place to eat, or a place just to go looking for a cultural experience.

questions?

1.310.631.6789

 www.plazamexico.com 

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Casa del Herrero (House of the Blacksmith)

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Where is it?

1387 East Valley Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93109

What is it?

“Designed by architect George Washington Smith and completed in 1925, is noted as one of the finest examples of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture in America...in January 2009, was designated a National Historic Landmark by then Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorn. George Fox Steedman, an industrialist, engineer, and amateur architect, had a vision for the house and grounds that went beyond fashion, and he assembled an extraordinary team of architects, landscape architects, antiquarians, and horticulturists to produce the Casa del Herrero estate (House of the Blacksmith)—recognized today as a masterpiece of the Country Place era."

How much is it?

$20 per person

When is it open?

All tours and site visits are by ADVANCE RESERVATION ONLY. Casa del Herrero’s eleven-acre estate is open for public tours throughout the year. Docent-led tours for adults and children age 10 and above are scheduled Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and last approximately 90 minutes.

Is it worth going?

This place is a hidden gem in the Santa Barbara area. I recommend this to any architect and history lovers alike. Filled with beautiful tile work, this house also boasts beautiful gardens. It’s a bit on the small side, and may seem a bit steep at $20, but I guarantee that if you are interested in discovering every nook and cranny of this great state, you won’t want to miss this.

Questions?

1(805)565-5653

tours@casadelherrero.com

www.casadelherrero.com


Moreton Bay Fig Tree

Where is it?

Corner of Montecito and Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, Ca

What is it?

"Santa Barbara's Moreton Bay Fig Tree is believed to be the largest Ficus macrophylla in the United States...The tree was officially designated as a historic landmark in 1970...The tree has since been placed on the California Register of Big Trees. The roots are protected by a chain barrier the size of the canopy. In July 1997 the circumference of the tree at 4.5 feet (1.4 m) above ground was 41.5 feet (12.6 m). The average crown spread was 176 feet (54 m) and the total height was 80 feet (24 m). Measured in 2010, the widest spread of the branches is 198 feet (60 m). The trunk diameter above the buttress roots is 12.5 feet (3.8 m)."

How much is it?

Free

Is it worth it to go?

If you are in the area, and are interested in seeing cool fun California history facts. This place is a cool place to go explore and take a nice break from the sun under this giant fig tree. Last time I went I saw people picnicking and a wedding party taking picture here. It's quiet nice. Definitely don't miss it if you are making a trip to Santa Barbara.

Questions?

1.805.564.5433

www.santabarbaraca.gov




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Umami Burger

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Where is it?

338 South Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim, Ca 92805

t. 714.991.8626

Sun-Thurs 11am-11pm Fri-Sat 11am-12am


1040 Hermosa Ave, Hermosa beach, Ca 90254

t. 310.214.8626 Sun-Thurs

11:30am-10pm Fri-Sat 11:30am - 11pm


189 The Grove Drive, Suite C-10 Los Angeles Ca, 90036

t. 323.954.8626

Sun-Thurs 11am-11pm Fri-Sat 11am-12am


You can also visit their website for a full list of locations & hours of operation

What is it?

Umami Burger is an American restaurant chain that specializes in serving hamburgers. Their burgers are infused with secret ingredients with umami properties, a flavor that falls outside of the traditionally accepted tastes of salty, sweet, bitter, and sour. The restaurant was founded by Adam Fleischman, and is part of the Umami Restaurant Group. After opening its first location in Los Angeles in 2009, Umami Burger had branches in California and Florida as of 2013. Unlike most burger restaurants, it has waiter service and most locations have a full bar.

Is it Worth it?

I have been addicted to these burgers ever since a friend of mine introduced me to them a several years ago. There are absolutely delicious from the first bite to the last. Accompanied with their delicious truffle fries, there is no way someone can not absolutely be engulfed by the luxurious flavors marinating in your mouth.

Questions?

www.umamiburger.com





Palace of Fine Arts Theatre

where is it?:

3301 Lyon Street San Francisco, CA 94123

what is it?:

"The Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina District of San Francisco, California, is a monumental structure originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in order to exhibit works of art presented there. One of only a few surviving structures from the Exposition, it is the only one still situated on its original site. It was rebuilt in 1965, and renovation of the lagoon, walkways, and a seismic retrofit were completed in early 2009."

 how much is it?:

Free

is it worth it to go?

If you are one of those people that love old architecture, and find tranquility in walking around picturesque gardens, then this is the place for you. The Palace of Fine Arts is a beautiful San Francisco landmark that has stood the test of time, attracting tourists near and far. The place honestly lights up when the sun is just about to set and the building is overcome by an orange reddish hue.

questions?

1.415.563.6504

www.palaceoffinearts.org 


Downtown Long Beach

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where is it?

The approximate boundaries of Downtown Long Beach are the Los Angeles River to the west, the Pacific Ocean to the south, Alamitos Ave to the east and 7th street to the north.

what is it?:

“Downtown Long Beach is the heart of Long Beach, Ca, and is the location for most of the city’s major tourist attractions and municipal services. Its is also the location for numerous businesses. There are many hotels and restaurants in the area that serve locals, tourists, and convention visitors.”

Whats there to do?

Aquarium of the Pacific

Catalina Cruises

East Village Arts District

Long Beach Convention Center

Museum of Latin American Art

The Pike

Pine Ave

Queen Mary

Shoreline Vilage

is it worth it to go?

This is a great place to really spend a night out on the town, or even a nice beach day with the family. There are so many things to do in DTLB, that you might need a whole day to really take in all the sights and sound. Home to many museums, resaurants, and tourist attractions, this sometimes overlooked metropolis is definitely a place to stop by and explore.

questions?

www.downtownlongbeach.org 


Balboa Park

Where is it?

1549 El Prado, San Diego, Ca, 92101 -

What is it?

"The nation's largest urban cultural park. Home to 15 major museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens and the San Diego Zoo, the Park has an ever-changing calendar of museum exhibitions, plays, musicals, concerts, and classes—all in the beautiful and timeless setting of this must-see San Diego attraction."

How much is it?

Most of the cultural attractions in Balboa Park are independently managed non-profit organizations. The admission prices vary by institution-with museum and performing arts memberships offering a chance to support these San Diego cultural treasures as well as gain special admission to them. Admittance to the Park itself is free, as is the Botanical Building and most of the gardens.

When is it open?

The Balboa Park grounds are open 24 hours a day, the Visitors Center is open 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily, and museum hours vary by institution.

is it worth it to go?

Balboa Park is amazingly beautiful, even to spend an afternoon walking around the grounds is quiet awesome. Perfect for families, tourist, and even residents wanting to explore their cultural horizons. the architecture of the compound is magnificent, and eloquently preserved.

Questions?

1.619.239.0512

www.balboapark.org

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ADAMSON HOUSE & MALIBU LAGOON MUSEUM

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Where is it?

23200 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

What is it?

"The Adamson House and Malibu Lagoon Museum opens the door to layer upon layer of intriguing Malibu history. The enchanted site, where Malibu Creek meets the Pacific Ocean, was once home to the Chumash Indians, who thrived there until the late 18th century. Later, the Rindge family owned 17,000 acres and 20 miles of coastline. The Rindge family’s daughter, Rhoda, and her husband, Merritt Huntley Adamson, used the site to construct a beach house, now the historic Adamson House museum. The Spanish Colonial Revival style home—today a National Historic Site, California Historical Landmark, and a California State Park—casts a magical spell, allowing visitors to evoke old California in a way few places can..."

How much is it?

Adults: $7

6 to 16 years: $2

5 years and under: free (cash only for all tour fees)

When is it open?

Wednesday–Saturday 11 am–3 pm (Last tour at 2:00 pm)

Is it worth it?

This place is a time capsule of memory. The beautiful mosaics throughout the interior and exterior of the house, showcase this as a state gem. Great place to bring the family for an afternoon on the coast, or adding an extra stop to your staycation at the Getty Villa

Questions?

(310) 456-8432

www.adamsonhouse.org 


Hollyhock House

Where is it?

4800 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

What is it?

"Hollyhock House is Wright’s first Los Angeles project. Built between 1919 and 1923, it represents his earliest effort to develop a regionally appropriate style of architecture for Southern California. Wright himself referred to it as California Romanza, using the musical term meaning “freedom to make one’s own form”. Taking advantage of Los Angeles’ dry, temperate climate, Hollyhock House is a remarkable combination of house and gardens. In addition to the central garden court, each major interior space adjoins an equivalent exterior space, connected either by glass doors, a porch, pergola or colonnade. A series of rooftop terraces further extend the living space and provide magnificent views of the Los Angeles basin and the Hollywood Hills."

When is it open?

CLOSED FOR RESTORATION,

CALL 323-644-6269 FOR MORE INFORMATION

When it does reopen: Friday thru Sunday, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.

Is it worth it?

This building is absolutely gorgeous. Even though it is closed down for reconstruction the grounds and the views are breathtaking. If you love architecture then you must visit this Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece. This place gives you breathtaking views of the Hollywood Hills & perfect for a picnic or a quiet read on the grassy knolls.

Questions:

323-644-6269

www,hollyhockhouse.net 


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Heritage Square Museum

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Where is it?

3800 Homer St, Los Angeles, CA 90031

What is it?

"Heritage Square Museum is a living history museum that explores the settlement and development of Southern California during its first 100 years of statehood. The eight historic structures located at the museum, constructed during the Victorian Era, were saved from demolition and serve as a perfect background to educate the public about the everyday lives of Southern Californians from the close of the 19th Century into the early decades of the 20th Century. From the simplicity of the Longfellow-Hastings Octagon House to the opulence of the William Perry Mansion, the Museum provides a unique look at the lifestyles of the people who contributed so much to the development of modern Los Angeles."

How much is it?

$10 Adults (13+)

$8 Seniors (65+)

$5 Children (6-12)

Museum members and children under 6 are admitted free of charge.

Discounts available for AAA Auto Club and TimeTravelers® members.

When is it open?

Friday - Sunday 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Guided tours depart hourly between 12:00 - 3:00 p.m. from the Palms Depot.

Is it worth it to go?

This place is a hidden gem in Los Angeles. For any history buff, architect buff, or Los Angeles Explorer like myself this place is a great weekend stacation. I recommend this place to family and friends all the time, it’s a beautiful little neighborhood that is enjoyable to all people of all ages.

Questions?

 (323) 225-2700

www.heritagesquare.org



The Grove

Where is it?

189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036

What is it?

"The Grove is a retail and entertainment complex in Los Angeles, California, built, owned, and operated by Rick J. Caruso and his company Caruso Affiliated on parts of the historical Farmers Market."

How much is it?

Free

When is it open?

Mon. - Thurs.: 10 am - 9 pm

Fri. - Sat.: 10 am - 10 pm

Sun.: 10 am - 8 pm Some retailers have different hours so check those stores individually.

Is it worth it to go?

I love going to the Grove, it's always fun to see what's new there. It's right next to the Farmer's Market & a great location to have dinner and take the family out. It is a prime shopping location for high end retail.

Questions?

 (323) 900-8080

www.thegrovela.com


Disneyland

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Where is it?

1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802

What is it?

"The Disneyland Resort, commonly known as Disneyland, is an entertainment resort in Anaheim, California. It is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company through its Parks and Resorts division and is home to two theme parks, three hotels, and a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex known as Downtown Disney. The resort was developed by Walt Disney in the 1950s. When it opened to guests on July 17, 1955, the property consisted of Disneyland, its 100-acre (40 ha) parking lot, and the Disneyland Hotel, owned and operated by Disney's business partnerJack Wrather. After succeeding with the multi-park, multi-hotel business model at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista,Florida, Disney acquired large parcels of land adjacent to Disneyland to apply the same business model in Anaheim.” •www.wikipedia.com

How much is it?

Ticket prices vary depending what type of ticket you are looking for starting at $92.00 for adults

Disneyland Ticket Prices

Hours vary depending on the season - call before going to confirm opening

Is it worth it to go?

Disneyland was a huge part of my childhood growing up, and I hav fond memories going there every friday with my family. Regardless of how old I get, it always seems to have a magical place in my heart. Worth every penny, It is rather pricey, but they are solid investments in lifelong memories to cherish.

Questions?

(714) 781-4565

www.disneyland.com


Laguna Beach Sunsets

Where is it?

107 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

What is it?

"The City of Laguna Beach is well known as a unique beach community and artist's colony with seven miles of City beaches running along its nine square miles. The resident population enjoys the ambiance provided by the sandy beaches, canyons and coastal hills. During the summer, several million visitors are drawn to the resort environment for its picturesque beaches, art festivals and the Pageant of the Masters. Laguna's village scale shopping district, blufftop walkways and tram system create a pedestrian environment and scale which is unique in Southern California." -www.lagunabeachcity.net

How much is it?

FREE

Is it worth it to go?

I love catching sunsets down in beautiful Laguna Beach. The water is beautiful, the sand is soft and cool to the touch, and the hues that fill the sky are beyond beautiful. This place is perfect to take your family after dinner or if you are trying to have a romantic backdrop for a date. Just a short drive PCH & you'll have an excellent day with a picturesque coastline for your viewing pleasure.

Questions?

(949) 497-3311

www.lagunabeachcity.net 


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Shuttle Endeavor

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Where is it?

700 Exposition Park Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90037

What is it?

"Endeavour: The California Story celebrates Endeavour’s many scientific achievements and its strong connection to California, where all the orbiters were built. The California Story includes images of Endeavour under construction locally in Palmdale and Downey, as well as artifacts that flew into space aboard Endeavour. Dramatic video programs, such as one of the shuttle assembly, rollout and launch convey the emotion and power of Endeavour."

How much is it?

$3 reservation convenience fee per guest.

When is it open?

Timed reservations to see Endeavour are required for weekends, holidays, special events and high attendance seasons, including Thanksgiving Week, Winter Break and Spring Break.

Is it worth it to go?

Endeavor is great for people of all ages. It's interesting to see this beautiful space craft so well preserved. It's also quiet astonishing to stand under it and realize the magnitude of it's grandeur. Highly recommend it to anyone that is looking for something to do.

Questions?

1.213.744.2019

www.californiasciencecenter.org



Los Angeles Central Library

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Where is it?

630 W 5th St, Los Angeles, CA

What is it?

"The historic Central Library Goodhue building was constructed in 1926 and is a Downtown Los Angeles landmark. The Richard Riordan Central Library complex is the third largest public library in the United States in terms of book and periodical holdings. Originally named the Central Library, the building was first renamed in honor of the longtime president of the Board of Library Commissioners and President of the University of Southern California, Rufus B. von KleinSmid. The new wing of Central Library, completed in 1993, was named in honor of former mayor Tom Bradley. The complex (i.e., the original Goodhue building and the Bradley wing) was subsequently renamed in 2001 for former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, as the Richard Riordan Central Library."

How much is it?

FREE; Public Library

When is it open?

Mon-Thu 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Fri-Sat 10:00 am – 5:30 pm

Sunday Closed


Daily Walk-In Tours of the Central Library last approx one hour. The tours leave from the front of the Library Store in the main lobby accessible via the Fifth Street, Hope Street, and Flower Street entrances. Tour times are:

Monday - Friday 12:30 pm

Saturday 11:00 am & 2:00 pm

Sunday 2:00 pm

Saturday only 12:30 pm - Maguire Garden Art Tour

Is it worth it to go?

If you are into art, history, architecture, and literature the Los Angeles Central Library is for you. It's beautiful artwork and architecture are a testament to the beauty of Los Angeles.

Questions?

1.213.228.7000

www.lapl.com



The Griffith Observatory

Where is it?

2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

What is it?

"Griffith Observatory is an icon of Los Angeles, a national leader in public astronomy, a beloved civic gathering place, and one of southern California's most popular attractions. The Observatory is located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, just above the Los Feliz neighborhood...Griffith Observatory was made possible by a bequest in the 1919 will of Griffith J. Griffith, who also donated the land for Griffith Park (in 1896). The building opened to the public May 14, 1935, and operated continuously until January 6, 2002, when it closed for a comprehensive renovation and expansion. The renewed building reopened to the public in November 2006. More than 75 million people have entered the Observatory building over nearly eight decades."

How much is it?

Free; Public Park & Building

When is it open?

Tuesday - Friday: Noon - 10:00p

Saturday - Sunday:10:00a- 10:00p

Closed Mondays

Is it worth it to go?

This place is amazing for astronomers old and young. There is never a dull moment at the Observatory, whether it be looking at the stars or the bright lights of Los Angeles.

Questions?

(213)473-0800

www.griffithobs.org


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Walt Disney Concert Hall

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Where is it?

111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

What is it?

“The Walt Disney Concert Hall…is the fourth hall of the Los Angeles Music Center and was designed by Frank Gehry. It opened on October 24, 2003…It seats 2,265 people and serves, among other purposes, as the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Lillian Disney made an initial gift of $50 million in 1987 to build a performance venue as a gift to the people of Los Angeles and a tribute to Walt Disney's devotion to the arts and to the city.”

How much is it?

Concert Ticket Prices Vary

When is it open?

There are free docent lead tours that highlight the beauty of the WDCH, along with the other buildings that are on the Music Center compound. Offered select days at 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. Approximately 60 minutes Begins in the Grand Lobby of the Walt Disney Concert Hall

Is it worth it to go?

This is truly a highlight of deconstructionist architecture in the growing downtown skyline. The Walt Disney Concert Hall also is home to a magnificent garden that is absolutely breathe taking. In the nearly 10 years that the concert hall has been in existence it has become a staple for music enthusiast around the world.

Questions?

1.323.850.2000

www.laphil.com


Greystone Mansion & Park

Where is it?

905 Loma Vista Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

What is it?

Built in 1927 by oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny and perched in the storied and scenic hills of one of the most elegant neighborhoods in America, Greystone Estate is a Beverly Hills and Los Angeles treasure, recognized since 1976 as a historic landmark in the national registry of Historic Places. The City of Beverly Hills purchased the property in 1965 and in 1971 the entire 18.3 acre site was formally dedicated as a public park by the City of Beverly Hills. The exterior grounds of the park are open to the public free-of-charge during regular business hours. We welcome you to come explore!

How much is it?

FREE; City Park

When is it open?

 Open Daily:

10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time

10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Daylight Savings Time

is it worth it to go?

This place is a picturesque example of old hollywood fame and glamour. If you are in the Beverly Hills area and looking for a nice quiet place to have a nice private picnic check this place out! It provides amazing views of the city, as well as beautiful gardens.

Questions?

1.310.285.6830

www.greystonemansion.org 


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The Getty Villa

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Where is it?:

17985 Pacific Coast Highway Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

What is it?

"The Getty Villa in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, USA, is one of two locations of the J. Paul Getty Museum. The Getty Villa is an educational center and museum dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. The collection has 44,000 Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities dating from 6,500 BC to 400 AD, including the Lansdowne Heracles and the Victorious Youth. The UCLA/Getty Master’s Program in Archaeological and Ethnographic Conservation is housed on this campus. The collection is documented and presented through the online GettyGuide as well as through audio tours."

How much is it?

FREE; you do have to make ticket reservations prior to attending Parking is $15

When is it open?

Wednesday–Monday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed Tuesdays

Questions?

1.310.440.7300

www.getty.edu


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