The Getty is one of those must-see places for people visiting from out of town. The Getty has two locations: The Getty Center in Brentwood and The Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades/Malibu. Both are gorgeous and the same price ($15 for parking, no charge for admission). Here’s a quick look at each:
The Getty Center in Brentwood. The Getty Center is much larger than the Villa and it houses more famous art works than the Villa. The galleries are just endless and it has a gorgeous gardens here, as well. If you’re into art, this place tops the Villa in both quality and quantity. I’ve heard of people picnicking on the grounds (bring your own food and non-alcoholic drink), which sounds nice, as well.
Closed on Mondays!
The Getty Villa in Malibu/Pacific Palisades. The Getty Villa has more beautiful architecture, pools, fountains and gardens to peruse than the Center. I am not an art person, really, and I tire of looking at endless galleries, so for me, exploring the buildings and gardens was more fun. If you’re there to cam whore, I also recommend the activities area (probably intended for KIDS), where there are too many cute photo opps. You can pose with Greek/Roman props and draw on vases with dry erase markers. Overall, I preferred the Villa, as it was quicker, funner (oh yes I did) and more visually striking than the Center.
A con of the Getty is that it requires a bit more planning. You don’t have to book (free) tickets online ahead of time, but I highly recommend it in case you’re headed there on a busy day. Because the Villa is smaller than the Center, they need to control the flow of people coming, and they do that by issuing free tickets online. If it’s not too busy at the time of your visit, they’ll issue you free tickets at the gates, so it’s not always necessary to reserve ahead.
Closed on Tuesdays!
Stop off at the beach on your way back to LA from the Villa if PCH is jammed with traffic. I generally find street parking without too much trouble in that area.