Architecture, ART, Attractions, DESTINATIONS, Gardens, Museums, Road Trips, TRAVEL, United States

The Getty Villa, Malibu CA

Getty Villa, Malibu CA
Malibu’s Getty Villa


Museum Girl has one word for you in LA: Getty. One word and two locations. Getty Center is a big art museum on a hill in Los Angeles . Getty Villa in Malibu is something else entirely.


If you’ve never been to The Getty Center, you have to go there first.  The location alone is reason enough.  Even if you don’t like art, you really need to see this place to believe it.  The view is outstanding and the architecture is amazing.  What’s more, there are gardens and fountains that also think they’re the main attraction.  Seriously, you have to go.

If you do like art, then this is a feast you will enjoy.  All day is not enough.  I’ve been several times and it still hasn’t been enough.  There are multiple huge buildings.  The museum’s holdings are encyclopedic and they get first dibs on the best exhibitions in the US or visiting the US.

What’s more – it’s free!  You heard me – free.  Not on certain days or after a certain hour, but all the time.  Now you have to reserve and pay for parking, but this is LA where you even pay to park in front of your house.


When I moved to California, Malibu Getty was being renovated.  It was ready the final year I lived there, but it was impossible to get in.  On my visits since I moved away from California, I never could work the museum into my schedule for a variety of reasons, which included things which were both my fault and theirs.

Just like I was determined to have an overnight stay on Moonstone Beach, I wasn’t missing the Malibu Getty on this trip.  My nieces and nephews are not into museums in a big way, but I warned everyone that with or without them, I was going to the Getty.


Two carloads of Sadeks arrived at the Getty Malibu promptly at 10:30 with free timed passes in hand.  What an entourage!  Toddlers, teenagers, Baby Boomers and more!  Just getting everyone to the entrance was quite interesting.

Once inside we showed our timed passes and a volunteer invited us to see the intro video.  He also suggested we have a look around the galleries in the immediate area, since there wasn’t anyone waiting to see it.  While we were looking around, along came a busload of folks who got in line ahead of us.  Helpful hint number one:  Ignore the volunteer.  Get in line and wait for your turn.

Do watch the video though.  It’s very good and helps you understand the villa and the art.


Remember your world history textbooks?  And remember the head shots of statues which stood in for Caesar, Caligula and Cato.  Ever wonder where those statues are?  They’re at the Getty Malibu!

Perhaps I’ve spent more time than other folks staring at art, history and art history books, but what impressed me most about the Getty Malibu was that all those pictures I’d been staring at were front and center.  One right after the other.  I couldn’t get over it.  I can’t say that the entire entourage felt that way, but I was overwhelmed.

My husband adored the architecture.  One grandnephew loved an activity room where you created rubbings off faux pottery shards.  One niece was spellbound by a peek of the ocean from a terrace.  My grandniece just wanted to run in the gardens.

In other words, there was something for everyone.  Truth be told, I wanted to stay a little bit longer and almost everyone else thought we stayed a little too long, but we all had a good time.  Some day, when I return for a visit, I’m going to go by myself and stay all day.  It’s going to be great.

From the Getty Villa we went to Santa Monica.  Come back next week and I’ll tell you all about it.

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