For as long as I can remember, any trip to Los Angeles always involved spending the day at Disneyland, visiting with Micky, Minnie, and the rest of the gang. But on my last stopover in Los Angeles,  I was talked into visiting the Getty Center instead. Enticed by the promise of  blue skies, amazing views, and a free ‘grownup’ Disneyland experience, how could I resist.

Perched on a hilltop just above the 405 Freeway in the Los Angeles suburb of Brentwood, the Getty Center is a collection of low rise, interconnected buildings surrounded by a variety of landscaped gardens.

Just like Disneyland, the Getty Center thrives on being big, bold, and magical. Once you arrive, it’s difficult to decide what to do first. Go inside and wander around the enormous collection of paintings, antiquities, and photography.  Perhaps meander through the eighty-six acres of landscaped gardens and terraces. Or focus on the architectural splendor of the Richard Meier designed buildings.

 

To be honest, I spent more time outside than in, wandering around admiring the architecture, the gardens, the panoramic views,  and enjoying the sunshine. Next time, I’ll have to spend more time inside the buildings viewing the impressive collections of paintings –  Van Gough, Monet, Renoit, etc – as well as Greek, European and Roman antiquities and decorative art, and American and European photography.

If you had only one day in Los Angeles, where would you go?

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Liz Lewis is a New Zealand based writer who favors wine tasting and food markets over bungy jumping and mountain climbing.