Want to visit ancient Rome and enjoy one of the most spectacular views in all of Los Angeles? Come visit the Getty Villa, nestled up high in the Pacific Palisades. Sure, the Getty Center might be more trendy and convenient, but the Getty Villa is my personal favorite.
Of course, I am clearly biased. I was a docent at the Villa for several years, during which time I took thousands of visitors through much of the 64-acre architectural wonder. It is a site not to be missed (and neither should the Getty Center for that matter, but that’s for another time).
The Getty Villa is a mansion inspired by the Villa of the Papyri, a home famously covered in ash by the eruption of Vesuvius and named after the discovery of papyrus. The Villa hosts a collection of44,000 Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities dating from 6,500 BC to 400 AD, including the Lansdowne Heracles and the Victorious Youth.
But, that’s just Wikipedia talking, and it sells the whole experience short. So forget about that and concentrate on this: The Getty Villa is a time warp back into another civilization, a zen walk through beautifully manicured gardens, and gateway to a million-dollar view of the Pacific Ocean. I can’t think of a better afternoon than one spent at the Getty Villa.
So, get off the freeway, power down your cell phone and spend a few rush-free hours at the Getty Villa. Transport yourself back to a taste of Roman life in the first century A.D. Trust me. It’s worth it.
What You Need To Know
The Getty Villa
17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Wednesday–Monday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. (Extended hours until August 27, 2016)
Admission is free, but an advance timed-entry ticket is required, which is available on their website. Parking is $15; $10.00 after 3:00 p.m.
The Villa is located at the northeast corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Coastline Drive, less than a mile north of Sunset Boulevard, and about a five minute drive up the coast from Santa Monica. Take the Santa Monica (10) Freeway west to its end at Santa Monica and then go north on Pacific Coast Highway to the museum entrance, just south of Coastline Drive, on the right (east) side of Pacific Coast Highway. Turn right at the sign, onto the museum entrance road, drive up a slight hill, and tell the guard at the gate your name so he can check it in his reservation book.