Sometimes you don't appreciate what's in your midst. For Southern Californians or tourists visiting, the incredible Getty Villa, a free admission museum, puts you in the middle of priceless statues and a discussion about ancient Roman life. Can life get any better than something that is totally free? No so fast! As you drive up to the gate with your free admission ticket, the parking hits your pocket at $15. Parking rates have climbed steadily and at some point may slow visitation to this gem, but you can take a public bus and get off across the street from the museum for a $1 ride each way.
Is Getty Villa worth the visit? Definitely! A world class collection of artifacts brings us closer to our ancient brothers and sisters who sometimes wore beautiful gold jewelry, enjoyed ornate painted vases and pottery, and almost come to life in sculptures and statues that stare at you hauntingly as if sizing you up.
One of the best introductions and ways to get the most out of your visit to The Getty Villa is the Collection Highlights tour offering a one-hour overview of major works in the Museum on Monday, Thursday, and Friday at 2 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m.
While you won't see the museum exhibits after 5 p.m., the parking is free for night events, and the 2010 performance schedule offers a great night out (keep your eyes open on website, getty.edu for events). Upcoming is a reading of the The Trojan Women by ITI Company with three performances: Friday, November 5, 2010; 8pm; and Saturday, November 6, 2010; 3pm & 8pm. Admission is free but a ticket is required. Tickets are available beginning Wednesday, September 22, 2010, at 9:00a.m. They usually disappear quickly so if you want to go, be prepared to call right away. Call (310) 440-7300.
Get to The Getty:
17985 Pacific Coast Highway (only accessible from the northbound right-hand lane of Pacific Coast Highway)
Pacific Palisades, California 90272
Tickets: You have to get tickets online or by calling ahead. You can't show up. Hours for the Getty Villa site and galleries: Thursday–Monday open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Tues & Wed., plus major holidays.