Archive for the ‘ CA-Los Angeles ’ Category

Getty Villa – Malibu, CA

My family was in town for a wedding and we were looking for something we hadn’t done yet.  When at the Getty Center during their last trip, we saw a brochure for the Getty Villa.  Similar to the Getty Center, there is no fee to visit the Villa (except for the $15 parking fee).   The Villa is dedicated to the cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.

Entrance to the Villa requires a ticket.  You can print one out free online.  While several times are available, we were allowed in ahead of our ticket time.   I’d recommend watching the 12 minute introductory video online before going.  If you wish, you can also do so on site.  There is also a 45 minute tour available to orient you to the villa that is loaded with factual information of the Villa’s origin.   

The architecture is absolutely astonishing.  So much attention has been given to materials and details that you truly feel like you are being transported to a different time.  The Villa is modeled after an ancient building found under a lava flow.  

Inside the Villa itself you will find thousands of antiquities.  One difference between this and other museums is that you are looking at the original works of art.  There is something to be said for being in the presence of such ancient pieces of work (some 2,000+ years old).   Be sure to allow at least 4 hours to see the grounds.  We did not see everything, but look forward to coming back again next time.

Official Website:

Contact Info:
17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, California 90272
(310) 440-7300

Museum Entrance:
34° 2’30.96″N

Getty Villa - Pool 

Getty Villa - Inside Atrium

Getty Villa - Hallway

Getty Villa - Atrium

Runyon Canyon Hiking Trail – Los Angeles, CA

Looking to get out of Long Beach for the day, we decided to try the Runyon Canyon hiking trail up in LA.  There definitely were a lot of people on the trail, however the views of the LA /Beverly Hills skyline were breathtaking.   The hike wasn’t difficult, but the change in elevation made it a great workout.   Don’t worry – if a tiny little chiwawa  can do it, so can you.

I think we hiked about 90% of it in around an hour and a half.

We ended up parking on the street close to the trail head as the lot was full.  There seems to be plenty of parking on the street close by, and you can’t really complain about getting close parking when you are there to hike.

Don’t forget to bring water and use the restroom before going as neither are available on the trail.  We’ll definitely be going back to take some more pictures when the clear days of winter come.

Official Website:

Contact Info:
2000 N. Fuller Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 666-5046

Trail Head:
34° 7’9.73″N

Runyon Canyon

Runyon Canyon - Hollywood Sign

Runyon Canyon - Summit

Campanile – La Brea Bakery – Los Angeles, CA

Before our hike today, we though we’d stop by La Brea Bakery for lunch. When we arrived, we found an upscale option that was affiliated with the bakery called Campanile.  We were a little under dressed, however the airy, natural concept of the restaurant drew us in.

The atmosphere was casual, polished, and elegant.   For my main course I had the BLT.  I know what you’re thinking… BLT, how original.  The fact was that this BLT was anything but ordinary.   Thick slices of bacon, perfectly ripe tomatoes, crispy lettuce and an exquisite sauce served open face on fresh La Brea Bakery bread made for the best BLT of my life.

For desert, we shared a chocolate cup cake, complete with freshly whipped cream.  Absolutely sinful.     We decided to hike an extra few miles, but it was worth every step.

Official Website:

Contact Info:
624 South La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 938-1447

34° 3’50.90″N


Campanile - BLT

Campanile - Cupcake

Campanile on Urbanspoon

Griffith Observatory – Los Angeles, CA

My parents just arrived into LAX and we were looking for something small  to do before heading back to Long Beach.   We’ve always wanted to go to Griffith Park, however never got around to it. 

After arriving, we found that there wasn’t anything small about it.  In fact, I wish we had dedicated more time to it.  

Parking was a bit rough.  Since the Observatory is on the top of a mountain, there is only a limited number of spaces.  Luckily someone left and we grabbed their spot.

We still had enough time to catch the “Centered in the Universe” program ($7).  Their star projector is the most advanced in the world.  There was a bright blue sky outside, but inside the dome you were instantly transported to a dark evening.   The stars were so lifelike!  The show goes through the concepts of how the Universe was created; from past to the presently accepted theory.  

Take time to explore the grounds of the Observatory.  They offer the best view of the Hollywood sign and Downtown LA I’ve seen.   Inside, there are many free exhibits from items ranging from Tesla’s coil to the inner workings of a telescope.  

It wasn’t until after we left and read the brochure that we realized we missed a free show outlining the past, present and future of the Observatory in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater.   Next time we’ll be sure to allow more time to have lunch at the cafe and take in another show.     

Official Website:

Contact Info:
2800 East Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(213) 473-0800

34° 7’6.73″N


Griffith Observatory Los Angeles Skylinve
Griffith Observatory
Griffith Observatory Telescope