Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: The Getty Villa – 3/5 Stars

The Getty Villa
Botanical Gardens, Art Museums
17985 Pacific Coast Hwy
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

These turkeys really, really want you to DRIVE here.

No, this turkey is not driving. This turkey took the two-hour number 2 Sunset bus from Sunset and Western all the way over here, to Sunset and Pacific Coast Highway. Be sure you take the Sunset bus that says P.C.H. and not to U.C.L.A./Westwood. Be sleepy, as the bus ride is long but only costs $1.50. Also be sure to give yourself a lot of room to get here when you book your reservation and print out your ticket. I left at 1:30 p.m. for my 4 p.m. ticket.

Once I got there, I walked about 1/3 of a mile from the end of Sunset and Pacific Coast Highway to the pearly gates of The Getty Villa. Tip: Get your feet sandy, rather than run over. If walking to The Getty Villa from Sunset, be sure to walk along the beach and not along the east side of the highway. The sidewalk abruptly ends and becomes all Pacific Coast Highway with fast-moving cars, which is dangerous to navigate. Great city planning, LA. There are a lot of ruins in this region due to the mudslides. Be ready to traverse around jagged concrete slabs that jut towards the ocean and stop.

When you reach The Getty Villa, there is a restricted staircase and next to it, a long driveway with a security guard ready to check your ticket stub. If you didn’t drive, you have to cross the street three times to get across. You need to cross Pacific Coast Highway along the pedestrian walkway that yields to pedestrians once every 10 minutes. Then you have to cross the driveway after all of the cars that are forced to park in the Getty Villa cross it. Add another 5 minutes. You have to cross into an open gated area and an empty driveway and up the driveway to talk to the security guard. It takes a minute to figure out where you’re going. It states in the front entrance to be prepared to show a receipt of bus fare to ‘prove’ that you didn’t park along the coast.

It took about three minutes to convince the guard that I didn’t somehow park my car along the coast and avoid the $15 parking fee. He said he saw me coming from the southern side and it obviously appeared that I parked there. I said I didn’t. He said prove it. So I needed to somehow ‘prove’ that I didn’t drive to The Getty Villa. Since I didn’t even expect to have to get a receipt from my bus driver (I paid cash), I told him I used a TAP card and showed him that. He then asked about the bus I used and why I didn’t use some other bus that drops people off closer. (Sunset was more direct and I didn’t want to pay another $1.50 to transfer). I explained to him that I lived in Hollywood, showed him my ID and explained the proximity of Hollywood Blvd. to Sunset Blvd., hence taking the Sunset bus. He conceded, since he couldn’t really prove that I parked on the coast for free. Although there was a button to call a van to pick you up, the guard insisted that I wait and I don’t call it.

About ten minutes later, the van came. It took me up to the top. From there is another clusterfuck of weird navigation. You need to take an elevator to an empty hallway that leads to a stairwell that leads to the museum. After one hour of seeing ancient artifacts from civilizations that have been in existence for thousands of years and had time to make a lot of statues, plates and trinkets, I was satisfied and left. The docents are knowledgeable and can answer questions. I read on Wikipedia about one of their directors or trustees having some type of sketchy relationship with acquiring museum objects on the black market, but got caught and had to give back millions of dollars worth of stuff to the respective countries. Sadly, that bit of history about this museum interested me more than the work that was displayed here.

Okay heading back down SHOULD have been easier. But the van that picked us up and drove back down, instead of sensibly using the driveway to drop people off at the bottom, decided to take a long, meandering scenic route from an adjacent and empty private road to Sunset Blvd. This drive took about 15 minutes. They’ve got a ton of unused land surrounding this tiny museum and apparently it’s all made for driving to and from it. We basically passed my bus stop from Sunset Blvd. and then got stuck in traffic after turning right on Pacific Coast Highway. Sadly, I hope they realize that walking and alternative methods of transportation are slowly beginning to triumph car culture in Los Angeles.

All in all, a nice museum in a horrific psycho-geographical layout. It is definitely worth it, for a one time visit.

Useful:Funny:Cool: 3