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LA Suggestions?

Old Jul 11th, 2018, 09:25 AM
  #1  
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LA Suggestions?

Hi, all - we're taking a trip to Catalina and want to spend an extra couple of days in LA. Getting tickets to the Dodgers game for a night. What else would you recommend doing? Looking at going to the Getty - if you've been did you enjoy it? What about the Griffith Observatory - is that worth going to? Also have read about the tar pits - are those interesting? Any other suggestions? Also thought about doing some sort of Hollywood tour or tour of homes - would love any recommendation for those too, not sure if they're cheesy or not! Thanks for any guidance you can give me. We're open to other ideas too.
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Old Jul 11th, 2018, 10:05 AM
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I would take the time to wander around the downtown area, especially if you decide to stay there - around Pershing Square - the Biltmore, Angel's Flight, Central Market (and eat at Maccheroni Republic).

The tar pits are interesting if you're into that sort of thing (I am).

There's a classic car museum in walking distance of the tar pits that you might like. (Petersen Automotive Museum).

I like the drive out to the beach on Sunset Blvd.

We tried to go to the observatory last time we were there and could never find parking!

Rodeo Drive is a good drive-through or walk (all the highest end stores and celebrity shoppers, although I've never spotted a celebrity there ever).
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Old Jul 11th, 2018, 05:44 PM
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Thanks, sf, I appreciate the suggestions. I read that there are fires around the Observatory so that may be a no go since it's temporarily closed. We love the beach. Did not think about Rodeo Drive - would be fun to see it. How long would you spend at the tar pits to see everything?
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Old Jul 11th, 2018, 08:46 PM
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We really have enjoyed La Brea Tar Pits. I have been at least three times, maybe four. It is worth looking ahead online to see if the staff will be working at one of the pits while you are there. Pick a day or time based on that. Still an amazing place even if they aren't working.

We really liked the Huntington Library and Gardens, and I also liked the much smaller but excellent Norton Simon Museum (also in Pasadena).

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is notable as well--but my favorite part was the Asian art wing. I loved it that the building was built to remind one of tatami rooms. They also have great temporary exhibitions, a cafe and a plaza where there are sometimes activities or music groups. LACMA is relatively near La Brea Tar Pits.

A few other things on my list to see-- Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall and the new Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Both are downtown and are very striking, modern buildings I'd like to see in person.

Also, just as a suggestion, there are many California missions near Los Angeles, including several on the mainland right across from Catalina Island. San Juan Capistrano you've probably heard of. MaiTaiTom has been writing reports on them, you might check there.
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Old Jul 12th, 2018, 08:23 AM
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Thanks, 5alive, this is helpful. Can you see the tar pits and museum in a couple of hours?
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Old Jul 12th, 2018, 11:52 AM
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LACMA and the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum are adjacent on the same side of Wilshire Boulevard. The Peterson Automotive Museum is across the street from LACMA, and the Craft & Folk Art Museum is across the street from the Tar Pits. FYI, the Japanese Pavilion at LACMA mentioned by 5alive is currently closed for renovation.

Whether you could "see" LACMA and the Tar Pits in a couple of hours depends entirely on your level of interest in both. LACMA is the largest encyclopedic museum west of Chicago, so you could easily spend an entire day there if art is your thing. LACMA's exhibition space dwarfs the Getty Center's small galleries, but the Getty has the views and gardens. And, at times, horrendous lines just to enter the parking structure. If you get there and the line of cars stretches into the street, I'd abandon the plan. Getting into the lot is the first circle of hell, and finding an available parking space is the second circle of hell.

At LACMA, there is a lovely exhibit of portraits by David Hockney running until July 29th. And I always view the Metropolis II installation when I go to LACMA, but the times it is in motion have now been reduced so check the schedule.

Now On View | LACMA

Metropolis II | LACMA

Current Exhibitions and Installations | The Getty

In addition to the Huntington Library/Gardens and the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena (I second 5alive's recommendation), there is the Gamble House (not far from the NSM). The Gamble House isn't air conditioned, so if the temps are still crazy high, I'd skip it.

In addition to Disney Hall, mentioned by 5alive, I'd check out the exterior of the Broad Museum a block away. The cathedral, however, I absolutely detest. The interior is OK, fairly stark, but the outside looks like a prison IMO.

Also downtown are MOCA, the Central Market, Angel's Flight funicular, the Grammy Museum, Japanese American Museum and the Central Library (beautiful murals in several of the older reading rooms and an architecturally interesting addition to the original building). The Central Library is next door to the Hilton Checkers.

The Griffith Observatory will be open next week. Parking can be a problem, especially on summer weekends, so you should check the website for all options. Personally, I'd consider arriving by Lyft/Uber.
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Old Jul 12th, 2018, 12:05 PM
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Oh, if you have a car, I strongly second the Huntington Livrary and Gardens - I could spend hours and hours there (particularly in the gardens and library - the art museum isnít as compelling )
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Old Jul 12th, 2018, 12:54 PM
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I don't think you've mentioned when you're coming... I'd check the weather forecast before going to the Huntington. If the Library's current and permanent exhibits sound interesting to you, then go. But if it's super hot, the gardens just wouldn't be that enjoyable in the heat. Temps in San Marino/Pasadena in the past week have been over 100. Coming week will be 90+. In general, this area gets pretty hot in the summer.
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Old Jul 12th, 2018, 02:14 PM
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I just looked up the Huntington Library and Gardens - it looks amazing. Is that in LA though? It says San Marino. How far is it from LA? We would be going in late September.
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Old Jul 12th, 2018, 04:15 PM
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It's about 20 minutes' drive from DTLA. Returning in the afternoon could take 30 minutes.
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Old Jul 12th, 2018, 05:41 PM
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That's not bad at all. What about the Reagan Library - how far is that from DTLA? Is that worth seeing?
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Old Jul 12th, 2018, 07:05 PM
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That's far. About 50 miles, so easily an hour in each direction. I haven't been there and I've never been a Reagan fan since his days as governor, so I'm the worst judge on whether it's "worth it." There are always weirdly unrelated special exhibits -- currently Genghis Khan! But you should look at the website and decide for yourself.

I'd be much more interested in taking an L.A. Conservancy tour. Most are on weekends.

https://www.laconservancy.org/tours

One thing I have yet to do is visit the Marciano Art Foundation which opened about a year ago. The Marciano brothers started GUESS? Their collected art from the 1990s forward is housed in a converted Masonic temple on Wilshire Boulevard about 5 miles from DTLA. An Ai Weiwei installation will open Sept. 28th. Free admission but reserved tickets are highly recommended, esp. for weekends.

https://marcianoartfoundation.org/visit/
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Old Jul 12th, 2018, 07:56 PM
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I would love a conservancy tour; we're doing something similar on Catalina. I'll have to check the dates and see if they're available when we're going to be there. It looked like they have a great summer tour, but we aren't going until later in September. Would be great if we could do it.

Genghis Khan is something I wouldn't expect. I was kid when Reagan was president, so just think it would be interesting from a historical perspective, but not sure if we want to go that far. Thanks again for all the great suggestions.
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Old Jul 12th, 2018, 09:16 PM
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The Reagan Library is an interesting place and you would probably enjoy going there. It is in Simi Valley which is a ways out of downtown LA, but many people from Simi Valley work in LA so it is not an impossible drive. Just try to go after rush hour and you will be coming back against traffic for much of the way. The Nixon Library is also in the LA Area (Yorba Linda in Orange County) and is also about 50 miles from downtown LA. It is smaller than the Reagan Library but also very interesting and nice. By the way San Marino is next to Pasadena and is not that far from downtown LA. Everything in LA depends on the traffic.
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Old Jul 12th, 2018, 10:49 PM
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I loved the Reagan Library - been twice years apart and I'd go again. I've been to 6 presidential libraries and its the only one I've visited twice.

The Genghis Khan looks fascinating.
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Old Jul 12th, 2018, 11:09 PM
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I agree janisj!!
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Old Jul 13th, 2018, 03:12 AM
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I thought seeing Air Force One and the replica of the Oval Office sounded pretty cool too.
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Old Jul 13th, 2018, 09:56 AM
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Looks like Fodor's has a pretty nice suggestion list as well.

https://www.fodors.com/world/north-a...in-los-angeles
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Old Jul 13th, 2018, 10:42 AM
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I've been to the Getty Museum several times. I love it. I highly recommend eating at the restaurant (safer to make reservations). I've had lunch and dinner there and the food is excellent and the views are lovely. If you go. don't skip the gardens.

I also love, love the Huntington Library. There's a tea room there, make reservations, with the best afternoon tea!

Tea Room & Dining

I've also been to the Reagan Library. I took friends from the UK several years ago. At the time, there was a display of some of Nancy Reagans' outfits. Neither my friend nor I were Reagan fans, but we found it all very interesting. The location is fabulous.
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Old Jul 13th, 2018, 02:36 PM
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Thanks, Barbara, those all sound like things we would enjoy. How many hours would you plan to see each one, not exact, but just in general?
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