Not Your Typical L.A. Things To Do Ideas

Old Mar 24th, 2019, 04:26 PM
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Not Your Typical L.A. Things To Do Ideas

The end of September/beginning of October I will be visiting my daughter in the L.A. area - and I just realized that I will need to entertain myself while she is at work all day! Also, I do not plan on renting a car and driving in city traffic.
However, I lived in Los Angeles in the late 1970's and visited again in the early '80's. I have seen Venice Beach, the Santa Monica Pier, Rodeo Dr, Hollywood, La Brae Tar Pits, the Wax Museum, all the touristy stuff, and I am not the least bit interested in celebs. I am not a shopper per se.
So, what does that leave me? I am in my mid 60's, love history, food, gardens, nature. Not very sporty. Somewhat on a budget and not afraid of mass transit.
I plan to check on Habitat for Humanity's site closer to the date to see if they have a project going to help with as I am pretty good with a carpentry and other such skills.
Any input appreciated!
SueBSouth is offline  
Old Mar 24th, 2019, 05:06 PM
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Where will you be staying in L.A.?

Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino. Nice art museum in a former mansion, but IMO the gardens are the stars. You can get fairly close to the Huntington on the light rail train (Gold Line) and then Lyft/Uber the last bit.

Gamble House (a classic Craftsman) and Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. Both are closer to the Gold Line.

Getty Center in West L.A. Reachable by bus. Even if you're not very interested in art and antiquities, the gardens are excellent. It would be much more of a trek to the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, but you can get there by bus. Look at the website to see if it appeals to you.

The Getty

The Colburn School of music in downtown L.A. offers free concerts, some mid-week and many/most are free. If you planned a day in DTLA, you could also visit the Broad Museum, MOCA, Grammy Museum and/or the museums near USC.

Robinson Gardens in Beverly Hills. Closed the entire month of May and only limited dates in other months. You must be in a tour (includes the house), and tours will fill up fast when dates are announced. If you are willing to jump through these hoops, the gardens are gorgeous.
Jean is offline  
Old Mar 24th, 2019, 05:10 PM
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Jean - thank you! Perfect! Just the kind of stuff I would enjoy!
I don't even know as yet where I will be staying (long story involving relocation from another state) but, like I said, I am not opposed to bus and mass transit rides. Part of the experience, yes?
And I do love ART I forgot to mention that. And museums. I will have to research if L.A. has a museum pass deal.
Thanks so much!
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Old Mar 24th, 2019, 05:31 PM
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I don't know how you would get there on public transportation, but the Bradbury building is well worth a look.
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Old Mar 24th, 2019, 05:42 PM
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I was about to suggest all the gardens Jean has listed, including the Robinson Gardens. I have a particular interest in personal gardens, those not designed by a committee, if you know what I mean. Though I love the Huntington Gardens, a rare exception to the committee theory. If you had a car I'd send you to Lotusland near Santa Barbara but probably difficult without.
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Old Mar 24th, 2019, 07:27 PM
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L.A. County Museum of Art is free the 2nd Tuesday of the month.

California Science Center is free and fun and easily accessed via metro rail. National History Museum next door is $10 for seniors.

Most of the Laemmle Theatres (Santa monica, North Hollywood, Glendale, Pasadena and Beverly Hills) are $6 for seniors mon-Fri for shows before 6pm.

Annenberg Space for Photography is always free

Note that late Sept/ early Oct can be the hottest time of the year in SoCal, shorts and tank tops
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Old Mar 24th, 2019, 11:19 PM
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The Bradbury Building (mentioned by Orlando_Vic) isn't far from the Colburn School. Nearby Grand Central Market is a fun option for lunch.

Another freebie in DTLA is the beautiful Central Library and the adjacent Maguire Garden.

Jean is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2019, 07:44 AM
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Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino. Nice art museum in a former mansion, but IMO the gardens are the stars.
For a history buff, the library at the Huntington Library and Gardens is fabulous, as are the gardens. The art museum is good, not fantastic, although they do have Gainsborough's Blue Boy.
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Old Mar 25th, 2019, 08:04 AM
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I'd echo the bit about it being a (typically) hot time of year. For that reason I'd probably try to stay somewhere near the beach, probably Santa Monica if you can find something affordable. SM would also position you well for trips into museum country. With any luck the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will be open by then -

If you haven't already, I'd be sure to include some time in El Pueblo in downtown LA - Olvera Street, Union Station, etc. - which IMO is fab. Visit the Griffith Park planetarium, the old Farmers Market, go to movies at the Chinese and/or Egyptian theaters, catch a bus (or buses) down to Manhattan and Hermosa Beaches and watch the surfers and walk along the Strand while you decide which bank to rob so you can buy one of those houses...
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Old Mar 25th, 2019, 08:11 AM
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The coolest museum that nobody seems to know about ... the Nethercutt Collection (about a half hour from L.A.). One of the most fascinating museums I have ever visited ... anywhere! (about a half hour north of downtown)
I love the Huntington Library and Gardens as well. You will not be able to see Blue Boy, however, since it is undergoing a year-long restoration. Not to worry ... the gardens, two art galleries and library will keep you plenty busy. We are members and go often.
Enjoyed the Getty Villa (just visited about a month ago).
I have written reports on there and other places (links below with photos). Check out some other spots in California Dreaming. Central Library is included (free)
maitaitom is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2019, 09:13 AM
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Another vote for the Huntington Garden and Library, the Simon Norton Museum and the Gamble House. We spent a few days in Pasadena last year and really enjoyed all of them. The Greene & Greene exhibit at the Huntington is helpful in showing more of the work of the architects of the Gamble House.
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Old Mar 25th, 2019, 09:43 AM
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Great suggestions so far. Other possibilities:

Japanese American National Museum
The Broad (modern art museum — request tickets ahead online)
Museum of Contemporary Art (on Grand, and across the street from the Broad)
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
Grand Central Market
Walt Disney Concert Hall tour (self guided, check as times are limited)
Grammy Museum

-Near USC and California Science Center
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (not the same as the La Brea Tar Pits Museum)
California African American Museum

-Near UCLA
Hammer Museum (art museum)

Hollyhock House (Frank Lloyd Wright built home)
Hollywood Museum

You can also tour studios such as Paramount and Warner Bros.
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Old Mar 25th, 2019, 02:45 PM
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September is usually our hottest month so I would try and stay near the beach. If you cannot afford Santa Monica maybe try the Sea View Inn in Manhattan Beach although it would be tough without a car, probably have to use Uber or Lyft.
I love the Getty Villa and not mentioned is the Petersen Automotive Museum, I love it and am also female, some of those cars are real works of art themselves. It is real close to LACMA.
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Old Mar 25th, 2019, 02:54 PM
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I'd recommend staying Downtown since there is so much to see there, plus it's a transportation hub. Bachslunch has a great list. I would not stay out by the coast unless you intend to restrict your sightseeing to sitting on the beach. Traffic is just too ridiculous, you'll be isolated.

September can be Santa Ana weather but it's a dry heat. October should be very nice.

I've been to the Nethercutt but without a car, you probably won't be able to go there.
mlgb is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2019, 03:35 PM
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Two other "garden" ideas.

Descanso Gardens in La Caņada

Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia
maitaitom is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2019, 04:12 PM
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FYI, admission to the Hammer Museum near UCLA is free. Being located on Wilshire Blvd. makes it pretty easy to reach using public transportation.

Descanso is wonderful but isn't easy to reach from most of L.A. using only public transportation.
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Old Mar 25th, 2019, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by maitaitom View Post
Two other "garden" ideas.

Descanso Gardens in La Caņada

Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia
Oh, my, seeing the name ARCADIA reminded me that I have cousins in the area to seek out too!
So, on where to stay, that will be with my daughter, wherever she lands in the area- thus, my very broad, non specific no boundaries area to roam-it's an unknown!
And, as to the heat, I will be coming from the heat of Sedona, but also, I am a Floridian. That dry California heat will be no problem for me. I get chilly when it dips near 70 degrees!!*
Thanks to all! This is great information. Plus, I will be passing this on to my daughter, so that she can explore her new home when she has the chance and see the non-touristy stuff.*
It looks like a good thing for me to do is to purchase a TAP Pass to get around for the week (I see it even gives one a discount at the Getty Villa gift shop, awesome!)*
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Old Mar 26th, 2019, 09:21 AM
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If you decide to trek to Westwood for the Hammer, I'd add in the Fowler on the UCLA campus. There's also the Murphy sculpture garden and Powell Library which has been restored. Sometimes there are exhibits at what's now called the Broad Art Center.

There's also a small Botanic Garden at UCLA .

Nearby off the beaten path is Westwood Village Memorial Park which has Marilyn Monroe's Grave.

Speaking of cemeterys if you haven't been to Hollywood Forever, that's another interesting one

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Old Mar 26th, 2019, 03:21 PM
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The Museum of Jurassic Technology: The Museum of Jurassic Technology
Michael is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2019, 12:06 PM
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Agree with mlgb about Hollywood Forever ... here is my report. They do a fun tour (yes, fun).

Another cool cemetery is Forest Lawn Glendale (see below). Check out the stained-glass version of The Last Supper. It's not always open to see that area, but the grounds are beautiful, too.

I've yet to go to see Marilyn. Thanks for the reminder.

Would you believe ... you can see Get Smart's Don Adams' grave at Hollywood Forever.

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