Interesting things happen when the lights go down around LA’s beloved Getty Center. On Saturdays, the Getty stays open until 9 p.m., and parking—usually $15—is free after 5:00 p.m. Get there early and tour the impressive collection. The newest exhibition, In Focus: The Sky
, explores photographic representations of the drama of the heavens. Or try your artistic hand in the Sketching Gallery
, where beginners and pros alike can freely use studio materials to draw from works of art. When the shadows get long, grab a glass of wine from the Garden Terrace Café
and head to the promontory just east of the South Pavilion. Its panoramic views make it the ideal spot to watch the sun’s last rays set a fiery glow on the windows of the city’s skyscrapers. But the ultimate showstopper comes with night’s arrival, when soft lights imbue the grounds with a luminescence like that of a full moon. Wander by the murmuring fountains or stroll through the sweet-smelling Central Garden, where white lights illuminate a pool full of floating azaleas. Saturday night masterpiece.
BONUS: The Garden Terrace Café has good options for lighter-fare food. For full-service dining, try The Restaurant, where floor-to-ceiling windows showcase the Santa Monica Mountains.
The Getty Center is located at 1200 Getty Center Dr., 12 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Directions here. Open Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m; Tuesday–Friday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; closed Monday. Admission is free. Parking is $15 but is free on Saturdays after 5:00 p.m. No dogs.