By Jose Herrera
Signal Staff Writer
Most people assume Los Angeles is the city of stars with Hollywood and major television giants at the center with their studio tours or extravagant pop-up events they host.
Although that sentiment is not completely wrong, there are many destinations across the county that attract thousands of visitors and are fun experiences for families or friends visiting for the upcoming final holidays of the year.
COVID-19 Protocols in Place
Most places such as museums, theaters, bars, restaurants and other indoor spaces follow COVID-19 mandates per the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
The Public Health Department mandates museum visitors over the age of 2 must wear a face mask over nose and mouth when inside buildings.
Visitors and customers also need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to visiting museums.
If a person plans to visit any of these destinations, it’s important to remember there will be a mask mandate or a vaccination verification requirement that must be followed to fully enjoy the visit.
The Autry Museum of the American West brings together the stories of people of the American West and connects the past with the present to inspire future generations.
An exhibit, “Art of the West,” showcases the dynamic and evolving world of art of artists Thomas Moran, Frederic Remington, Georgia O’Keeffe, and more from three themes – religion and ritual, land and landscape, and migration and movement.
“Museum visitors of all ages would enjoy roaming through galleries where they can learn more about the varied stories of the American West,” said Keisha Raines, communications and digital marketing manager for the museum.
The Autry is located at 4700 Western Heritage Way, near the L.A. Zoo, and it is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets can be prepurchased online at theautry.org/visit.
The Petersen Automotive Museum offers a rich collection of vehicles from throughout history. Visitors can get a close-up experience of some of the most famous and most known modern supercars, American classics, award-winning hot rods and more.
“Bond in Motion: Official Collection of Original James Bond Vehicles” is on display at the Petersen and it is the first official exhibit to feature original vehicles from the James Bond film franchise.
“The Peterson is essentially located in the middle of Los Angeles and we have 400 vehicles on display between our three public floors and the vault,” said Michael Bodell, chief operation officer for the museum. “We opened our newest exhibit, ‘Hypercars,’ and that’s 15 of the newest, fastest, and most luxurious vehicles ever created from around the world – including Bugatti, McLaren and Ferrari.”
There’s also a Pixar Discovery Center open for children of all ages.
“It’s good to see that people are back in the museum,” Bodell said. “Attendance is up right now and we hope that it maintains that upward trajectory.”
The Petersen is located at 6060 Wilshire Blvd. and it is open from all week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets can be prepurchased online at petersen.org/tickets or at the admissions desk before 4:30 p.m.
The Getty Center and Getty Villa
The Getty Center and Getty Villa Museum are picturesque locations. The center focuses on scenic art and architecture while the villa showcases roman and Greek antiquities.
“Watteau at Work: La Surprise” is a selection of works from Jean Antoine Watteau that depicts graceful scenes of courtship, music and dance, strolling lovers and theatrical characters during the 18th century, according to the Getty Center.
At the villa, the “Rubens: Picturing Antiquity” exhibition is on display through Jan. 24. The exhibit features the work of Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), which depicts heroic nudes, fierce hunts, military processions and more.
The Getty Center and Getty Villa are located at 1200 Getty Center Drive and 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, respectively. The center is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., but closed on Mondays. The villa is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but closed on Tuesdays.
Admission is free; however, each place requires a timed-entry reservation. New entry times are released daily. For information, visit getty.edu.
Beaches and Parks
Los Angeles has busy beaches with stunning sunsets, even in the fall when temperatures still reach highs into the 80s or 90s.
Santa Monica Beach is home to the Pacific Park amusement park on its pier and next to it is Muscle Beach, an outdoor gym established in the 1930s. If a visitor is not too fond of the beach, there’s much to do in the surrounding area.
Huntington Beach is another option that is more family-friendly because visitors are able to do a myriad of activities such as surfing, hiking, biking, whale watching, beach bonfires and more. Near the beach is the Huntington Beach Art Center and the Huntington Central Park, which are available to visitors looking for a quiet time.
There’s also a place for tranquility inland: At the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden in Arcadia, visitors can walk throughout the many gardens and take photos of the flora and fauna. Visitors can also purchase tickets for the Lightscape event – a night of wonder and light at the Arboretum.
For Arboretum ticket information, visit arboretum.org.
Exploring L.A. County
Los Angeles County is one of the nation’s largest counties with 4,084 square miles and nearly 10 million residents. There are many places to go eat, drink and have a good time. For information on more events or destinations, visit lacounty.gov/things-to-do/ or discoverlosangeles.com/events.