Two of LA’s best “cultural” sites are The Getty Villa and Nobu Malibu. In between the two sites you also have the opportunity to drive one of the best stretches of Pacific Coast Highway, which many people drive as a day trip unto itself. Set aside about 5 to 6 hours for time at the Villa, driving along Pacific Coast Highway and for drinks or dinner at Nobu and head to The Getty Villa followed by a cocktails/sushi and people-watching at Nobu Malibu.
The Getty Villa:
At The Getty Villa, you will see a magnificent recreation of an ancient Roman Country House and approximately 44,000 Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities dating from 6,500 BC to 400 AD. I also recommend spending time in the outdoor garden, which has several benches underneath grapevines in the shade where you can look up and see the above:
While entrance to the Villa is free, parking is $15 dollars or $10 for evening programs. Before heading to the Villa randomly, you need to make parking reservations. Click here for information on reservations for parking.
The image below is the view from inside of the bar at Nobu, and, which sits on top of the Pacific Ocean. If available and weather-permitting (though in Southern California, that is about 95% of the time), try to enjoy your drink outside of the bar on top of the Pacific. While at Nobu Malibu you are almost guaranteed to see an “A” or “B” list celebrity drinking in the bar. If you want one of the best martinis in Los Angeles, order your favorite from the bartenders. Nobu is well-known for its Lychee Martini, which is refreshing and almost too easy to drink. All of the bartenders are very nice and professional as well.
Food and drinks at Nobu are pricey, but the views and the people watching are worth the top dollar you will be dishing. Parking is valet and is pricey as well at about $10 with tip. Try to get one of the few seats at the bar or outside over the water or make reservations for dining at least a week in advance. Click here for information and pics of the restaurant and the views.
How to get to The Getty Villa and Nobu: although you will be walking at the Getty Villa, this is not a Public-Transit-Friendly day trip, so a car is needed to truly enjoy this day trip. Both the Getty Villa and Nobu Malibu are just off of Pacific Coast Highway. You should drive at a leisurely pace and preferably under sunlight to enjoy the beautiful views. The Getty Villa is at 17985 Pacific Coast Hwy, and Nobu Mailbu is at 22706 Pacific Coast Highway. Depending on where you are coming from, the easiest and best way is to take the 10 Freeway West until it ends on PCH and head north. The turnoff for the Villa is about one mile north of Sunset Boulevard, and Nobu Mailbu is about 8 miles north (15 minute drive w/o traffic) of the Villa and is on the west side of PCH (i.e., the Pacific Ocean side).
Day Trip Into A Weekend Trip:
Expand this Getty Villa & Nobu Malibu Day Trip into a full weekend trip by continuing north on Pacific Coast Highway to enjoy all that Santa Barbara and its surrounding areas has to offer. Check out the Santa Barbara Day Trip for an overnight suggestion and a suggested itinerary.
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