Cultural things to do in Los Angeles
With a huge number of museums, showstopper institutions like REDCAT, and internationally recognised live music venues, it’s not hard to see why LA continues to draw the artistically minded to its sunny shores. With this two-day itinerary, culture vultures will quickly discover that the city of Los Angeles is more than just a glittering beacon for the stars of stage and screen.
To get to the first stop of the day, take a taxi from the hotel for the 30-minute journey to Hollyhock House.
Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Art Park was Frank Lloyd Wright’s first project in Los Angeles, designed for heiress Aline Barnsdall. Envisioned as the centrepiece of an arts complex, the estate came to represent the style Wright dubbed, “California Romanza” after the musical style denoting freedom. Today, visitors can explore the house and gardens and enjoy striking views of the Hollywood Hills.
Then, take a 20-minute taxi ride to The Norton Simon Museum.
Norton Simon Museum
This museum collection – widely agreed to be one of the more outstanding private art collections in the world – spans over 2,500 years and encompasses around 12,000 objects. See notable works by Van Gogh, Degas, Renoir, a wealth of Southeast Asian artists, as well as attending talks and film screenings and visiting the beautiful Sculpture Garden.
The next stop of the day, The Broad, is a 20-minute taxi ride from the museum.
Opened to the public in 2015, The Broad (named after philanthropists and art collectors Eli and Edythe Broad) is a relative newcomer to LA’s contemporary art scene. The striking, modern building, which is itself a work of art, features two floors of exhibition space. Explore a 2,000-piece strong collection with works from art world heavy-hitters like Andy Warhol and Cindy Sherman, as well as contributions from emerging artists.
REDCAT is a one-minute walk around the corner from The Broad.
The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, a multidisciplinary contemporary arts centre in downtown LA, is more commonly known by its playful moniker, REDCAT. Considered by many to represent the zenith of avant-garde art in LA, REDCAT offers a programme of exhibitions, performances, film screenings and literary events showcasing the work of international and local artists.
Then, walk for one minute to the Walt Disney Concert Hall next door.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
16 years in the making, the iconic Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall is internationally recognised as one of the leading live music venues in Los Angeles thanks to its superlative acoustics. The seat of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Concert Hall also hosts performances from international artists and orchestras across a wide range of musical genres.
A 45-minute taxi ride will bring you back to the hotel.
Start your second cultural day with a visit to The Getty Villa, just 30 minutes from the hotel by car.
The Getty Villa
Designed to look like a country house from antiquity, complete with Roman-inspired gardens, The Getty Villa (part of the world-renowned Getty Trust) is home to a collection of more than 44,000 works of ancient art and artefacts. Spread across 23 galleries, the pieces on display represent over 7,000 years of human history, with some objects dating back as far as 6,500 B.C.E.
Then, take a 25-minute drive to the Hammer Museum.
Famed for its progressive, fearless attitude towards contemporary art and wide-ranging cultural programme, this art museum and cultural centre has been a pioneering institution in LA since first opening its doors in 1990. In addition to the world-class exhibitions, visitors can also enjoy special events ranging from lectures and readings to musical performances and film screenings.
From the museum, the Annenberg Space for Photography is 10 minutes away by car.
Annenberg Space for Photography
For those who are passionate about photography, there are few better destinations in Los Angeles than this museum, the first dedicated to photography in the Los Angeles area. The institution exhibits both digital and print photography, placing equal focus on established names and up-and-coming artists, and features accompanying documentary films, workshops, discussion panels and other events.
Next, take a 20-minute taxi ride to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
The largest art museum in the west of the country, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) showcases a vast range of objects spanning 6,000 years and the globe. From ancient Egyptian artefacts to works by contemporary LA-based artists, LACMA has over 135,000 pieces in its permanent collection. The museum and research facility attracts more than a million visitors each year.
The final stop of the day is the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, 10 minutes by car from LACMA.
MAK Center for Art and Architecture
Headquartered in LA cultural landmark Schindler House, the experimental MAK Center seeks to explore the intersection between architectural spaces and visual art, and reimagines conventional relationships between the arts. Through an exciting programme of exhibitions, lectures, performances, tours and more, the institution challenges visitors to think differently about the space they occupy.
The hotel is then 15 minutes away by car.
All journey times are approximate and subject to variation.