The Getty Center
Since L.A. lacks the piazzas and promenades of other major cities, the Getty Center is more than just a museum. Occupying an isolated, hillside perch, the giant multi-terraced art complex has become one of L.A.’s great urban spaces, where visitors can stroll and admire views over the city. Inside the billion-dollar, Richard Meier-designed creamy travertine museum is a collection of awesome breadth, displayed in galleries with generous natural lighting. From van Gogh’s Irises (purchased for an undisclosed price estimated to be well over $50 million) to a dazzling collection of French furniture from the reigns of Louis IV-XVI, there is one remarkable exhibit after another. If you have time, head over to the Getty’s Malibu location, the Getty Villa, which has a stunning collection of ancient Grecian, Roman, and Etrurian art, as well as a beautiful Roman-inspired garden.