Great views, art, architecture and gardens. Richard Meier's Getty Center offers all. The journey begins as you board the tram that takes you to 881 feet above sea level, where the Getty Center is perched on a hilltop in the Santa Monica Mountains. The architecture is striking and uplifting with its abundance of light, open spaces and modern lines that go so harmoniously with the landscape.
Trivia: Can you guess which blockbuster movie featured the Getty Center?
Hint: Actor Christopher Pine was in it.
I was particularly taken by the gardens. There's a central garden with a maze and a walkway that winds through visual and sound sculptures created by the interplay of plants, water, stones and light. It's hard to explain because it's just one of those things you have to experience. These gardens make you want to linger and reflect. While I may have liked a potted mini-cactus or two, I never thought I'd ever describe these pin cushions as stunning or gorgeous. Dennis McGlade's cactus garden in the south promontory proved me wrong. I was so captivated by these prickly greens that I was so disappointed you could only view them from a distance. Just as well. Apart from the fact that the south promontory's location is too precarious, these cuddly-looking balls of golden fuzz, aptly named teddy bear cholla, can break off with the slightest breeze and attack you with its army of needles.