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Getty Villa, Malibu

I'm trying to find reasonable accommodations near the Getty Villa in Malibu -- ideally, $150 or less. I don't want a room in a house through AirB&B, so it needs to be a motel/hotel.

Oxnard has much better prices than Santa Monica. Can anyone in the area give me an idea of how bad traffic would be from Oxnard to the Getty Villa around 9 AM on a weekday? Any concerns about safety in Oxnard?

Or if you can recommend another city in which to stay, I'd welcome suggestions. Thanks

Posted by
5287 posts

Sherry, we went to the Getty Villa from a hotel base in Culver City (Super 8) -- has a pool and breakfast bar. (Next town inland from Santa Monica) We use this motel to visit family every fall. About the same distance (25 mi) as from Oxnard.
Do you already have your Villa reservation ? Great museum !! I believe you have to be going north on Highway 1 to make the turn into the entrance.

Posted by
1994 posts

Thanks for the Culver City suggestion!! That's exactly the type of information I needed. And it would provide the benefit of driving in the opposite direction from morning commuters.

Posted by
4684 posts

You may be slightly overthinking this. LA traffic is unbearable, and unpredictable, every day of the year. As you said, among the few strategic decisions you could make would be to travel opposite rush hour.

However, I considered, on my similar trip, The Getty Villa, to be "on the way to LAX". So I think I chose 10 or 11AM for my Villa ticket, and continued to the airport in the afternoon.

I was glad to see the Villa, but the original Getty Museum has a much larger and more important art collection and grounds. In the end, you're looking at an interesting reproduction, not a /real/ Roman Villa (the collection of objects in the display cases indoors, aside.) It would be a shame if you chose your hotel purely for seeing the Getty Villa. For example, although it is "far" (from a freeway traffic point of view!) away, I also went to see the Norton Simon Museum and the Huntington Library and Gardens, both in Pasadena. Unless you have a degree in Archaeology, either of those two museums is much more important and rewarding than the Getty Villa. I also went to LACMA after arriving at LAX on the way in. Unbelievably, I got a two-hour spot on the street, which I went "back to" once during my museum visit. I think I stayed in or near Calabasas, in a low-end Hilton-derived property.

Posted by
1994 posts

Tim, thanks. This trip is specifically to see the Byzantine art exhibit at the Getty Villa. I've been to Getty Center number of times, and although I'm skipping it on this trip, I agree with your assessment.

The other two collections I've targeted are the two you mentioned: the Norton Simon and the Huntington. I've been to both before and plan to stay in Pasadena. If you have a lodging recommendation near them, I'd welcome any suggestions.

Posted by
3304 posts

I live in the LA area and can make a few recommendations here...
I wouldn't try to get to the villa from anywhere to the north of it...everyone throughout the Malibu area is trying to get down PCH (two lanes) to the LA area in the morning and traffic is truly horrendous. True, Oxnard is cheaper than Santa Monica but it will take you AT LEAST an hour or more to get down to the villa - with traffic it could be much longer. There really isn't much in Oxnard to see or do. On the bright side the drive south along PCH is gorgeous!
If you don't want to stay in Santa Monica, then another thought would be to stay in Woodland Hills and drive through Topanga Canyon to get to Malibu? It's a little unconventional but you would avoid some of the traffic along PCH and it's an interesting drive through the hills - lots of "famous" people like to live here because it's tucked away and private. Lots of little artsy places to stop along the way. Reading your other post in this thread, which says you also want to go to Pasadena, this might be a great option - from Woodland Hills to Pasadena completely skirts some of the worst LA just go east on the 101 freeway through the valley and then take the 134 straight to Pasadena. If you avoid rush hour the traffic should be fine.
One more place to try would be Marina Del Rey just south of Santa Monica. This is also a nice area and you would be going north on PCH to get to the villa, going in the opposite direction of most traffic. Hotel prices there might be a little better as well.

Posted by
10241 posts

The Cafe at the Getty Villa was good and affordable.
And the Audio Guide is excellent.