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High above the summer smog of LA (or at least it seems to be), is the stone and garden behemoth that is the Getty Center. The tram ride up is a young boy's dream, of course. I love that for just a few short minutes, you feel as though you're leaving the city behind. Once off the tram, you're bathed in light from over 100,000 square feet of Italian travertine. The sight of it always me think how many men it took to quarry it and how many legions of ships it must have taken to get it all here. 

And while the art there can certainly be worth the trip, what is most captivating are the grounds. The grounds and the views. On a clear day (which this was not) you can see 20 miles in any direction, and be reminded yet again just how outstretched Los Angeles is. There are maple trees with leaves as big as dinner plates, sculptures of bougainvillea, sprawling lawns filled with nappers, cloud watchers, picnickers, and parents like me chasing after toddlers. There's even a half decent cafeteria for hungry folks.

During the summer it stays open until 9. A most perfect place to catch a sunset, I imagine.