The Los Angeles Central Library was built in 1926 in the Art Deco architectural style with Mediterranean Revival and Egyptian influences. The crown jewel is the rotunda with its 4 massive murals, each 40 feet wide, created by artist Dean Cornwell. Each one depicts an important piece of California history: the Era of Discovery, the Building of the Missions, Founding of the Pueblo of Los Angeles and the Americanization of California.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens has been a World Famous California Landmark since 1919. Railroad and real estate tycoon Henry E. Huntington loved art, books and gardens so created The Huntington to house his collection. British, French and American Art of the 18th, 19th & 20th Centuries stand alongside an extensive library with more than 6 million rare books and manuscripts. Highlights to the 120 acres of gorgeous landscaped gardens include the Cactus Garden, Rose Garden and Palm Garden.
Bottle Tree Ranch is a famous stop along California's Route 66. These stunning bottle trees were constructed by Elmer Long using found objects collected with his Dad over the years. Upon arranging bottles onto poles, Elmer noticed the mirage of colors projected by the sun shining through so created 200 more. Visit at sunset when the colors and shadows are their most vibrant.
The Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Art Museum is a sculptural museum in Joshua Tree. Noah Purifoy was an artist born in Alabama but spent most of his working life in California. He was the first African American to attend the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and graduated with a BFA in 1956. He used debris and found objects from the desert to sculpt over 100 mesmerizing art installations created during his final years from 1989 to 2004.
Built on the edge of the Santa Monica Mountains, The Getty Center is a grand collection of art, architecture and gardens overlooking the Los Angeles Metropolis. It opened in 1997 at a cost of $1.3 billion dollars and was designed by famed architect Richard Meier. More than 1.3 million visitors come each year to enjoy famed European paintings, sculptures, photography and skyline views.
The fabulous and quirky Madonna Inn is an iconic landmark on the Central Coast. Created by Alex & Phyllis Madonna in 1958, each room and suite features a new look and experience. Whimsical names like Safari Room, Cloud Nine and Irish Hills give an idea of what awaits the traveler. The lobby and restaurant continue to showcase the eccentric feel with its famous pink interior.
"Anybody can build one room and a thousand like it. It's more economical. Most places try to give you as little as possible. I try to give people a decent place to stay where they receive more than they are entitled to for what they're paying. I want people to come in with a smile and leave with a smile. It's fun." - Alex Madonna
Mission Santa Barbara is nicknamed the 'Queen of the Missions' because of its graceful, yet grand exterior. Founded on December 4th, 1786, the feast day of Saint Barbara, it is the 10th of the 21 Missions. The current Mission was completed in 1820 after an earthquake destroyed most of the original in 1812 and the interior remains almost completely unchanged. Each May, the I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival showcases beautiful chalk paintings by 150 artists.
Galleta Meadows is a public art installation around the city of Borrego Springs. The metal sculptures are created by Mexican artist Ricardo Breceda and were envisioned by land owner Dennis Avery. He wanted free art for the world to enjoy in this gorgeous desert environment. More than 130 sculptures bring to life creatures that once roamed the Colorado desert from camels, sloths, raptors and elephants. The treasure hunt to find them makes it all the more fun.
Desert Christ Park features brilliant sculptures depicting the life of Jesus Christ in the Mojave Desert. They were sculpted by Antone Martin in the 1940's as a way to promote World Peace. Dedicated on Easter Sunday in 1951 and featured in LIFE Magazine that same year, the park is open to all visitors everyday from sunrise to sunset.
The Mission Inn is the grandest hotel in the west. Located in Riverside, once the richest city in the United States due to California's 2nd Gold Rush the Citrus Industry, Frank Miller envisioned the Inn so guests would have a luxurious place to stay while visiting. Mission-Revival is the architectural style and is the largest building of its type in the country.
Modeled after California's 21 Spanish Missions, the Inn contains more than 200 rooms that surround garden terraces, art galleries, decorated balconies, sculptures, ballrooms and one of the grandest staircases in the world. Celebrities and presidents have stayed and wed here including Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew Carnegie, Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, John Muir, Amelia Earhart, Ginger Rogers, Clark Gable, Barbra Streisand and Miss Piggy among many many more.
Today, the Mission Inn is a living museum that screams luxury and opulence. Ranked the best in the country year after year, the Annual Festival of Lights Christmas Celebration draws thousand of visitors each season. Whether touring the grounds or staying the night, the Inn will continue to delight.