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.
Mission San Antonio de Pala Asistencia was founded on June 13th 1816 as an assistant to nearby Mission San Luis Rey de Francia. It currently resides on the Pala Indian Reservation making it the only mission still serving a tribe and only assistant mission that survives. The campanario or bell tower is the only freestanding one in the California Mission System. It served as notification of meals, work and religious services.
The Whaley House is an historic home and museum located in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. It holds the title for most haunted house in America. Built in 1857, this landmark is the oldest brick building in Southern California. The house has had many uses from store, courthouse, school and theater to the home of San Diego Pioneer Thomas Whaley. In its heyday, it was the most beautiful house in San Diego.
The San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT) is one of Balboa Park's great treasures. Founded in 1874, it is one of the oldest scientific institutions in the west and the oldest in Southern California. TheNAT has a great selection of exhibits including dinosaurs, fossils and skulls but the new Coast to Cactus exhibit is a reason to visit in itself.
Coast to Cactus showcases the astonishing diversity of Southern California from its beaches, canyons, mountains and deserts. This variety of terrain is known as a biodiversity hotspot because of its high concentration of species. It is one of only 35 in the world. This interactive exhibit reveals the great beauty of what makes SoCal so special!
The RMS Queen Mary is a retired ocean liner docked in the Port of Long Beach. It sailed the Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967. Luxury & Opulence is the key to this Art Deco Dream. Queen Mary was the last great ocean liner built during the golden age of world travel. Elizabeth Taylor, Lucille Ball, Gloria Swanson & Fred Astaire among many other silver screen stars called this sailing palace home while on voyage to Europe.
During WWII, it was nicknamed the 'Grey Ghost' and transported 765,429 Military Personnel. It became the worlds largest and fastest troopship. Winston Churchill even considered it his headquarters at sea. In 1947, passenger service resumed. Modern amenities such as air conditioning were added but this would not prove to be enough as jet planes began to change the industry.
Queen Mary opened as a tourist attraction in 1971 and continues to delight today with a hotel, museum and restaurants. The ship in full can be explored at your leisure. It is even on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of the Historic Hotels of America. One visit to Queen Mary will have you longing for more. Are you ready to set sail?