Santa Monica is exceptionally well-served by the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus company; former mayor Pam O'Connor didn't even own a car! Outside of Santa Monica, though, West L.A. is not exactly a transit user's mecca. If you live here without a vehicle, you're going to do lots of waiting and walking ... which accounts for the some of the region's notorious traffic problems.
- Getty Museum
- Yes, you can take transit here! Your pocketbook will thank you; a space in the parking lot costs $15, but if you take the MTA 761, you'll get in for free. Some of the museum's attractions are a bit grown-up for the typical child, but Child won't mind: there's a special Kids' Room, for the putting-on of costumes, plus storytelling in the courtyard and some of the most spectacular views to be had in the city.
- Getty Villa
J. Paul Getty modeled this oceanfront museum after the ancient Roman Villa of the Papyri, consumed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. If you're after an unsurpassable ancient history field trip and are reasonably close to the route of the roughly-every-half-hour MTA 534, you can regard this trip as do-able: the 534 stops next to the Villa. Otherwise ...
- Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
- It may be small next to the Aquarium of the Pacific, but boy, did its designers know how to pack value in available space. We visited several times in our early years, and had trouble dragging the kids away. Location is an added attraction: it's on the waterfront, which means the kids can get in some beach frolic time afterward.
- Skirball Center
- Ride the 761 one stop north of the Getty Museum and you can visit the Skirball, which introduces four thousand years of Jewish culture and history to visitors of all age ranges. The Skirball offers a complete line-up of school tours for grades K through 12, and includes a special gallery just for kids: Noah's Ark.
Page 11: Beyond the city