Updated January 25, 2017
Law Enforcement Hall of Fame
Chronicling the history of law enforcement in the SCV since the horse & buggy days of 1849 to present, close to 200 images now hang permanently in the SCV Sheriff's Station. Estelle Foley has invested 13 years to achieve this and can proudly state that this is the only Sheriff's Station in Los Angeles County that depicts its history.
Rancho Camulos Museum
While this museum is technically outside of the Santa Clarita Valley, it is the first homestead of the SCV. Just about 20 minutes west of Santa Clarita.
Saugus Train Station
24101 Newhall Avenue, Newhall
(Enter through Wm. S. Hart Park)
You've definitely turned back the clock when you step inside this authentic 1887 train station. In fact, be sure to check the walls for bullet holes, as cowboys shot up the station to greet incoming trains. Exhibits depicting local history are displayed in the baggage room. There's even a table at which Wild Bill was allegedly shot while playing cards. A gift shop, selling reproduction memorabilia, is also within the station. Admission is free.
Tesoro Adobe Museum
29350 Avenida Rancho Tesoro, Santa Clarita
Built in 1933, it was once home to famous film star Harry Carey and family (including celebrity son Harry Carey Jr.), this ranch home displays murals by scenic artist Les Grimes in many of the home's rooms. For more on this history and construction of the ranch, visit
Admission is free.
Wm. S. Hart Park Mansion
24151 Newhall Avenue, Newhall
Oil paintings, watercolors, ink drawings and bronze sculpture done by such notable artists as Charles Russell, Joe De Young, Charles Christadoro and Frederic Remington, fill this former home of the famous movie star. Along with these, the museum contains a myriad of authentic Native American artifacts along with many of the movie props from the 1920's that William S. Hart collected. Admission is free.
ANTELOPE VALLEY MUSEUMS
Antelope Valley Indian Museum
Opened in the 1940s as a museum,it is officially one of California's state parks. It contains a collection of prehistoric, historic, and contemporary artifacts from various geographic regions. Thousands of artifacts are stored here, including rare items. The collection includes pottery, baskets, food prep tools, hunting & fishing equipment, work tools, clothing, textiles, jewelry, paintings and Kachina Dolls. A gift shop is also on property.
The Aviation Museum of Santa Paula
800 E. Santa Maria Street #E, Santa Paula
Antique, classic and experimental aircraft are just the beginning at this museum and active airport, which focuses on general aviation and Santa Paula Airport's history. Limited hours. Special ground tours available by appointment.
LOS ANGELES AREA MUSEUMS
Los Angeles Convention & Visitor's Bureau
It's going to take us a while to get through all of the museums in the Los Angeles area, so follow the link above for a comprehensive list. Read on for our experiences.
The Getty Center, Los Angeles
When someone first suggested to me that I go see The Getty because it had great art, my first reaction was, "Yawn." But once having gone, it is now at the top of my list of places to take people visiting from out of state--because it is one of my favorite places!
Travertine from Bagni di Tivoli, Italy, both smooth and rough, covers The Getty's walls and walkways. You could spend hours searching for the fossils of leaves and shells in the tiles. Garden views are framed by travertine portals and the public is encouraged to enjoy the grassy areas and gardens. The Central Garden includes a reflecting pool with an azalea maze; the South Promontory is a Cactus Garden.
Wandering inside, natural daylight illuminates the paintings on the second floor. You'll find van Gogh's "Irises" in the West Pavilion on the Upper Level. But it's not all paintings: the South Pavilion (at Plaza Level) is full of decorative arts, including a 1700's Parisian bed almost too grand for a princess.
Kids will love riding the tram that transports visitors from the parking garage to the Center. "Art Detective" cards for kids are available outside the Family Room, located in the Museum Courtyard near the East Pavilion. Family Room offers the ability to learn about art together by creating it or hunting for treasures.
The Restaurant at The Getty Center
This has to be one of the most fabulous places to dine in Los Angeles, yet casual enough to take the kids. We were there for Sunday brunch, one of the most popular meals served at The Restaurant. (Tip: Arrive at 11:00 when service begins for the tables with the best views.) Every week the menu changes, but favorites such as Eggs Benedict can always be ordered. The fruits and veggies are from the local farmer's market. Our party of four was absolutely wowed by the quality, presentation, portion size and even the reasonable prices. The Restaurant alone is a great reason to visit The Getty.
Admission to The Getty is free; there is a parking fee. Reservations are recommended for The Restaurant.
The Getty Villa, Malibu
You are invited to visit one of the grandest estates in Malibu, the Getty Villa. Designed after a first century country house, Villa dei Papiri, it finally re-opened January 28, 2006 after being closed for nine years. The wait has been worth it, folks, as this should definitely be on your list of top spots to take your visitors!
Entering from the parking garage, you first view the Getty Villa from above--just as you would at an archeological dig site. (Notice the striations of the concrete, designed to appear as different levels of earth covering the Villa dei Papiri.) The Outdoor Classical theater, based on ancient prototypes, you descend through to enter the museum is the site of modern performances, inspired by ancient themes, in the summer. Start your visit with a 12-minute orientation film before setting off to explore the museum's antiquities of Greece, Rome, and Etruria. Bring your camera (but don't use the flash in the galleries!) because you'll want to take photos of the gorgeous Peristyles (gardens with pools).
Children will enjoy the Family Forum, where they can draw on vases, create rubbings, or put on a performance. They will also be drawn to the numerous fountains throughout the grounds. There's even kid-friendly food available in the fabulous cafe and at the coffee cart.
Please note: You may only enter The Getty Villa from the northbound, right-hand lane of PCH. Admission is free, but you must have an advance timed ticket to enter--so plan ahead. (You can get these through The Getty Villa's website.) There is a fee for parking. Each Villa ticket allows you to bring up to three children ages 15 and under with you in one car.
The Nethercutt Collection
This collection is magnificent, and should be seen by all! Contrary to the rumors I've heard for years, there is no dress code in force. Take the family and enjoy the day!
Anyone notice the similarity to "San Simeon" in the name? That's because behind those plain brown wrapper walls sits a re-creation of a glimmering automative salon from the 1920's and 30's. You really have to see this to believe it. In addition to the restored vintage automobiles, you'll see an amazing collection of automated musical instruments. These instruments are showcased in a 1970's circa grand room. The tour culminates with 5,000 pipes played by one of the largest Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organs in the world. Watch our
Calendar of Events
for special events at San Sylmar, including silent movies accompanied by the Wurlitzer and special concerts featuring the instruments of this collection.
Please note that children must be 12 years old to tour San Sylmar, but are welcome to tour the museums below. Tours are free, but reservations must be made in advance.
The Nethercutt Museum
The world's greatest antique, classic and special interest automobiles, including various Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance winners, are on display in this new 60,000 square foot showroom. The kids are welcome here, and they will love the bright red 1913 front drive Christie steam pumper fire truck. Admission to the museum is free and does not require reservation.
1912 Pullman Private Rail Car,"California"
Restored to stunning beauty, touring this railcar is a trip into the past of luxury travel. Ample elegant living and functional servant quarters are open for tours twice daily when the museum is open. All ages are welcome.