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Here’s Susan in California doing what she loves best – visiting museums (and museum gift stores!) and hanging out with family.  REMINDER: Museums can be as fun – or more fun! – than theme parks. SERIOUSLY!!

Her visit starts with Ridge Route Communities Museum… a one-room journey into the past from Native Americans to Hollywood celebs in the rural enclave of Frazier Park, CA.  Reminder: When you visit these small museums, talk to the attendants, aka docents! They’re the best sources for local histories – fascinating and unexplored. They’re typically volunteers who do the job because they LOVE it!

Then there’s the amazing Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena with jaw-dropping art, including familiar names such as Picasso and Rembrandt – his self-portrait (below!) is a definite favorite! The grounds are just as amazing. Linger outside? Wander within? Good either way!

Also, on her must-visit list from the LA area – the Getty Museum. The best part is walking the grounds, which include a garden and voluptuous spaces loaded with art. A favorite for many is the European art of the 1200s-1700s.  Below: Susan posing in the Getty Courtyard. The PRICE: Free.

OH – and don’t forget the incredible Huntington Gardens, in San Marino, just outside LA. Even if you don’t like gardens, you’ll love this!! Individual vistas rich with plants – the cactus “garden” (it’s huge!) Susan’s favorite! PLUS – an indoor museum, should you be so inclined.  Botanical Gardens | The Huntington