Things to Do in Westwood

March 9, 2023

things to do in westwood

Westwood is a neighborhood in West Los Angeles, and it’s home to a wide range of cultural attractions. Whether you’re a local or visiting for the first time, there’s always something fun to do!

For starters, you can take a walk through the UCLA Botanical Garden. It’s free and a great way to spend an afternoon.

1. Visit the Hammer Museum

Founded by the late oil tycoon Armand Hammer as his personal art collection, this UCLA-affiliated museum has become widely respected. It's renowned for its progressive array of exhibitions, particularly those featuring historically under-represented and emerging artists.

The museum also houses a significant collection of European and American paintings, sculpture and works on paper. Highlights include the Armand Hammer Collection, which focuses on European Renaissance to early 20th-century artworks.

The Hammer Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in contemporary and historical art. Its programs are also extensive, with events ranging from lectures and film screenings to readings and lunchtime talks.

2. Take a walk through the UCLA Botanical Garden

In the southeastern corner of UCLA is a seven-acre botanical garden that’s home to more than 3000 plants from around the world. It’s a horticultural oasis that promotes botany knowledge and appreciation of nature to the university and the community.

The garden’s exhibits feature plants from California to the Mediterranean and Australia, as well as ecozones from the water’s edge to the desert. It’s a must-see for plant lovers.

If you’re looking for a bit of solitude, the garden’s calm atmosphere makes it a great place to unplug. It’s also a great spot to watch turtles that frequent the nearby creek. Bruin Birding Club hosts walks through the garden, which are free and open to everyone. They meet on the first Saturday of each month at 1pm, departing from the Nest.

3. Visit the Westwood Village Farmers’ Market

Located in Westwood, this small farmers’ market offers fresh fruits and vegetables. It also sells artisan products and features live music, making it a great place to stop when strolling through the neighborhood.

The market is open Thursdays, rain or shine. Its vendors include local produce growers like Ayala Farms, Chavez Farms, J & V Gutierrez Farms and Murray Family Farms.

In addition to fruit and vegetable, there are other stalls selling baked goods, breakfast and lunch items as well as other craft and food vendors. There are even several places to sit down if you’re visiting for a while – not usually common at farmer’s markets.

When deciding where to set up a market, research the location and how it will blend with the surrounding area. This will affect things like parking, farmer and truck accessibility, how long it will take to get in and out, as well as whether police and fire routes are clear.

4. Check out the Fowler Museum

Located on UCLA’s campus, the Fowler Museum features global arts and cultures with an emphasis on Africa, Asia, Pacific, and the Americas.

The museum serves as a public arts unit within the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture (UCLA Arts). Its exhibitions, publications, and public programs enhance understanding and appreciation of diverse peoples, cultures, and religions across the world.

The museum has a world-renowned collection of art and cultural artifacts from Africa, Asia, Pacific, and the Americas. Special strengths include African art, one of the largest collections of African sculpture in the United States; Indonesian and Philippine textiles; objects from the ancient Andes; and a sizeable collection of archaeological material.

5. Visit Royce Hall

One of four original buildings built on UCLA’s Westwood campus, Royce Hall evokes memories of a bygone era. Modeled after Milan’s Sant’Ambrogio church, the building was completed in 1929 and named after philosopher Josiah Royce.

Royce Hall was not designed to house theater, but it was quickly transformed into the university’s primary performing arts venue. Over the decades, it has hosted a wide array of greats from George Gershwin and Duke Ellington to Twyla Tharp and Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Royce’s terra cotta and brick interiors were inspired by the Romanesque styles of church architecture. This style is echoed throughout the campus, from Powell Library’s rotunda to Anderson School of Management’s brick and warm tones.


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