Museums and rec departments collaborate on cultural excursions

The Japanese Garden at the Huntington Library  is one of its most iconic features.

Contributed photo

The Elverhoj and Wildling museums, in partnership with Solvang and Buellton Parks and Recreation, have organized a series of educational excursions exploring art, culture and nature. Each outing includes transportation, entrance fees and support from skilled museum curators who provide insider appreciation for the various experiences and exhibits.

The fall excursions kick off with a visit to The Broad in downtown Los Angeles on Sept. 27. This 50,000-square-foot contemporary art museum houses nearly 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection, which is among the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art worldwide.

Bypass the ticket line with a VIP on-site welcome and introduction followed by a self-guided tour. There will be time for a walk across the street to view the architecturally stunning Walt Disney Concert Hall or the L.A. Museum of Contemporary Art and enjoy lunch on your own. Pick up in Solvang at the Vet’s Hall is at 8:30 a.m. Cost is $49 per person. 

On Oct. 11, visit the Channel Islands Maritime Museum in Oxnard. Perfectly situated on the Oxnard Channel Islands Harbor, sits a 500-year-old collection of seascape paintings and stunning ship models within the Channel Islands Maritime Museum. In addition to viewing the 70-plus original paintings, including some of the best examples of the maritime genre on display and the largest collection of museum-quality ship models on the West Coast, explore the special exhibition "Designs from the Deep: The Architecture of Shells." There will be a no-host lunch. Pickup will be at the Vet's Hall in Solvang at 10 a.m. Fee is $33 per person.

On Nov. 10, explore the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, where art and culture are set amid 150 acres of breathtaking gardens, featuring over 14,000 different species of plants. In addition to a Gutenberg Bible and famous European portraits, special exhibitions include “Geographies of Wonder: The Evolution of the National Parks” and “Gardens, Art, & Commerce in Chinese Woodblock Prints.” There will be a no-host lunch at one of several garden cafes. Pickup will be at the Buellton Rec Center at 10 a.m. Fee is $59 per person.

The final fall excursion Dec. 1 includes two Pasadena locations. Experience the wonders of Descanso Gardens, home to North America’s largest camellia collection and many rare and beautiful plants from around the world. After lunch, you'll be on our own in Old Pasadena. Enjoy the Norton Simon Museum with its collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century, along with Southeast Asian art dating back 2,000 years. Special exhibits include Picasso lithographs and Van Gogh’s bedroom. Pickup will be at the Buellton Rec Center at 8 a.m. Fee is $59 per person.

For reservations, visit or call Buellton Rec at 688-1086 or Solvang Rec at 688-7529 or visit either office.

This report was compiled by Mary Ann Norbom. You can reach her at


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