In his creative life before the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Frank Gehry was primarily known as that crazy guy who sculpted houses from chain-link fencing, plywood and corrugated aluminum. A great place to see the ‘early Gehry’ is his 1979 private home, a deconstructivist postmodern collage that architecture critic Paul Heyer called a ‘collision of parts.’ It's a private home, so please look respectfully and keep your distance.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Santa Monica attractions

1. Bergamot Station Arts Center

1.05 MILES

This former rail yard has been converted to one of LA's best centers for art galleries, mostly for contemporary art. A couple dozen of them keep varying…

2. Palisades Park

1.57 MILES

Perhaps it’s appropriate that Route 66, America’s most romanticized byway, formerly ended at this gorgeous cliffside park perched dramatically on the edge…

3. Tongva Park


This meticulously designed green space connects Ocean Ave to the Santa Monica Civic Center area. Well-lit and maintained, there are palms and agave groves…

4. Santa Monica State Beach

1.79 MILES

There are endless ways to enjoy this 3.5-mile stretch of sand, running from Venice Beach in the south to Will Rogers State Beach in the north. Sunbathing…

5. Santa Monica Pier Carousel

1.83 MILES

A National Historic Landmark at the beginning of the pier, the 1916 Hippodrome building housing the carousel appeared in the movie The Sting. The 44…

6. International Chess Park

1.86 MILES

Close by the Original Muscle Beach, the search for the next Bobby Fischer is on at the International Chess Park. There are more than 65 regular-sized…

7. Original Muscle Beach

1.88 MILES

South of Santa Monica Pier is the Original Muscle Beach, where the Southern California exercise craze began in the 1930s and '40s. While it's more…

8. Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

1.93 MILES

Peer under the pier – just below the carousel – for this small aquarium. Kid-friendly touch tanks crawl with critters and crustaceans scooped from local…