Travel—on your own vs. with the MFA

In our opinion, there is no debate. Our recent Patron trip to Los Angeles is a great example of how to travel worry-free when someone else does the planning.

On an MFA trip, when you arrive at your destination airport, LAX, a well-dressed gentleman meets you, ready to whisk you off in his shiny black car. He avoids the jammed freeway, and knows all the back roads. You arrive in your well-situated room (not on the second floor with a stimulating view of the parking lot!).

You and your travel companion don’t have to debate what to see first—your itinerary is thoughtfully planned. You don’t have the experience of deciding to visit a museum and arriving only to find it is closed for the day for a movie shoot. With the MFA, it’s open, and someone is there to welcome you. They usually turn out to be the museum’s head curator who is going to take you on a tour. More often than not, she has spent time at the MFA and is a friend of Ronni Baer. Doors that are often closed to visitors magically open. In addition to your museum guide, there’s knowledgeable commentary from Ronni to tie the work back to the MFA’s collection.

When it’s time for dinner, you already have reservations at some of the best restaurants in Beverly Hills. Renewing old friendships and making new ones comes easily when you can relax together with excellent food and wine.

Los Angeles offers more than just museums. How about a private visit to Hollyhock House, the magnificent gem designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1921? Or, a visit to Stahl House, the glass-and-steel pavilion perched high in the Hollywood Hills overlooking the entire Los Angeles basin? How would you gain access to the museum-like home of Michael Ovitz, considered to be among the world’s top art collectors? Going to the new Broad Museum on your own? Good luck. While we smoothly entered through the side door, the line for regular admission stretched around the block.

The best part of MFA travel comes at the end when you check out. You are not knocked off your feet with a hotel bill that causes your heart to flutter. Since you have prepaid for the room and breakfast, it seems as if the trip is free.

Can you picture yourself on a trip like this to Cuba or Florence? Join the group, sit back, and relax. You will be in competent hands and meet people with similar interests who are simply fun to be with.

For more information about upcoming trips, contact the MFA Travel office at 617-369-3007 or mfatravel@mfa.org.