While Los Angeles politicos fork over fistfuls of cash for a certain billionaire's downtown art crib, three other museums offer Angelenos heaping helpings of free experience. Among the Getty, LACMA and the Hammer, those free offerings are: that top-of-the-world garden and museum (the Getty), ever-expanding outdoor grounds as free galleries and music space (LACMA), and the Hammer's best quasi-public workplace in the city. Though the Hammer's shady, bamboo-filled, open-to-the-sky spot is located on crammed Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood, you'd never know it. But beyond the chill surroundings and the free weekly Mindful Awareness sessions, the Hammer courtyard is the best place to work in the city. Did we mention free Wi-Fi keeps you connected? So bring the laptop, order out from the Hammer Cafe and work in a de facto office that seems built for a millionaire. And, when you pack it in, maybe drop some cash, cruise the galleries and pretend that damn fine art is yours. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Wstwd. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu.

—Tibby Rothman

LA Weekly