Family Vacation

23 Best Museums In Los Angeles

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For those seeking knowledge or simply seeking a leisurely Saturday afternoon activity, art galleries are always a worthwhile endeavor. And the City of Angels is brimming with them.

In addition, the museums in Los Angeles meet any interest you may have, be it art and history or science and technology. Furthermore, some extend free admission to students and the public on specified days. Below is the curated list of 23 LA exhibits to spend a day at. 

1. The Getty

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Perched atop the hills overlooking the City of Angels, The Getty Center stands as a beacon of art, culture, and education. Established in 1974, this $1.3 billion center opened its doors to the public in 1997. 

Steeped in history, The Getty Museum showcases a vast collection of European art from before the 20th century, encompassing paintings, decorative arts, antique drawings, and photographs. Afterward, indulge in culinary delights at The Restaurant at The Getty Center, currently hailed among restaurants in LA.

Address: 1200 Getty Center Drive

2. Hammer Museum

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Affiliated with the University of California, Hammer Museum is a crowd favorite for its artist-centric programs. Moreover, admission to this artistic gallery is always free.

To date, this museum in LA has hosted 100+ public programs such as lectures, panel discussions, film screenings, and an array of progressive exhibitions. Make sure to have a look at Moreau's jewel-like King David and Salome Dancing before Herod paintings during your visit.

Address: 10899 Wilshire Blvd

3. Hollyhock House

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Book a ticket for a guided tour of Hollyhock House with Abby Chamberlain Brach this Thursday, November 30. It will be the best $7 you spent ever.

A self-guided tour is also available from Thursday through Saturday (11 am- 4 pm). This Aline Barnsdall house in East Hollywood was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the late 1910s. Visitors need to enter the house to explore the introverted interiors and more old-age designs by Wright. 

Address: 4800 Hollywood Blvd

4. Nethercutt Museum

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The multi-storied Nethercutt Museum houses one of the finest collections of antique and classic cars in the world. Besides, it has 250+ other vehicles on display.

From horseless carriages to iconic Packard and Rolls-Royce, there's almost every model to explore. All of these automobiles are meticulously preserved and restored to their original conditions. If you are a vintage car enthusiast, don't miss this museum in California Los Angeles.

Address: 15151 Bledsoe Street

5. California Science Center

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Planning to explore Los Angeles with your junior buddy? California Science Center can be a great place for children of all ages. 

It is a sprawling journey of science learning while exploring over 150 interactive exhibits. On average, it takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to explore all the exhibits. Once you're done, you can look for nearby buffets in Los Angeles to make it a perfect whole-day experience with a delicious all-you-can-eat meal. 

Address: 700 Exposition Park Drive

6. Grammy Museum L.A. Live

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On the celebration of Grammy Awards's 50th anniversary, the museum in Downtown LA was inaugurated in December 2008. It has been celebrating the history and winners of the award since the first day.

Bob Marley, Taylor Swift, and Ringo are some of the names whose works have been displayed at the Grammy Museum L.A. Live. The most recent special exhibit in this museum in La California is Sharkia: The Grammy Museum Experience on March 4, 2023.

Address: 800 W Olympic Blvd

7. Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

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The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is a must-visit for admirers of the film industry and its impact on history, science, and culture. This is the first large-scale gallery of its kind among the museums of Los Angeles in the US.

This contemporary museum chronicles cinema's journey from its inception to the present day. Renzo Piano and Kulapat Tanyrasast masterminded the architectural marvel in early 2020. The building is made of glass and steel and has a unique dome-shaped roof.

Address: 6067 Wilshire Blvd

8. Japanese American National Museum

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Located in the Little Tokyo area near Downtown, the Japanese American National Museum educates visitors about the history and culture of Japanese Americans. So, why is this gallery among the best museums in Los Angeles?

JANM is the only national exhibit of its kind, and its collection includes thousands of artifacts and documents to narrate old-era stories. This place opens at 11 AM for the day and the admission costs $9-16.

Address: 100 N Central Avenue

9. The Hollywood Museum

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If you find yourself in North Highland Avenue, you have to check out The Hollywood Museum. The four floors of vintage Hollywood boast a collection of souvenirs from the American motion picture history.

One of the unique museums in Los Angeles area, The Hollywood Museum is housed in the historic Max Factor Building. You can tour the building's original makeup room and don't forget the basement. It has some interesting pieces of memorabilia.

Address: 1660 N Highland Avenue

10. Holocaust Museum LA

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Holocaust Museum LA is a powerful and moving place to learn about the Holocaust survivors. Its collection includes oral histories and artifacts from the survivors who shared their personal experiences. 

Admission is always zero cost for the students and free for others on Sunday the whole day. On weekdays, it will cost $15 for the adults. Doesn't it sound like the best way to spend your weekend budget-friendly vacation in the City of Angels?

Address: 100 The Grove Drive

11. Norton Simon Museum

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Norton Simon Museum is a private art museum in Pasadena, housing an impressive collection of art spanning centuries and continents. The first Friday of each month is a free visiting day.

Step into a tranquil oasis amidst the urban setting. Stroll through the beautifully landscaped sculpture garden, where you'll encounter an array of sculptures, from classical European pieces to contemporary installations.

Address: 411 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena

12. The Huntington

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Any trip to California is incomplete without at least a visit to The Hungtion Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. The credit goes to Huntington's world-class mix of art, history, and 120+ acres of themed gardens.

This one-stop destination features art from European masterpieces to American modernism. Similarly, the library is a treasure trove of rare books and manuscripts. The gardens offer a diverse array of plants from around the world.

Address: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino

13. The Banning Museum

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Step back in time at The Banning Museum, where visitors are transported to a bygone era. This captivating landmark offers a glimpse into the grandeur of 19th-century life.

Built in the mid-1800s, the Banning Residence stands as a testament to the elegance and sophistication of the Victorian era. Its Greek Revival architecture, with its symmetrical lines and intricate details, exudes an air of timeless beauty. 

Address: 401 E M Street, Wilmington

14. Travel Town Museum

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Travel Town Museum is an outdoor art gallery near Griffth Park, dedicated to preserving the railroad heritage of the West. Have you got any train-lovers in the family, they will love to explore this place.

Travel Town features an impressive collection of locomotives, freight cars, passenger cars, and more. The museum gift shop has a variety of transit-themed items if you want to gift anyone as a souvenir. 

Address: 5200 Zoo Drive

15. Heritage Square Museum

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If you want to learn what life was like in the Victorian Era of Los Angeles, plan a family day at Heritage Square Museum. This place also hosts a Street Food Cinema every year. 

Heritage Square Museum is not merely a collection of buildings; it's a living history museum that brings the past to life. As you stroll through the meticulously preserved interiors, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the everyday lives of Victorian-era Angelenos. 

Address: 3800 Homer Street

16. Bolton Hall Museum

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If you love local history, this is the right place to be! Located in the heart of the Tujunga, Bolton Hall Museum preserves and shares the unique story of the community.

The building's design, with its large open room, fireplace, and stage, was intentionally inclusive, welcoming people from all walks of life. It quickly became the center of Tujunga's social and cultural life. Also, it hosts a variety of events like other museums in LA.

Address: 10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga

17. Museum of Latin American Art

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The Museum of Latin American Art is the only art gallery in the United States that is completely home to contemporary and modern Latino and Latin American Art. Swing by on Sundays for unpaid admission.

MOLAA's permanent collection includes over 15,000 works of art by Latin American and Latino artists such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. The collection spans the 19th through 21st centuries and includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, and prints.

Address: 628 Alamitos Avenue, Long Beach

18. The Broad

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The Broad, the museum named after philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, opened its doors in 2015. Since then, it has become a beloved institution in the city's cultural landscape. 

The Broad's architectural design is as captivating as its art collection. The museum's honeycomb-like vault, made up of thousands of translucent panels, stands out against the surrounding cityscape. Free timed tickets are required for the Infinity Mirrored Room access.

Address: 221 S Grand Avenue

19. Skirball Cultural Center

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Opened to the public in 1996, Skirball Cultural Center took no long to establish itself as one of the most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions in the world. The permanent collections include over 10,000 objects.

The Skirball hosts a variety of changing exhibitions throughout the year. These exhibitions showcase art, history, and culture from around the world. Recent exhibitions have included "Noah's Ark" and "Jews in the American South."  

Address: 2701 N Sepulveda Blvd

20. Craft Contemporary

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Whatever the weather is like, one of the fun things to do in Los Angeles is strolling around the art galleries. One of them has to be the Craft Contemporary which reveals the potential of craft.

It is one of the few art galleries of its kind in the country and the one that features work by both established and emerging artists from around the world. Furthermore, it fosters artistic enlightenment through serious if curated courses for interested visitors. 

Address: 5814 Wilshire Blvd

21. The Fowler Museum

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The Fowler Museum is worth a visit if you are interested in art and culture from worldwide. This place has a large collection of objects from Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Oceania.

For art and culture enthusiasts, the Fowler Museum at UCLA offers a captivating journey into diverse cultures and artistic expressions. Visitors are invited to embark on a captivating exploration through rotating exhibitions that delve into specific cultures or themes.

Address: 308 Charles E Young Drive N

22. LACMA

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Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) features all kinds of art, be it modern American, Latin, or Asian. One of the largest California Museums Los Angeles in West, it has over 120,000 artifacts to display.

LACMA offers discounted admission to LA County residents for $20, while non-residents pay $25. Additionally, local residents with valid IDs can enjoy free admission on Mondays and Tuesdays after 3 pm.

Address: 5905 Wilshire Blvd 

23. Griffith Observatory

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Griffith Observatory is one of the most visited public observatories in the world, with over a million visitors each year. Want to know why this place is so popular?

Firstly, it is free to visit and everyone is welcome. Secondly, it is located in a beautiful peaceful setting. And most importantly, it has a large and diverse collection of exhibits, including telescopes planetariums, and exhibits on astronomy and Southern California history.

Address: 2800 E Observatory Road