Los Angeles / Orange County Visitor Information

Los Angeles Museums

No Visit to a California destination would be complete without visiting one of the many museums. California has a reputation as a haven for people with creative minds, and you can see this in its multifaceted cultural offerings.

Arts abound here in four main formats: large-scale, world-class organizations; smaller, quirkier museums, often showcasing the Golden State’s history and its abundant idiosyncratic subcultures (think surfers, Silicon Valley techno-wizards, and Peanuts aficionados).

When the weather hinders traditional camping activities (or not) stretch your mind with a visit to one of California’s museums. Need more encouragement? Check out 10 reasons to visit a museum!

Getty Center in Los Angeles – This permanent collection of choice works of art, from all ages, treats a visitor to room after room of priceless treasures. You leave the 11th-century illuminated manuscripts and pass into a collection of Ruisdael landscapes from the Dutch 17th century. The Getty is, simply put, world class, a statement of good taste superbly funded. Visit www.getty.edu

Los Angeles County Museum of Art – For the depth and range of its collections, the County Museum of Art is one of the country’s major art repositories. Whether the subject is American Art or Costume and Textiles, the museum has strong collections. The five-building complex also features a changing show or two, often of contemporary art.   Visit www.lacma.org

San Marino’s Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens – If you’ve longed to get close to an original work of literature, such as Ben Franklin’s Autobiography, in his own handwriting, or one of the first folios of Shakespeare’s plays, the Huntington can satisfy your desire. Their outstanding collection of rare books includes a Gutenberg Bible and the Ellesmere Chaucer. That’s only the beginning of the Huntington experience, which includes elaborate gardens and strong collections of paintings, especially 18th-century British. Visit www.huntington.org

Annenberg Space for Photography – The Annenberg Space for Photography is a cultural destination dedicated to exhibiting both digital and print photography in an intimate environment. The space features state-of-the-art, high-definition digital technology as well as traditional prints by some of the world’s most renowned photographers and a selection of emerging photographic talents as well. Visit www.annenbergspaceforphotography.org

California African American Museum – L.A. is located off the 110 Freeway from Exposition Boulevard. Situated in Exposition Park, this L.A. museum focuses on African American culture and artists in California and the nation. Exhibit topics include the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II, Harlem, music & dance, the Apollo Theater, racism, African heritage and more. Visit caamuseum.org

Griffith Observatory is an icon of Los Angeles, a national leader in public astronomy, a beloved civic gathering place, and one of southern California’s most popular attractions. The Observatory is located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, just above the Los Feliz neighborhood. It is 1,134 feet above sea level and is visible from many parts of the Los Angeles basin. The mission of Griffith Observatory is inspiring everyone to observe, ponder, and understand the sky. Visit www.griffithobservatory.org

California Science Center is located off Interstate 110 south of the 10. This science museum is situated in Exposition Park with the Memorial Coliseum and the Natural History Museum. The Science Center features examples of mathematics, physics, biology in a primarily hands-on environment. Learn the physics behind bridge construction, how our body consumes and uses energy, space exploration, kelp forests and much, much more. TIP: This is the home of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. The Space Shuttle Endeavour made 25 missions to space including 12 International Space Station dockings.   Visit www.californiasciencecenter.org

Japanese American National Museum – L.A. is located off the 101 Freeway from Alameda Street. This L.A. museum focuses on Japanese culture and artists in America with exhibits on origami, anime, Japanese internment during World War II and more. Visit www.janm.org

Gene Autry Museum – L.A. is located off Interstate 5, south of Highway 134 in Griffith Park. This L.A. museum features artifacts from the American West. Exhibits include firearms, cowboy memorabilia, indian basketry, Mexican Bandido photographs and more. The museum also promotes cultural concerts in Griffith Park. Also found within Griffith Park are the Griffith Observatory, Greek Theatre, L.A. Zoo, Travel Town, multiple sport venues and much more. Visit theautry.org

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library – Simi Valley is located off Highways 23 and 118 in Simi Valley. Visit the library and burial place of one of America’s favorite presidents. After a successful career in the motion picture industry, Ronald Reagan had an even more successful career serving two terms as President of the United States of America. He passed away in 2004 after a long battle with alsheimer’s disease and was laid to rest in this, his favorite place. Exhibits include an F-14 fighter jet and the Boeing 747 known as ‘Airforce 1’ that was used by Reagan during his presidency. Visit www.reaganfoundation.org

Kidspace Children’s Museum – Pasadena is located off the 134 Freeway from Orange Grove Boulevard. Situated near the Rose Bowl, this children’s museum focuses on the promotion of education and enrichment of children’s lives. Exhibits include an outdoor physics forest, a bug inn, climbing towers, ant hole, water vortex, stone hollow amphitheater and much more. Visit www.kidspacemuseum.org

Museum of Latin American Art – Long Beach is located off the 710 Freeway in Long Beach. This art museum features paintings, sculptures, carvings and more that were created by Latino artists from around the world. The museum’s exterior garden mixes cacti and botanicals with modern, larger-than-life sculptures. Visit www.molaa.org

Editorial information provided in part by CaliforniaRevealed.com, a collection of native Californians and travelers who spend their time exploring California and sharing their discoveries.

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Top Attractions in the Los Angeles / Orange County Area

Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach
Boomers, Fountain Valley
Boomers, Irvine
Bowers Museum, Santa Ana
Crystal Cathedral
Disney’s California Adventure Park, Anaheim
Disneyland, Anaheim
Downtown Disney District, Anaheim
Golfing in Orange County
Huntington Beach
Irvine Regional Park
Knott’s Soak City Waterpark, Buena Park
Malibu Pier, Malibu Beach
Noguchi Sculpture Garden, Costa Mesa
Old Towne Orange
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa
Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia
South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa
South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa
Sport fishing in Orange County
The Getty Center, Los Angeles
Warner Bros Studios, Burbank
Wild Rivers Waterpark, Irvine

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