The Best History Museums in Los Angeles
Los Angeles is home to a variety of incredible history museums, dedicated to many topics, from film to science to human history. In downtown, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles is home to an enormous collection of dinosaur fossils and scientific exhibits. The Museum of Tolerance is dedicated to educating visitors about the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, and religious persecution. The Autry Museum of the American West features thousands of exhibits based on the history of the American West. If you're interested in visiting the history museums of L.A., here are our picks for the best which you shouldn't miss.
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Boasting a huge collection that is second only to the Smithsonian, the Natural History Museum of LA Country will take you quite some time to explore every level. From dinosaurs to gems to animal skeletons to an outdoor natural area, kids and adults will love spending the day here learning about a variety of topics. Even the building itself is a bit of a masterpiece.
Adams Normandie Historic District, LA, California
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
This large art museum has a variety of exhibits inside and outside. Inside visitors will find a variety of modern and historical art by famous names such as Andy Warhol, Picasso, Cezanne, and more. The exterior artwork of the museum has become somewhat famous recently due to a very photographic sculpture, Chris Burden’s Urban Light, which brought old streetlights from around town back to life. This area of the museum is free, but admission is required for entry to the inside galleries.
5912 Wilshire Boulevard, Miracle Mile, LA, California, 90036
Battleship Iowa Museum
This impressive battleship educates visitors on what daily life was like at sea for sailors. There is a self guided tour and a scavenger hunt for the kids. There is also a behind the scenes tour available for those who want to see the ship on a different level.
250 S Harbor Blvd, San Pedro, Los Angeles, CA, 90731
Japanese American National Museum
With a goal to preserve and showcase the culture and history of Japanese Americans, this museum is located near downtown L.A. in Little Tokyo. Many of the exhibits are dedicated to Japanese immigration, the internment during WW2, and various artwork from historical and current artists in the community. An admission is normally charged, but it's free on Thursdays.
369 East 1st Street, Little Tokyo, LA, California, 90013
La Brea Tar Pits
Centered around pits that were bubbling up from an underground lake of oil, scientists discovered a number of fossils and animal remains here. Now it's a museum focusing on the fossils, bones, and the general topic of paleontology. Kids love it, adults enjoy it, and it's a terrific learning experience for everyone. The indoor section of the museum requires a ticket for admission, but the outdoor section of this museum is free, and is quite interesting to see.
Wilshire Boulevard, LA, California, 90036
Museum of the American West
This museum, as the name implies, focuses on the history of the western United States. Their overall goal is to provide an inclusive view of this history, so many of the exhibits focus on Native Americans as well as minorities and their contributions to American history and culture. A large portion of the museum also focuses on the culture of cowboys and the idea of "the wild west" as a frontier which was tamed by explorers. Children and adults enjoy this museum, and it's located in Griffith Park. It's free on the 2nd Tuesday of every month.
Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, LA, California, 91201
The Nethercutt Collection
This collection of classic cars includes European and American automobiles from the 1890s to the 1990s. This is a diverse and impressive collection that is in pristine condition. Also at the museum is a collection of antiques including furniture and mechanical musical instruments.
15151 Bledsoe St, Sylmar, CA, 91342
How much does it cost?
Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $18 to $125. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $70. A few of the best options are below.
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