The Best Local Museums in Los Angeles

Local Museums in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is home to many world-class museums, each with a unique collection of art, artifacts, and specimens. From world-renowned museums like the Getty Center and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) to smaller museums like La Brea Tarpits, these museums of Los Angeles are not to be missed.
The Broad Museum
The Broad Museum
This free museum is full of contemporary art. It's most famous for the immersive mirror rooms in which you will see yourself multiplied in Yayoi Kusama's modern art installations. If the line is long, don't worry, plenty of other modern exhibits are on display, including some from Andy Warhol and other famous artists. Also, relax in the beautiful courtyard or dine at Otium, the on-site restaurant.
221 South Grand Avenue, Bunker Hill, LA, California, 90012
Petersen Automotive Museum
Petersen Automotive Museum
Focusing on all things automotive, this car-themed museum has a lot to offer. When visiting, you can see supercars, vintage historical vehicles, and famous cars from the movies. Other exhibits focus on the history of the automobile and how it shaped communities and culture.
6060 Wilshire Boulevard, Carthay Circle, LA, California, 90036
Interested in more travel advice for Los Angeles? Check out The Best History Museums in Los Angeles and The Best Museums in Los Angeles.
Griffith Observatory
Griffith Observatory
The Griffith Observatory lies on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park. With a gorgeous view of Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, this spot is a popular tourist attraction for a variety of reasons. From here you also have a great view of the Hollywood Sign, too. Inside, visitors can find a variety of space and science exhibits, as the building is a stellar observatory after all. Admission is free. A planetarium is on site with fun shows that educate the public about astronomy, too. (Planetarium tickets are not free.)
2800 East Observatory Road, LA, California, 90027
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
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
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
This free museum features contemporary art from 1940 to the present by artists such as Jackson Pollock as well as plenty of lesser known names. In addition to the main location, the museum actually has two other locations in L.A., so don't miss those, either.
250 South Grand Avenue, Bunker Hill, LA, California, 90012
The Hollywood Museum
Located in the historic Max Factor building, this amazing museum is one of the most visited in L.A. Visitors can see a variety of memorabilia, props, costumes, and other paraphernalia from their favorite movies and TV shows. The collection has more than 10,000 items such as Marilyn Monroe's famous dress to costumes from Star Trek, I love Lucy, Glee, and more. Part of the museum also includes makeup rooms where movies stars were prepped for their shows and films.
1660 Highland Avenue, Hollywood, LA, California, 90028
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
Museum of Neon Art
MONA, the Museum of Neon Art, showcases a variety of artwork and signs made of neon lights and other electric lights. It describes artwork made with neon lights as part science and part artwork. Some of the exhibits are modern sculptures created in neon, while others focus on historical neon signage.
Glendale, California, 91210
Planning a trip to Los Angeles? You might also be interested in The Best Things to do in Los Angeles and Hidden Finds in Los Angeles.
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
Hollywood Wax Museum
With a large number of was replicas of famous movie stars and characters, kids and adults alike will enjoy visiting this fun museum and experience where they can see all of their favorite movies and TV shows come to life before their eyes. Located in Hollywood along the walk of fame, it's fun for the whole family.
6767 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, LA, California, 90028
Hammer Museum
With an emphasis on local artists, the Hammer Museum is partnered with UCLA to showcase modern art, design, photography, and works from Armand Hammer's collection before he died. Admission is free. Lectures, film screenings, and concerts are also on their calendar of events, which are quite popular.
10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood Village, LA, California, 90024
California Science Center
This is one of the largest science museums on the west coast, and it has an impressively large list of exhibits, many of which feature fun, hands-on experiences which are great for kids and adults alike. Visitors can also see an aquarium, various ecosystems featuring a variety of animals, plenty of air and space vehicles (some are outside), and even more rotating exhibits about biology, chemistry, physics, and more. On site is also an IMAX theater.
700 Exposition Park Drive, Adams Normandie Historic District, LA, California, 90037
California African American Museum (CAAM)
The California African American Museum (CAAM), found in Exposition Park, has a focus on the history, heritage, and cultural of African Americans. Specifically, it covers topics related to African Americans in California and the western region of the United States. Visitors will find a variety of art exhibits as well as events for adults and children. Public educational programs, rotating exhibits, and concerts and film screenings are all part of this museum's programming.
600 State Drive, Adams Normandie Historic District, LA, California, 90037
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