10 Must-Visit Museums in Los Angeles City (2023)
Los Angeles is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The town is famous for its association with Hollywood and has several other spots and destinations that make it worthwhile. If you are a tourist in Los Angeles, one of the places that you must check out are its museums. The museums in Los Angeles are on a different level of beauty and allure altogether.
10 Must-Visit Museums in Los Angeles City
Here is a compilation of the 10 best museums present in Los Angeles city. Make sure to check these out to learn more about the Los Angeles city and other interesting topics.
1. Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
If you are interested in modern and abstract art, then visiting the Los Angeles County Museum or LACMA for short is the place to be. The most famous installation in this gallery is Chris Burden’s ‘Urban Light’. This piece was made with 202 cast-iron street lamps and has become a landmark for the gallery.
However, apart from this piece, many other pieces of art will take your breath away. LACMA attracts a large crowd almost every day, but especially on the weekends.
Please note that the eastern section of the gallery is closed currently, as it is being redesigned. This redesigning will be completed in the year 2024. But you will still be able to find tons of life-sized installations at BCAM and Resnick Pavilion.
2. Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is one of the most famous museums in Los Angeles. The exhibits here are not unique but highly educational as well.
The Beaux-Arts structure, which was the first building by the Natural History Museum, was the first museum building in Los Angeles. This opened in 1913. One of the more recent installations is that of a 63-foot long skeleton of a fin whale. This has attracted a ton of people to the Museum and increased their weekend crowd, as well.
This Museum also has some of the best-kept displays of fossils and skeletons of dinosaurs. Hence, it is especially interesting for children who will learn a lot about evolution and biology. Also, make sure to check out the urban nature garden, which is 3.5 acres in width.
3. Griffith Observatory
The Griffith Observatory is like a landmark in Los Angeles. It happens to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city, and rightfully so. There are many science-related exhibits and items on display, which will be of immense interest to both children and adults.
The observatory is located on top of a hill, so it offers a spectacular view of the city. Once you enter the premises, you will be instantly impressed by the Foucault pendulum, which is placed directly under Hugo Ballin’s mural. Apart from that, you will also get to catch a glimpse of the Tesla Coil. Do not miss their space show, one of the best in the country!
You will also get the wonderful opportunity of using their 12-inch refracting telescope, which is placed on their roof. They also have a much advanced and modern reflecting telescope placed on their front lawn.
4. Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
This Museum was started by Henry E. Huntington and has become one of the most comprehensive and well-kept museums in Los Angeles. The number of displays it has requires a full day to be observed nicely.
The wide variety of exhibits here is truly astonishing. One of the most famous displays is that of the Gutenberg Bible. There is usually a gathering in front of this display at all times. The premises also have a wonderfully-kept Japanese garden. It will surely give you the feel of authentic Japan.
Amongst the art, library, and outdoor space, the Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens have no dearth of things to see. This is a place that can be enjoyed thoroughly by both kids and adults. If you are new to Los Angeles, make sure this is one of the first places you visit for the aesthetic!
5. Petersen Automotive Museum
If you are interested in automobiles and cars, a visit to the Petersen Automotive Museum should surely be on your list. Earlier, this Museum was known by the name of Miracle Mile and was the first commercially designed location in Los Angeles, solely for the benefit of drivers. In 2015, a redesign of the place led to the Petersen Automotive Museum.
Currently, the place has a very high-tech gallery and nearly 150 cars out on display. You will see a range of cars, from the glamorous Hollywood ones to vintage ones. There are also very high-performance supercars that have some of the most advanced features on this planet!
If you are around the Southern California area, then you should definitely plan a trip to this Museum. Even if you are not particularly interested in cars, you will still be able to learn a lot and feel more enriched after a visit to this Museum.
6. Japanese American National Museum
The earliest relation between Japan and America begins in the year 1882 when Chinese labourers were banned from being hired. This resulted in a huge number of Japanese immigrants who came over to work in place of the Chinese. Many of these Japanese eventually settled in the San Joaquin Valley and became farmers.
The Japanese American National Museum portrays this immigration and other occurring of the Japanese in America in a very detailed and beautiful manner. You will surely feel engaged right from the moment you step into the premises of the Museum. The Museum also has a lot of artefacts and exhibits from the Japanese internment camps built in America.
Even for those who have no curiosity about this, you will surely still feel attracted by the rich display of history, heritage, and culture. Being one of the best-kept museums, the Japanese American National Museum offers a glimpse at a very important section of history in a very comprehensive manner.
7. California Science Centre
The California Science Centre was brought to life in the year 1998, in a really lavish building which was located in front of the Rose Garden in Exposition Park. The most famous display here is the spaceship by the name of Endeavour, which was built by NASA as their final spaceship for their space shuttle program.
Apart from that, there are various other exhibits related to science and technology. Make sure to check out the Kelp Tank to get to see plenty of aquatic life. There are nearly 1,500 fishes in this tank on display. There are also IMAX movies on the premises related to science that you can see with your children.
You might also find the space capsules that are on display very interesting. It offers a very practical look at our universe and how human expeditions to space have become more advanced over time.
8. Hammer Museum
The Hammer Museum was commissioned by a famous industrialist by the name of Armand Hammer. It was built in the year 1990. However, unfortunately, just three months after the opening of this Museum, Armand Hammer passed away. Initially, the Museum was made to display his personal collection of art.
Now, the Museum is run in partnership with UCLA. You will be able to get some of the best shows on photography, modern art, and design. This Museum also pays special attention to local artists, which is very beneficial for those who are working towards rising to the top in this industry.
There are also often free lectures regarding art as well that you can attend as well if you want to learn about the various techniques related to art. Do check out if the Museum has any upcoming concerts, as those are pretty common as well.
9. Museum of Latin American Art
The Museum of Latin American Art is the only Museum in Los Angeles dedicated solely to the art and culture of Latin American origin. The main attraction in this Museum is the Long Gallery, which has a display from every Latin American country.
The Museum is not only a point of attraction for those who have immigrated from Latin America and want to know more about their art and culture; it is also the main point of attraction for plenty of locals as well as tourists. The rich history of art and culture provided in this Museum takes the visitors to a whole separate dimension altogether.
If you decide to visit this Museum, make sure that you take a whole day to explore every corner here. The Museum truly has some of the best displays that you should not miss.
10. Norton Simon Museum
Frank Gehry did a makeover on this Museum in the year 1990, and the current version of the Norton Simon Museum you will see is a product of that. All the displays in the Museum are immaculately presented to provide the most optimal information about that particular display.
One of the most famous displays in this Museum is that of Old Masters, which were painted during the 17th century. Other great works of artists like Monet, Manet, and Renoir are also a source of public attraction.
You will also be able to find very elaborate collections of European art and Buddhist art. A visit to the Norton Simon Museum is like a visit to the art of every country in this world!
Now that you have read about some of the best museums in Los Angeles make sure to check these out, learn, and have fun!