The 10 Best Museums in California!

While California’s beautiful sunny weather means that many people head to the beach on weekends, there are chilly, cloudy days too! And when that weather is gloomier, what better indoor activity is there than visiting a museum? California is enormous and therefore offers a vast range of spaces featuring magnificent works of art, interesting displays of scientific discovery, and endless historical artifacts.

1. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

With numerous buildings and exhibits both indoors and out, the spacious Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) offers all kinds of things to see and do before heading to the famous La Brea tar pits up the street. Check out special movie screenings, and unique exhibitions from all aspects of the arts.

2. Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA

For a smaller taste of the arts, head to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena for European works that range from classic to modern.

3. J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Villa, Los Angeles, CA

There are several Getty museums in the Los Angeles area, including the Getty Museum and the Getty Villa. Each spot offers views as stunning as the artworks that they feature, which range from ancient works to modern photography in architecturally-inspiring settings.

4. The California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA

The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco brings together the natural world with creative powers in a variety of exhibits meant to engage viewers of all ages.

5. The Huntington, San Marino, CA

The Huntington is a vast estate just outside of Pasadena that features a historic home, art collections, library and vast gardens that are artfully arranged.

6. Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, CA

Griffith Observatory is not only a place of science, it is also a museum that has exhibits and activities to help viewers on earth engage with the distant stars.

7. The deYoung Museum, San Francisco, CA

The deYoung Museum in San Francisco offers rotating exhibitions that feature everything from textiles to paintings as well as ongoing opportunities for learning enrichment via programs and events.

8. Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA

Located above the 405 Freeway in Bel Air, the Skirball Cultural Center offers a rotating selection of unique exhibitions, featuring everything from comic book and pop artists to ancient works as well as collections of Judaica and beautiful grounds to explore.

9. USS Midway Museum, San Diego, CA

The USS Midway Museum is a military museum designed to engage and inspire the entire family with exhibits and events that celebrate our country’s freedom.

10. Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, CA

The Petersen Automotive Museum will thrill even non-car buffs with the collection of cars and motorized vehicles that includes some very rare and flashy models.

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4695 Nebo Drive, La Mesa, CA
Mission Statement: The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association, Inc. is dedicated to preserving the physical legacy and the experience of rail... Read More
1439 El Prado, San Diego, CA
Established in 1978, Mingei International Museum collects, conserves and exhibits arts of daily use – by anonymous craftsmen of ancient times... Read More
1700 South Santa Fe Avenue, Suite160, Los Angeles, CA
9000 East Dunne Avenue, Morgan Hill, CA
Coe Park is the largest state park in northern California of wild open spaces. The terrain of the park is rugged, varied and beautiful, with lofty ... Read More
2324 Alameda Avenue, Alameda, CA
Alameda is a unique island community located in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area. We offer permanent displays of Alameda history as well as ... Read More
241 South Anaheim Boulevard, Anaheim, CA
About Us: A new model for urban cultural centers, Muzeo is a 25,000 square foot complex encompassing Anaheim’s original Carnegie Library and... Read More
1930 R Street, Bakersfield, CA
About Us The Bakersfield Museum of Art strives to enhance the quality of life through art appreciation and educational opportunities in the visual... Read More
3801 Chester Avenue, Bakersfield, CA
Mission: The Kern County Museum serves the people of Kern County by: Providing its citizens a deeper understanding and appreciation of their past... Read More
10500 Alfred Harrell Highway, Bakersfield, CA
The California Living Museum exists to display and interpret native California animals, plants, fossils and artifacts to teach a respect for all li... Read More
1777 California Drive, Burlingame, CA
About Art museums are founded by major collectors and/or philanthropists, mostly men, as monuments to their taste and a legacy to their communitie... Read More
48 Wharf Road, Bolinas, CA
The Bolinas Museum is the only fine art museum in Marin County. The beauty of the land and proximity to the metropolitan Bay Area has always attrac... Read More
26962 Twenty Mule Team Road, Boron, CA
About The Twenty Mule Team Museum educates the public about the history of borax mining, the Boron area communities and related economics. Read More
14998 Cal Aero Drive, Chino, CA
About Us Founded in 1957, The Air Museum Planes of Fame, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, is dedicated to preserving aviation history for the be... Read More
1100 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA
Our Mission: To encourage and promote the appreciation, knowledge and understanding of Coronado's unique art, architecture, history and other his... Read More
205 Railroad Avenue, Danville, CA
The Museum of the San Ramon Valley was founded as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 1985. The Museum is housed in the restored 1891 Southern Pac... Read More
3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville, CA
Blackhawk Museum's History The Blackhawk Museum, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, was established to ensure that significant automotive treasure... Read More
445 C Street, Davis, CA
The museum is named for Hattie (Harriet Elisha) Weber, the first paid librarian in Davisville. In 1906 she began volunteering as librarian of the D... Read More
67616 E Desert View Avenue, Desert Hot Springs, CA
Cabot's Pueblo Museum is a unique Hopi inspired Pueblo hand-made by Cabot Yerxa over 24 years. This multi-level building includes 35 rooms, 150 win... Read More
777 Encanto Parkway, Duarte, CA
Mission: The mission of the Duarte Historical Society & Museum is to collect and preserve materials pertaining to the history of the City of D... Read More
320 North Broadway, Escondido, CA
Mission : The mission of the San Diego Children's Discovery Museum is to inspire children to learn about our world through exploration, imaginatio... Read More
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