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.

Select a California town to find the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you
Visit a Museum Near You
Enter City / State or Zip code below
Select your town to find the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you:

Alameda County

Alpine County

Amador County

Butte County

Calaveras County

Colusa County

Contra Costa County

Del Norte County

El Dorado County

Fresno County

Glenn County

Humboldt County

Imperial County

Inyo County

Kern County

Kings County

Lake County

Lassen County

Los Angeles County

Madera County

Marin County

Mariposa County

Mendocino County

Merced County

Modoc County

Mono County

Monterey County

Napa County

Nevada County

Orange County

Placer County

Plumas County

Riverside County

Sacramento County

San Benito County

San Bernardino County

San Diego County

San Francisco County

San Joaquin County

San Luis Obispo County

San Mateo County

Santa Barbara County

Santa Clara County

Santa Cruz County

Shasta County

Sierra County

Siskiyou County

Solano County

Sonoma County

Stanislaus County

Sutter County

Tehama County

Trinity County

Tulare County

Tuolumne County

Ventura County

Yolo County

Yuba County