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10 Museums in Los Angeles Worth The Trip

A taste of history, a time to get lost in beauty and art, an educational trip around the sun. Anything you’ve ever wanted to see or learn in this little thing called life ladies can be found at one of L.A’s best museums. Tourists make it a point to carve out some time on the itinerary to visit one, and Los Angeles locals know how to build a fun weekend hopping from one to the other. Its taken us a minute, but we’ve managed to visit a lot in the city. Our Pro Tip: plan out the times to visit each of them, considering their price points and hours of operation. Eventually, you’ll see all of LA’s top museums and can make lasting memories while learning something new about our unique home. To help shorten the list a bit, we’ve done the work and found LA’s Best Museums to visit ranked with our faves at the top. You’re welcome. 

1. The Broad

Address: 221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles

If you start an LA best museum experience strong, the Broad is where you’ll want to visit first. This museum is well-known for its Infinity Mirrored Room and plenty of breathtaking pieces by artists you may recognize (like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein). The way the mirrors bounce light around and creates a magical effect is something you need to experience. The best part? The museum is FREE with timed tickets making it accessible to almost everyone and a must-see. Plus you can grab a meal at Otium — the museum’s restaurant – after taking in so much creativity. 

2. Hammer Museum

Address: 10899 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles

If you want to continue your LA art journey, make a path to lead you to the Hammer Museum. Armand Hammer founded this museum in 1990 to keep his collection all in one place. This FREE museum features plenty of local artists and often offers free public events. If you see a lecture or another event that intrigues you, make sure you also build out time to explore the rest of the museum. You’ll want the opportunity to take in the art and photography.

3. Griffith Observatory

Address: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles

This observatory is a landmark in its own right. It sits on top of a hill, giving you a sweeping view of Los Angeles when you visit. The museum is closed on Mondays and is only open until around 10 PM every night, but you can take advantage of your time there by checking out all the exhibits and looking up at the cosmos through the telescopes. The planetarium inside the Griffith Observatory often features live presentations to help your whole family members understand the stars and what’s beyond Earth. If you enjoy outdoor activities, Griffith Park allows you to see the glory of Southern California while partaking in outdoor activities like horseback riding or hiking. Spending more time outside can increase the efficacy of your killer cells for about a month, boosting your immune system as you enjoy everything the Griffith Observatory offers indoors and out.

4. Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Address: 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles

Commonly referred to as LACMA, this museum features FREE admission to LA county residents after 3 PM on weekdays and you don’t need to purchase a ticket to see the outdoor sculptures Urban Light and Levitated Mass. Any kind of art you can think of might be in this expansive museum. You can explore all the pieces from old to new and feel swept away by the artwork’s beauty throughout your visit. Depending on when you go, you may notice around half of the museum is undergoing renovations. It’s because the David Geffen Galleries are set to debut in 2024 in honor of one of the people who co-founded DreamWorks and made history by donating $150 million to LACMA — the largest donation amount ever received. This new building will feature plenty of new exhibits and much to look forward to, so come back and visit it in 2024!

5. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

Address: 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles

This museum is a staple for LA. Tickets aren’t free, but if you’re a resident of LA County, you can visit the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles for FREE between 3–5 PM on weekdays. Experience the stunning beauty of this museum right when you walk in, thanks to the giant fin whale skeleton greeting you at the door. They have exhibits dedicated to precious gems and exciting fossils, showing you the world’s history while encouraging you to preserve what is important to you now. Museums of natural history often rely on X-radiography to assess the conditions of materials while preserving them so they don’t sustain any damage. This method is excellent because it preserves museum artifacts while also helping to identify what they’re made of, which can help researchers determine how best to tackle grime or restoration. 

6. Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Address: 6067 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles

If films are more your thing, you’ll enjoy visiting the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. It has countless opportunities to see some incredible details of your favorite films, including the chance to hold your very own Oscar — even if you can’t keep it for yourself. Everything within this museum solidifies its standing as one of LA’s best museums. You’ll marvel at the history of cinema while coming face-to-face with “relics” of some of your favorite movies, even if they’re not actually that old. It’s a must-see for any movie buff.

7. Hollyhock House

Address: 4800 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles

At just $7 for a tour, you can’t deny the Hollyhock House’s draw while exploring the best museums in LA. The site also offers a virtual tour, but it’s nothing compared to seeing the real thing in person. Initially designed for oil heiress Aline Barnsdall, the building is now the residence of California Modernism and has been recognized on the UNESCO World Heritage List as of 2019. It features a rich history of being an art gallery and so much more since Barnsdall first donated it in 1927. This building was the first one Frank Lloyd Wright created in Southern California, commissioned by the heiress and producer herself. The design prominently features the Hollyhock flower — which was Barnsdall’s favorite — inside and out, as evidenced by the gardens overflowing with them.

8. The Museum of Death

Address: 6363 Selma Ave, Los Angeles

Anyone who enjoys the darker side of life might like to peruse the Museum of Death and learn more about the famous deaths throughout history. The museum features true crime photos, so come prepared. Passing out is not uncommon at this venue, so make sure you’re up for the adventure before committing to it. All in all, this intense museum can be a learning experience for anyone interested in the ins and outs of all things eerie.

9. Pasadena Bunny Museum

Address: 2605 Lake Ave, Altadena

If you want to opt for a museum totally against the norm and don’t mind venturing slightly out of LA, look no further than the one with a giant bunny topiary out front. The Pasadena Bunny Museum is a testament to the love of Candance Frazee and Steve Lubanski, who gave each other rabbit-themed tokens of their affection.The house features over 28,000 bunny items, each given to one half of the couple by the other. You can even hold live bunnies during your visit! This museum of love is perfect for a sightseeing couple or just anyone who wants a reminder that love is very much alive today.

10. Getty Center

Address: 1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles

No list would be complete without mentioning the Getty Center. Though it’s closed on Mondays, you can make a FREE reservation any other time during the week. The incredible architecture and design are enough to look at, but you’ll also want to spend time inside, perusing the art and interior design. You’ll have great views of Los Angeles and can spend all day taking in everything from one of the most famous sites in the city. The Getty Center prioritizes preserving cultural heritage, and focuses on presenting art and research from ancient times up through the modern era. Because many important documents have been lost forever due to no backups or irreversible damage, the Getty Center undertakes a massive project to keep things well recorded. If you need more than the Getty Center, you can also visit the Getty Villa.

If you’re planning on making a trip out east, don’t miss these awesome New York museums that might catch your eye.