The Los Angeles area has over 250 museums, including some of the top art museums in the world and some really offbeat little museums and historic homes. We have museums for kids, for science buffs, for car lovers, for cultural explorers, and of course for movie and TV fans. Some of the city's most famous institutions, Like LACMA and the Getty Center, are worth a trip to LA in their own right. Even some with more specialized interests, like the array of Train Museums or the tiny Corita Art Center, draw experts and hobbyists from around the world.
All of them are a great escape on a hot summer afternoon or rainy winter day.
If you know the name of the museum you're looking for, you can go straight to the Alphabetized List of over 240 LA Museums, but trying to find the best museums for you in an alphabetized list, when it's sometimes not clear what the museum's focus is, can be a little overwhelming, so I've broken them down into more manageable lists by interests below. Whatever your interests, be sure to check out the list of LA's Most Unusual Museums below under By Theme. We have some really strange ones!
The number behind each Theme category is the number of museums and attractions in that category. That's right, over 34 historic home museums and 24 art museums! Some topic areas include museums in surrounding counties if they're relevant to the subject.
- Best Los Angeles Museums - start here if it's your first visit and you just want the best of the best overall.
- Best Los Angeles Museums by Type - one best per category for art, history, science, kids, architecture, entertainment, transportation and ethnic museums.
- Free Museums and Museum Free Days in LA - a list of museums that are free all the time and which museums have one or more free days a month.
- Top Los Angeles Children's Museums (11) - from toddlers to high school
- Los Angeles Art Museums (24) - from encyclopedic collections to single artist tribute museums.
- Top Los Angeles History Museums (8+) - from the history of LA to the history of humanity.
- Los Angeles Missions, Ranchos and Adobe Museums (20) - bringing California history alive.
- Historic Home Museums in Los Angeles (34+) - from humble homes to mega-mansions of LA's historic movers and shakers, including presidential homes and libraries.
- Los Angeles Local History Museums (23) - the stories of the individual communities and cities around LA.
- LA Auto Museums and Attractions (14) - museums and experiences for car buffs.
- Los Angeles Air and Space Museums and Attractions (12) - from historic small planes to a space shuttle.
- LA Train Museums and Attractions (11+) - from models to full size trains.
- Museum Ships and Maritime Museums (10) - Everything to do with ships, boats and ocean exploration.
- Entertainment Museums in LA (10) - focusing on the movie, TV and music industries.
- Most Unusual Los Angeles Museums (15) - from Death to Bunnies.
- LA Pop Culture and Kitsch Museums (6+) - They did what?
Culture and Ethnicity
- Los Angeles Cultural and Ethnic Museums (16+) - representing the cultural diversity of LA.
- Native American Museums and Attractions in Los Angeles (10+) - representing the First People of LA and the rest of the USA.
Armed Forces and Heroes
- Military History Museums in LA (11)
- Police and Fire Department Museums (12+) - showcasing firefighting and law enforcement history and tools.
By Museum District
- Museum Row on the Miracle Mile - a cluster of museums on Wilshire Blvd, between Hollywood and Beverly Hills.
- Exposition Park Museums - a group of museums adjacent to the University of Southern California near Downtown LA.