Los Angeles Museums Guide

Navigating LA's 230+ Museums - Fine Art, History, Movies, Death, Bunnies & More

Japanese American National Museum
••• Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, CA. Photo © 2007 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

The Los Angeles area has over 230 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 230 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.

By Theme

Best Of





  • 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.


Pop Culture

    Culture and Ethnicity

    Armed Forces and Heroes

    By Museum District

    More Art