Los Angeles has over 230 museums and most of them are about the history of something, whether it's the history or art, of aviation or of civilization. This list includes museums that focus on natural history or the history of civilizations, with subcategories for local history and links to other museum subcategories. some museums fit into more than one category, so they appear in more than one list.
Return to Los Angeles Museums Overview
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
When people are looking for THE history museum in Los Angeles, this is usually the one they're looking for. The
in Exposition Park includes the history of the earth from its geology to the development and evolution of life. The Dinosaur Hall and the Gem Collection are highlights. Check out the Visitors Guide to the Natural History Museum
George C. Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits
More on Visiting the Page Museum at the LA Brea Tar Pits.
The Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology located at the Webb School of California in Claremont, northeast of Downtown LA, houses an impressive collection of fossils documenting the history of humanity on earth from single celled organisms to dinosaurs and other North American mammals, as well as "the largest, most diverse collection of animal footprints on display in North America."
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
More Los Angeles Area Art Museums
The Autry National Center in Griffith Park, including the Autry Museum of the American West, is a museum of the history of the American West. It contains the area's best showcase of Native American history in Southern California and beyond, as well as the history of cowboys in life, movies and television. More Entertainment Museums in LA.
Native American Museums and Attractions in LA
In addition to the Autry, Los Angeles has a variety of Native American museums and historic sites to educate the public about the California coastal Indians of the Los Angeles area and the history, arts and crafts of of Native American peoples across the country.
El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historic Site
El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historic Site at Olvera Street in Downtown Los Angeles appears on several of my lists of historic LA museums, as it's a good place to learn about Local LA History and includes the Avila Adobe, which is both a Historic Home Museum and a Historic Rancho. El Pueblo is also home to a couple Cultural Museums and a Firehouse Museum.
100 S. The Grove Dr.
Los Angeles, Ca. 90036
The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH) tells the history those who perished in the Holocaust and those who survived through artifacts and first person accounts.
The Bowers Museum in Orange County is both an art and history museum. It has the best collection showcasing the history of Orange County from the First Californians through the Mission and Rancho period.
LA Local History Museums
In addition to El Pueblo, there are dozens of local history museums around the LA area operated by various smaller cities and historical societies. Each one tells the story of the most significant citizens and companies of that particular area. Some are located within historic homes.
Missions, Ranchos and Adobes
The history of Los Angeles and Southern California is rooted in the Missions and Ranchos that preceded the establishment of cities in the area. Here is the list of historic Missions and Ranchos that are now museums you can visit.
Historic Home Museums in Los Angeles
In addition to the Ranchos, there are a variety of private homes that are significant because of their architecture or their inhabitants. These range from historic Victorian and Queen Anne homes to mid-century design showcases by famous architects.