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Casey Makovich

Top Museums in Los Angeles to Visit During Your Trip

Planning a vacation to Los Angeles? Our insiders put together a list of top LA museums to consider adding to your itinerary. Los Angeles is home to lots of museums that offer a diverse array of subjects for visitors to explore. Take a break from trying to spot a celebrity and be sure to visit a few Los Angeles top museums.

Want Passes to Top Los Angeles Museums?

Admission to a number of these attractions are included on the Go Los Angeles® Card. Choose as you go from dozens of top attractions and save up to 55% on combined admission vs paying at the gate. Browse all available Los Angeles Multi-Attraction Passes. A few of the museums available on the Go Los Angeles Card include...

  • Hollywood Museum
  • Madame Tussauds Hollywood
  • GRAMMY Museum
  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
  • La Brea Tar Pits & Museum
  • and more!

Hollywood Museum

Image of Indoors, City, Road, Street, Urban, Basement, Chair, Furniture, Get the most detailed and thorough glimpse into the history of showbiz at the famous Hollywood Museum, located in the historic Max Factor Building. With 10,000of real artifacts and props showcasing 100 years of Hollywood on the big screen, restored makeup rooms, one-of-a-kind costumes, props, photographs, scripts, elaborate movie sets, and more, this museum explores all things Hollywood. Be sure to check out the extensive Marilyn Monroe exhibit, one of the museum's most popular displays. If you want to see Rocky's boxing gloves, Paris Hilton's party dresses, or Hannibal Lecter's jail cell from Silence of the Lambs, this is the place. Getting in: Hollywood Museum tickets are included on the Go Los Angeles Card All-Inclusive Pass.

Madame Tussauds Hollywood

Image of Computer Hardware, Electronics, Hardware, Screen, Monitor, Fashion, Adult, Male, Man, Person, Formal Wear, Tie, People, Hat, TV, Microphone, Female, Woman, Crowd, Suit, Meet all of Hollywood's most popular celebrities under one roof...sort of. Located next to the world-famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre, this wax museum is the best of its kind. Get up close to over 100 astounding life-like wax figures. Pose with Johnny Depp, Clark Gable, Beyonce, and tons of Hollywood's most beloved characters. Make sure to bring your camera to this 3-story celebrity hangout, a photograph with your favorite star is the ultimate Hollywood souvenir! Getting in: Madame Tussauds Hollywood tickets are included on the Go Los Angeles Card All-Inclusive Pass.

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

Image of Animal, Zoo, Grass, Nature, Outdoors, Pond, Water, Park, Adult, Female, Person, Woman, Elephant, Mammal, Wildlife, Travel back to the last Ice Age when mammoths and saber-tooth cats roamed through Los Angeles at one of the world's most famous excavation sites and fossil museums. The La Brea Tar Pits and Museum is celebrated for having the largest and most diverse collection of extinct Ice Age animals and plants in the world. A unique aspect of this museum is that visitors can get up close to the action by watching scientists at work in the excavation pits of the Page Museum Laboratory and see bones being cleaned and repaired. Check out Hancock Park, outside the Museum, to see life-size replicas of several extinct mammals. Getting in: La Brea Tar Pits and Museum tickets are included on the Go Los Angeles Card All-Inclusive Pass.

GRAMMY Museum®

Image of Lighting, Club, Adult, Female, Person, Woman, Night Club, Microphone, Male, Man, Discover how music affects our emotions and enriches our lives at one of L.A.'s best pop culture museums. This non-profit educational institution was inspired by the GRAMMY Awards, which celebrate the best of musical accomplishment each year. Through interactive exhibits, you'll go behind the scenes of the music-making industry and recording processes and learn about the history of the GRAMMYs. Feel the excitement of being at the Awards show firsthand as you lounge in the Museum's 200-seat Theater and watch The Making of a GRAMMY Moment. This one-of-a-kind museum located at the heart of L.A. and is a great way to experience music as in industry so integral to the culture of Los Angeles. Getting in: GRAMMY Museum tickets are included on the Go Los Angeles Card All-Inclusive Pass.

Battleship IOWA Museum

Image of Water, Waterfront, Road, Boat, Vehicle, Harbor, Pier, Outdoors, Yacht, Known as the "Battleship of Presidents," the Battleship IOWA Museum stands as a testament to the sailors who served the US in World War II. You'll get to explore what life was like for sailors on similar vessels and learn about various topics, like history, science, technology, engineering, and math, and the role they played in WWII. Insider tip: download the "USS Iowa" app on your mobile phone to add to your experience. Getting in: Battleship IOWA Museum tickets are included on the Go Los Angeles Card All-Inclusive Pass.

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

Image of Indoors, Museum, The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles is home to one of the world’s most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history. Explore the planet’s biodiversity and natural history at this dynamic learning laboratory. Exhibit highlights include: real dinosaur and mammal fossils, natural gems and minerals, habitat dioramas, and ancient Latin American archaeological treasures. Visitors will enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at paleontologists at work in the Dino Lab where dinosaur fossils are prepared daily. Getting in: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles tickets are included on the Go Los Angeles Card All-Inclusive Pass.

Huntington Library and Gardens

Image of Nature, Outdoors, Pond, Water, Housing, Scenery, The Huntington is a private, nonprofit institution founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington and home to an expansive collection of rare books and manuscripts of Anglo-American civilization, art collections, and botanical gardens. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the museum’s 650 paintings and 440 works of sculpture focus on two distinct areas—European art from the 15th to the early 20th century, and American art from the late 17th to the mid-20th century. Qualified scholars will enjoy the library, one of the most complete research libraries in the United States in its field of British and American history. The ever-changing exhibit of botanical gardens covers 120 acres and features a Teaching Greenhouse where visitors can learn some fundamentals of botany. Getting in: Huntington Library and Gardens tickets are included on the Go Los Angeles Card All-Inclusive Pass.

The Broad Museum

default alt tag By Eric Garcetti (The Broad Museum Preview) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Opened in 2015, The Broad Museum is a new contemporary art museum in LA. The museum contains more than 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection, which includes some of the esteemed collections of postwar and contemporary art worldwide. In addition to its permanent collection, The Broad also hosts an active rotation of temporary exhibitions and innovative installments that keep audiences engaged and coming back. The Broad Museum features two floors of gallery space to showcase the comprehensive collection and is the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation’s worldwide lending library. Getting in: The Broad Museum offers free general admission, but advanced reservations are highly recommended as tickets are limited.

J. Paul Getty Museum (The Getty Center)

Image of Indoors, Museum, Bench, Furniture, Art, Painting, Shoe, Person, Backpack, Bag, Adult, Male, Man, Female, Girl, Teen, Handbag, Hat, Glasses, By Caroline Culler (User:Wgreaves) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Located on a hilltop in the Santa Monica Mountains is L.A.'s visual arts mecca. The Getty Center houses a variety of genres and mediums including European paintings, drawings, sculptures, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and European and American photographs. The building, an architectural masterpiece itself designed by Richard Meier, offers beautiful gardens, open spaces, and one of the best views of the city. The Getty's constantly changing exhibitions combined with its outstanding permanent collection make it L.A.'s premier museum, attracting upwards of 1 million visitors annually. Getting in: The J. Paul Getty Museum admission is free, but advanced, timed reservations are required.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Spanning the globe and traveling through the depths of time with its collection of artwork, the LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States. This seven-building complex on 20 acres of land shares its collections through exhibits, public programs, and research facilities. Explore the full range of creative work from multi-media artists like Tim Burton or learn about the evolution of photography. This dynamic museum is an unbeatable destination for any art-lover. Getting in: Los Angeles County Museum of Art tickets are available for purchase upon arrival.

Autry National Center Museum of the American West

Image of Building, Person, Shop, Shopping Mall, By Gary Minnaert (Minnaert)) (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
A truly unique museum, the Autry is an intercultural history center devoted to sharing and preserving the different stories of the diverse peoples of the American West. A 500,000-piece collection and assorted exhibitions are designed to engage you in critical issues of society through the history of Western experience. Getting in: Autry National Center Museum of the American West tickets are available for purchase upon arrival.

Remember to Save on Museum Admission

Our list of some of the most popular museums in Los Angeles. Remember, many (if not all) of these options are included on the Go Los Angeles Card, where you can save up to 55% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.

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