5 Museums To Explore in Los Angeles
Los Angeles has much more to offer than palm trees, sunny beaches, and celebrity sightings. Warm up to the city’s smarter side with a tour of these renowned institutions.
Whether you’re a tourist or a native Angeleno, everyone appreciates a refreshing day at a museum learning amazing new things about humanity’s past. If you’re in the mood for art, science, or the history of space exploration, Los Angeles has it all. Here are a few of the city’s favorite gems.
1 - Los Angeles County Art Museum (LACMA)
LACMA has been a favorite of tourists and locals alike for a very long time. The experience is remarkable before you even enter the museum, with Chris Burden’s iconic (and very Instagrammable) installation “Urban Light” greeting visitors outside the gates. Once inside, the museum’s permanent collection includes works by Ansel Adams, Diego Rivera, Honore Daumier, James Abbot McNeill Whistler, and many others. Temporary and traveling exhibitions change throughout the year and feature art ranging from contemporary paintings to ancient relics. Admission is $20 per adult; free for L.A. County residents after 3pm on weekdays; and free for all visitors on the second Tuesday of every month. Free admission may be available to members of specific programs; visitors can refer to the website for more information.
5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 | lacma.org
2 - The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
Formerly a police car warehouse, the Geffen Contemporary was renovated by renowned California architect Frank Gehry. Located in the Little Tokyo Historic District, the 40,000 square foot exhibition space showcases the work of various contemporary artists throughout the year. Admission is free every Thursday from 5pm to 8pm, and weekends through March 25.
152 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012 | moca.org/visit/geffen-contemporary
3 - The Getty Center
The Getty Center, part of the Getty’s collection of institutions that also includes the Getty Villa and J. Paul Getty Museum, is a unique experience. Entering the museum requires taking a special tram from the street-level parking area up the hillside to the museum itself, from which you can take in scenic views of Los Angeles. Once on the main campus of the museum, visitors can enjoy the museum’s permanent collection as well as special exhibitions, spanning from the medieval period to the present. Architecture tours are available in 45-minute durations. Visitors can also wander the museum’s famous gardens, or dine in the museum’s restaurant. Admission to the museum is free; parking is $15 or $10 after 3pm.
1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049 | getty.edu/visit/center
4 - The Broad
Housing more than 2,000 pieces of art in its permanent collection, the Broad boasts one of the most prominent postwar and contemporary art collections in the world. Founded by Eli and Edythe Broad, the museum's collection spans the 1950s to the present and has operated a lending program to museums and galleries across the globe since 1984. General admission is free, but reservations are strongly encouraged as the lines to enter the museum can be extremely long.
221 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012 | thebroad.org
5 - Griffith Observatory
Griffith Observatory opened in 1935 as the third planetarium in the United States. Located in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, the public institution’s mission is to inspire everyone “to observe, ponder, and understand the sky.” In addition to exhibits and live shows, the observatory houses a Zeiss 12-inch refracting telescope that is available for free public access “each evening the Observatory is open and skies are clear.” Visitors have the option of hiking up to the observatory from one of Griffith Park’s hiking trails below or parking at the top of the peak near the observatory. Both options offer stunning views of the city and Hollywood sign. Admission is free.
2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles, CA 90027 | griffithobservatory.org