When people picture Los Angeles, CA, museums may be the last thing to come to mind. Although there are beaches and premieres galore, Los Angeles still offers come beautiful cultural pursuits. Here are five of LA’s top must see museums.
This Italian stone wonder sits on a 124 acre hilltop plot of the Santa Monica mountains and was donated by the J Paul Getty estate. The museum offers free entry and over one million visitors explore the museum and its grounds every year, making it one of the most visited museums in the US. Its six buildings house permanent collections of paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, decorative arts and multiple temporary exhibitions. The museum and its ground are huge, so prepare to spend the day exploring. If you time, also remember to visit the Roman-inspired Getty Villa in Malibu.
The cool Los Angeles County Museum of Art holds 100,000 pieces and is the largest museum in the western United States. Its made up of several buildings and houses works from multiple periods and styles. Check out the Japanese art in the Pavilion, the large modern art collection or some of the over 2,000 works of contemporary art. Chris Burden’s Urban Light installation, comprised of 202 antique street lights, stands in front of the museum and has been an LA landmark since its unveiling in 2008.
Page Museum/La Brea Tar pits
A great museum for kids and budding paleontologists, the Page Museum is located at the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits in downtown LA. Bones of Ice Age animals such as the wooly mammoth and saber tooth cats have been dug up and added to the museum’s collection of the largest and most diverse collection of Ice Age plants and animals in the world. A window in the Page Museum laboratory lets visitors see scientists and lab techs at work, and another viewing spot allows visitors to look at the work being done in the actual tar pits. It is part of the Natural History family of museums, including the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the William S. Hart Park and Museum.
Huntington Library & Botanical Gardens
This former private estate is located in San Marino, 12 miles outside of downtown LA. It’s collection of rare books and manuscripts are literary scholars dream. It has a huge collection on the American west, along with fine English works, such as the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and a world-class collection of the early editions of Shakespeare’s works. Non research scholars can enjoy the estate’s four separate art galleries (one of which hosts changing exhibitions) and the lovely 120 acre garden. Remember to make reservations for the Rose Garden Tea Room to take an afternoon tea buffet with views overlooking three acres of roses.
Located near the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Museum of Contemporary Art houses over 5,000 pieces of art, dating from the 1940s to the present day. The works of Roy Lichtenstein, Piet Mondrian, Jasper Johns, Diane Arbus and David Hockney can all be found here. With each ticket to the museum, you receive free admission and shuttle service to the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Little Tokyo. During the summer, the museum hosts Night Vision: MOCA After Dark, with 10 Saturdays in a row of late night programs and free admission.
Top 3 hotels in Los Angeles, California
- Hotel Hollywood City Inn – double room starting from €52,40/$70,00
- Stay Hotel – double room starting from €35,90/$48,00
- Hotel Los Angeles Adventurer – double room starting from €15,00/$20,00
Photo of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles by Northcountry Boy.