Contrary to its reputation as a city based on glitz and glamour, Los Angeles is also a hotbed of culture. Many of the world’s leading museums are in Los Angeles, and several of them are free for visitors to explore. These museums celebrate Los Angeles’ artistic, cultural and historic past in a variety of ways.
The Getty Center
Set in the hills that separate Los Angeles from the San Fernando Valley, the Getty Center is home to one of the preeminent collections of classic and modern art in the world. Over 1.3 million visitors come to the museum each year to see the vast and unique collection of classical European art along with contemporary works of American and European art, photography and multimedia. Works by Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin are among the paintings on display.
California Science Center
Located across the street from USC, the California Science Center is a multi-story complex designed to give children a chance to explore a wide range of scientific endeavors through interactive and hands-on exhibits. It is also home to the Air and Space Gallery, which showcases historic aircraft along with spacecraft such as the Gemini 11 capsule.
The Hollywood Bowl Museum
Few concert venues have the history and grandeur of the Hollywood Bowl, and the Hollywood Bowl Museum collects memories from the venue’s past. Interactive exhibits highlight the great jazz, rock, pop and classical artists who have graced the stage over the years, along with telling the history of the venue’s original construction and recent renovations. It is also the home of the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame.
Travel Town Museum
Kids and adults who love trains are “on track” for fun when they visit the Travel Town Museum at Griffith Park. The museum tells the story of railroad transportation and its vital role in helping to spur growth in the western United States during the 19th and 20th centuries. The museum features many different antique and replica steam locomotive and passenger cars. Visitors can even ride a scale train track around Griffith Park.
The California African American Museum
Along with the California Science Center, the California African American Museum offers another enriching and free museum option at Exposition Park. Guests can learn about the history of African Americans in California and Los Angeles, including their contributions to the culture, art and history. The museum is also home to many free concerts and other cultural activities throughout the year.