California Museums

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The $1.3 billion Getty Center. Architect: Richard Meier.  Opened: Dec.16, 1997. Admission: Free. See: J. Paul Getty Museum Paintings, Sculptures, Manuscripts & Photographs. Shop, Dine & Explore the Central Garden. 1.8 million annual visitors.

California Museums Directory

There are over 1,000 California museums featuring art, rare sculptures from antiquities such as those featured at The Getty Villa, and museums dedicated to a variety of unique subjects. Pez candy dispensers, neon signage, bananas, fans, oil, trains, gold, gems, and even life's oddities are topics that have museums dedicated to them. Museums often reflect local interests and culture. There are farming museums in California's Central Valley, logging museums in forested areas, surfing museums at California's beaches, and dozens of museums just for kids. Be sure to plan your vacations and road trips to include some of these great attractions!

TYPE

Air & Flight Museums

Car Museums

Kids Museums

Lighthouses

Missions

Oil Museums

Sports Museums

Surfing Museums

Train Museums

COUNTY

ALAMEDA COUNTY

Alameda Museums

Alameda: Meyer House

Alameda: Pacific Pinball Museum

Alameda: USS Hornet

Berkeley: UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology

BUTTE COUNTY

Chico: National YoYo Museum

Chico: Bidwell Mansion

Oroville: Chinese Temple

CALAVERAS COUNTY

Angels Camp: Angels Camp Museum

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY

Walnut Creek: Bedford Gallery

EL DORADO COUNTY

Placerville: Hangtown's Gold Bug Park

Placerville: El Dorado County Historical Museum

FRESNO COUNTY

There are dozens of outstanding, award-winning museums in Fresno County. See the full list...>

  • Fresno Art Museum, 2233 North First Street, Fresno CA 93703 | fresnoartmuseum.org
  • Arte Americas Cultural Center, 1630 Van Ness Avenue Fresno, CA | facebook.com/arteamericas/

HUMBOLDT COUNTY

Eureka: Blue Ox Mill

Eureka: Morris Graves Museum of Art in the Carnegie Building

Samoa: Samoa Cookhouse Logging Museum

KERN COUNTY

Bakersfield: Kern Country Museum Oil Exhibit

Taft: Western Kern Oil Museum

LOS ANGELES COUNTY

Altadena: Bunny Museum

Arcadia: Gilb History Museum

Avalon: Catalina Casino

Bellflower: Los Angeles County Fire Museum

Burbank: Burbank Historical Society Gordon R. Howard Museum Complex

Carson: International Printing Museum

Downey: Columbia Memorial Space Center Museum

El Segundo: Automobile Driving Museum

Glendale: Forest Lawn Museum

Hollywood Hills: Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills

La Verne: Heritage Park

Lomita: Lomita Railroad Museum

Long Beach: Rancho Los Alamitos

Long Beach: Rancho Los Cerritos

Long Beach: Long Beach Art Museum

Long Beach: Queen Mary Museum Tours

Long Beach: Historical Museum Gallery

Long Beach: Museum of Latin American Art

Los Angeles: Hollywood Forever

Los Angeles: Heritage Square

Los Angeles: Autry National Center

Los Angeles: Flight Path Learning Center Museum

Los Angeles: The Getty

Los Angeles: Lucas Museum

Los Angeles: Lummis House Museum

Los Angeles: Andres Pico Adobe

Los Angeles: Natural History Museum

Los Angeles: The Broad

Los Angeles: County Museums

Los Angeles: The Hollywood Museum

Los Angeles: La Brea Tar Pits

Los Angeles: Museums List

Los Angeles: Travel Town Transportation Museum

Los Angeles: Wells Fargo Museum

Manhattan Beach: Manhattan Beach Historical Museum

Newhall: William S. Hart Museum & Ranch

Pacific Palisades: The Getty Villa

Pasadena: Pasadena Museums

Pasadena: Gamble House

Pasadena: Pasadena History Museum

Redondo Beach: Redondo Beach Historical Museum

San Marino: Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens

San Pedro: Los Angeles Maritime Museum

San Pedro: Fort MacArthur Museum

San Pedro: Muller House

San Pedro: USS Iowa Battleship

Santa Fe Springs: Hathaway Oil Museum and Ranch

Torrance: Historical Society & Museum

Torrance: Western Museum of Flight

Whittier: Whittier Museum

Wilmington: Banning Museum

Wilmington: Drum Barracks Civil War Museum

MARIN COUNTY

Sausalito: Bay Area Discovery Museum

MARIPOSA COUNTY

Mariposa: Mineral & Mining Museum

MERCED COUNTY

Merced County Courthouse

MONTEREY COUNTY

Salinas: Museum of Medical History

Salinas: Steinbeck House Museum

Salinas: National Steinbeck Center

ORANGE COUNTY

Brea: Olinda Oil Museum and Trail

Buena Park: Independence Hall & Liberty Bell Replica

Buena Park: Whitaker-Jaynes Estate & Bacon House

Costa Mesa: Heroes Hall, a Veterans Museum

Costa Mesa: Historical Society

Garden Grove: Stanley Ranch Museum

Huntington Beach: International Surfing Museum

Huntington Beach: Newland House Museum

Newport Beach: Balboa Island Museum

CLOSED: Newport Sports Museum

CLOSED: Ocean Quest (formerly XploreOcean; Newport Harbor Nautical Museum)

Orange: Huell Howser California Gold That's Amazing Champan U Exhibit

Santa Ana: Bowers Museum

CLOSED: Seal Beach: Red Car Museum

Westminster: Blakey Historical Park

PLACER COUNTY

Auburn: Bernhard House Complex

Roseville: Maidu Museum

Roseville: Telephone Museum

RIVERSIDE COUNTY

Banning: Malki Museum

Desert Hot Springs: Cabot's Pueblo Museum

Hemet: Western Science Museum

Mecca: International Banana Museum

Temecula: Temecula Valley Museum

Temecula: Pennypickles Workshop

SACRAMENTO COUNTY

Folsom: Powerhouse State Historic Park

Folsom: Folsom Prison Museum

Folsom: Murer House Learning Center

McClellan: Aerospace Museum of California

Sacramento: California Automobile Museum

Sacramento: California State Railroad Museum

Sacramento: Governor's Mansion

Sacramento: Sutter's Fort Museum

Sacramento: The California Museum

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY

Redlands: Historical Glass Museum

SAN DIEGO COUNTY

Carlsbad: Museum of Making Music

Carlsbad: Shipley-Magee House

Encinitas: Old Schoolhouse

San Diego: Balboa Park Museums

SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY

San Francisco: Alacatraz

San Francisco: Boudin History Museum

San Francisco: De Young Museum

San Francisco: Exploratorium

San Francisco: Asian Art Museum

San Francisco: Maritime Museum

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY

Cambria: Hearst Castle

Nipomo: Dana Adobe

San Luis Obispo: San Luis Obispo County Historical Museum

SAN MATEO COUNTY

CLOSED: Burlingame: Pez Museum

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY

Santa Ynez: Santa Ynez Historical Museum Parks-Janeway Carriage House

SANTA CLARA COUNTY

Los Gatos: New Museum Los Gatos

Mountain View: The Computer History Museum

San Jose: The Tech Interactive

San Jose: Winchester Mystery House

SHASTA COUNTY

Lassen Volcanic National Park: Loomis Museum

SONOMA COUNTY

Santa Rosa: Charles M. Schulz Museum

TRINITY COUNTY

Weaverville: Joss House

TULARE COUNTY

Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park: Giant Forest Museum

VENTURA COUNTY

Camarillo: Camarillo Ranch

Oxnard: Mullin Automotive Museum

Santa Paula: California Oil Museum

Santa Paula: Agriculture Museum

Ventura: Museum of Ventura County

YOLO COUNTY

Woodland: Heidrick Ag History

EVENTS

California Museums Free Admission Days List

Smithsonian Free Museum Day

Museums in California offer great opportunities to learn and usually have affordable admission fees. Some are run by volunteers and their hours don't always guarantee that the volunteer staff is there to open the doors. It is recommended that you check with the museum of choice before going to confirm that they are open.

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