Best Museums in Los Angeles, According to Local Experts

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Most people go to Los Angeles for Hollywood’s entertainment scene or the world-famous food. However, LA locals know that the City of Angels has some incredibly underrated museums. We’re not saying you shouldn’t check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame, or spend $1,000 on sushi, but when you’re done with all that, make sure to check out one of these epic museums!

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

This museum will have you feeling like you’re a character from The Secret Garden. The Huntington Library is perfect for people who don’t like the stuffiness regular museums can bring.

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According to Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills director of front of house Joyce Louie, “The Huntington is a museum that does not feel like a museum. For me, The Huntington is like going to Disney World when I was a kid and trying every ‘country’ in Epcot — there is the Australian Garden, Japanese Garden, Jungle Garden … even the Shakespeare Garden!”

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

It may be best to visit this family-friendly museum in late 2024, as that’s when it will debut its $75 million makeover. The Natural History Museum is the biggest of its kind in the Western U.S., boasting nearly 35 million specimens and artifacts that stretch across a timeline of some 4.5 billion years.

Petersen Automotive Museum

This is the perfect place to go if some people in your travel group are car enthusiasts and others can’t even change a tire, as there’s plenty to do for those who are less motor-inclined.

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Not only does the Peterson Automotive Museum have one of the world’s biggest car collections, but it also boasts a racing simulation and iconic cars that anyone can enjoy – such as the automobile featured in the Batman movies.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

You’ll never get bored at this museum, as it features tons of temporary exhibits. That said, there are plenty of permanent displays as well, so you can rest assured that your favorites will always be there.

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According to L.A.-based creative director and cultural strategist Maritza Lerman Yoes, “The museum has made a commitment to investing in substantial public art pieces that make LACMA a recognizable beacon of the Los Angeles art world.”