Off-Campus Activities : Museums

Don’t miss the opportunity experience the museums of Los Angeles. The city offers museums for all! Get cultured by visiting the Getty or Museum of Contemporary Art, or plan a day of fun and visit the Hollywood Museum of Wax and the American Film Institute.

Historical Museums

Adobe de Palomares
491 E. Arrow Highway,

This historic structure was built in 1854 as a way station for both the San Bernardino stage line and the 20-mule-team freight carriers. Adobe de Palomares was the 13 room home of Don Ygnacio Palomares and his wife, Dona Concepcion Lopez de Palomares. Its construction lasted from 1850 to 1854, the period of the great California gold rush, that was accompanied by California statehood. The house represents the meeting of two cultures: Mexican-era adobe construction combined with American influenced technology, seen in the use of milled roofing and flooring. Open Sundays from 2-5.

Bowers Museum of Cultural Art
2002 N. Main Street, Santa Ana

The museum has benefited from a $12 million expansion and restoration of the museum’s original 1936 Spanish-style buildings. You will also find the kidseum where children can experience and celebrate the beauty, ceremony and history of many different cultures. Free Admission on the second and third Tuesday of every month. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00a.m. – 4:00p.m. Closed Mondays.

Casa de Rancho Cucamonga
7869 Vineyard Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga

Casa de Rancho Cucamonga, also known as the John Rains House, presents the 19th century history of California. Built in 1860, it was the first house in the United States to be constructed of fired bricks and also the site of the first commercial wine grape vineyard in the US. It began the first cultivation of grapes in California in 1849. Rancho Cucamonga and neighboring Ontario were major grape/wine and citrus growing areas prior to the 1970s, when residential development began. Open Wednesday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Group tours by special appointment. Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Mission San Juan Capistrano
Ortego Highway, San Juan Capistrano

Swallows are famous for migrating to this historic mission each year from their winter home in Argentina. They usually arrive punctually on March 19th, launching a week of festivities. The best time to see the swallows (before they head to Argentina in October) is either in early morning or early evening. Open Daily 8:30am – 5:00 pm Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas & Good Friday afternoon.

San Bernardino County Museum
2024 Orange Tree Lane, Redlands

This museum exhibits a keen sense of cultural and natural history of the American southwest. Collections of the archeological and geological materials may be seen. Open Tuesdays through Sundays, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm. Open selected holiday Mondays: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day. Closed most Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Dec. 25, and January 1.

Yorba-Slaughter Adobe Museum
17127 Pomona-Rincon Road, Chino

You can take a quiet trip back to the past here and find the original 1850s era adobe house and winery building. The Yorba-Slaughter Adobe, built in 1852-53, is one of the oldest standing residences in San Bernardino County, and among the most architecturally unusual in California.

Art Museums

Arm and Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center
10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles

The museum’s permanent collection includes works by Honore, Daumier, Cassatt, van Gogh, Monet, and Matisse. Free Admission on Thursdays. Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday:11 am-7 pm, Thursday 11 am-9 pm, Sunday 11 am-5 pm. Closed Mondays, July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

The Getty
1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles

The mission of the J. Paul Getty Museum is to delight, inspire, and educate a diverse public through the collection, preservation, exhibition and interpretation of works of art of the highest quality. Admission to the Getty Center is free. Parking is $5 per car. Hours: Tuesday-Friday: 10am-5:30pm, Saturday 10am-9pm, Sunday 10am-5:30pm Closed Mondays and major U.S. holidays.

Laguna Art Museum
307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach has always attracted artistic types. It is no surprise to find an exceptional art museum here with a terrific collection of historical and contemporary California art. The museum is free to the public the second Tuesday of the month. Hours: Open Daily 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Special hours: The Museum is also open from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month for the Laguna Beach Artwalk.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles

The second Tuesday of each month is free to all. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 12 noon to 8 pm, Friday: 12 noon to 9 pm, Saturday and Sunday: 11 am to 8 pm Closed Wednesdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Madonna of the Trails Statue
North Euclid Avenue and Foothill Boulevard, Upland

This statue, a memorial to pioneer mothers, was erected in 1929. It is one of 12 Madonna statues located throughout the US. Each of the 12 statues is exactly the same. The East side of the base of each statue is inscribed “Madonna of the Trail … NSDAR Memorial to the Pioneer Mothers of the Covered Wagon Days.” The West side of the base is inscribed “The National Old Trails Road.” The North and South sides contain local historical data and commemoration.

Museum of Contemporary Art

The Museum has a large collection of art from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. MOCA has 3 locations – see their website or call for details about specific exhibits at each location. Free admission to MOCA to all venues on Thursday, 5-8pm Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11am-5pm Thursday: 11am-8pm Closed Mondays, New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Science and Natural History Museums

George C. Page Museum and the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits
5801 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles

Ice-aged fossils are displayed at the museum. The sticky La Brea Tar Pits have been here for about 40,000 years. Since 1906, scientists have recovered the remains of many extinct species. Summer visitors can watch the paleontologist continue their excavations.

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is a crown jewel of Los Angeles’ museums. A national leader in exhibitions, education and research, the Museum is LA’s second oldest cultural institution, opening its doors in 1913. It is the largest natural and historical museum in the Western United States, safe guarding more than 33 million spectacular, diverse specimens and artifacts. Admission is free on the first Tuesday of each month. Hours: daily from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The Museum is closed Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Special Interest Museums

The Museum of Television and Radio
465 North Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills
(310) 786-1000

From noon until closing time, the Museum presents a wide variety of programs from the collection in two screening rooms and two main theaters. The Museum also offers live and taped radio broadcasts throughout the year, where stations from across the country come to the Ralph Guild Radio Studio to broadcast their shows.

Planes of Fame Air Museum
700 Merrill Avenue, Chino

Founded over 45 years ago, The Air Museum Planes of Fame, a nonprofit organization, has been dedicated to preserving aviation history for the benefit of future generations. Currently, The Air Museum houses over 150 aircraft at its two locations, the main facility at Chino Airport. The Air Museum displays aircraft spanning the history of manned flight, from a replica of the Chanute Hang Glider of 1896, through modern space flight, and includes numerous milestone achieving test and research flight vehicles.