The City of Angels, the entertainment capital of the world, the land of endless sunshine and palm trees. But did you know that it’s also home to some of the most beautiful museums in the United States? That’s right, art aficionados and culture vultures, buckle up and get ready for a ride, as we take you on a tour of the most stunning museums to visit in Los Angeles. And while you’re here, check out our guide to some of the best outdoor dining spots in LA as well. Ocean views and world-class museums… what more could you want from a city?!
#1 The Getty Villa
Tucked away in the Pacific Palisades, the Getty Villa is a breathtaking homage to ancient Greek and Roman art and architecture. As you stroll through its pristine gardens and intricate courtyards, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time. Marvel at the stunning collection of antiquities, including sculptures, vases, and mosaics, all housed within a replica of a Roman villa. With its serene atmosphere and stunning coastal views, the Getty Villa is a true oasis of beauty and tranquility. And to top it off, admission is free!
#2 The Getty Center
Perched atop a hill overlooking Los Angeles, The Getty is an architectural marvel that seamlessly blends art, nature, and breathtaking views. Wander through its sleek, white buildings and manicured gardens, and you’ll encounter an impressive collection of European paintings, decorative arts, and photographs. Don’t miss the iconic Central Garden, designed by artist Robert Irwin, where meandering paths lead to hidden sculptures and tranquil water features. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or just in it for the views, the Getty Center is sure to leave you spellbound. Admission is also free at this beautiful museum.
#3 The Broad
Prepare to be wowed at The Broad, downtown LA’s contemporary art mecca. With its striking honeycomb-like exterior and sleek, modern interior, this museum is a feast for the eyes from the moment you step inside. Get lost in the mesmerizing works of contemporary masters like Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, and Yayoi Kusama, whose infinity mirror rooms are a must-see. And don’t forget to snap a selfie in front of the museum’s iconic “Tulips” sculpture by Jeff Koons – it’s practically a rite of passage for art lovers. General admission is also free which is a huge plus!
#4 Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
Lights, camera, action! The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is one of the newer museums in Los Angeles; a cinematic wonderland that pays tribute to the magic of the big screen. But it’s not just what’s inside that’s impressive – the museum’s Saflex rooftop terrace offers panoramic views of the Hollywood Hills and the iconic Hollywood sign. Sip a cocktail as you soak in the sunset, or catch an outdoor screening under the stars. It’s the perfect blend of old Hollywood glamour and modern-day luxury. I’d also highly recommend dinning at Fanny’s, the museum’s restaurant which is named after the legendary actress Fanny Brice.
#5 Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
With its iconic “Urban Light” installation – a forest of vintage street lamps that’s become a symbol of LA itself – LACMA is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. But the museum offers so much more than just Instagram-worthy photo ops. From ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, LACMA’s vast collection spans thousands of years and countless cultures. And with its ever-changing lineup of special exhibitions and events, there’s always something new to discover at this cultural powerhouse.
#6 Natural History Museum
Step into a world of wonder at the Natural History Museum, where dinosaurs roam and butterflies flutter amidst towering exhibits and immersive dioramas. From the awe-inspiring T. rex skeleton in the Dinosaur Hall to the dazzling gems and minerals in the Gem and Mineral Hall, this museum is a treasure trove of natural wonders. And don’t miss the enchanting Butterfly Pavilion, where you can stroll through a lush garden filled with colorful butterflies from around the world. It’s a magical experience for nature lovers of all ages. Speaking of gardens, the Exposition Park Rose Garden can be found next door and is definitely worth a visit as well.
#7 The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
Last but certainly not least, we have The Huntington – a sprawling estate that’s part library, part art museum, and part botanical paradise. Explore the historic grounds and manicured gardens, where rare plants and exotic blooms abound at every turn. Then venture inside to discover a world-class collection of art and artifacts, including European paintings, American sculpture, and rare manuscripts. Whether you’re wandering through the rose gardens or marveling at the masterpieces, The Huntington is a feast for the senses that’s not to be missed, Here I always feel transported to faraway lands in Europe, the United Kingdom, and even Asia!