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5 Museums to Visit in Southern California
Explore new worlds of art and automotive at these California museums

There are all kinds of museums across the southern half of California, ranging from local history to aviation and automotive. Whether you’re looking for a day inside to entertain the kids or looking for inspiration in some artwork, consider one of these popular museums in Southern California.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

With a collection of over 135,000 objects on display, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is the largest art museum in the western United States; it attracts more than 1.5 million visitors every year. There are a variety of exhibitions on display, as well as educational programs covering film, music and art classes.

San Diego Air & Space Museum

The San Diego Air & Space Museum works to preserve the important artifacts of aviation and space. The museum has four primary goals: to preserve, inspire, educate and celebrate. Artifacts preserved in the museum date back to the 1780s, with the Montgolfier brothers’ hot air balloon as a primary feature. The museum’s learning programs work to inspire and educate its visitors, while the museum as a whole is designed to celebrate all of the accomplishments in aviation and space history.

Petersen Automotive Museum

If you’re a car enthusiast, there’s no better place to visit in Southern California than the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The museum was founded by Robert E. Petersen and his wife Margie in 1994. The entire museum recently got a face lift, receiving a $90 million renovation in 2015. With three themed floors, you can explore automotive history, industry and artistry.

Pasadena Museum of California Art

The Pasadena Museum of California Art displays traditional art and design exhibits with a strong focus on featuring local artists. “It is a rare opportunity and privilege to contribute to the planning and launch of a new museum that will set out to explore and clarify the contributions of California artists, architects and designers in a national and international context,” said Wesley Jessup, the founding director of the museum. In addition to its traditional art displays, the museum offers educational opportunities like printmaking workshops and artist lectures. Admission to the museum is $7 for adults, $5 for students and is free for children 12 years old and younger. 

Heritage Museum of Orange County

The city of Santa Ana is home to the Heritage Museum of Orange County, a nearly 12-acre display of floral gardens and historic buildings. Buildings on the grounds date back to the 1890s and include the Kellogg House and the John A. Maag Farmhouse. The farmhouse is the museum’s most recent addition and includes 5,600 square feet of living space. The museum has plans to utilize this space for exhibitions as well as offices and storage for archives.

Museums are not exclusive to painting and sculptures. There are locations out there for all types of people: car enthusiasts, pilots, astronauts and even history buffs. If you’re interested in learning more about these topics, consider visiting one of these many museums Southern California has to offer.

This article is presented by New Century BMW in Alhambra, California.

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