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Best Museums in Ontario

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Ontario Museum of History & Art

The Ontario Museum of History and Art aims to expand the community's knowledge of local culture through educational programs, exhibits and special events. The museum exhibits in detail, the life and people of the Inland Empire and the docents organize various outreach programs and field trips throughout the year. One of the highlights during Autumn is the Dia de los Muertos festival, when local artists showcase the macabre through painting, sculpture and crafts. Every year the event draws in thousands over the Halloween season.

Ontario, CA, United States
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Cooper Regional History Museum

If you ever wanted to learn about the history of Ontario, Upland, Montclair or the bizarrely named Rancho Cucamonga, then you have come to the right place. When it was established in 1965, the museum was named the Chaffee Communities Cultural Center after its affiliation with Inland Empire businessmen, William and George Chaffee. In 1997, the name changed to honor local benefactor Ada Cooper, a woman who made a philanthropic donation to the center. Inside, visitors will find exhibits, objects and documents that highlight the development and lives of people in this Southern California region. Moreover, the museum also houses an auditorium for performances, talks, workshops and concerts.

Upland, CA, United States
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African American Museum of Beginnings

The African American Museum of Beginnings has art, artifacts and cultural events that feature and highlight the African arts, culture and civilization from the bygone era. The Pomona gallery displays art and sculpture from various African cultures as well as those from the United States and beyond. Their assemblage features creative exhibits made by the town's preschoolers, apart from some breathtaking art works depicting the heritage, milestones and contemporary issues of the African community spread in different parts of the world.

Pomona, CA, United States
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Pomona College Museum of Art

Located in the city of Claremont, the Pomona College Museum of Art is a teaching museum which features student artwork from the private liberal-arts college as well as pieces from more established artists. The exhibitions are definitely eclectic, some of the past ones have included exhibits on Chinese snuff bottles, stencil drawings, sculpture and paintings from writer-composer and Pomona alumnus John Cage. Needless to say the varied media is impressive. Moreover, the James Turrell Skyspace is an architectural wonder which focuses on the nature of light and how it is emitted. The lighting programs within the room are timed for sunrise and sunset in order to amplify the color in the space.

Claremont, CA, United States
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Planes of Fame Air Museum

The Planes of Fame Air Museum started in 1957 as a project by Edward Maloney, who was an avid collector of WWII aircraft. Ever since his idea, the museum has been collecting historic flying machines, some of which are the only remaining ones of their kind. The museum also features the largest collection of Japanese aircraft in the world and since it's a living history museum, some of these can still fly, so make sure to catch the air shows to see history in action.

Chino, CA, United States
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American Museum of Ceramic Art

Established in 2001, the American Museum of Ceramic Art is one among a handful of exposition spaces thoroughly dedicated to ceramics in the United States. Over the decades, Pomona has become known as a clay mecca, from its heyday in the 60's with the Arts and Crafts Movement until developing into a haven for the modern Studio Pottery set. The museum's permanent collection has more than 7000 artifacts, including industrial ceramic objects, Mettach ceramics dating back to the 19th-Century, Southern-made cutlery and historic utensils from Europe and Americas. Additionally, the museum also offers workshops and classes in the art of ceramics and kiln.

Pomona, CA, United States
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NHRA Motorsports Museum

Wally Parks was a larger than life character who established what is today the largest organization for motorsports in the world, the National Hot Rod Association. This museum presents the man behind the sport, memorabilia, artifacts and actual vehicles in a modern building that chronicles the history of the sport, from its inception in 1951 to the present-day. It's the ultimate museum for the race fan, where guests can learn more about their favorite drivers, see some cars and find out what's behind all those vehicles with names like 'Funny Car', 'Alcohol Dragster' and 'Super Stock'.

Pomona, CA, United States
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Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art

Located on the Chaffey College campus, the Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art is a teaching museum that primarily highlights work from students, but it also hosts other temporary exhibits from artists in the Inland Empire. In addition to contemporary art, the Wignall hosts talks and conferences for the benefit of the college as well as the community. Admission is always free and the galleries are closed on Fridays, Sundays and Holidays.

Rancho Cucamonga, CA, United States
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