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Best Free Museums in Los Angeles

By: Cityseeker
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La Plaza - La Plaza de Cultura y Artes

Focusing on the Mexican American experience in Southern California and the greater Los Angeles area, this cultural center celebrates the influence of the culture and its people. La Plaza de Cultura y Artes is located near the site where Los Angeles was founded in 1781 on a sprawling 2.2 acre campus. The center is home to two historic buildings, and a lush public garden. Take a peek at rotating exhibits, partake in an educational program or attend one of their many on-going events.

Los Angeles, CA, United States
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California African American Museum (CAAM)

This museum is devoted to Afrocentric artwork. It is a large space and has plenty to offer its visitors from painting to sculpture to multimedia installations by African-American artists. The owners also feature artists from the past and historical exhibits. There are many rotating exhibits as well, like the Rhythms of the Soul, a showcase of the instruments of Africa. The museum store sells artwork and other items related to the museum.

Los Angeles, CA, United States
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California Science Center

The California Science Center is anything but a regular museum! In addition to being one of the biggest museums in the city, the center helps kids and adults learn about science through exciting interactive displays and demonstrations. Try not to get splashed as you learn about river ecosystems, then marvel at spacecrafts, including the Space Shuttle Endeavour. For a reasonable fee, you can visit the IMAX Theater to catch a movie about nature. Anyone who loves to learn and explore is sure to love the California Science Center!

Los Angeles, CA, United States
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Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

Recognized as the oldest holocaust museum in the United States, the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust is a great museum of the dedication to remembering the past. This beautiful structure is a museum that offers tours and welcomes it's visitors. The museum showcases the history and past of Holocaust and the events of World War II.

Los Angeles, CA, United States
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Hollywood Bowl Museum

The Hollywood Bowl Museum is home to some of the best Hollywood legends the film industry ever witnessed. The main attraction here is a 10 minute video, which will enrich any visit to this legendary outdoor amphitheater. The film features the first ever recording here, as well as footage of a number of legendary performances over the years. Some of the highlights of the other exhibits include original designs by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Soundscape that lets you explore the myriad possibilities of sound and the GTE Museum Resource Center, which allows visitors to use computers to access thousands of photos, documents and video clips. Check website for varying open dates.

Los Angeles, CA, United States
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Travel Town Museum

This place is heaven for train-loving tots. An interactive museum in the old-fashioned sense of the word, youngsters can climb in, around or on all the attractions, and many of them will want to do so for hours upon end. Kids can even take a mini train ride for a small fee. The antiques, which include artifacts from trains to classic cars to horse-drawn carriages, showcase the country's railway history—which is especially relevant to California. This museum is a treasure for transportation lovers of all ages.

Los Angeles, CA, United States
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Wende Museum

Wende Museum is a non-profit museum about the Cold War. It houses over 100,000 artifacts from the Cold War period that showcase life during this unique time. Visit the museum and see the huge collection of objects from Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. See part of the Berlin Wall and political propaganda as well as items from the daily life of a Soviet, such as furniture and artwork. Wende Museum also conducts educational programs and events.

Culver City, CA, United States
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Paley Center for Media

This shrine to the media allows visitors to see footage and hear recordings of some of the most memorable events and programs in modern history. The museum has a collection of more than 75,000 television and radio programs, including some well-known commercials from over the years. Visitors can choose up to four segments from the catalogue to watch or listen to at any one time; for example, you could view the Beatles, Elvis Presley, I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners simultaneously. The museum is modeled after a similar structure in New York, established by the former head of CBS Television, William S. Paley.

Los Angeles, CA, United States
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Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation

Art collector and philanthropist Frederick Weisman opened his former private residence and collection to the general public in 1991. There is no admission charge to visit this gallery, since Weisman believed that art contributes to the public good. The residence is built in the Mediterranean Revival style, and you'll be able to see a range of art, from European modernist pieces to abstract expressionist works. Magritte, Rauschenberg, Rothko, and Picasso are featured in the collection. See contemporary sculptures on the outside lawn. Tours are held five days a week and must be pre-arranged.

Los Angeles, CA, United States
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J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center

The Getty Center is a museum you can't miss. With lofty skylights and original architecture, it is one of the best museums in Los Angeles. The center stores a multitude of art, sculpture, and photographs from Europe and America. You can also check out old manuscripts and decorative arts here. Highlights of past years consist of Italian manuscripts from the Middle Ages and Renaissance and Rembrandt's Late Religious Portraits. Set aside a day for this museum, its Central Gardens and popular restaurant, which are sure to leave you breathless with their beauty.

Los Angeles, CA, United States
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J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa

A multimillion-dollar restoration process has breathed new life into the original site of J. Paul Getty's first museum. A trip to this visionary's realm is an educational experience set in an enthralling and awe-inspiring environment. Take in the marvelous architecture as you explore the halls housing Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art collections and antiquities. Over 1,200 works are on display in various galleries devoted to the permanent collection, with additional galleries for rotating exhibitions. The Villa prides itself on its jewelry assortment and coin collection. The iconic, bronze kouros, Victorious Youth is a great crowd drawer.

Los Angeles, CA, United States
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