Skim through the must-visit attractions in Los Angeles and you’ll notice a trend: It’s a lot of outdoorsy fun. So committing to a day inside of a museum might pose a tough undertaking. In fact, choosing anything over a 75-and-sunny day at the beach is a hard ask—especially if you’re visiting from somewhere with a colder climate.
But here’s the thing: No matter how good the weather, visiting L.A.’s museums is essential. Among the city’s best things to do, Los Angeles museums rival those in Chicago, Washington D.C. and New York, without a doubt. And, lucky you, a whole bunch of them have stunning outdoor campuses, with hilltop views, sculpture gardens and sunny courtyards.
To get you started (or to continue your education) we’ve narrowed down L.A.’s long roster of museums to the essentials. Locals, consider this your must-see list (and if you’ve already visited them all, check out these great off-the-beaten-path museums). No short-on-cash excuses either: Many of these are free museums and all of them offer free admission on select days. And sure, these spots might be spread out but that’s nothing a Metro trip or ridesharing service can’t solve.
Just a heads up: Masks are required indoors and you’ll need to present proof of your vaccination status or a negative test result within the past 72 hours to visit any museum within the City of Los Angeles (which includes nearly all of the picks on our list below).
This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.