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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 a country 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 ride service can’t solve. Just plan your day trip wisely and you’ll be hopping about with ease.