Miracle Mile was the first commercial development in LA designed expressly for the benefit of drivers, and so a former department store makes an apt home for this museum of car culture. A 2015 redesign has since turned the automotive history museum into more of a high-tech gallery, with about 150 cars on display. There's a glimpse into the rise of car culture in Southern California, but that mostly takes a backseat to a focus on the progress, dominance and dazzling good looks of the automobile.
The museum's narrative begins in the third floor gallery with a bit of automotive history; you'll find sections dedicated to Southern California road culture and Hollywood cars, from the Tim Burton era Batmobile to Walter White's Pontiac Aztek. Head down a level and you'll learn about the industrial design process from start to finish; an on-hand Art Center design studio makes the motif feel especially alive. The ground floor shows off the artistry of cars, with a showroom dedicated to sumptuously swooping vintage vehicles. Make no mistake, though: all of the floors are essentially about the art fo the automobile, just viewed through various lenses.
Technology, both automotive and interactive, runs through the museum's redesigned gallery spaces; most significantly, they've ditched wordy didactics in favor of tablets in many spots. You'll find Forza 6 driving simulation stations and a Cars-inspired discovery center on the second floor, complete with an augmented reality experience that takes visitors on a car-building scavenger hunt around the space. Though the museum has 96 tablets available for the Cars experience, we suggest reserving a time slot in advance.
|Venue name:||Petersen Automotive Museum|
6060 Wilshire Blvd
|Opening hours:||Daily 10am-6pm|
|Price:||$15; seniors $12; students (with ID) $12; children $7; children under 3 free; active military (with ID) free; parking free for the first 30 minutes with validation, $12 flat rate after|
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Average User Rating
4.7 / 5
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ou can't miss this place as it's a modern steel and red building on the corner of Wilshrie and Fairfax!
I've always heard of this museum and finally had a chance to check it out with my dad for his bday. I'd recommend coming here on Sunday as there's not too many people and tons of free parking on Wilshire Blvd. Parking is about $13 in the museum.
They have a great collection of vintage, sports, and concept cars! There are 3 main levels in which the exhibit covers. It was so cool to see all the cars they had here. I also love how new and fresh the museum is. On the bottom floor, they have a temporary exhibit that switches out and we were luckily enough to see Porsche!
As an added bonus, they do have VR for car racing. It's a fun way to get get involved. They also have something called The Vault which you pay $20 more per ticket which is a 90 minute guided session for more cars. We didn't opt for this but perhaps next time.
Not only do I love the design of the revamped museum, but the car collection inside is pretty outstanding as well. There are a few missteps - I think they could have scaled down the exhibits on designing a car, and that whole Disney Cars section was a little weird - but overall it is quite well done. Unfortunately, there is a big push for visitors to Instagram their visit (photos are then displayed in the lobby), and so I saw quite a few people walking around, taking a picture (or 5) of a car, and then leaving without really looking at it. But such is life in 2016.