Now that summer is finally in full swing, it’s time to think about some incredible summer sight-seeing trips to add to your planner - particularly in the form of some seriously out-there museums! Ready to learn more about what it would take to live in the Jurassic period, or to dive into a pool full of brightly colored sprinkles? No matter what your interests are or what your background may be, there’s absolutely a museum for you. Whether or not you’re into the more natural side of things, or if you’re the kind of person who can’t wait to explore the wildest modern art, this list of incredible museums is the perfect place to start planning your summer adventures.
From a museum filled only with velvet creations to a museum that documents some epic failures in history, there’s truly no end to the unique, eye-opening exhibits that these museums have to offer. The history, artistry, and innovation behind each of these fun museums makes them all the better - and make for some absolutely awe-inspiring visits! Plus, each one of these museums has a little something for everyone, making many of them great stops for family vacations.
25 Get Lost In The Museum Of Illusions - Hollywood, CA
How can you tell what’s right and what’s real? Experiment with reality at the Museum of Illusions, located right on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles!
With a series of interactive, gorgeously designed exhibits, the Museum of Illusions asks visitors to suspend their idea of reality and to dive in head first to a world of color, angles, and patterns like none other.
Want to test your perception of reality? Step right up and grab tickets to this mind-blowing experience.
24 Explore Infinity At The Broad - Downtown Los Angeles, CA
A popular contemporary art museum in Downtown Los Angeles, The Broad is a must-see stop for those museum-hopping this summer. But what makes The Broad a totally unique experience is the incredible Infinity Mirror Rooms exhibit. Yayoi Kusama’s 'The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away' is currently being displayed at The Broad, the first visiting special exhibition of its kind. Besides the incredible mirror selfies to be taken in the exhibit, the lights and mirrors give visitors the unique feeling of floating peacefully in space.
23 Dive Into A Cabinet Of Wonder At The Museum of Jurassic Technology - Los Angeles, CA
Located in the Palms district of Los Angeles, The Museum of Jurassic Technology is certainly one of the more curious things you’ll find while exploring the city of stars!
Self-described as an “educational institution dedicated to the advancement of public knowledge”, the museum boasts a unique combination of items from what is described as the “Lower Jurassic”.
According to the museum’s homepage, the institution has two functions: to provide a repository of relics and artifacts and to provide the general public with an exciting hands-on experience of life in the Jurassic.
22 Bunny Lovers Rejoice At The Bunny Museum - Altadena, CA
The magnificent Bunny Museum, located just northeast of Los Angeles, is not only a one-stop destination for those who love everything rabbit-themed, but is actually a world record-holding museum! That’s right - there’s nowhere else in the world you could go to find as many rabbit-themed items. According to The Bunny Museum’s website, there are more than 33,000 bunny-related items currently on exhibition at the museum. Plus, there are even some live bunnies on the premises!
21 The Museum Of Failure Proves That It’s Okay To Fall Down - Hollywood, CA
While success may be at the forefront of everyone’s minds, The Museum of Failure proves that not only is it okay to fail, but sometimes spectacular failures make some for some great lessons.
Located in Hollywood, CA, the museum also has roots in Sweden and often travels to different festivals around the world to celebrate just what it means to strike out with success.
In the museum, visitors will find all kinds of failures throughout history - from Colgate’s Beef Lasagna to Swedish Fish flavored Oreos.
20 All's Aglow At The Museum Of Neon Art - Glendale, CA
The Museum of Neon Art is the perfect stop for anyone who’s into the growing vaporwave movement - or anyone who simply loves classic neon signs! The museum is dedicated to encouraging learning about the art of neon art, from the classic neon sign to large art installations made entirely with neon components. According to MONA’s mission statement, the museum exists as a gateway between science and art and hopes to bring the connection between the two into the public eye.
19 See (And Touch) All Things Velvet At The Velveteria - Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA
For those who love all things velvet, Velveteria is absolutely the place to visit! According to Velveteria’s website, the museum is curated by owners (and velvet-lovers) Caren Anderson and Carl Baldwin, who opened the velvet-themed museum in 2013.
With over 3,000 paintings from all over the world, Velveteria features pieces that are made exclusively of, you guessed it, velvet.
The museum is always accepting new velvet-themed pieces, so the content of the collection is always evolving and changing.
18 Treat Your Sweet Tooth To Candytopia - Santa Monica, CA
What’s better than visiting a candy-themed museum? Being able to take part in the exhibits, of course! The totally interactive Candytopia, located in Santa Monica, CA, is truly a sweet tooth's dream. From marshmallow ball-pits to endless candy corridors, the museum promises to be an incredible time for those of all ages. According to the Candytopia website, the interactive installation strives to celebrate the color and flavors of our favorite candies, all while providing a visually stunning space in which to do so.
17 Cool Down At The Museum Of Ice Cream - San Francisco, CA
Beat the summer heat at the super yummy Museum of Ice Cream! While many of us die-hard ice cream lovers might argue that it deserves to be its very own food group, everyone can agree that the sweet treat is certainly something to be celebrated.
Located both in San Francisco, CA, and New York City, the Museum of Ice Cream truly unites each and every person through a mutual love of ice cream.
According to the Museum of Ice Cream website, the exhibition strives to create a movement of imagination and pure creativity.
16 Find Out What It Really Takes To Be A Black Belt At The Martial Arts History Museum - Burbank, CA
So you think you know about martial arts? Test your knowledge at this family-friendly museum, which features exhibits on martial arts styles across history! Located in Burbank, CA, the Martial Arts History Museum is devoted to spreading and understanding the teachings behind different martial arts styles and techniques. Filled with artifacts that span the reach of centuries, the museum provides an exciting look into the evolution of martial arts and is one that visitors of all ages can get into.
15 Come Up Smelling Like Roses At The FIDM Fashion And Perfume Museum - Los Angeles, CA
Perfect for the fashionista, the FIDM Fashion and Perfume Museum is a must-see. With exhibits that feature unique styles throughout history, the museum provides an intimate, detailed look at the evolution of fashion.
Featuring notable designers throughout the ages, the museum strives to tell the story of how fashion has grown and changed with our ever-changing society.
Additionally, the Annette Green Fragrance Gallery on the second floor of the museum is the perfect place to get familiar with the history of perfume - and to find your favorite scent at the same time!
14 Hang Ten At The International Surfing Museum - Huntington Beach, CA
Surf’s up at the International Surfing Museum! The non-profit museum, located in Huntington Beach, CA, strives to preserve the history of surfing and surf culture as found throughout the globe. Even if you’ve never ridden a wave before, you’ll love touring the history of surfing - from viewing one-of-a-kind surfboards to learning about surfing record-breakers. Besides paying homage to the sport's varied and colorful history, the International Surfing Museum also explores the possibilities of how today’s culture might influence the future of the surfing.
13 Learn All About Animalkind At The Animal Museum - Los Angeles, CA
Love all things animals? The Animal Museum, located in Downtown Los Angeles, is the perfect stop for anyone and everyone who wants to support and learn more about our furry (or scaly, or feathered) friends!
According to The Animal Museum’s website, the museum focuses on creating an interactive, encouraging environment in which visitors can learn about the last 150 years of animal protection and how the relationship between animals and humans has grown and changed throughout history.
From exhibits on the politics of meat to the bond that we have with our pets, The Animal Museum has something for any and every animal lover.
12 Support Up-And-Coming Artists At The Marciano Art Foundation - Los Angeles, CA
The Maurice and Paul Marciano Art Foundation is a brand new contemporary art museum located right in Los Angeles. The space is dedicated to finding up-and-coming contemporary artists and giving them a space in which to display their work. According to the Marciano Art Foundation’s website, the Marciano Art Foundation provides a space in which visitors can both discover and engage with the art. The museum hopes to encourage curiosity and contemplation of art, particularly in the ways in which it can impact and enrich the lives of all who experience it.
11 Build Up An Appetite At The Pacific Food And Beverage Museum - San Pedro, CA
Hungry? It’s not hard to work up an appetite when visiting the Pacific Food and Beverage Museum! Located in San Pedro, CA, the museum is a division of the non-profit National Food & Beverage foundation (NatFAB), an organization that showcases the work of the food and beverage industry elite, including those who might otherwise be overlooked when it comes to the history of food.
Though the museum is currently a work in progress, visitors can still take part in different classes and events that feature different aspects of the food industry.
The museum strives to get visitors to learn about what really goes into the food that they’re eating - from farm to table.
10 Celebrate Street Art At Beyond The Streets - Los Angeles, CA
Beyond The Streets is a unique museum that focuses on the exhibition of graffiti and street art. Bursting with color and design, every piece in the museum is totally unique; some feature sculpture, others feature photography, multimedia, and more in both outdoor and indoor spaces. According to the Beyond The Streets website, the museum is curated by graffiti historian, urban anthropologist, and art collector Roger Gastman. Gastman has made it his work to explore and celebrate the world of street art - and you can too, by giving Beyond The Streets a visit.
9 Name That Tune At The Grammy Museum At L.A. Live - Los Angeles, CA
Are you a music lover? If so, the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live is an absolute must-visit! Devoted to the history of the show (and of course, all of the winners), the GRAMMY Museum provides an interactive, educational study of the music industry.
Open seven days a week in Downtown Los Angeles, the GRAMMY Museum has something for all music lovers - no matter what your favorite genre might be.
Plus, visitors can take a stroll through incredible, in-depth exhibits, such as those on Michael Jackson and John Coltrane.
8 Get Crafty At The Craft And Folk Art Museum - Los Angeles, CA
If you spot this brightly colored and patterned building in Los Angeles, you won’t regret a stop to check it out! This is the home of the Craft and Folk Art Museum, which has been a staple of Los Angeles for a whopping 43 years. According to the Craft and Folk Art Museum’s website, the museum is a classic not only because visitors get to see and interact with different pieces, but they get to contribute to the gallery by making art as well. The museum also holds many community nights and strives to give back to the organizations around them.
7 Take Your Car Knowledge For A Test Drive At The Petersen Automotive Museum - Los Angeles, CA
Have a love for classic cars? You’ll absolutely fall for the exhibits at the Petersen Automotive Museum! Located along Museum Row in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, the museum is home to some seriously incredible cars spanning the history of the automotive industry.
According to the Petersen Automotive Museum’s website, the museum was founded in June of 1994 by Robert E. Petersen.
Though the museum once had a home at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the museum now has its own incredible 100,000 square foot location.
6 See The World In 360 Degrees At Velaslavasay Panorama - Los Angeles, CA
For some seriously cool history, check out the Velaslavasay Panorama! Complete with an exhibition hall, theater, and gardens located in Los Angeles, the Velaslavasay Panorama features the only painted 360-degree panorama created in the United States since the nineteenth century. According to the Velaslavasay Panorama’s website, the interactive, immersive environment is one that truly allows the viewer to truly experience a “complete sensory phenomenon”. The museum also features events such as silent films, crafting nights, and historical organization meetings.
5 Get In Touch With Your Spooky Side At The Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum - Burbank, CA
If you’ve got a flair for the paranormal or are simply interested in the workings of the occult, you’ll have a smashing good time at The Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum!
Located in Burbank, CA, the museum is home to all sorts of spooky, timeless treasures that’ll set your mind - and heart - racing!
The museum has several exhibitions each month, with themes that range from the kooky to the truly creepy. Check out the museum’s gift shop for some seriously unique knick-knacks to transform your own home into a delightfully creepy space.
4 Explore The Private Antiques Collection Of The Getty Villa - Malibu, CA
The sister location to the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Villa is located on the eastern end of the Malibu coast in Los Angeles, CA. Dive into the ancient worlds of Greece and Rome with J. Paul Getty’s private collection of ancient artifacts and artwork, and even enjoy tea by the sea with meals inspired by the herbs of the ancients. Besides being home to some seriously dazzling pieces of Greek and Roman history, the Getty Villa has four gorgeous gardens that make the perfect date spot.
3 Get Wild At The Autry Museum Of The American West - Los Angeles
Located in Los Angeles’ beautiful Griffith Park, the Autry Museum is dedicated to exploring an inclusive history of the American West.
The museum strives to take a look at the stories of all people of the American West and to preserve and maintain those stories.
According to the Autry Museum’s website, the organization maintains quite the presence year round with lectures, film, theater, and festivals that revolve around this inclusive history of the west. Their massive collection includes over 500,000 pieces of art and artifacts.
2 See Stars At The Hollywood Museum - Hollywood, CA
Ready to test your knowledge of your favorite classic stars and shows, and learn all about the making of your favorite movies? Located right in the heart of Hollywood, The Hollywood Museum is the perfect one-stop shop for Hollywood history, including costumes, scripts, photos, and props used in some of your favorite classic films! Perfect for the classic film buff, The Hollywood Museum boasts the most extensive collection of Hollywood memorabilia in the world. Filled with over 10,000 film treasures, the museum beautifully showcases 100 years of Hollywood, from silent film to present day blockbusters.
1 Go All-Natural At The Natural History Museum Of Los Angeles County - Los Angeles, CA
A can’t-miss on the museum list, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles is sure to be an incredible experience for visitors of all ages.
Looking to walk with dinosaurs or swim with sea lions?
According to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles’ website, the museum itself protects over 35 million specimens, some dating back over 4.5 billion years - and the interactive environment at the Natural History Museum makes not only for the perfect learning environment but for a seriously unforgettable trip.
References: discoverlosangeles.com, tripsavvy.com, thrillist.com