The best way to get to know a new place is by understanding its history. The spirit, the fears, the tragedies, and the successes that town has undergone in the past have made it what it is today. Nothing brings the history of a place to light more simply and more beautifully than a trip to the local museum. Art tells stories in a way a good book can’t, and the following museums in Los Angeles excel at storytelling. You don’t have to spend your entire vacation visiting all of the best LA museums, but do try and make a place for at least a few of them in your vacation itinerary!
Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard
Combining the best of the past with the promise of the future, the photography exhibits found here don’t just tell a story, they fight battles, they represent freedom, and they show us the good, the bad, and the ugly of the world today. Admission is free, so a visit to the Hammer Museum, one of the best LA museums, won’t put a strain on your vacation budget.
Norton Simon Museum, 411 W Colorado Boulevard
From the classics, we learn the beauty and the tragedy of history, and the Norton Simon Museum, with its large collection of classic masterpieces, will move you in ways modern art isn’t always capable of doing. Rembrandt, Raphael, Degas—all the masters have a place here and in our hearts.
Japanese American National Museum, 100 N Central Avenue
Sometimes the stories being told aren’t the ones we want to hear, and those are the most important stories of all. The Japanese American National Museum brings to life the indignities suffered by Americans of Japanese heritage during World War II, but also celebrates the art and culture of their Japanese ancestors.
Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, One of the Best LA Museums, 250 S Grand Avenue
The people of LA are a creative bunch, and it takes a lot of room to express their creativity—three buildings full, in the case of the Museum of Modern Art. The Grand Avenue branch is the one we will be talking about today, featuring art from the most notable contemporary artists of our time. The works of Pollock, Warhol, Lyon, and many others hang on the white walls of this institution; if you can’t visit all three branches, stick with this one!
Peterson Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Boulevard
The evolution of the automobile offers a glimpse into the history of our world, and the Peterson Automotive Museum tells the story with style and grace. Featuring examples of cars from 1886 (the Benz practical car) through today (2017 Gypsy Rose Piñata) and some motorcycles as well, the grease knuckler in your family won’t say no to this, the most unique of the museums in Los Angeles!