Museums Tour in Los Angeles (Self Guided), Los Angeles

Being one of the most culturally diverse cities in the US, Los Angeles contains a great number of museums that reflect the history of this city and the world. Its museums feature outstanding permanent collections, as well as rotating displays that specialize in television, radio and movie archives. Check out the famous museums in Los Angeles on the following self-guided tour.
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Museums Tour in Los Angeles Map

Guide Name: Museums Tour in Los Angeles
Guide Location: USA » Los Angeles (See other walking tours in Los Angeles)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Author: ashley
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Petersen Automotive Museum
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Craft Contemporary
  • Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits
  • Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
Petersen Automotive Museum

1) Petersen Automotive Museum (must see)

Founded in 1994 by Robert and Margie Peterson, this museum on Wilshire Boulevard is one of the biggest of its kind and is a must for any automobile fanatic. There is over 300,000 square feet of exhibition space spread out over four floors, housed in a former retailer building.

Here you can admire over 150 models of rare and classic cars, motorbikes and trucks along winding paths filled with superb dioramas that take you back through the automotive history in Los Angeles. You will find a Bentley built in 1919, a 1942 Lincoln Continental and even a Ferrari that was first driven in 1961, among the models that are all in excellent condition.

As well as traditional makes you will see here the original “Batmobiles” – one from the TV series, the other from Tim Burton’s film – and a taxi built by Syd Mead that was used in the film Blade Runner. The second floor houses temporary exhibitions and special events.

On the 3rd floor, the May Family Discovery Centre stimulates interest in science, teaching basic scientific principals through the functions of cars. Its hands-on workshops are great fun for adults and children alike.

On the 4th floor, the penthouse holds a conference centre, the Founder’s Lounge and kitchens, all of which can be hired for special occasions, parties and other functions.

Why You Should Visit:
The building is really nice, the roof deck is entertaining (especially at night), and the cars are amazing while also spaciously placed for easy viewing.

Be sure to take the extended Vault Tour. You will get to see and learn about a large number of vehicles not displayed in the main museum.
Also, note that LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) offers deals for the Museum Row locations – might be good to check it out.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-6pm
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

2) Los Angeles County Museum of Art (must see)

A nice thing about Los Angeles is that when you decide to visit the great museums here, you will find most of them not far from each other, on and around Wilshire Boulevard. One of the best ones is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Known locally as LACMA, this is the second largest encyclopedic museum in the United States. It was founded in 1910 as part of the Museum of History, Sciences and Art, but became independent in 1961 and is now housed in seven buildings on a 20-acre campus.

You can admire over 100,000 works of art from the pre-Columbian period to the present day, including an impressive collection from Central and South America. Japanese and Islamic art is also represented and the museum has the largest collection of Korean art in the world outside of Korea. Another section houses a magnificent Post-War collection of Contemporary Art.

The entrance to the Ahmanson Building, where you will find the section of Modern Art, is a favorite gathering point, at the foot of a flight of stairs, designed to resemble the famous Spanish Steps in Rome.

In front of the museum’s main entrance is a wonderful display of over 200 antique street lamps; the presentation, called “Urban Light”, was created by Chris Burden in 2008. LACMA’s gardens have over 100 different varieties of palm trees. To really make a day of visiting this fine museum, you can take a picnic, or have lunch in the museum bar/restaurant.

Why You Should Visit:
Several buildings to check out and an incredibly eclectic collection in all mediums.
Nice outdoor space and the street light installation is very very popular at night.

See what is on display before you plan your visit, and head to those sections that interest you.
On Sundays, there are free classical concerts in the Bing Theatre, which are put on by Sunday's Live.

Opening Hours:
Mon, Tue, Thu: 11am–5pm; Fri: 11am–8pm; Sat, Sun: 10am–7pm
Craft Contemporary

3) Craft Contemporary

When you think you’ve visited all the museums on Wilshire Boulevard, make sure that you haven’t missed the small Craft Contemporary.

This museum started out as “The Egg and the Eye” Café in 1965, serving over 50 different types of omelettes and selling international folk-art. The café closed down and was transformed into a hands-on museum in 1973, with workshops run by artists and educative programmes.

It’s really a great place to spend an hour or two, where you can learn how to make pot-pourri bowls out of almost anything that can be recycled: plastic bottles, newspapers, cardboard, etc. The museum displays crafts such as woodcarving, papier-mâché, metal work, religious artefacts, clothing, basketwork and weaving. The items are local or international, traditional or contemporary.

The best part of the museum is the gift shop. If you are looking for an original present or a souvenir for yourself, you’ll be sure to find one here! The shop is full of handmade crafts including hand-woven clothes, jewellery, toys and musical instruments such as tambourines, tam-tams, Kudu horns (the fore-runner of the vuvuzela) and beautifully decorated Rainsticks. There are also books about folk-art and educational books for children with step-by-step pictures showing them how to make small baskets, knit a scarf, and make paper-Mache objects and many other interesting items.

Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm; Saturday-Sunday 12:00 – 6:00 pm
Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits

4) Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits (must see)

One place you really shouldn’t miss while in Los Angeles is the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park on Wilshire Boulevard. It is a part of the Natural History Museum and is a fascinating place to visit.

The tar pits have been here for over 40,000 years, leaking asphaltum to the surface and trapping unwary animals in their sticky depths when those unfortunates came to drink the water that covered the pits from time to time. The pits are a Registered National Landmark and feature replicas of mammoths trapped in the largest of them. There are over a hundred of these pits, mostly man-made, as the area was exploited for its asphalt.

Scientists have found nearly 4 million fossils in the pits since 1875 when the first remains were discovered, and they haven’t come to the end of their research. In the museum, you will see the remains of rabbits, wolves, saber-tooth tigers and mammoths, as well as perfectly preserved Ice-Age plants and insects. In a special room, scientists clean and repair the fossils and you can watch them at work through a glass-fronted wall.

The museum has an excellent shop where you will find books about the history of the tar pits and the research done there, postcards, note-paper, posters, costume jewelry, and wonderful educative toys.

If visiting both this and the Natural History Museum, try it as a preview to the larger NHM (combo tickets will save you some money, too).

Opening Hours:
Sat-Thu: 9:30am–5pm; Fri: 9:30am–8pm
Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

5) Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

You will find the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, or LAMOTH, in The Grove. It is the oldest museum of this kind in the United States. It is an eye-opening and heart-catching experience and isn’t recommended for children under the age of 12.

The idea for the museum began in 1961 at the Hollywood High School, where students who had survived the Holocaust got together and decided they needed a place to keep the various artefacts they had carried out of that hell. They also wanted to express the horror and inhumanity of the era so that future generations would never forget and never repeat the monstrosity.

In 2010 a new building was designed by Hagy Belzberg on Pan Pacific Park. It has one of the largest green roofs in California and nine exhibition rooms that use lighting in an innovative way: from room to room the lighting grows dimmer as you approach the darkest pages ever to be written in the History of mankind. The original artefacts, donated by survivors from all over the world, are arranged in such a way that they tell their own mute story. There are also interactive video and audio exhibitions and you will find printed guides that give details of the people whose histories you will find throughout the museum.

In The Memory Pool in the World That Was section you will learn about Jewish life in Europe before the Second World War. Wall displays give a picture history of the Rise of Nazism between 1933 and 1938. In the World Response/Resistance/Rescue section you will find stories and photos of the brave people who helped to hide and to save their Jewish friends and neighbours.

18 displays in the Deportation and Extermination and Labour/Concentration/Death Camps sections depict the horror and harshness of the Nazi-created “final solution”; the monitors showing footage taken from the era are particularly difficult to watch. You will also find exhibits from the persecution of Catholics, homosexuals and other unfortunates who didn’t fit in with Nazi Idealism.

There are also scale models, one of Hartheim Castle where the mentally ill and handicapped were imprisoned and used in horrendous medical experiences. The model of the Sobibor Death Camp is accompanied by a video where one of the survivors explains how the camp worked and how its inmates finally rebelled and were saved.

Hours: Mon - Thu 10:00am - 5:00pm; Fri 10:00am - 2:00pm; Sat - Sun 10:00am - 5:00pm

Walking Tours in Los Angeles, California

Create Your Own Walk in Los Angeles

Create Your Own Walk in Los Angeles

Creating your own self-guided walk in Los Angeles is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Movie Studios Walking Tour in Los Angeles

Movie Studios Walking Tour in Los Angeles

Los Angeles movie studios are truly star factories, where many great movies are filmed. There are many movie studios in Los Angeles. Some of them, such as Paramount Pictures and Dreamworks, are very famous, while others, like Raleigh and Ren-Mar are obscure. Check out these wonderful movie studios in Los Angeles in the following self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 Km or 3.6 Miles
Live Music Venues Walking Tour in Los Angeles

Live Music Venues Walking Tour in Los Angeles

The nightlife in Los Angeles is extremely varied to suit everyone's taste. This is particularly true in relation to the clubs, restaurants and bars that host live music performances. Take the following walking tour if you'd like to see live R&B, rock, jazz or blues concerts.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Los Angeles Comedy Clubs Walking Tour

Los Angeles Comedy Clubs Walking Tour

Los Angeles is an absolutely perfect place to enjoy comedy performances, as the crowd is especially warm and energetic here. Great comedians from all over the US and the world come to Los Angeles to perform and become famous. Take this self-guided tour to discover LA’s best comedy clubs.

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.6 Km or 6 Miles
Hollywood Walk

Hollywood Walk

Hollywood, LA's by far most famous district, is a popular destination for sightseeing and nightlife. It is also a historic center of film making. Paramount Studios, the only large film studio still operational in Hollywood, and the iconic Walk of Fame, are just some of the district's major attractions. To see what else the famous area has to offer, follow this self-guided walking tour...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.2 Km or 3.2 Miles
Los Angeles Architecture Walking Tour

Los Angeles Architecture Walking Tour

Los Angeles means many things to many people, but it undoubtedly has some of the most significant architecture in the world. The city of LA was one of the centers of the art deco movement and features a great number of amazing historic houses, monuments, as well as modern buildings. Take this self-guided tour to explore the most famous architecture in Los Angeles.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 Km or 3 Miles
Los Angeles Theaters Walking Tour

Los Angeles Theaters Walking Tour

Los Angeles is loaded with a great number of outstanding theaters. These theaters showcase outstanding performances and productions that you will not want to miss. Many of the theaters are now national historic landmarks. Take this self-guided tour to explore the amazing theaters in Los Angeles.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

Los Angeles: 15 Souvenir Shopping Tips and Ideas for Travelers

Los Angeles: 15 Souvenir Shopping Tips and Ideas for Travelers

With some many celebrities per square mile, living or just visiting, practically any stone in LA could pass for a souvenir that one time or another was touched, held or walked upon by some of the movie or rock stars, or was filmed in one of the many movies shot in the City of Angels for almost a...
10 Amazing Food to Try in Los Angeles (LA)

10 Amazing Food to Try in Los Angeles (LA)

I love food. You love food too. And because we’re foodies, we want every meal to be as good as if it were our last. So for those few times us foodies sit at a table and unexpectedly strike gold, we must remember, honor and share that memorable meal. Here is a list of affordable LA area culinary...
15 Charming Cafes with Fast and Free Wifi in Los Angeles

15 Charming Cafes with Fast and Free Wifi in Los Angeles

Need to find free wireless connection AND a great cup of coffee? These charming cafes, hot-spots and writers’ hang-outs are scattered across LA but catalogued by neighborhood. These indie cafes cater to screenwriters, students and tourists who want to set up camp with their laptops for a few hours...