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LA's Best Permanent Museum Exhibits

natural history museum header credit darleene powells
(credit: Darleene Powells)

Southlanders have access to cultural opportunities only available in a metropolis the size and with the diversity of Los Angeles. The many permanent exhibits available are crowned by these leading venues. From natural history, ancient art and space exploration exhibits, visitors learn and enjoy the world around them, and all leave with new inspiration.

natural history museum credit darleene powells
(credit: Darleene Powells)

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

900 Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 763-3466

From African mammals to Latin American art and from California history to dinosaurs, the permanent exhibits at LA's Natural History Museum excite the young and old. The world famous museum offers a spectacle of earth's natural and cultural history with a focus on the Southland. With more than 34 million specimens, some dated over 4.5 billion years, museum goers will enjoy a complete picture of the planet's evolution as we continue toward the future.

Related: LA Holocaust Museum Opens Doors To New $18M Home

Los Angeles Holocaust Museum

Los Angeles Museum of The Holocaust

100 S. The Grove Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 651-3704

The Museum of The Holocaust commemorates those who suffered most in the darkest period of western civilization. With a mission to educate future generations, the museum has become the primary source of historical documents and artifacts of the Nazi-perpetrated holocaust. This sad and sobering permanent exhibit's intent is to assure "it doesn't happen again," and visitors will discover a profound human connection with a history not to be forgotten.

Getty Villa
Photo Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

The Getty Villa

17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
(310) 440-7300

Strictly modeled after an ideal Mediterranean villa, this museum is a step back into the beginnings of western culture and civilization. Twenty-three galleries offer visitors more than 1,000 works of art from the Etruscan, Roman and Greek worlds. Reaching back 8,000 years to the first millennium, visitors stroll the galleries and outdoor walks immersed in the past brought to life.

Space Shuttle Endeavour
(credit: Lawrence K. Ho-Pool/Getty Images)

Endeavour and the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center

California Science Center at Exposition Park
700 Exposition Park Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037
(323) 724-3623

Centered on the recently acquired Space Shuttle Endeavour, the Air and Space Center brings home the reality of space flight and its impact on the nation and world. Hands-on exhibits provide a learning experience in the sciences of engineering, flight and exploration. After 25 missions and traveling 123 million miles, the Endeavour was trucked across the streets of Los Angeles to its new home – now Southlanders hold a stake in the history of space exploration.

Related: Guide To Visiting Space Shuttle Endeavour

(photo credit: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

Griffith Observatory

2800 E. Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(213) 473-0800

Before spaceflight, humans explored space by peering up from earth. Above the Los Angeles basin, visitors tour the historic Griffith Observatory with its many permanent exhibits. The building was designed in the first decades of the 20th Century. Whether for a day visit or by night, special events and presentations for the small price of admission have informed and entertained for generations. Astronomy comes alive for the novice and expert as well.

Robert Cuthbert is a freelance writer covering all things Los Angeles. His work can be found on


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