California Science Center: The West Coast's largest hands-on science center is a great place to learn and explore. It has an IMAX theater for a larger-than-life film experience and all permanent exhibits are free to the public.
Hollywood Heritage Museum: This museum features historic photographs and cinema artifacts from the golden age of Hollywood. Old film buffs will enjoy all of the memorabilia on display.
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County: The largest museum in the western part of the U.S.! Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this museum is that the collection of artifacts found there span about 4.5 million years in history. Exhibits include the new "Dinosaur Hall" and an insect zoo.
Getty Center: One of the best parts of this fabulous museum is that it's FREE. The Getty Center has an impressive collection of American and European artwork, and the building itself is a stunning work of architecture—with modern and unique elements, gorgeous gardens and an impressive view of the city.
Hammer Museum: The Hammer Museum is a contemporary art museum that is run by the School of the Arts & Architecture at UCLA (University of California Los Angeles). It features work by local artists and art students.
Page Museum/La Brea Tar Pits: Believe it or not, in the heart of downtown LA, you can find pits of tar (asphaltum, or "brea" in Spanish) bubbling up from beneath the Earth's surface. In fact, they have done so for about 40,000 years, revealing fossilized plants and animals from the last Ice Age (mammoths, birds and sabor-toothed tigers, to name a few), which are on display in the museum and laboratory.
Museum of the American West: This unique museum shares the diverse history of the American West. There are about 21,000 works in the collection. Through various exhibits, museum goers can learn about the various perspectives relating to the culture and traditions of the West.
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA): The main branch of this museum is in downtown Los Angeles, and features predominantly European and American Art, all created after 1940. It currently displays notable works of pop art and abstract expressionism.
Huntington Library & Art Collections: This institution is known for its collection of 18th century portraits and furniture, mainly British and French. The library itself holds an extensive collection of rare books, old manuscripts, and prints that are sure to delight lovers of literature. There are also beautiful botanical gardens featuring a historic cactus collection.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA): About a million people per year visit this museum for it's all-embracing collection of art—over 100,000 works. It has everything from contemporary pieces such as sculptures and statues, to Latin American and Asian artwork.
Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Ani is a fan of exploring new places through photography and the local cuisine. After earning her BFA in photography from NYU and gaining communications experience at International Planned Parenthood Federation, she joined InterExchange in 2012, and worked as the Marketing Producer until 2016.