Rain or shine, there's nothing better than spending the day indoors exploring L.A.'s cultural treasures. From world-class museums to historic libraries, here are some of the best cultural attractions in Los Angeles for a rainy day.
1. Step Out of the Rain and Into L.A. Museums
Jeff Koons, “Balloon Dog (Blue)” (1994-2000) | Photo courtesy of The Broad, Facebook
There is no shortage of world-class museums in Los Angeles, but given that the average temperature is 72 degrees and sunny, many cultural institutions are designed with the outdoors in mind. Here are ten arts destinations you can visit without feeling guilty about skipping any adjacent gardens and outdoor sculptures, so you can see art and still stay dry. Read More →
2. Shift Into High Gear at The Petersen
Forza Motorsport 6 racing simulator | Image courtesy of Petersen Automotive Museum
Two decades after The Petersen Automotive Museum opened its doors to the public, the museum celebrates its 21st year anniversary with a complete redesign, adding 25 new mesmerizing galleries totaling over 100,000 square feet. The renovated museum is opening on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. The museum’s new exhibits feature Disney/Pixar CARS characters, Xbox/Forza simulators, BMW art cars, the new $400,000 Ford GT, an amazing motorsports gallery, virtual tours on your iPhone or iPad, and much more.
3. View the Wartime Photographs of Ansel Adams
Ansel Adams, “Entrance to Manzanar,” 1943 [detail]. Gelatin silver print (printed 1984). Private collection; courtesy of Photographic Traveling Exhibitions.
On view at the Skirball Cultural Center through Feb. 21, 2016, Manzanar: The Wartime Photographs of Ansel Adams offers insight into a disquieting period in California and American history. The exhibit features 50 little-known photographs by celebrated landscape photographer, Ansel Adams (1902–1984) that depict the treatment of Japanese Americans at the Manzanar incarceration camp in central California. Taken during World War II, the black and white works were originally published in Adams’s book Born Free and Equal (1944) in which he protested what he called the “enforced exodus” of a minority of citizens. Read More →
4. Explore the Universe at Griffith Observatory
Hall of the Eye | Photo by Justin Donais, © Friends Of The Observatory
The Griffith Observatory is one of L.A.’s greatest cultural attractions, offering spectacular views from the Pacific Ocean to Downtown L.A. from its perch on Mt. Hollywood in Griffith Park. The observatory and accompanying exhibits were opened to the public on May 14, 1935. Today, the Griffith Observatory is renowned as a national leader in public astronomy, and a beloved gathering place for visitors and Angelenos alike. Read More →
5. Blast Off with the Space Shuttle Endeavour
Space Shuttle Endeavour | Photo by Leroy Hamilton, courtesy of California Science Center
On Oct. 30, 2012, the California Science Center became the permanent home of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, which landed at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in September 2012. After an extraordinary journey through the streets of L.A., the Endeavour went on public display in the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion. Read on for the Top 10 must sees and hidden gems of the Endeavour. Read More →
6. Get Wild at the Natural History Museum
Everthing old is new in the Natural History Museum's new Dinosaur Hall, filled with over 300 real fossils, 20 complete dinosaurs and ancient sea creatures. Also don't miss their visiting exhibit, Extreme Mammals, which runs through September 10, 2017.
7. Take a Journey Through Time at the Annenberg Space for Photography
“Planet of Life” from “LIFE: A Journey Through Time” | Photo by Unique Nicole, courtesy of Annenberg Space for Photography, Facebook
Now on view at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City, LIFE: A Journey Through Time is a photographic interpretation of life on Earth from the Big Bang to the present by acclaimed National Geographic photographer Frans Lanting. Read More →
8. Saddle Up and Ride to The Autry
Billy Schenck (United States, born 1947), "A River Runs Through It," 2011, oil on canvas [detail]. Donated by Billy Schenck. Autry Museum of the American West; 2014.34.1
Experience the next level of toys and games at the fun new Play! exhibition Autry National Center of the American West through January7, 2018, or witness Standing Rock: Art and Solidarity through posters, art, clothing, photographs, and a video installation of the protests and conflicts as they have unfolded, exploring the broader meanings of these events. In the context of the Autry’s other galleries, this display echoes a long history of conflict between a settler society and Indigenous nations in the American West. Read More →
9. Travel the World with L.A.'s Multicultural Masterpieces
“La Calavera Don Quijote” by Felipe Linares at the Fowler Museum | Photo courtesy of williamaveryhudson, Flickr
Los Angeles has a rich Latino heritage, and the city’s vibrant Latino communities continue to influence and make lasting contributions its culture. It comes as no surprise that L.A.’s world-famous museums are teeming with outstanding artworks by Latin American masters. Read on for a guide to selected masterpieces of Latin American art at Los Angeles museums. Read More →
10. Discover L.A.'s Quirkiest Museums
“Rotten Luck: The Decaying Dice of Ricky Jay” at Museum of Jurassic Technology | Photo by Sgerbic, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Los Angeles has plenty of world-class museums filled with priceless works. Then there are the more humble institutions, the ones catering to more obscure and specialized tastes. From bunnies to martial arts and velvet paintings, here are 10 quirky L.A. museums worth seeking out. Read More →
The cultural landscape of Los Angeles has been deeply influenced by African American artists and philanthropists and it continues to blossom because of them. In the visual arts scene, contributions by African American artists are plentiful and are constantly on view at many of L.A.’s world-famous museums. Read on for a guide to selected African American masterpieces in Los Angeles museums. Read More →
From ancient art to contemporary works, Los Angeles museums showcase world-class collections of Asian art and Asian American cultural history. Read More →
11. Tour the Landmark Houses of L.A.
Eames House | Photo courtesy of gufm, Flickr
Los Angeles is known around the world for its masterpieces of residential architecture. Famous fans of these landmark designs include Ice Cube and Moby. From L.A.’s oldest house to Mid-Century Modern icons, discover some of the most famous houses in Los Angeles.Read More →
12. Learn About the Historic Theatres on Broadway
Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Theatre, Facebook
Stretching for six blocks from 3rd to 9th Streets along South Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles, the historic Broadway Theatre District includes 12 movie theatres built between 1910 and 1931. New generations of Angelenos can now experience live performances and cultural events at these spectacular venues. Read on and discover the great movie palaces of the Broadway Theatre District. Read More →
14. Browse L.A.'s World-Class Libraries
Main Exhibition Hall at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens | Photo by Tim Street-Porter, courtesy of The Huntington Library
Los Angeles libraries are among the most renowned in the country, featuring incredibly rare editions, important historical archives, and unique collections found nowhere else. Browse these listings and begin your literary journey through some of L.A.’s best libraries. Read More →