Orange County Museums

No Visit to a California destination would be complete without visiting one of the many museums. California has a reputation as a haven for people with creative minds, and you can see this in its multifaceted cultural offerings. Arts abound here in four main formats: large-scale, world-class organizations; smaller, quirkier museums, often showcasing the Golden State’s history and its abundant idiosyncratic subcultures (think surfers, Silicon Valley techno-wizards, and Peanuts aficionados).

When the weather hinders traditional camping activities (or not) stretch your mind with a visit to one of California’s museums. Need more encouragement? Check outThe 10 reasons to visit a museum!

Discovery Science Center is located at the Main Street exit off Interstate 5 in Santa Ana. Just look for the giant cube on the east side of the freeway. This is a hands-on science museum for children. Examples of science, geology, physics and much more are portrayed in over 100 exhibits. Children learn how an airplane flys, what it feels like to be in an 8.0 earthquake, what creates a tornado and much more. Visit www.discoverycube.org

Marconi Automotive Museum - Tustin is located off the 55 Freeway from Edinger Avenue. The Museum features an impressive 30 million dollar collection of historical, exotic and classic cars. Cars on disply include top fuel dragster, Ferrari FX, Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing, Jaguar XJ-220S and many more. The collection include super bikes, Formula 1 & Indy racecars, American muscle cars, vintage racing and high performance exotics. Visit www.marconimuseum.org

Bowers Museum is located off Interstate 5 between Highways 55 and 22 in Santa Ana. The building itself is historic and resembles many local Spanish Missions. Permanent exhibits focus on the art and artifacts of early Californians and pre-Columbian pieces from Mexico. A multi-million dollar collection of over 1400 plein air paintings are also on display. This museum features some pretty impressive temporary exhibits so be sure to check what they have on display at your time of visit. Read More

Orange County Museum of Art - Newport Beach is located west of the 405 Freeway from Jamboree Road. Situated near Fashion Island, the Orange County Museum of Art is the premier art museum of Orange County. The museum exhibits include everything from Picasso to Pollock and comprise nearly 2,500 objects. Visit www.ocma.net

International Surfing Museum - Huntington Beach is located off Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) from Main Street. Situated just two blocks from the Huntington Beach Pier, the museum features surfing exhibits from surf films and music to surfboards and memorabilia. The museum focuses on Duke Kahanamoku won swimming medals in the 1912 and 1920 Olympics and is credited with popularizing surfing world-wide. A rotating exhibit showcases the surf-themed art of local artists. Visit www.surfingmuseum.org

MUZEO Museum - Anaheim is located off Interstate 5 from Lincoln Avenue. Situated across from the Anaheim City Hall, MUZEO hosts three traveling exhibitions per year. Museum exhibits feature artistic, cultural, historic and natural relevance. Every exhibit is enhanced with special programs, events and activities. Visit www.muzeo.org

Editorial information provided in part by CaliforniaRevealed.com, a collection of native Californians and travelers who spend their time exploring California and sharing their discoveries.

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