10 Off the Beaten Path Museums in Los Angeles County

Our guide to some of the best museums in Los Angeles that you won't find in every tourism guide.

Patch File Photo: The Hollywood Museum.
Patch File Photo: The Hollywood Museum.
While Los Angeles is home to some famous and rightfully well-respected museums, it is also home to some smaller – at times quirkier – museums that do not always get the same publicity in tourist books and city guides.

While the Getty Center and LACMA are usually popular stops on any tour of Los Angeles, did you know you can also learn about local aviation history or perhaps see a museum completely dedicated to death?

With the summer tourism season in full swing, Patch has put together some lesser known, but still entertaining museums that may fall off the radar of visiting tourists or even seasoned Los Angeles County locals. In no particular order, here is our list:

  1. Flight Path Learning Center & Museum | LAX: Located right next to the tarmac of LAX's southernmost runway, the Flight Path Museum offers exhibits highlighting the aviation and aerospace history of Southern California. The museum featres a large collection of vintage airline uniforms, models and also offers a panoramic view of planes landing at one of the country's busiest airports. *Admission: Free
  2. Museum of Death | Hollywood: Not one to take the kids to, this museum hosts the "largest collection of serial murderer artwork" along with a full collection of authentic crime scene photos and videos, coffins, autopsy instruments and replicas of execution devices (among other deadly items). Tours are self-guided and last approximately 45 minutes. The museum warns that some visitors have feinted after seeing the exhibits. *Admission: $15
  3. Bunny Museum | Pasadena: Making just about every "odd museum" list in the world and billed as the "Hoppiest Place on Earth," the Bunny Museum features more than 28,000 bunny collectibles (largest in the world) in the private home of Candace Frazee and Steve Lubanski. Visits are made by appointment only with a suggested $5 donation. 
  4. The Velaslavasay Panorama | Los Angeles: Long before there were 4D rides, there were panoramas. The Velaslavasay Panorama is a tribute to the days past and features a 360-degree paintings complete with fake landscaping and sound to fully emerse the visitor in the painting. It also features outdoor gardens in the back. Located in an historic old theater in the West Adams Historic District. *Admission: Donations Accepted
  5. Automobile Driving Museum | El Segundo: A destination for any auto enthusiast, this museum features a rotating collection of more than 130 vintage, antique and classic cars. On Sundays, the museum even takes visitors for a ride in a vintage car of its choosing (the only automobile museum in the world to give visitors rides in its cars). *Admission: Donations Accepted.
  6. Western Museum of Flight | Torrance: Walk straight onto the tarmac of Torrance's Zamperini Field and into the Western Museum of Flight. Housed in a large hangar, the volunteer-run museum features a decent-sized collection of aircraft, drones, satellites and a host of other aviation-related exhibits. Includes many items from local South Bay aerospace company Northrop Grumman. *Admission: $5
  7. Museum of Jurassic Technology | Palms District, Los Angeles: No description could do this museum justice so we will just quote their website. The museum "provides the academic community with a specialized repository of relics and artifacts from the Lower Jurassic, with an emphasis on those that demonstrate unusual or curious technological qualities." *Admission: $8, Discounts for unemployed, children and senior citizens.
  8. Travel Town Museum | Griffith Park, Los Angeles: Learn about railroad history in the Southwest through a large display of historic railroad equipment including train engines and cars. The museum (and Griffith Park) also offer rides on miniature trains for a fee. *Admission: Free
  9. Martial Arts History Museum | Burbank: The Martial Arts History museum focuses on the history of the martial arts from Japanese samurai to handmade shark teeth weapons from Hawaii. The museum also highlights the martial arts in film and television. *Admission: Donations accepted.
  10. The Hollywood Museum | Hollywood: Perhaps not as off the beaten path as some, this museum hosts more than 10,000 items from Hollywood films including props, scripts, costumes, vehicles and even Marilyn Monroe's million-dollar dress. A mecca for any movie lover. *Admission: $15

Our list is certainly not comprehensive so tell us – What is your favorite off the beaten path museum in Los Angeles County?


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