Visitors who crave culture usually flock to a couple of big names in Los Angeles, including LACMA, MOCA, the Getty Museum and more recently, the Broad. But there are alternatives, both big and small, that help tourists and locals alike delve deeper into LA’s vivid and diverse history. Here are a handful of some of The Culture Trip’s favorite alternative museums operating in LA County.
A+D Architecture and Design Museum
The Culture Trip covered A+D in the past as one of the best places in the States for architecture and design, but it’s relocated in recent years to a dedicated building in downtown LA. Many of this museum’s exhibitions pair with local firms, studios, speakers and schools to answer past and present challenges of architecture and urban planning in LA’s quickly evolving landscape. The museum also offers a fantastic Urban Hikes program, taking visitors on foot to the hidden architectural and cultural gems of the city’s widely disparate neighborhoods.
Reopening in December 2015, this museum’s newly revamped façade houses one of the largest automobile collections in the world. The expansive collection includes hundreds of vintage and limited-release models, as well as famous cars from films like Herbie: Fully Loaded and Thelma & Louise. In the past, younger automotive aficionados could learn about the science behind modern vehicles in the Discovery Center, while the museum’s Streetscape exhibit used scale models of Southern California city streets and storefronts to contextualize LA car culture throughout history.
Walt Disney’s Barn
Located in Griffith Park as part of the Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum, this small museum functions as homage to both an animation great and his lesser-known fascination with trains. In the 1950s, Walt Disney operated his own miniature railroad out of this backyard barn on Carolwood Road, only a few years before undertaking the construction of Disneyland. The barn houses Disney memorabilia largely centered on his love of railroads, as well as items gifted from his animators. This place is often portrayed as the ‘birthplace of Imagineering’ and a predecessor to the Disney theme parks, and at the very least is an interesting tribute to the man behind the Mouse. Open every third Sunday from 11am-3pm.
Walt Disney’s Barn, 5202 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 213 0722
By Mayura Jain
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
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