Hey there! Let’s discuss on the 10 best museums in long beach to visit, bring out your chair and enjoy the ride. Long Beach, California (CA), is a vibrant and culturally rich city that is home to a diverse range of museums, galleries, and art institutions. These museums offer the opportunity to learn about the build-up to what the city is today while also exploring the many artworks on display.
In this post, we will explore 10 of the best museums in Long Beach, CA.
Long Beach is a city in Southern California located on the Pacific Ocean’s coast. It is the seventh-largest city in California and the 39th-largest in the United States.
Long Beach’s rich history dates back to the early 1800s when Spanish explorers first settled it. Over the years, the city has grown and evolved, becoming a hub for commerce, tourism, and culture.
1. The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA)
The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) is one of the premier cultural institutions in Long Beach. It was founded in 1996 and is dedicated to the promotion of modern and contemporary art from Latin America.
The museum has an extensive collection of over 1,600 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, and mixed-media installations. These works of art are created by some of the most renowned artists from Latin America, including Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Roberto Matta.
In addition to its permanent collection, MOLAA hosts various rotating exhibits throughout the year. These exhibits showcase the work of emerging and established artists from Latin America and provide visitors with a unique opportunity to explore the region’s rich cultural heritage.
MOLAA also offers a variety of educational programs and workshops, including art classes, lectures, and film screenings.
2. The Long Beach Museum of Art.
The Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA) is one of the must-see museums in Long Beach. It is located on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and housed in a beautiful historic mansion built in 1912.
It is one of the free museums in Long Beach, CA, and houses a permanent collection that includes over 3,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.
One of the highlights of LBMA is its rotating exhibits, which change several times throughout the year. These exhibits feature local and international artists’ work and cover various styles and mediums.
Recent exhibits have included everything from contemporary painting to abstract sculpture to avant-garde photography.
In addition to its exhibits, LBMA also offers a variety of events and workshops throughout the year. These include art classes, concerts, and lectures by visiting artists and scholars.
The museum also hosts an annual fundraising event called the Art Auction, which features works of art by some of the most renowned artists from Southern California.
3. RMS Queen Mary
The RMS Queen Mary is a historic ocean liner now a popular tourist attraction in Long Beach, California. It was once a symbol of luxury and played a significant role in transporting passengers and troops across the Atlantic during World War II.
The ship offers a variety of tours and exhibits which, includes: the Self-Guided Ship Tour, which allows visitors to explore the ship at their own pace and provides access to the main decks, promenade, and engine room.
Visitors can see the luxurious staterooms, the grand ballroom, and the ship’s historical artifacts.
It also includes The Ghosts and Legends Tour, which takes visitors on a guided tour of the ship’s haunted areas while providing insight into the paranormal activity that has been reported on the ship.
It is a popular tour for those interested in the paranormal, so knock yourself out if you’re one.
Another is The Art Deco Tour focuses on the ship’s art deco architecture and design, which was popular in the 1930s. Visitors can see the ship’s original artwork, furnishings, and fixtures.
For a rundown of the ship’s endeavors, The Queen Mary Story provides visitors with an overview of the ship’s history. It covers it all from construction, use during World War II, and its retirement. It includes historic artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays.
In honor of the late Princess Diana of England, The Diana: Legacy of a Princess Exhibit showcases the life and legacy of Princess Diana and includes a collection of her items and photographs. It is a popular exhibit for fans of the late Princess.
4. Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum (PIEAM)
The Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum (PIEAM) is a cultural institution located in Long Beach, California. Its mission is to promote understanding and appreciation of the diverse cultures of the Pacific Islands through art and educational programs.
The museum, which is one of the many art galleries in Long Beach, features exhibits on the art and cultures of Pacific Island nations, including Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji, and Tonga.
Visitors can explore artifacts such as textiles, carvings, and jewelry and learn about these communities’ unique traditions and customs.
In addition to its exhibits, the museum hosts a variety of cultural events and workshops throughout the year. These events allow visitors to experience Pacific Island culture firsthand through music, dance, and traditional arts and crafts.
Workshops include weaving, lei-making, and ukulele lessons, among others. The museum also hosts an annual Pacific Islander Festival, which celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the Pacific Islands through food, music, and dance.
5. The Museum Of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is a renowned cultural institution in downtown Los Angeles’s heart. The museum is dedicated to exhibiting and collecting contemporary art, with a focus on works created after 1940.
MOCA’s collection includes over 7,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, and installations, by some of the most influential artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.
MOCA is known for its thought-provoking and innovative exhibitions, which explore a wide range of contemporary themes and issues. Recent exhibitions have included retrospectives of iconic artists such as Kerry James Marshall and Adrián Villar Rojas and group exhibitions exploring topics such as immigration, identity, and social justice.
In addition to its exhibitions, MOCA offers a range of public programs and events that engage visitors with contemporary art and ideas. These include artist talks and lectures, film screenings, workshops, and classes for all ages.
MOCA also hosts an annual benefit gala, bringing artists, collectors, and supporters together to celebrate the museum’s mission and raise funds for its programs and initiatives.
6. The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden
The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is a serene and picturesque garden located on the campus of California State University, Long Beach. The garden was created in 1981 through a donation from Mrs. Loraine Miller Collins in memory of her late husband, Earl Burns Miller.
Renowned landscape architect Edward R. Lovell designed it and features traditional Japanese elements such as a koi pond, tea house, and waterfall.
The garden is significant as it serves as a cultural bridge between Japan and the United States and provides a tranquil oasis in the heart of the bustling city of Long Beach.
Visitors can take self-guided tours of the garden or participate in docent-led tours, which offer insight into the garden’s design and elements.
Overall, the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is a peaceful and beautiful destination that offers visitors a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse themselves in the beauty and tranquillity of Japanese culture.
7. The Museum Of History and Art
The Museum of History and Art is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the history and culture of the region.
The museum features a variety of permanent and rotating exhibits, including artifacts, photographs, and documents that showcase the diverse stories of the people and events that have shaped Long Beach and the surrounding areas.
Permanent exhibits include the Early Long Beach Gallery, which explores the city’s history from its founding through the early 20th century, and the African American Heritage Society Gallery, which highlights the contributions of the city’s black community.
Rotating exhibits cover a wide range of topics, from local artists and photographers to historical events and movements.
The museum also offers a variety of public programs and events, including lectures, workshops, and cultural festivals. These events provide visitors with opportunities to learn more about the history and culture of Long Beach and to connect with the community.
The museum also offers educational programs and resources for students and teachers, including tours and curriculum materials.
8. The Long Beach Heritage Museum
Arguably one of the most fun-to-visit museums in long beach, CA is The Long Beach Heritage Museum. It is a cultural institution that celebrates the unique history of the city of Long Beach, California.
The museum which is one of the free museums in Long Beach features exhibits and artifacts that showcase the city’s diverse heritage, including displays on local industries, architecture, and prominent figures.
The museum’s permanent exhibits include a recreation of a 1930s drugstore, a collection of vintage cars, and displays of the city’s maritime history. The museum also hosts rotating exhibits that explore a wide range of topics related to Long Beach’s cultural heritage.
In addition to its exhibits, the Long Beach Heritage Museum offers a range of public programs and events designed to engage visitors with the city’s history.
These include guided tours of the museum, lectures and presentations by local historians, and workshops on historical topics such as genealogy and preservation.
9. The Bembridge House
The Bembridge House is a historic home located in Long Beach, California. Built in 1906, the house is a prime example of the Arts and Crafts architectural style, featuring a combination of traditional and modern design elements.
The house is named after its original owner, Charles Bembridge, who was a prominent businessman and civic leader in Long Beach. Over the years, the house changed hands several times before being purchased by the City of Long Beach in 1986.
Today, the Bembridge House is a popular destination for visitors who are interested in the city’s history and architecture. Guided tours of the house are available by appointment, allowing visitors to explore the interior and learn about its unique features and history.
The house also hosts various events throughout the year, including weddings, parties, and cultural events. These events offer visitors a chance to experience the house’s historic charm and beauty firsthand and to connect with the community in a unique and memorable setting.
Quite a remarkable place to visit.
10. The International City Theatre Museum
The International City Theatre Museum celebrates the history and legacy of the International City Theatre, which has been a prominent cultural institution since its founding in 1985.
The museum showcases a variety of exhibits and artifacts related to the theatre’s productions and history, including costumes, set designs, and photographs.
Visitors can explore the displays to learn more about the theatre’s impact on the performing arts scene in Long Beach and its role in promoting cultural diversity and artistic expression.
In addition to its exhibits, the museum hosts events throughout the year, including performances, lectures, and workshops.
These opportunities provide visitors with a deeper understanding and connection to the theatre’s history and impact.
Overall, the International City Theatre Museum is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the arts and culture of Long Beach, offering a unique insight into the history and legacy of the International City Theatre.
In conclusion, Long Beach is home to some of the best museums in California, and these museums are some of the must-visit institutions in the city.
Whether you are interested in modern and contemporary art from Latin America or want to explore the works of local and international artists, these museums and art galleries in Long Beach offer something for everyone.
So, the next time you are in Long Beach, be sure to check out these cultural gems and experience the vibrant art scene of this amazing city.
There are a few other things one can do in Long Beach, including exploring the neighborhoods just for the sake of its unique architecture, like the Art Deco buildings in the East Village Arts District.
You could also visit the Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site, which is a beautifully preserved adobe house with gardens that offer a glimpse into California’s early history.
Or bike or walk along the scenic Los Angeles River Trail, which runs through Long Beach and offers beautiful views of the river and surrounding landscapes.
Just do whatever it is that you consider fun cause there’s a lot of provision for that.