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Here Are the Best Museums Near Altadena

Here Are the Best Museums Near Altadena

Southern California is steeped with a fascinating history that is showcased at these top museums near Altadena. Team


2 min read

January 30, 2024

Nestled at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains, Altadena is a charming community known for its scenic beauty and rich history. While this Los Angeles County gem might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of museum hopping, its proximity to Pasadena and greater Los Angeles makes it an ideal starting point for cultural explorations. Here’s a guide to the best museums near Altadena, offering everything from art and history to science and space exploration.

1. Norton Simon Museum

Just a short drive from Altadena, the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena is a cultural treasure trove. The museum is renowned for its remarkable collection of European paintings and sculptures, as well as South and Southeast Asian art. The works of European masters like Picasso, Van Gogh, and Rembrandt, among others, make it a must-visit for art aficionados. The museum's beautifully landscaped sculpture garden, inspired by Monet's Giverny, offers a serene retreat.

2. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

The Huntington, also located in Pasadena, is more than just a museum; it's an institution that celebrates art, literature, and botanical beauty. The art collections and galleries contain British and European artworks, including famous pieces by Gainsborough and Lawrence. The library is a haven for scholars, with rare books and manuscripts in British and American history. The expansive botanical gardens feature themed areas, such as the Japanese Garden and the Desert Garden, providing a picturesque backdrop for a day of exploration.

3. Pasadena Museum of History

For those interested in the local history and architectural heritage of the Pasadena area, the Pasadena Museum of History offers a deep dive into the past. The museum showcases an extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, and art pieces that tell the story of Pasadena and its surrounding areas. The museum's exhibitions often highlight significant architectural movements and the works of notable architects who have shaped the region's landscape.

4. Kidspace Children's Museum

If you're traveling with children, the Kidspace Children's Museum is a fantastic destination that combines education with fun. Located in Pasadena, this interactive museum encourages children to explore the world around them through hands-on exhibits and creative play areas. From climbing structures to water play zones, it's a place where kids can learn about nature, science, and art in an engaging environment.

5. The Gamble House

Architecture enthusiasts will not want to miss The Gamble House in Pasadena, an outstanding example of American Arts and Crafts style architecture. Designed by Greene and Greene, the house is an architectural masterpiece, offering guided tours that provide insight into the design principles and craftsmanship of the era.

6. Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Visitor Center

For those fascinated by space and science, the JPL Visitor Center is a short drive from Altadena and offers a glimpse into the world of space exploration. Operated by NASA, the center features exhibits on planetary missions, space technology, and the history of JPL's contributions to space exploration. Although visits require advance planning and reservations, it's a unique opportunity to learn about the universe beyond our planet.

These museums and cultural institutions near Altadena offer a diverse array of experiences, from art and history to science and nature. Whether you're an art lover, a history buff, or a family seeking educational fun, the area around Altadena has something to pique your curiosity and expand your horizons.

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