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The 5 Best Museums Near Orange, California

The 5 Best Museums Near Orange, California

As one of California's great historic towns, there are so many fantastic museums near Orange to visit. Team


2 min read

September 26, 2023

Orange, California, is renowned for its historic Old Town District, charming antique shops, and stunning architecture. But apart from its immediate attractions, the city is in close proximity to some of Southern California's most prominent museums. These institutions offer visitors a journey through time, art, culture, and innovation. Let’s dive into the five best museums near Orange that are well worth a visit.

Bowers Museum, Santa Ana

Located a mere ten-minute drive from Orange, Bowers Museum is arguably one of the most prestigious museums in Southern California. Founded in 1936, it's an epicenter of culture and art. The museum houses more than 120,000 works, spanning over 10,000 years of history. While its collections largely focus on the indigenous cultures of the Americas and the Pacific, they also delve into African, Asian, and Oceanic art and artifacts. Their Kidseum, specifically designed for children, offers interactive art and archaeology experiences that make it a family favorite.

Discovery Cube Orange County, Santa Ana

Another gem in neighboring Santa Ana, the Discovery Cube Orange County is a science museum tailored for families and children. With hands-on exhibits that cover topics from ecology to rocket science, it ignites the curiosity in youngsters and instills a love for science and discovery. From the eco-challenge to the dinosaur discovery zone, the museum provides an engaging and educational day out for children of all ages.

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda

A 20-minute drive from Orange will take you to Yorba Linda, the birthplace of the 37th president of the United States, Richard Nixon. The museum provides a comprehensive look into the life and tenure of President Nixon. It houses his birth home, presidential helicopter, and even a replica of the White House East Room. Through multimedia exhibits, visitors gain insight into the Cold War, Nixon's groundbreaking visit to China, and, of course, the Watergate scandal.

Hilbert Museum of California Art, Orange

Located right in the heart of Orange, the Hilbert Museum is a celebration of California art, particularly from the 20th century. It showcases works from the California Scene Painting movement, displaying scenes of everyday life in the Golden State – from coastal landscapes to urban settings. It's a smaller museum compared to others on this list, but it offers an intimate and focused experience on a unique art genre.

Lyon Air Museum, Santa Ana

For those passionate about aviation and World War II history, the Lyon Air Museum is a must-visit. Situated at the west side of John Wayne Airport, this museum boasts a collection of historic aircraft, vehicles, and related memorabilia from the World War II era. Highlights include authentic aircraft like the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and the Douglas C-47 Skytrain. With knowledgeable docents and well-curated exhibits, visitors can delve deep into the history of aviation and the stories of wartime heroes.

In conclusion, Orange, California, is surrounded by a plethora of museums catering to varied interests. Whether you’re an art aficionado, history buff, science enthusiast, or simply looking for an enriching experience, the museums near Orange offer immersive journeys that educate, inspire, and entertain. The next time you find yourself in this beautiful Californian city, consider setting a day aside to explore these magnificent repositories of culture, history, and knowledge.

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