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The Five Best Museums Near Ontario, California

The Five Best Museums Near Ontario, California

Take some time and enjoy a day out with our helpful guide to the top museums near Ontario. Team


2 min read

September 20, 2023

Ontario, California, often dubbed the "Gateway to Southern California," is a vibrant city known for its rich history and cultural diversity. Beyond its bustling streets and scenic landscapes, the region is home to a plethora of museums, each unique in its offerings. If you're planning to immerse yourself in some art, history, or culture, here are five must-visit museums near Ontario.

Chaffey Community Museum of Art

Located in Ontario itself, the Chaffey Community Museum of Art is an ode to the city's love for art and culture. Established in 1941, this museum prides itself on its mission to promote the visual arts in the Inland Empire. Hosting a mix of permanent collections and rotating exhibitions, visitors are treated to an array of works ranging from contemporary to traditional. With its diverse range of art forms and a strong focus on community engagement, the Chaffey Community Museum of Art offers a compelling experience for art enthusiasts of all backgrounds.

Planes of Fame Air Museum

A short drive away in Chino, the Planes of Fame Air Museum awaits aviation enthusiasts. Founded in 1957 by Edward Maloney, it stands as one of the first permanent air museums in the U.S. The museum's collection includes over 150 aircraft, some of which are the last of their kind. From World War II fighters to vintage civilian aircraft, the displays are not only historic but also functional. The museum conducts live demonstrations, making it a dynamic experience for visitors. Whether you're an aviation geek or a casual visitor, the roaring engines and majestic flying machines are sure to fascinate.

The Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology

Located in Claremont, this museum offers a journey through time. Unique in its standing as the only nationally accredited museum on a high school campus, the Alf Museum showcases an impressive collection of over 140,000 specimens. It provides a window into Earth's history, from ancient marine invertebrates to the mighty dinosaurs. With two main exhibit halls—the Hall of Life and the Hall of Footprints—visitors can marvel at the fossils and learn about the planet's evolutionary timeline.

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

While not a traditional museum, this botanic garden in Claremont is a living museum of California native plants. Spanning 86 acres, it's the largest botanical garden dedicated to California's native flora. As you stroll through the paths, you'll be educated on the diverse plant life and its importance in the ecosystem. Seasonal events, workshops, and guided tours further enhance the experience, making it a haven for nature lovers.

San Bernardino County Museum

Situated in Redlands, this museum offers a blend of cultural and natural history exhibits. With its roots tracing back to 1952, the museum showcases artifacts, paleontological specimens, and ethnographic objects. The diverse collections cover topics from Native American cultures to the historical mining era in California. The museum also houses a popular Exploration Station—a live animal discovery center with over 70 species.

In conclusion, the area surrounding Ontario, California, boasts a wide range of museums, each offering a unique perspective on art, history, science, and nature. Whether you're a local resident or a visitor to the region, make sure to carve out some time to explore these treasures. They promise enlightening experiences and memories to cherish.

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