Anaheim is home to non-stop entertainment and features a wealth of museums, art, and educational opportunities. Anaheim has world-class museums with diverse collections. Visitors can view priceless artifacts from prehistoric times or view contemporary Californian art.
Visitors will find permanent collections as well as diverse and exciting traveling exhibitions. Anaheim museum collections range from ancient pottery and tools to massive caboose trains. In addition, visitors can search through Disney archives or find interesting facts about the area's earliest settlers.
5 Best Museums Near Anaheim
Bowers Museum features over 100,000 works of art. Bowers Museum is well-known for its outstanding pre-Columbian Mesoamerica art. The museum also features significant Native American art and collections from Asia, Africa, and Oceania.
Bowers originally opened in 1936. The OC Register has voted Bowers the best museum in Orange County for 26 years. The museum hosts eight permanent exhibitions as well as special exhibitions.
The museum's most extensive collection is the Native American collection, which boasts more than 24,000 objects. The objects include jewelry, tools, and pottery from prehistoric to contemporary times.
Bowers is home to a museum restaurant and gallery store. Beautiful gardens surround the museum. Bowers Museum has a second campus devoted to the Kidseum, an interactive art and archeology museum for kids.
Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center
Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center is home to historic buildings, ever-changing exhibitions, and a beautiful plaza. One of the museum's main buildings is the historic Carnegie Library, built with a grant from Andrew Carnegie. This classical revival-style building was completed in 1909 and operated as a public library until 1963. Today, the museum hosts unique exhibitions here.
The Museum’s main gallery is home to changing exhibitions. Examples of collections include 200 Years of Sleepy Hollow, Calligraphy of Korean Poetry, and YamahaCares UpCycled Guitars.
The Museum is also home to the Carnegie Plaza and Courtyard. The plaza features beautiful water spaces and landscaping.
Fullerton Train Museum
The Fullerton Train Museum is home to several historically significant cabooses that represent the early days of Orange County railroads.
The railcar collection includes a 1929 Sante Fe Cupola Steel Way Car, a 1942 Union Pacific cupola style caboose, and a 1961 Southern Pacific bay window caboose.
The cars are set up with period-style decor. The museum also features a dormitory lounge & lunch counter-diner-lounge cars and a 1951 sleeping car.
The Fullerton Train Museum is open on the first and third Saturdays of each month, and admission is free.
The Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University opened in 2016. This is the first museum dedicated to displaying California Scene and Representational art. The museum aims to put a spotlight on the distinct California painting style and landscape.
Current California Scene art reflects human impact: towns, cities, houses, cars, trains, and harbors. The Hilbert Museum focuses on California art from the 1920s to today. The collection includes more than 1,000 artworks. Most of the artworks are watercolors and oil paintings. Featured artists include Millard Sheets, Mary Blair, and Milford Zornes.
The Hilbert Museum also hosts temporary exhibitions in addition to its permanent collection.
Anaheim Heritage Center
Anaheim Heritage Center is home to almost one million items. It is located at Carnegie Plaza and shares a lobby with the Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center.
The Heritage Center features an extensive collection in its history room. Contents include Disney Archives, "Colony Founders" family papers, scrapbooks, historical photographs, maps, and oral history transcripts.
Explore and Learn at the Best Museums Near Anaheim
Anaheim's museums are sure to inspire visitors with their world-class offerings. Starting to slow down? To help you keep up with your active vacation schedule, check out our picks for the best coffee in Anaheim.