Orange County offers a plethora of cultural and art exhibits that embrace the local landscape of creativity and diversity. While Los Angeles gets a lot of attention for its world-famous museums, Orange County has its share of impressive galleries as well. Here are four of the standout museums that are worth passing through.
Located in Santa Ana in a gorgeous Mission-revival style building, Bowers Museum has been educating and engaging locals since 1936. Over the years, it has expanded to allow thousands of visitors and focuses on multi-cultural art and artifacts. For example, Bowers has featured pre-Columbian art, California plein-air paintings, 19th-century European paintings, Buddhist temple murals, and much more. The courtyard is commonly home to cultural events, classes, kids craft activities, and musical performances from around the world.
Bowers is located in the heart of Santa Ana’s historic district. If you can’t find free or metered parking on the surrounding streets, paid parking is available in adjacent lots. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 4 pm.
MUZEO has brought culture and charm to downtown Anaheim since its opening in 2007. With its focus on modern art and local culture, MUZEO celebrates the diversity of Orange County. Some of the notable exhibitions there have included Spanish Masters paintings, Chicano art, Roman antiquities and a modern art series of “upcycled” works called “Transcending Trash”.
To enjoy current exhibitions as well as events, programs and activities, you can visit MUZEO from 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesday to Sunday.
Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA)
OCMA has been an important resource for modern art lovers since its inception five decades ago. The museum features unique and compelling art works, with exhibits like an avante-garde series, contemporary sculptures, interactive installations and other avenues of contemporary art.
Located centrally in Orange County’s Newport Beach, OCMA is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11am to 5 pm, but is open 11am to 8 pm on Thursdays. It is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Laguna Beach Art Museum
Art-lovers in Orange County shouldn’t miss the Laguna Beach Art Museum. Located in Laguna Beach, a gorgeous sea-side community renowned for inspiring and breeding local artists, the museum features artwork solely created by California artists. The original gallery was founded by local artists nearly a century ago and expanded to feature everything from modern-day works to nineteenth-century pieces.
If you want to learn about and enjoy California art at the Laguna Beach Art Museum, you can visit from Monday to Tuesday and Friday to Sunday from 11am to 5pm. The museum is open from 11am to 9pm on Thursdays, but is closed on Wednesdays.