Are you into science and technology and are you looking for the best science museums to visit in California? These are the ones:
Uss Midway MuseumSan Diego, CAThe USS Midway Museum is a significant historical naval aircraft carrier museum situated in downtown San Diego, California at Navy Pier. This location offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore a piece of naval history in the heart of a bustling city.
Battleship Uss IowaLos Angeles, CAThe Battleship USS Iowa Museum is a maritime museum situated at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, Los Angeles, California. This location offers visitors the opportunity to explore a significant piece of naval history in a vibrant and bustling port setting.
ExploratoriumSan Francisco, CAThe Exploratorium is a museum of science, technology, and arts in San Francisco, United States. It is characterized as a 'mad scientist's playground, a scientific funhouse, and an experimental laboratory, all in one.' The participatory nature of its exhibits and its self-identification as a center for informal learning has led it to be cited as the prototype for participatory museums worldwide.
Maritime Museum of San DiegoSan Diego, CAThe Maritime Museum of San Diego, founded in 1948, is home to one of the largest collections of historic sea vessels in the United States. This collection provides a unique insight into the maritime history of the country and offers visitors the opportunity to explore a variety of historic ships.
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California Academy of SciencesSan Francisco, CAThe California Academy of Sciences, located in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, is a unique blend of a science academy and a natural history museum. It features a planetarium, an artificial rainforest, and a large aquatic area. This combination of features offers visitors a diverse and comprehensive experience, allowing them to explore various aspects of natural history and science in one place.
Musée MécaniqueSan Francisco, CA
California Science CenterLos Angeles, CAThe California Science Center, located in Los Angeles, California, is the largest science museum in the western United States. It is situated in Exposition Park, adjacent to the campus of the University of Southern California. Established in 1951, the museum was originally known as the California Museum of Science and Industry before it was renamed in 1998.
San Diego Air & Space MuseumSan Diego, CAThe San Diego Air & Space Museum, also known as the San Diego Aerospace Museum, is a prominent aerospace museum situated in the city of San Diego, United States. It is located in Balboa Park, specifically in the historic Ford building. This museum is a significant destination for those interested in aeronautics and space exploration.
USS PampanitoSan Francisco, CAThe USS Pampanito (SS-383) is a historic submarine that played a significant role in the Pacific War during World War II. It is now a museum ship located at Fisherman’s Wharf in the port of San Francisco. Visitors can explore this Balao class submarine and learn about its history and the role it played during the war.
San Diego Automotive MuseumSan Diego, CAThe San Diego Automotive Museum is situated in the heart of Balboa Park in San Diego, California. This location is not only home to the museum but also a hub of cultural and recreational activities. The museum's location makes it easily accessible for tourists, providing a convenient stop during a day of exploring the park's many attractions.
Cable Car MuseumSan Francisco, CAThe Cable Car Museum is located in the Nob Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, California. This museum is free to enter, making it an accessible option for tourists of all budgets. It offers a unique insight into the history and workings of the city's iconic cable car system.
Nasa Ames Exploration CenterMountain View, CAThe NASA Ames Visitor Center, located at the entrance of NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, serves as the gateway to the world of space exploration. It provides an opportunity for visitors to learn about NASA's research and development activities, and the role they play in advancing our understanding of the universe.
Route 66 Mother Road MuseumBarstow, CA
SS Jeremiah O'brienSan Francisco, CAThe SS Jeremiah O'Brien is typically docked at Pier 45 in the Port of San Francisco, California, where it is open for public viewing. It holds the distinction of being one of the few remaining ships that participated in Operation Overlord on D-Day during World War II. This makes it a unique and tangible piece of history that visitors can explore and learn from.
Children's Creativity MuseumSan Francisco, CAThe Children's Creativity Museum, located in Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco, California, is an interactive museum designed for children aged 2–12 years. It provides a unique and engaging environment where children can explore and express their creativity through various interactive exhibits and workshops.
United States Lightship ReliefOakland, CAThe Relief (WLV-605) is a former lightship of the United States Coast Guard that now serves as a museum ship in Oakland, California. This historical vessel was built in 1950 and is one of the few surviving lightships, making it a unique attraction for those interested in maritime history. It was specifically built for the United States Coast Guard, adding to its historical significance.
Fleet Science CenterSan Diego, CAThe Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is a renowned science museum situated in the heart of Balboa Park in San Diego, California. This location offers visitors the opportunity to explore interactive science exhibits, a planetarium, and an IMAX dome theater, all in one place. The museum is known for setting the standard for major science museums worldwide, being the first to combine these elements.
Computer History MuseumMountain View, CAThe museum currently hosts three unique exhibits on the history of computing. "Mastering the Game" provides a history of computer chess, "Innovations in the Valley" offers a look at the companies and people of Silicon Valley, and a Difference Engine exhibit showcases a machine designed by Charles Babbage in the 1840s and built by the London Science Museum. These exhibits offer a deep dive into the history and evolution of computing.
Maritime Museum - Aquatic Park Bathhouse BuildingSan Francisco, CAThe San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, located in San Francisco, California, is a comprehensive destination for maritime history enthusiasts. The park features a collection of historic vessels, a visitor center, a maritime museum, and a library/research facility. These facilities provide a deep dive into the maritime history of the region and offer a unique experience for visitors.
The Nethercutt MuseumLos Angeles, CABoth a stunning collection of pre-war automobiles and also mechanical musical instruments. Intriguing and worth your time.
Palm Springs Air MuseumPalm Springs, CAThe Palm Springs Air Museum, also known as PSAM, is a non-profit educational institution situated in the beautiful city of Palm Springs, in Riverside County, California. The museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the history and contributions of World War II combat aircraft and the role of pilots and American citizens in the war. It's an ideal destination for history enthusiasts and aviation lovers.
California State Railroad MuseumSacramento, CAThe California State Railroad Museum is situated in the Old Sacramento State Historic Park at 111 I Street, Sacramento. This location is easily accessible and offers a rich historical context, making it an ideal destination for those interested in the history of railroads and their impact on society.
Intel MuseumSanta Clara, CAThe Intel Museum, a hub of technological history and innovation, is situated at Intel's headquarters in Santa Clara, California, United States. This location is easily accessible and offers visitors a chance to explore the world of Intel and semiconductor technology in a comprehensive and engaging manner.
San Luis Obispo Railroad MuseumSan Luis Obispo, CAThe San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum is a significant institution dedicated to preserving and showcasing the railroad history of California, particularly the Central Coast. The museum achieves this through the collection, restoration, display, and operation of historic railroad equipment. This offers visitors a unique opportunity to delve into the rich history of California's railroads and understand their impact on the region's development.
Desert Discovery CenterBarstow, CAThe Desert Discovery Center, located in Barstow, California, is a community education center that is open to the public. It serves as a hub for learning and promoting awareness about desert life. The center is easily accessible and offers a unique opportunity for visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the desert environment.
Jet Propulsion LaboratoryPasadena, CAThe Jet Propulsion Laboratory is situated on a vast 72-hectare area on the city border of La Cañada Flintridge and Pasadena, California. Its location makes it easily accessible for tourists visiting the region.
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The Tech InteractiveSan Jose, CAThe Tech Interactive, located in downtown San Jose, California, is a science and technology center that provides a variety of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) education resources. Visitors can engage in hands-on activities, participate in labs, and take on design challenges. The center's focus on interactive learning makes it a unique destination for those interested in exploring the world of science and technology.
Travel Town MuseumLos Angeles, CATravel Town Museum is a railway museum situated in the northwest corner of Los Angeles, California's Griffith Park. The museum was officially opened on December 14, 1952, and has since been a significant attraction for railway enthusiasts and tourists alike. It offers a unique insight into the history of railroad transportation in the western United States, particularly in Southern California and the Los Angeles area.
Discovery Cube Orange CountySanta Ana, CAThe Discovery Cube Orange County, located in Santa Ana, California, is a science museum that was previously known as the Discovery Science Center and the Taco Bell Discovery Science Center. The museum is home to over 100 hands-on science exhibits that are designed to ignite the natural curiosity of children. These interactive exhibits provide an engaging and educational experience for visitors of all ages.
Museum of FlyingSanta Monica, CAThe Museum of Flying primarily focuses on the history of aviation, with a particular emphasis on Donald Douglas and the Douglas Aircraft Company. The exhibits showcase the significant contributions of these entities to the development of aviation in Southern California. Visitors can learn about the pioneering work of Donald Douglas and his company, which played a crucial role in shaping the aviation industry.
Discovery Cube Los AngelesLos Angeles, CA
BalcluthaSan Francisco, CAThe Balclutha is a U.S. National Historic Landmark and is currently preserved at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in San Francisco, California. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on 7 November 1976. This ship is a testament to the rich maritime history of the region and offers a unique glimpse into the past.
California Automobile MuseumSacramento, CAThe California Automobile Museum, located in Sacramento, California, is home to a vast collection of over 150 vehicles. These include classic cars, race cars, muscle cars, and early models, all displayed across a sprawling 72,000 square feet of museum space. This extensive collection provides a comprehensive overview of automobile history and design.
The Landing Craft Support MuseumVallejo, CA
Western Science CenterHemet, CAThe Western Science Center, previously known as the Western Center for Archaeology & Paleontology, is a museum situated near Diamond Valley Lake in Hemet, California. This location is ideal for tourists who are interested in archaeology, paleontology, and the natural history of the region.
American Bookbinders MuseumSan Francisco, CAThe American Bookbinders Museum, located in San Francisco, California, is a small, not-for-profit institution dedicated to the artistry, history, and craft of bookbinding. This unique museum provides an in-depth look into the intricate process of bookbinding, showcasing its evolution and significance throughout history.
Buena Vista Museum of Natural HistoryBakersfield, CAThe Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science is a prominent natural history museum situated in the heart of Bakersfield, California. It is conveniently located in the downtown Arts district, making it easily accessible for tourists and locals alike.
Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad MuseumLos Angeles, CAThe Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum (LALSRM) is a non-profit organization that was established in 1956 by enthusiasts of live steam. The main purpose of the museum is to educate the public about the history and lore of railroads, as well as to promote the technology of live steam and scale model railroads.
The MadeOakland, CAThe Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment, also known as The MADE, is a unique museum located in Oakland, California. It is dedicated to the world of digital art and gaming, offering fully playable gaming exhibits. This allows visitors to not only view but also interact with the exhibits, providing a unique and immersive experience.
Almaden Quicksilver Mining MuseumSan Jose, CANew Almaden , known in Spanish as Nueva Almadén , is a historic community and former mercury mine in the Capitancillos Hills of San Jose, California , located at the southwestern point of Almaden Valley in South San Jose . New Almaden is divided into two parts: the mines and much of their immediate
San Diego Model Railroad MuseumSan Diego, CAThe San Diego Model Railroad Museum is a model railroad exhibit in San Diego , California . At 27,000 sq. ft., it is the largest such indoor exhibit in North America, and one of the largest in the world. The museum is on the lower level of the Casa de Balboa Building on the Prado in Balboa Park . Th
Oakland Aviation MuseumOakland, CAThe Oakland Aviation Museum is home to an impressive collection of over 30 vintage and modern airplanes. These include both civilian and military aircraft, providing a comprehensive overview of aviation history. The museum also features displays that highlight the contributions of notable aviators and innovators in the field of aviation.
Golden State Model Railroad MuseumRichmond, CAThe Golden State Model Railroad Museum is a functioning model railroad exhibit situated in Point Richmond, California. It is nestled within the confines of the Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline park, making it a unique destination for both model railroad enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Grand Central AirportGlendale, CAThe Grand Central Airport, also known as the Grand Central Air Terminal (GCAT), played a significant role in the development of American aviation. It was a major facility for the growing suburb of Los Angeles in the 1920s. This historical significance makes it an interesting site for tourists interested in aviation history.
Estrella Warbird Museum, Inc.Paso Robles, CAThe Estrella Warbirds Museum is a unique aviation museum that focuses on the restoration and preservation of military aircraft, vehicles, and memorabilia. This museum is a testament to the history and evolution of military aviation, offering visitors a chance to explore a wide range of exhibits and displays.
Uss Potomac (ag-25)Oakland, CAToday, the USS Potomac is preserved in Oakland, California, where it is recognized as a National Historic Landmark. Visitors can explore this piece of history, gaining insight into the life and times of President Roosevelt.
Chabot Space and Science CenterOakland, CAThe Chabot Space and Science Center, situated in Oakland, California, is a hub for science learning. It offers a variety of interactive exhibits, planetariums, a large screen theater, hands-on activities, and three powerful telescopes. This makes it an ideal destination for tourists interested in science and astronomy.
Downing PlanetariumFresno, CAFresno's very own planetarium will help you discover and wonder at the solar system, stars, comets and space phenomena.
Laws Railroad Historic SiteBishop, CA
Flight Path Learning Center & MuseumLos Angeles, CALos Angeles International Airport, also known by its IATA code, LAX, is an international airport situated in Los Angeles County, California. It primarily serves the city of Los Angeles and its metropolitan area. The airport is located 30 km from downtown Los Angeles, making it a convenient gateway for tourists visiting the city and its surrounding regions.
San Francisco Railway MuseumSan Francisco, CAThe San Francisco Railway Museum is situated in the South of Market area of San Francisco. This location is easily accessible and is in close proximity to other popular tourist destinations in the city. The museum's location makes it a convenient stop for tourists exploring the city.
Antique Gas and Steam Engine MuseumVista, CAThe Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum (AGSEM) is a living-history museum that was established in 1969. It is situated on a 55-acre piece of land owned by the county, located on the outskirts of Vista, California. This museum offers a unique opportunity to explore the history of gas and steam engines in a hands-on environment.
Santa Barbara Maritime MuseumSanta Barbara, CAThe Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is located in the Naval Reserve Center building in Santa Barbara, California. This historic building has served various purposes over the years, but today it is home to the museum, among other uses. The museum is a significant attraction for tourists interested in maritime history and the local heritage of Santa Barbara.
Lawrence Hall of ScienceBerkeley, CAThe Lawrence Hall of Science, located in Berkeley, California, is a public science center that provides a variety of services and resources. It offers hands-on science exhibits that allow visitors to engage directly with scientific concepts and phenomena. The center also designs curriculum and provides professional development resources, as well as after-school science resources for students of all ages.
Autodesk GallerySan Francisco, CA
Raymond M. Alf Museum of PaleontologyClaremont, CAThe Raymond M Alf Museum of Paleontology, located in Claremont, California, is a unique institution as it is the only nationally accredited museum situated on a secondary school campus in the United States. This museum is part of The Webb Schools, a renowned educational institution. Visitors to the museum can expect to explore a wide range of paleontological exhibits, all within the unique setting of a school campus.
Western America Railroad MuseumBarstow, CAThe Western America Railroad Museum is situated in the city of Barstow, California. It is managed and operated by a non-profit organization, ensuring that the history and heritage of railroading in the Pacific Southwest is preserved and shared with the public.
Craftsmanship MuseumCarlsbad, CAThe Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum, also known as the Craftmanship Museum, is a unique institution situated in Carlsbad, California. This museum is dedicated to the collection and display of carefully crafted objects made from metal and wood. It is a place where visitors can appreciate the intricate details and exceptional craftsmanship of these objects.
Seymour Marine Discovery CenterSanta Cruz, CAThe University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) Coastal Science Campus consists of five main institutions: UCSC's Long Marine Laboratory, UCSC's Coastal Biology Building, the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, and the Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research
Burbank Aviation MuseumBurbank, CALed by volunteers, this museum displays various historical aircraft. A famous pilot, Amelia Earhart, worked in Burbank for a while.
South Bay Historical Railroad Society MuseumSanta Clara, CAThe South Bay Historical Railroad Society is a significant entity in Santa Clara, California. It operates the Edward Peterman Museum of Railroad History, which is located in the Santa Clara Depot. In addition to the museum, the society also manages the Santa Clara Tower and two other buildings. These sites offer a comprehensive insight into the history and development of railroads in the region.
Los Angeles Maritime MuseumLos Angeles, CAThe Los Angeles Maritime Museum is a non-profit institution situated at Sixth Street at Harbor Boulevard in the San Pedro community of Los Angeles, California. This location is easily accessible and offers a unique insight into the maritime history of the region.
Randall MuseumSan Francisco, CAThe Randall Museum, located in central San Francisco, California, is a unique institution owned and operated by the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department, with the support of the Randall Friends. This museum offers a diverse range of exhibits and activities, making it an interesting destination for tourists of all ages.
USS RecruitSan Diego, CA
Folsom Powerhouse State Historic ParkFolsom, CA
Mullin Automotive MuseumOxnard, CAThe Mullin Automotive Museum, located in Oxnard, California, is recognized as one of the top ten most significant museums for rare and prestigious collector's cars globally. Established in 2010 by American billionaire Peter Mullin, the museum has gained international acclaim for its extensive collection and dedication to preserving automotive history.
Chico Air MuseumChico, CAThe Chico Air Museum is situated in a building of the Chico Municipal Airport, approximately six kilometers from downtown Chico. It was opened to the public in May 2005. The museum's location at the airport adds to its authenticity and provides a unique backdrop for the exhibits.
Hat Creek Radio Observatory - SETI InstituteHat Creek, CA
GIA MuseumCarlsbad, CAThe Gemological Institute of America (GIA), founded in 1931 by jeweler Robert M. Shipley, is a renowned institution involved in the exploration, research, and teaching of gemstones and diamonds. It is also responsible for their evaluation. The organization is based in Carlsbad, California, making it an interesting destination for those interested in gemology and the history of gemstones.
The Don & June Salvatori Pharmacy MuseumSacramento, CAThe museum showcases array of artifacts documenting the history of Pharmacy. Book guided tour in advance.
The Discovery CenterFresno, CASet out on an exciting tour through this science education center. Find dinosaurs in Dino Dig Site and catch your fish in the Walden Pond.
Paul Gray PC MuseumClaremont, CAThe Claremont Graduate University (CGU) is a private research university located in Claremont, California. It is part of the Claremont Colleges, a consortium of five undergraduate colleges and two graduate institutions. The university is composed of seven separate units, each focusing on different areas of study.
Southern California Medical MuseumRiverside, CA
World Museum of Natural HistoryRiverside, CA
Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad & Transportation MuseumNevada City, CAThe Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad & Transportation Museum is a transport museum and heritage railroad situated in Nevada City, California. It is a place where visitors can explore the rich history of transportation in the region, particularly the narrow gauge railroad that was operational from 1876 until 1942.
Museum of the EyeSan Francisco, CA
The Wolf Museum of Exploration and InnovationSanta Barbara, CA
Carriage and Western Art Museum of Santa BarbaraSanta Barbara, CA
Old Town Model Railroad DepotSan Diego, CA
Folsom Railroad MuseumFolsom, CA
Murphy Auto MuseumOxnard, CA
Gateway Science MuseumChico, CA
The Gold Rush MuseumAuburn, CA
Smud museum of science and curiositySacramento, CA