Plan an Art Day Trip Around Los Angeles

Buses in front of daytime city skyline


The City of Angels is a hotspot for cultural activities of all kinds. Among the most popular and well-established traditions in this city is its dedication to the arts. Whether you live nearby or you’ve crossed the country for a vacation on the West Coast, there are plenty of galleries and museums available to the general public. While you’re in Los Angeles, consider taking a day trip around some of the finest and most respected art exhibits in the area. We’ve compiled a handy list of cultural establishments, all within driving distance of one another, to make your next outing one you’ll never forget.

1. The Getty

Museum entrance stairs


Our first stop on the list is the Getty Museum. This establishment has two locations: the Getty Villa Museum on the coast, and the Getty Center high in the hills of Los Angeles. For a day trip, the Getty Center is the perfect place to take in some of LA’s stunning art exhibits. Admission is free, but visitors must reserve a time slot in advance.

The Getty Center holds a profound interest in highlighting the history surrounding art and artifacts. Patrons can find everything from photography to pastels to porcelain on display at any given time. For those who appreciate additional information, some exhibits also feature commentary that explores the cultural and historical significance surrounding an installation and its artist.

2. Hammer Museum

The Hammer Museum was founded in 1990 by Dr. Armand Hammer. Today, not only does the museum display traditional art collections, but it hosts a wide range of programs such as lectures, readings, film series, and other live performances. Art exhibits in LA can be quite diverse in their style and their offerings. There is no cost to enter, and admission includes access to an accompanying restaurant and shop.

The Hammer Museum is dedicated to cultivating a space that captures the here and now in unexpected ways. Its featured artists are often comprised of social warriors who inspire change in their communities.  Rather than a purely visual experience, the Hammer challenges patrons of all ages to feel and act on what the artist intended.

3. Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Exterior of the LACMA during the day


The next stop on our day trip around LA is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Heralded as the “largest art museum in the Western United States,” the LACMA has almost 150,000 pieces in its collection. Before making the trip, it’s important to note that admission is not free for adults. For those that do not reside in LA county, the price to enter the art exhibits is a bit higher than for residents.

The LACMA hosts art and artifacts from all over the world. The collections cover over 5,000 years of art history. In this way, the museum will cater to a history buff as well as a patron of the arts. Come explore the history of these great nations through a creative lens.

4. USC Fisher Museum of Art

Located on campus in the heart of Los Angeles, these art exhibits are linked with the University of Southern California. The USC Fisher Museum of Art is situated alongside a complex of other museums in Exposition Park, including the California Science Center and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Admission to the Fisher Museum is free, although its partnership with USC means that the museum is closed during summer months and university holidays. If you want to include this stop on your day trip around LA, be sure to plan ahead.

The Fisher Museum of Art features a rotating selection of exhibits from its permanent collection. Their pieces include paintings, sculptures, and multimedia works that span nearly five centuries. Although the permanent collection highlights American and European artists, frequent exhibitions feature local emerging artists and students of USC.

5. The Broad

The Broad exterior is a white textured square


Up next on our tour of art exhibits in LA, The Broad is pretty hard to miss with its visually stunning, textured exterior. Admission is free with advanced reservations. If you want to experience the Infinity Mirrored Room by artist Yayoi Kusama, you’ll need to reserve a special ticket that includes both general admission and the exhibit.

The Broad prides itself on being open and accessible to people of all backgrounds. Art is meant to spark passion and inspiration in viewers, and that needn’t be limited by age, style preference, or level of experience when it comes to art appreciation. The Broad features a wide array of installations, ranging from drawings and paintings to sculptures and three-dimensional light exhibits. There’s something here for everyone!

6. Institute of Contemporary Art

Our final stop on this day trip around Los Angeles and its art exhibits is the Institute of Contemporary Art. The ICA is located in a renovated industrial building in the Arts District of LA. Admission is always free, but reservations are limited to 30-minute time slots and must be made in advance.

When compared to other art exhibits in LA, the Institute of Contemporary Art is more modern and progressive, pushing the boundaries of what art can be and how people respond to it. The art on display here will challenge patrons to question their preconceptions and experience the unexpected as they encounter a wide variety of exhibitions. From paintings to sculptures to performances and everything in between, the ICA represents the cutting edge of the art world.

Art is Everywhere

Paper Lego cameraman stuck to a brick wall


Hopefully, these museums and galleries have inspired you to embark on a day trip around Los Angeles and visit some of the spectacular art exhibits the area has to offer. You’re sure to make memories that will leave a lasting impression. 

But art isn’t just hanging in a gallery. It’s not just in the paintings and sculptures on display at a Los Angeles art exhibit. It’s also in your children’s drawings, your prized high school jersey or diploma, and your black-and-white photographs of loved ones from back in the day with archival framing. The FrameStore makes custom frames for clients in the LA area. Whether you need one frame or a dozen, the expert craftsmen at the FrameStore provide reliable, quality products with fast turnaround. Wholesale pricing starts at just 4 frames. 

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