List of museums in California

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This list of museums in California is a list of museums, defined for this context as institutions (including nonprofit organizations, government entities, and private businesses) that collect and care for objects of cultural, artistic, scientific, or historical interest and make their collections or related exhibits available for public viewing. Also included are non-profit and university art galleries. Museums that exist only in cyberspace (i.e., virtual museums) are not included.

To use the sortable tables: click on the icons at the top of each column to sort that column in alphabetical order; click again for reverse alphabetical order.

Central Coast and Monterey Bay Area[edit]

Includes Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Ventura counties

Inland Empire[edit]

Riverside County and San Bernardino County (includes Ontario)

Los Angeles[edit]

Greater Los Angeles County[edit]

North Coast[edit]

Includes Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, and Mendocino counties

Orange County[edit]

Greater San Diego Area[edit]

Includes San Diego and Imperial counties

San Francisco Bay Area[edit]

Includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma counties

San Joaquin Valley[edit]

Includes Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare counties

Shasta Cascade[edit]

Includes Butte, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama and Trinity counties

Elsewhere[edit]

NameImageTown/CityCountyRegionTypeSummary
Aerospace Museum of CaliforniaAerospace Museum of California.jpgNorth HighlandsSacramentoSacramento ValleyAviationLocated on the grounds of the former McClellan Air Force Base, displays of military and civilian aircraft as well as space vehicle replicas
Alpine County MuseumMarkleevilleAlpineHigh SierraOpen airwebsite, complex includes the main museum building with local history exhibits, a schoolhouse, Markleeville Log Jail, carriage shed, and historic silver ore stamp mill
Amador County MuseumJacksonAmadorGold CountryLocal historywebsite
Amador Whitney MuseumAmador CityAmadorGold CountryLocal historywebsite
Angels Camp MuseumAngels CampCalaverasGold CountryLocal historyIncludes carriages, mining equipment, minerals, household items
Bale Grist Mill State Historic ParkSt. HelenaNapaNapa ValleyMillThe historic mill is open on weekends
Bernhard Museum ComplexAuburnPlacerGold CountryHistoric houseIncludes the Victorian Bernhard residence with period rooms, wine storage building and wine processing building with wine-making exhibits, and a barn with horse-drawn vehicles and blacksmith area
Bodie State Historic ParkBodie6Aug2006.JPGBodieMonoHigh SierraOpen airGhost town mining camp
Bohart Museum of EntomologyDavisYoloSacramento ValleyNatural historyLive and mounted insect displays, also a research museum of the University of California, Davis
Calaveras County MuseumSan AndreasCalaverasGold CountryLocal historywebsite, operated by the Calaveras County Historical Society
California Automobile MuseumSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyAutomobileFormerly the Towe Auto Museum, over 170 classic cars, race cars, muscle cars, hot rods, early models and automotive memorabilia
California Foundry History Museum - SacramentoSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyIndustrywebsite
California Hall of FameSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyHall of famePart of the The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts
California Museum for History, Women and the ArtsMuseum Outside.jpgSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyHistoryFormerly known as the Golden State Museum, includes the California Hall of Fame, exhibits on important people and aspects of California
California State Capitol MuseumCaliforniastatecapitol.jpgSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyCapitol
California State Indian MuseumCalifornia State Indian Museum.jpgSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyNative American
California State Military MuseumCaliforniaMuseumofMilitaryHistory2.JPGSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyMilitary
California State Mining and Mineral MuseumMariposaMariposaGold CountryMiningLocated at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds, gold mining
California State Railroad MuseumCalifornia State Railroad Museum 00.jpgSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyRailroad
Carnegie Museum (Roseville, California)RosevillePlacerSacramento ValleyLocal historywebsite, operated by the Roseville Historical Society, located in a Carnegie library building
Carolyn Parr Nature CenterNapaNapaNapa ValleyNatural historywebsite, located in Westwood Hills Park, features natural history museum
Center for Contemporary Art, SacramentoSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyArtwebsite
Chew Kee Store MuseumFiddletownAmadorGold CountryHistorywebsite, 1855 Chinese herb shop, information
Chinese American Museum of Northern CaliforniaMarysvilleYubaSacramento ValleyEthnic - Chinesewebsite, Chinese participation in the gold rush
C.N. Gorman MuseumDavisYoloSacramento ValleyArtwebsite, contemporary Native American and indigenous art, part of the University of California, Davis, also known as Carl M. Gorman Museum
Columbia State Historic ParkColumbiaCAMainSt.jpgColumbiaTuolumneGold CountryLivingCalifornia Gold Rush town with living history demonstrations
Community Memorial Museum of Sutter CountyYuba CitySutterSacramento ValleyLocal history
Crocker Art MuseumCrocker 1.jpgSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyArtEarly California art, Old Master drawings, Asian art, international ceramics
Dai Loy MuseumLockeSacramentoSacramento ValleyHistorywebsite, former Chinese gambling house
di RosaNapaNapaNapa ValleyArtwebsite, art galleries and outdoor sculpture on a nature preserve
Discovery Museum Science & Space CenterSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleySciencewebsite, building new facility to be known the Powerhouse Science Center
Don & June Salvatori California Pharmacy MuseumSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyMedicalwebsite, pharmacy artifacts, located at the California Pharmacists Association headquarters
Donner Memorial State ParkTruckeeNevadaGold CountryHistoryIncludes the Emigrant Trail Museum with exhibits on local Native Americans, the Donner Party and builders of the transcontinental railroad
Downieville MuseumDownievilleSierraGold CountryLocal historyinformation
Eastern California MuseumIndependenceInyoHigh SierraLocal historywebsite, includes Native American baskets and artifacts, fossils and exhibits of local history
El Dorado County Historical MuseumPlacervilleEl DoradoGold CountryLocal historywebsite, Native American baskets, gold mining equipment, farm tools, household items
ElmshavenSt. HelenaNapaNapa ValleyReligiousHome of Ellen G. White whose ministry was instrumental in founding the seventh-day Sabbatarian Adventist movement
Empire Mine State Historic ParkEmpire mine shaft.jpgGrass ValleyNevadaGold CountryMiningAttractions include a mining museum, an Edwardian estate house, and a mine with living history demonstrations
ExploritDavisYoloSacramento ValleySciencewebsite, regional hands-on science center
Folsom History MuseumFolsomSacramentoSacramento ValleyLocal historywebsite, operated by the Folsom Historical Society, exhibits about Folsom's native people, the discovery of gold and the formation of mining camps, ethnic groups who contributed to this area, the formation of the town, railroad, prison, powerhouse, and later efforts at gold mining
Folsom Powerhouse State Historic ParkFolsomPowerHouse.jpgFolsomSacramentoSacramento ValleyTechnologyHistoric 1890s hydroelectric power plant
Folsom Prison MuseumFolsomSacramentoSacramento ValleyLaw enforcement
Folsom Railroad MuseumFolsomSacramentoSacramento ValleyRailroadwebsite, operated by the Folsom, El Dorado & Sacramento Historical Railroad Association
Forest Hill Divide MuseumForesthillPlacerGold CountryMiningwebsite, information, includes mining museum, a reconstructed livery stable/blacksmith shop, and the original Foresthill Jail
Fountain & Tallman Museum2009-0724-F-TSodaWorks.jpgPlacervilleEl DoradoGold CountryLocal historyOperated by the El Dorado County Historical Society
Gatekeeper’s MuseumTahoe CityPlacerHigh SierraLocal historywebsite, operated by the North Lake Tahoe Historical Society, includes Marion Steinbach Indian Basket Museum
Gold Country MuseumAuburnPlacerGold CountryMiningArea gold mining and local history
Golden Drift MuseumDutch FlatPlacerGold CountryLocal historywebsite, influence of mining and railroads in the area
Governor's Mansion State Historic ParkGov Mans 1.JPGSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyHistoric houseFormer mansion of the governors of California
Grass Valley MuseumGrass ValleyNevadaGold CountryLocal historyIncludes furniture, art, objects d’art, clothing, musical instruments and artifacts of the Victorian era
Grass Valley Video History MuseumGrass ValleyNevadaGold CountryLocal historyinformation, historical film footage locally and from around the world
Griffith Quarry MuseumPenrynPlacerGold CountryIndustryLocal granite industry
Groveland Yosemite Gateway MuseumGrovelandTuolumneGold CountryLocal historywebsite
Hangtown's Gold Bug Park & MinePlacervilleEl DoradoGold CountryMiningwebsite, includes Hattie's Museum with mining exhibits, Gold Bug Mine to tour, Meagher House for natural history education, Hendy Stamp Mill
Hattie Weber MuseumDavisYoloSacramento ValleyLocal historywebsite, operated by the Yolo County Historical Society
Hayden CabinMammoth LakesMonoHigh SierraHistoric housewebsite, operated by the Southern Mono Historical Society, also known as Mammoth Museum, four-room log cabin with original 1930s furnishings
Heidrick Ag History CenterWoodlandYoloSacramento ValleyAgriculturewebsite, antique agricultural equipment
Hellman-Ehrman MansionTahomaEl DoradoGold CountryHistoric housewebsite, located in Ed Z'berg Sugar Pine Point State Park, early 20th-century summer lodge house
Historic Firehouse No. 1 MuseumNevada CityNevadaGold CountryLocal historywebsite, operated by the Nevada County Historical Society
Home of Lola MontezGrass ValleyNevadaGold CountryLocal historyHouses the town's chamber of commerce, visitor center and local history museum
Honda Food Culture Museum and Communication Education CenterMarysvilleYubaSacramento ValleyFoodinformation
ICA GalleryBishopInyoHigh SierraArtChanging exhibits of area art
Indian Grinding Rock State Historic ParkPine GroveAmadorHigh SierraNative AmericanIncludes Chaw'se Regional Indian Museum
James Calvin Sly MuseumPollock PinesEl DoradoGold CountryLocal historyinformation
Kennedy MineJacksonAmadorHigh SierraMiningGold mine structures
Kentucky Mine MuseumSierra CitySierraGold CountryMiningwebsite, operated by the Sierra County Historical Society, working gold mine with operating stamp mill
KidZone MuseumTruckeeNevadaGold CountryChildren'swebsite, formerly the Sierra Nevada Children's Museum
Lake Tahoe Historical Society MuseumSouth Lake TahoeEl DoradoHigh SierraLocal historywebsite
Laws Railroad Museum and Historic SiteBishopInyoHigh SierraOpen airOperated by the Bishop Museum & Historical Society, collection of 19th century buildings with historical exhibits, railroad cars and equipment
Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic ParkLelandstanfordmansion.jpgSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyHistoric houseVictorian mansion restored to 1872 appearance
Locke Chinese SchoolLockeSacramentoSacramento ValleySchoolwebsite, former Chinese gambling house
Lone Pine Film History MuseumLone PineInyoHigh SierraMediawebsite, movie history of Lone Pine, Death Valley and the Eastern Sierra areas; officially known as the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History
Maidu Museum & Historic SiteRosevillePlacerSacramento ValleyMultipleNatural and cultural history, including exhibits on Native Californians and the interdependence of nature and culture
Malakoff Diggins State Historic ParkNevada CityNevadaGold CountryMiningIncludes mining museum and deserted mining town
Mammoth Ski MuseumMammoth LakesMonoHigh SierraSportswebsite, art, culture and artifacts related to skiing
Manzanar National Historic SiteManzanarWatchTowerReplica.jpgIndependenceInyoHigh SierraHistorySite of one of ten camps where over 110,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II
Mariposa Museum & History CenterMariposaMariposaGold CountryLocal historywebsite, cultural history of Mariposa County, including Miwok display, gold mining equipment, miner's cabin, saloon, one-room school
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic ParkColomaEl DoradoGold CountryOpen airIncludes Gold Discovery Museum and Visitor Center, 20 historic buildings including mining, house, school, and store exhibits
Mary Aaron MuseumMarysvilleYubaSacramento ValleyHistoric housewebsite, Victorian-era house
Memorial Union GalleryDavisYoloSacramento ValleyArtwebsite, contemporary and historical California art, part of the University of California, Davis
Milton Gottardi Loyalton MuseumLoyaltonSierraGold CountryLocal historywebsite
Mono Basin History MuseumLee ViningMonoHigh SierraLocal historywebsite, operated by the Mono County Historical Society, located in a historic schoolhouse, Native American artifacts, gold mining implements, local history and culture, Nellie Bly's legendary Upside-Down House, farming and mining equipment
Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area Visitor CenterMono Lake Visitors Center.jpgLee ViningMonoHigh SierraNatural historyGeology and wildlife of Mono Lake
Monteverde Store MuseumSutter CreekAmadorGold CountryHistoryinformation, historic country store with items
Murphys Old Timers MuseumMurphysCalaverasGold CountryLocal historywebsite
Museum of Sierra Ski History and 1960 Winter OlympicsTahoe CityPlacerHigh SierraSportswebsite, area ski history from its beginnings through the 1960 Winter Olympics
Museum of the Forgotten WarriorsMarysvilleYubaSacramento ValleyMilitarywebsite, uniforms, helicopters, photographs, medals, military memorabilia
Napa County Historical SocietyNapaNapaNapa ValleyLocal historywebsite, the research library's Jess Doud Memorial Room hosts several exhibitions each year
Napa Firefighters MuseumNapaNapaNapa ValleyFirefightingwebsite
Napa Valley MuseumYountvilleNapaNapa ValleyMultiplewebsite, art, history, natural history of Napa Valley, including local Native American and wine-making history
Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad MuseumNevada CityNevadaGold CountryRailroadOperated by the Nevada County Historical Society
New Melones Visitor Center and MuseumSonoraCalaverasGold CountryLocal historyHistoric, natural and cultural history of the area around New Melones Lake
North Star Mine and Powerhouse & Pelton Wheel MuseumGrass ValleyNevadaGold CountryMiningHundreds of mining artifacts and machinery, operated by the Nevada County Historical Society; also called the Grass Valley Mining Museum or the Northstar Mining Museum
Northern Mariposa County History CenterCoultervilleMariposaGold CountryLocal historywebsite
Old Jail Museum (Truckee, California)TruckeeNevadaGold CountryPrisonwebsite, operated by the Truckee - Donner Historical Society, 19th-century jail with exhibits of local history
Old Sacramento State Historic ParkOld Sacramento.jpgSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyMultipleIncludes Old Sacramento Interpretive Center, Wells Fargo History Museum, Sacramento History Museum, Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum, several historic buildings and more
Old Sacramento Schoolhouse MuseumSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleySchoolwebsite
Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center-MuseumBishopInyoHigh SierraNative AmericanArtifacts and antiquities from the Numa (Paiute) and Newe (Shoshone) Nations
Placer County MuseumAuburnPlacerGold CountryLocal historywebsite, includes courthouse and sheriff's exhibits, Native America art, gold country exhibits
Preston CastleIoneAmadorHigh SierraPrisonTours of the former reform school
Rae House MuseumGaltSacramentoSacramento ValleyHistoric housewebsite, operated by the Galt Area Historical Society
Railtown 1897 State Historic ParkP8060020.jpgJamestownTuolumneGold CountryRailroadSeasonal steam and diesel-powered train rides, 1920s locomotive roundhouse, machine shop and related exhibits
Red Barn MuseumSan AndreasCalaverasGold CountryLocal historywebsite, operated by the Calaveras County Historical Society, features agriculture, mining, logging, and ranching artifacts, tools and equipment
Reiff's Antique Gas Station Automotive MuseumWoodlandYoloSacramento ValleyTransportation1950s cars, automobile memorabilia, antiques and car culture
Richard Nelson GalleryDavisYoloSacramento ValleyArtwebsite, part of the University of California, Davis
Robert Louis Stevenson MuseumSt. HelenaNapaNapa ValleyBiographicalwebsite, devoted to author Robert Louis Stevenson[1]
Rocklin History MuseumRocklinPlacerGold CountryLocal historywebsite, operated by the Rocklin Historical Society, mining, railroads, ranching
Roseville Telephone MuseumRosevillePlacerSacramento ValleyTechnologywebsite, antique telephones and memorabilia
Roseville Utility Exploration CenterRosevillePlacerSacramento ValleySciencewebsite, environmental learning center including energy efficiency, renewable technology, water conservation and recycling
Sacramento Children's MuseumSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyChildren'swebsite
Sacramento History MuseumSacramentoHistoryMuseum.jpgSacramentoSacramentoSacramento HistoryLocal historyIncludes California Gold Rush, agriculture, community, gold panning. Home of the Underground Tours of Old Sacramento.
Sacramento Valley MuseumWilliamsColusaSacramento ValleyLocal historyIncludes carriages, mining equipment, minerals, household items
Scotty's CastleScottys Castle from Hacienda.jpgInyoHigh SierraHistoric houseAlso known as Death Valley Ranch, 1930s period mansion, located in northern Death Valley National Park
Sharpsteen MuseumCalistogaNapaNapa ValleyLocal historywebsite, history of the upper Napa Valley, along with the career memorabilia of founder Ben Sharpsteen (an animator for Walt Disney Studios)
Shenandoah Valley MuseumPlymouthAmadorGold CountryLocal historywebsite, wine-making and farming
Shoshone MuseumShoshoneInyoHigh SierraLocal historyFacebook site, area geology, wildlife, Native American culture and folklore
Sierra College Natural History MuseumRocklinPlacerGold CountryNatural historywebsite, part of Sierra College
Sierra Nevada Logging MuseumArnoldCalaverasGold CountryIndustryHistory of logging in the Sierra Nevada area
Sierra Sacramento Valley Museum of Medical HistorySacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyMedicalwebsite, collections in the fields of surgery, clinical diagnosis, infectious disease, pharmacy, radiology, Chinese medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and medical quackery
Sutter's Fort State Historic ParkSuttersFort2002.jpgSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyMilitaryIncludes Sutter's Fort and the California State Indian Museum
Tahoe Maritime MuseumHomewoodPlacerHigh SierraMaritimeIncludes maritime craft in service at Lake Tahoe, history of boating at Lake Tahoe, outboard motor collection, aquaplanes, water skis, fishing exhibits
Tallac Historic SiteSouth Lake TahoeEl DoradoHigh SierraOpen airwebsite, former rustic resort, includes Baldwin Museum, a former estate with exhibits on the significance of the estate families and the Washoe Tribe, the Pope Estate, the Valhalla Estate and several outbuildings
Tuolumne City Memorial MuseumTuolumneTuolumneGold CountryLocal historyExhibits on pioneers, household and kitchen items, clothing, gold mining, lumber company and model train layout
Tuolumne County Museum2009-0724-CA-TuolumneCtyJail.jpgSonoraTuolumneGold CountryLocal historywebsite, housed in an old jail, operated by the Tuolumne County Historical Society
UC Davis Design MuseumDavisYoloSacramento ValleyDesignwebsite, includes architecture, costume, graphic design, textiles, new media and popular culture, part of the University of California, Davis
Underground Gold Miners MuseumAlleghanySierraGold CountryMiningwebsite, open seasonally and by appointment
United States Bicycling Hall of FameHistoric bicycles at the U.S. Cycling Hall of Fame.jpgDavisYoloSacramento ValleySportsFormerly located in New Jersey, bicycling history, photos, trophies, medals, books, catalogs
VikingsholmVikingsholm.jpgSouth Lake TahoeEl DoradoHigh SierraHistoric house38-room mansion with Nordic influences
Wells Fargo History MuseumSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyHistorywebsite, two locations in Sacramento
West Sacramento Historical Society MuseumWest SacramentoYoloSacramento ValleyLocal historywebsite
Western SkiSport MuseumSoda SpringsNevadaGold CountrySportswebsite, history of winter ski sports in the western United States, operated by the Auburn Ski Club
Yolo County Historical MuseumGibson Mansion.JPGWoodlandYoloSacramento ValleyHistoric houseAlso known as Gibson House, period rooms from the 1850s to the 1930s, also exhibits of local history
Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine RailroadFish CampMariposaHigh SierraRailroadHeritage railroad and historic log cabin
Yosemite MuseumYosemite Museum Exterior.jpgYosemite National ParkMariposaGold CountryNative AmericanHeritage and culture of the Ahwaneechee people who lived in the valley

Defunct museums[edit]

See also[edit]

Resources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Napa Valley Collection, Robert Louis Stevenson Museum
  2. ^ "Gone but never forgotten". Nevada City Advocate. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "American Victorian Museum - Reported closed". Yelp. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Atascadero Chamber of Commerce
  5. ^ Museum for Children
  6. ^ Tribute by Jeffrey Sward
  7. ^ Photos
  8. ^ Planetware listing
  9. ^ "Building an Outstanding Museum - The Heidrick Ag History Center". 2013: The Hays Antique Truck Museum moves their collection from Woodland, CA, to Reno, NV, to take advantage of new donor interest. Heidrick Ag History Center. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "Woodland's Hays truck Museum moving to Reno". Published 8/11/2013. Daily Democrat. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  11. ^ Roadside American Report 2005
  12. ^ "As of November 2010, however, this Web site will nolonger be maintained.". Imaginarium of Nevada County. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "A sadly noted departure", LA Times, April 21, 2008
  14. ^ Closing notice at Mountaininfo.com
  15. ^ "Piru: The Garden of Eden that might have been", The Signal, update to 1998 article
  16. ^ http://www.mingei.org/about/history.php Mingei history

External links[edit]