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.

Contents

Central Coast and Monterey Bay Area

Inland Empire

Riverside County and San Bernardino County (includes Ontario)

Los Angeles

Greater Los Angeles County

Orange County

Southern Border Region

includes San Diego and Imperial counties

San Francisco Bay Area

San Joaquin Valley

Shasta Cascade

Elsewhere

NameImageTown/CityCountyRegionTypeSummary
Aerospace Museum of CaliforniaAerospace Museum of California.jpgSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyAviation
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
American Victorian MuseumNevada CityNevadaGold CountryHistorywebsite, also known as Teddy Bear Castle Museum
Anderson Marsh State Historic ParkLower LakeLakeNorth CoastHistoric houseContains Ranch House, an example of early California living
Anderson Valley Historical Society MuseumBoonvilleMendocinoNorth CoastLocal historywebsite
Angels Camp Museum & Carriage HouseAngels CampCalaverasGold CountryLocal historywebsite, includes carriages, mining equipment, minerals, household items
Arcata Marsh Interpretive CenterArcataHumboldtNorth CoastNatural history
Bale Grist Mill State Historic ParkSt. HelenaNapaNapa ValleyMillThe historic mill is open on weekends
Battery Point LightBattery Point Lighthouse.JPGCrescent CityDel NorteNorth CoastLighthouseLighthouse and museum
Bernhard Museum ComplexAuburnPlacerGold CountryOpen airwebsite, includes 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
Blue Lake MuseumBlue LakeHumboldtNorth CoastLocal historyinformation
Blue Ox Millworks and Historic ParkEurekaHumboldtNorth CoastOpen airwebsite, historic park with working craftsmen's areas and a current-day mill and woodworking operation
Bodie State Historic ParkBodie6Aug2006.JPGBodieMonoHigh SierraOpen airGhost town mining camp
Bohart Museum of EntomologyDavisYoloSacramento ValleyNatural historywebsite, live 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 FameCAHoF Entrance.jpgSacramentoSacramentoSacramento 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
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 MuseumNapaNapaNapa ValleyNatural historyinformation, located in Westwood Hills Park
Center for Contemporary Art, SacramentoSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyArtwebsite
Chew Kee Store MuseumFiddletownAmadorGold CountryHistorywebsite, 1855 Chinese herb shop
Chinese American Museum of Northern CaliforniaMarysvilleYubaSacramento ValleyEthnic - Chineseinformation, information
Clarke Historical MuseumClarke Historical Museum.JPGEurekaHumboldtNorth CoastLocal historyFormerly the Clarke Memorial Museum, history of Humboldt County with emphasis on the late 19th century, includes furniture, glassware, clothing and Native American wing
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
Del Norte County Historical Society Main MuseumCrescent CityDel NorteNorth CoastLocal historywebsite, includes Native American baskets, Tolowa and Yurok artifacts, musical instruments, old radio, phonographic and photographic equipment, needlework, logging and mining tools and equipment, fashions and furniture
di Rosa Preserve: Art & NatureNapaNapaNapa ValleyArtwebsite, art galleries and outdoor sculpture on a nature preserve
Discovery Museum of EurekaEurekaHumboldtNorth CoastChildren'swebsite
Discovery Museum of SacramentoSacramentoSacramentoSacramento ValleyChildren'swebsite, Science & Space Center, Challenger Learning Center
Donald F. 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
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
Ferndale MuseumFerndaleHumboldtNorth CoastLocal historywebsite
First Street GalleryEurekaHumboldtNorth CoastArtwebsite, part of Humboldt State University
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
Ford House MuseumFord house, Mendocino, California.jpgMendocinoMendocinoNorth CoastLocal historyVisitor and interpretive center for Mendocino Headlands State Park
Foresthill Divide MuseumForesthillPlacerGold CountryMiningwebsite, information, includes mining museum, a reconstructed livery stable/blacksmith shop, and the original Foresthill Jail
Fort Humboldt State Historic ParkFort Humboldt House.JPGEurekaHumboldtNorth CoastFort
Fortuna Depot MuseumFortunaHumboldtNorth CoastLocal historywebsite, history of the Eel River Valley, includes memorabilia from railroad, farm and war eras, including large locks, spark plugs, and barbed wire displays, a doll collection and many types of fishing gear and lures
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 CountryMiningwebsite
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
Grace Hudson Museum and Sun HouseSunHouseDoor.jpgUkiahMendocinoNorth CoastMultipleArt, history, and anthropology museum focusing on on the lifeworks of artist Grace Carpenter Hudson (1865–1937) and her ethnologist husband, Dr. John W. Hudson (1857–1936)
Grass Valley MuseumGrass ValleyNevadaGold CountryLocal historyIncludes furniture, art, objects d’art, clothing, musical instruments and artifacts of the Victorian era
Griffith Quarry MuseumPenrynPlacerGold CountryIndustryLocal granite industry
Groveland Yosemite Gateway MuseumGrovelandTuolumneGold CountryLocal historywebsite
Guest House MuseumFort BraggMendocinoNorth CoastLocal historyinformation, information
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 Museum of DavisDavisYoloSacramento ValleyLocal historywebsite
Hays Antique Truck MuseumWoodlandYoloSacramento ValleyTransportationwebsite, antique trucks, trailers, industrial powerplants, tools, equipment, and trucking memorabilia
Heidrick Ag History CenterWoodlandYoloSacramento ValleyAgriculturewebsite, antique agricultural equipment
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
Hoopa Tribal MuseumHoopaHumboldtNorth CoastNative Americanwebsite
Humboldt Bay Maritime MuseumSamoaHumboldtNorth CoastMaritime
Humboldt State University Natural History MuseumArcataHumboldtNorth CoastNatural historywebsite
ICA GalleryBishopInyoHigh SierraArtChanging exhibits of area art
Imaginarium of Nevada CountyNevada CityNevadaGold CountrySciencewebsite, science education center with public days once a month
Indian Grinding Rock State Historic ParkPine GroveAmadorHigh SierraNative AmericanIncludes Chaw'se Regional Indian Museum
James Calvin Sly MuseumPollock PinesEl DoradoGold CountryLocal historyinformation
Kelley House MuseumKelley house, Mendocino, California.jpgMendocinoMendocinoNorth CoastHistoric housewebsite, interprets Mendocino's logging and shipping industries
Kennedy MineJacksonAmadorHigh SierraMiningGold mine structures
Kentucky Mine MuseumSierra CitySierraGold CountryMininginformation
KidZone MuseumTruckeeNevadaGold CountryChildren'swebsite, formerly the Sierra Nevada Children's Museum
Lake County Historical Courthouse MuseumLakeportLakeNorth CoastLocal historyinformation, information
Lake Tahoe Historical Society MuseumSouth Lake TahoeEl DoradoHigh SierraLocal historyinformation
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
Lower Lake Schoolhouse MuseumLower LakeLakeNorth CoastLocal history
Loyalton MuseumLoyaltonSierraGold CountryLocal historyinformation
Maidu Museum & Historic SiteRosevillePlacerSacramento ValleyMultiplewebsite, natural 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 Memorial MuseumMarysvilleYubaSacramento ValleyLocal historyinformation
Memorial Union GalleryDavisYoloSacramento ValleyArtwebsite, contemporary and historical California art, part of the University of California, Davis
Mendocino County MuseumWillitsMendocinoNorth CoastLocal historywebsite
Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area Visitor CenterMono Lake Visitors Center.jpgLee ViningMonoHigh SierraNatural historyGeology and wildlife of Mono Lake
Morris Graves Museum of ArtEurekaHumboldtNorth CoastArtArts and artists of the Pacific Northwest, particularly Morris Graves
Murphys Old Timers MuseumMurphysCalaverasGold CountryLocal historyinformation
Museum of Lone Pine Film HistoryLone 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
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 City Firehouse MuseumNevada CityNevadaGold CountryLocal historywebsite, operated by the Nevada County Historical Society
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 CountryMining
Northern Mariposa County History CenterCoultervilleMariposaGold CountryLocal historywebsite
Northstar Mining MuseumGrass ValleyNevadaGold CountryMiningwebsite, hundreds of mining artifacts and machinery, operated by the Nevada County Historical Society; also called the Grass Valley Mining Museum or the Northstar Mine Powerhouse & Pelton Wheel Museum
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
Old Schoolhouse MuseumLee ViningMonoHigh SierraLocal historywebsite
Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center-MuseumBishopInyoHigh SierraNative AmericanArtifacts and antiquities from the Numa (Paiute) and Newe (Shoshone) Nations
Phillips House MuseumArcataHumboldtNorth CoastHistoric housewebsite, operated by the Historical Sites Society of Arcata
Placer County MuseumAuburnPlacerGold CountryLocal historywebsite, includes courthouse and sheriff's exhibits, Native America art, gold country exhibits
Point Cabrillo LightPoint Cabrillo Light Station.jpgUkiahMendocinoNorth CoastMaritimeLighthouse open for tours
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
Reese Bullen GalleryArcataHumboldtNorth CoastArtwebsite, houses the permanent art collection of Humboldt State University
Richard L. Nelson Gallery & Fine Art CollectionDavisYoloSacramento ValleyArtwebsite, part of the University of California, Davis
Rocklin History MuseumRocklinPlacerGold CountryLocal historywebsite
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, planned museum opening summer 2011
Sacramento History MuseumSacramentoHistoryMuseum.jpgSacramentoSacramentoSacramento HistoryLocal historywebsite, includes 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
Samoa Cookhouse MuseumEurekaHumboldtNorth CoastIndustrywebsite, area logging activities, part of the Samoa Cookhouse historic restaurant
Scotia Logging MuseumScotiaHumboldtNorth CoastIndustrywebsite, museum about the logging company town owned by Pacific Lumber Company
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
Shenandoah Valley MuseumPlymouthAmadorGold CountryLocal historyinformation
Ship Ashore Gift Shop & MuseumSmith RiverDel NorteNorth CoastMultiplewebsite, information, maritime and historic artifacts, shells, minerals, pirates
Shoshone MuseumShoshoneInyoHigh SierraLocal historywebsite
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
Silverado MuseumSt. HelenaNapaNapa ValleyBiographicalwebsite, devoted to Robert Louis Stevenson
Stansbury HouseChicoButteSacramento ValleyHistoric houseinformation, information
Stone Lagoon Schoolhouse MuseumTrinidadHumboldtNorth CoastSchoolinformation
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
Trees of MysteryKlamathDel NorteNorth CoastNative AmericanRoadside attraction that includes the End of the Trail Museum, which features Native American art, crafts and tools
Triangle Tattoo & MuseumFort BraggMendocinoNorth CoastArtwebsite, display of tattoo artifacts from around the world
Trinidad MuseumTrinidadHumboldtNorth CoastLocal historyinformation
Truckee Jail MuseumTruckeeNevadaGold CountryJailwebsite, operated by the Truckee - Donner Historical Society, exhibits of local history
Tuolumne City Memorial MuseumTuolumneTuolumneGold CountryLocal historywebsite, exhibits on pioneers, household and kitchen items, clothing, gold mining, lumber company and model train layout
Tuolumne County Museum & History Center2009-0724-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, bicycl
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
Willow Creek - China Flat MuseumWillow CreekHumboldtNorth CoastLocal historywebsite, local and Native American history, special bigfoot collection
Wooden Sculpture Garden of Romano GabrielEurekaHumboldtNorth CoastArtwebsite, folk art sculpture garden, operated by the Eureka Heritage Society
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

Online museums

Defunct museums

See also

Resources

References

External links