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]

Name Image Town/City County Region Type Summary
Aerospace Museum of California Aerospace Museum of California.jpg North Highlands Sacramento Sacramento Valley Aviation Located on the grounds of the former McClellan Air Force Base, displays of military and civilian aircraft as well as space vehicle replicas
Alpine County Museum Markleeville Alpine High Sierra Open air website, 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 Museum Jackson Amador Gold Country Local history website
Amador Whitney Museum Amador City Amador Gold Country Local history website
Angels Camp Museum Angels Camp Calaveras Gold Country Local history Includes carriages, mining equipment, minerals, household items
Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park St. Helena Napa Napa Valley Mill The historic mill is open on weekends
Bernhard Museum Complex Auburn Placer Gold Country Historic house 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
Bodie State Historic Park Bodie6Aug2006.JPG Bodie Mono High Sierra Open air Ghost town mining camp
Bohart Museum of Entomology Davis Yolo Sacramento Valley Natural history Live and mounted insect displays, also a research museum of the University of California, Davis
Calaveras County Museum San Andreas Calaveras Gold Country Local history website, operated by the Calaveras County Historical Society
California Automobile Museum Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Valley Automobile Formerly the Towe Auto Museum, over 170 classic cars, race cars, muscle cars, hot rods, early models and automotive memorabilia
California Foundry History Museum - Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Valley Industry website
California Hall of Fame Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Valley Hall of fame Part of the The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts
California Museum for History, Women and the Arts Museum Outside.jpg Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Valley History Formerly known as the Golden State Museum, includes the California Hall of Fame, exhibits on important people and aspects of California
California State Capitol Museum Californiastatecapitol.jpg Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Valley Capitol
California State Indian Museum California State Indian Museum.jpg Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Valley Native American
California State Military Museum CaliforniaMuseumofMilitaryHistory2.JPG Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Valley Military
California State Mining and Mineral Museum Mariposa Mariposa Gold Country Mining Located at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds, gold mining
California State Railroad Museum California State Railroad Museum 00.jpg Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Valley Railroad
Carnegie Museum (Roseville, California) Roseville Placer Sacramento Valley Local history website, operated by the Roseville Historical Society, located in a Carnegie library building
Carolyn Parr Nature Center Napa Napa Napa Valley Natural history website, located in Westwood Hills Park, features natural history museum
Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Valley Art website
Chew Kee Store Museum Fiddletown Amador Gold Country History website, 1855 Chinese herb shop, information
Chinese American Museum of Northern California Marysville Yuba Sacramento Valley Ethnic - Chinese website, Chinese participation in the gold rush
C.N. Gorman Museum Davis Yolo Sacramento Valley Art website, contemporary Native American and indigenous art, part of the University of California, Davis, also known as Carl M. Gorman Museum
Columbia State Historic Park ColumbiaCAMainSt.jpg Columbia Tuolumne Gold Country Living California Gold Rush town with living history demonstrations
Community Memorial Museum of Sutter County Yuba City Sutter Sacramento Valley Local history
Crocker Art Museum Crocker 1.jpg Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Valley Art Early California art, Old Master drawings, Asian art, international ceramics
Dai Loy Museum Locke Sacramento Sacramento Valley History website, former Chinese gambling house
di Rosa Napa Napa Napa Valley Art website, art galleries and outdoor sculpture on a nature preserve
Discovery Museum Science & Space Center Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Valley Science website, building new facility to be known the Powerhouse Science Center
Don & June Salvatori California Pharmacy Museum Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Valley Medical website, pharmacy artifacts, located at the California Pharmacists Association headquarters
Donner Memorial State Park Truckee Nevada Gold Country History Includes the Emigrant Trail Museum with exhibits on local Native Americans, the Donner Party and builders of the transcontinental railroad
Downieville Museum Downieville Sierra Gold Country Local history information
Eastern California Museum Independence Inyo High Sierra Local history website, includes Native American baskets and artifacts, fossils and exhibits of local history
El Dorado County Historical Museum Placerville El Dorado Gold Country Local history website, Native American baskets, gold mining equipment, farm tools, household items
Elmshaven St. Helena Napa Napa Valley Religious Home of Ellen G. White whose ministry was instrumental in founding the seventh-day Sabbatarian Adventist movement
Empire Mine State Historic Park Empire mine shaft.jpg Grass Valley Nevada Gold Country Mining Attractions include a mining museum, an Edwardian estate house, and a mine with living history demonstrations
Explorit Davis Yolo Sacramento Valley Science website, regional hands-on science center
Folsom History Museum Folsom Sacramento Sacramento Valley Local history website, 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 Park FolsomPowerHouse.jpg Folsom Sacramento Sacramento Valley Technology Historic 1890s hydroelectric power plant
Folsom Prison Museum Folsom Sacramento Sacramento Valley Law enforcement
Folsom Railroad Museum Folsom Sacramento Sacramento Valley Railroad website, operated by the Folsom, El Dorado & Sacramento Historical Railroad Association
Forest Hill Divide Museum Foresthill Placer Gold Country Mining website, information, includes mining museum, a reconstructed livery stable/blacksmith shop, and the original Foresthill Jail
Fountain & Tallman Museum 2009-0724-F-TSodaWorks.jpg Placerville El Dorado Gold Country Local history Operated by the El Dorado County Historical Society
Gatekeeper’s Museum Tahoe City Placer High Sierra Local history website, operated by the North Lake Tahoe Historical Society, includes Marion Steinbach Indian Basket Museum
Gold Country Museum Auburn Placer Gold Country Mining Area gold mining and local history
Golden Drift Museum Dutch Flat Placer Gold Country Local history website, influence of mining and railroads in the area
Governor's Mansion State Historic Park Gov Mans 1.JPG Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Valley Historic house Former mansion of the governors of California
Grass Valley Museum Grass Valley Nevada Gold Country Local history Includes furniture, art, objects d’art, clothing, musical instruments and artifacts of the Victorian era
Grass Valley Video History Museum Grass Valley Nevada Gold Country Local history information, historical film footage locally and from around the world
Griffith Quarry Museum Penryn Placer Gold Country Industry Local granite industry
Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum Groveland Tuolumne Gold Country Local history website
Hangtown's Gold Bug Park & Mine Placerville El Dorado Gold Country Mining website, includes Hattie's Museum with mining exhibits, Gold Bug Mine to tour, Meagher House for natural history education, Hendy Stamp Mill
Hattie Weber Museum Davis Yolo Sacramento Valley Local history website, operated by the Yolo County Historical Society
Hayden Cabin Mammoth Lakes Mono High Sierra Historic house website, operated by the Southern Mono Historical Society, also known as Mammoth Museum, four-room log cabin with original 1930s furnishings
Heidrick Ag History Center Woodland Yolo Sacramento Valley Agriculture website, antique agricultural equipment
Hellman-Ehrman Mansion Tahoma El Dorado Gold Country Historic house website, located in Ed Z'berg Sugar Pine Point State Park, early 20th-century summer lodge house
Historic Firehouse No. 1 Museum Nevada City Nevada Gold Country Local history website, operated by the Nevada County Historical Society
Home of Lola Montez Grass Valley Nevada Gold Country Local history Houses the town's chamber of commerce, visitor center and local history museum
Honda Food Culture Museum and Communication Education Center Marysville Yuba Sacramento Valley Food information
ICA Gallery Bishop Inyo High Sierra Art Changing exhibits of area art
Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park Pine Grove Amador High Sierra Native American Includes Chaw'se Regional Indian Museum
James Calvin Sly Museum Pollock Pines El Dorado Gold Country Local history information
Kennedy Mine Jackson Amador High Sierra Mining Gold mine structures
Kentucky Mine Museum Sierra City Sierra Gold Country Mining website, operated by the Sierra County Historical Society, working gold mine with operating stamp mill
KidZone Museum Truckee Nevada Gold Country Children's website, formerly the Sierra Nevada Children's Museum
Lake Tahoe Historical Society Museum South Lake Tahoe El Dorado High Sierra Local history website
Laws Railroad Museum and Historic Site Bishop Inyo High Sierra Open air Operated by the Bishop Museum & Historical Society, collection of 19th century buildings with historical exhibits, railroad cars and equipment
Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park Lelandstanfordmansion.jpg Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Valley Historic house Victorian mansion restored to 1872 appearance
Locke Chinese School Locke Sacramento Sacramento Valley School website, former Chinese gambling house
Lone Pine Film History Museum Lone Pine Inyo High Sierra Media website, 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 Site Roseville Placer Sacramento Valley Multiple Natural and cultural history, including exhibits on Native Californians and the interdependence of nature and culture
Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park Nevada City Nevada Gold Country Mining Includes mining museum and deserted mining town
Mammoth Ski Museum Mammoth Lakes Mono High Sierra Sports website, art, culture and artifacts related to skiing
Manzanar National Historic Site ManzanarWatchTowerReplica.jpg Independence Inyo High Sierra History Site of one of ten camps where over 110,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II
Mariposa Museum & History Center Mariposa Mariposa Gold Country Local history website, cultural history of Mariposa County, including Miwok display, gold mining equipment, miner's cabin, saloon, one-room school
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park Coloma El Dorado Gold Country Open air Includes Gold Discovery Museum and Visitor Center, 20 historic buildings including mining, house, school, and store exhibits
Mary Aaron Museum Marysville Yuba Sacramento Valley Historic house website, Victorian-era house
Memorial Union Gallery Davis Yolo Sacramento Valley Art website, contemporary and historical California art, part of the University of California, Davis
Milton Gottardi Loyalton Museum Loyalton Sierra Gold Country Local history website
Mono Basin History Museum Lee Vining Mono High Sierra Local history website, 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 Center Mono Lake Visitors Center.jpg Lee Vining Mono High Sierra Natural history Geology and wildlife of Mono Lake
Monteverde Store Museum Sutter Creek Amador Gold Country History information, historic country store with items
Murphys Old Timers Museum Murphys Calaveras Gold Country Local history website
Museum of Sierra Ski History and 1960 Winter Olympics Tahoe City Placer High Sierra Sports Area ski history from its beginnings through the 1960 Winter Olympics
Museum of the Forgotten Warriors Marysville Yuba Sacramento Valley Military website, uniforms, helicopters, photographs, medals, military memorabilia
Napa County Historical Society Napa Napa Napa Valley Local history website, the research library's Jess Doud Memorial Room hosts several exhibitions each year
Napa Firefighters Museum Napa Napa Napa Valley Firefighting website
Napa Valley Museum Yountville Napa Napa Valley Multiple website, art, history, natural history of Napa Valley, including local Native American and wine-making history
Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum Nevada City Nevada Gold Country Railroad Operated by the Nevada County Historical Society
New Melones Visitor Center and Museum Sonora Calaveras Gold Country Local history Historic, natural and cultural history of the area around New Melones Lake
North Star Mine and Powerhouse & Pelton Wheel Museum Grass Valley Nevada Gold Country Mining Hundreds 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 Center Coulterville Mariposa Gold Country Local history website
Old Jail Museum (Truckee, California) Truckee Nevada Gold Country Prison website, operated by the Truckee - Donner Historical Society, 19th-century jail with exhibits of local history
Old Sacramento State Historic Park Old Sacramento.jpg Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Valley Multiple Includes Old Sacramento Interpretive Center, Wells Fargo History Museum, Sacramento History Museum, Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum, several historic buildings and more
Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Valley School website
Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center-Museum Bishop Inyo High Sierra Native American Artifacts and antiquities from the Numa (Paiute) and Newe (Shoshone) Nations
Placer County Museum Auburn Placer Gold Country Local history website, includes courthouse and sheriff's exhibits, Native America art, gold country exhibits
Preston Castle Ione Amador High Sierra Prison Tours of the former reform school
Rae House Museum Galt Sacramento Sacramento Valley Historic house website, operated by the Galt Area Historical Society
Railtown 1897 State Historic Park P8060020.jpg Jamestown Tuolumne Gold Country Railroad Seasonal steam and diesel-powered train rides, 1920s locomotive roundhouse, machine shop and related exhibits
Red Barn Museum San Andreas Calaveras Gold Country Local history website, operated by the Calaveras County Historical Society, features agriculture, mining, logging, and ranching artifacts, tools and equipment
Reiff's Antique Gas Station Automotive Museum Woodland Yolo Sacramento Valley Transportation 1950s cars, automobile memorabilia, antiques and car culture
Richard Nelson Gallery Davis Yolo Sacramento Valley Art website, part of the University of California, Davis
Robert Louis Stevenson Museum St. Helena Napa Napa Valley Biographical website, devoted to author Robert Louis Stevenson[1]
Rocklin History Museum Rocklin Placer Gold Country Local history website, operated by the Rocklin Historical Society, mining, railroads, ranching
Roseville Telephone Museum Roseville Placer Sacramento Valley Technology website, antique telephones and memorabilia
Roseville Utility Exploration Center Roseville Placer Sacramento Valley Science website, environmental learning center including energy efficiency, renewable technology, water conservation and recycling
Sacramento Children's Museum Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Valley Children's website
Sacramento History Museum SacramentoHistoryMuseum.jpg Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento History Local history Includes California Gold Rush, agriculture, community, gold panning. Home of the Underground Tours of Old Sacramento.
Sacramento Valley Museum Williams Colusa Sacramento Valley Local history Includes carriages, mining equipment, minerals, household items
Scotty's Castle Scottys Castle from Hacienda.jpg Inyo High Sierra Historic house Also known as Death Valley Ranch, 1930s period mansion, located in northern Death Valley National Park
Sharpsteen Museum Calistoga Napa Napa Valley Local history website, history of the upper Napa Valley, along with the career memorabilia of founder Ben Sharpsteen (an animator for Walt Disney Studios)
Shenandoah Valley Museum Plymouth Amador Gold Country Local history website, wine-making and farming
Shoshone Museum Shoshone Inyo High Sierra Local history Facebook site, area geology, wildlife, Native American culture and folklore
Sierra College Natural History Museum Rocklin Placer Gold Country Natural history website, part of Sierra College
Sierra Nevada Logging Museum Arnold Calaveras Gold Country Industry History of logging in the Sierra Nevada area
Sierra Sacramento Valley Museum of Medical History Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Valley Medical website, 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 Park SuttersFort2002.jpg Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Valley Military Includes Sutter's Fort and the California State Indian Museum
Tahoe Maritime Museum Homewood Placer High Sierra Maritime Includes maritime craft in service at Lake Tahoe, history of boating at Lake Tahoe, outboard motor collection, aquaplanes, water skis, fishing exhibits
Tallac Historic Site South Lake Tahoe El Dorado High Sierra Open air website, 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 Museum Tuolumne Tuolumne Gold Country Local history Exhibits on pioneers, household and kitchen items, clothing, gold mining, lumber company and model train layout
Tuolumne County Museum 2009-0724-CA-TuolumneCtyJail.jpg Sonora Tuolumne Gold Country Local history website, housed in an old jail, operated by the Tuolumne County Historical Society
UC Davis Design Museum Davis Yolo Sacramento Valley Design website, includes architecture, costume, graphic design, textiles, new media and popular culture, part of the University of California, Davis
Underground Gold Miners Museum Alleghany Sierra Gold Country Mining website, open seasonally and by appointment
United States Bicycling Hall of Fame Historic bicycles at the U.S. Cycling Hall of Fame.jpg Davis Yolo Sacramento Valley Sports Formerly located in New Jersey, bicycling history, photos, trophies, medals, books, catalogs
Vikingsholm Vikingsholm.jpg South Lake Tahoe El Dorado High Sierra Historic house 38-room mansion with Nordic influences
Wells Fargo History Museum Sacramento Sacramento Sacramento Valley History website, two locations in Sacramento
West Sacramento Historical Society Museum West Sacramento Yolo Sacramento Valley Local history website
Western SkiSport Museum Soda Springs Nevada Gold Country Sports website, history of winter ski sports in the western United States, operated by the Auburn Ski Club
Yolo County Historical Museum Gibson Mansion.JPG Woodland Yolo Sacramento Valley Historic house Also known as Gibson House, period rooms from the 1850s to the 1930s, also exhibits of local history
Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad Fish Camp Mariposa High Sierra Railroad Heritage railroad and historic log cabin
Yosemite Museum Yosemite Museum Exterior.jpg Yosemite National Park Mariposa Gold Country Native American Heritage and culture of the Ahwaneechee people who lived in the valley

Defunct museums[edit]

See also[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. ^ Planetware listing
  7. ^ "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. 
  8. ^ "Woodland's Hays truck Museum moving to Reno". Published 8/11/2013. Daily Democrat. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Roadside American Report 2005
  10. ^ "As of November 2010, however, this Web site will nolonger be maintained.". Imaginarium of Nevada County. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "A sadly noted departure", LA Times, April 21, 2008
  12. ^ Closing notice at Mountaininfo.com
  13. ^ "Piru: The Garden of Eden that might have been", The Signal, update to 1998 article
  14. ^ http://www.mingei.org/about/history.php Mingei history

External links[edit]