List of museums in Orange County, California

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This is a list of museums in Orange County, California, 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.


Name Town/City Type Summary
Arden Modjeska Historic Home & Garden Lake Forest Historic house Open by appointment, home of Shakespearean actress Helena Modjeska
Astor Classics Event Center Anaheim Multiple automobile museum and communications & radio museum
Balboa Island Museum Balboa Island Local history operated by the Balboa Island Historical Society
Bowers Museum Santa Ana Multiple Orange County history, Native American, African, Pre-Columbian and Asian art, paintings, South American ethnographic items, decorative arts, natural history
Bradford House Placentia Historic house Operated by the Placentia Founders Society, furnished in 1900-1920s style
Beall Center for Art + Technology Irvine Art part of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at University of California, Irvine, exhibitions that explore new relationships between the arts, sciences, and engineering including digital technologies
Brea Museum and Heritage Center Brea Local history operated by the Brea Historical Society
Casa Romantica San Clemente Art Cultural arts institution and botanical gardens with international art exhibits in historic Ole Hanson home
Children's Museum at La Habra La Habra Children's
Costa Mesa Historical Society Museum Costa Mesa Local history
CSUF Grand Central Art Center Santa Ana Art Contemporary art center with a theatre
Diego Sepúlveda Adobe Costa Mesa Historic house Operated by the Costa Mesa Historical Society, early 19th-century adobe house with rooms reflecting the Indian, Mission, Spanish and Victorian periods
Discovery Cube Orange County Santa Ana Science
Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House and Medical Museum Santa Ana Historic house Operated by the Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society, late 19th century home of a female physician
ExplorOcean Newport Beach Maritime formerly the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum, marine aquariums and touch tanks, ship models, life on the ocean floor
Fullerton Arboretum Fullerton Multiple Includes the Orange County Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum, and Heritage House, an 1890s Victorian house museum
Fullerton Museum Fullerton Multiple history, cultural and fine arts, and sciences
George Key Ranch Historic Park Placentia Historic house 1898 historic house and collection of dry farming and citrus farming equipment and tools
Heritage Hill Historic Park Lake Forest Open air Includes the Jose Serrano Adobe, 1863; El Toro Grammar School, 1890; St. George's Episcopal Mission, 1891; Harvey Bennett Ranch House, 1908
Heritage Museum of Orange County Santa Ana Historic house Victorian-era Hiram Kellogg House, exhibits of local history, formerly the Centennial Heritage Museum
Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University Orange Art collection focuses on the California Scene Painting movement of roughly the 1920s through the 1970s and has a Disney Production Art gallery, as well as exhibitions of American illustrations and contemporary California scene painting.
International Surfing Museum Huntington Beach Sports History of the surfing culture throughout the world
Irvine Fine Arts Center Irvine Art municipal fine arts center
Irvine Historical Museum Irvine Historic house operated by the Irvine Historical Society, mid 19th-century ranch house
Irvine Museum Irvine Art California art of the impressionist period 1890-1930
Kawasaki Museum Lake Forest Motorcycles
Laguna Art Museum Laguna Beach Art California art
Los Alamitos Museum Los Alamitos Local history
Lyon Air Museum Santa Ana Aerospace Located at John Wayne Airport, features military aircraft, rare automobiles, military vehicles and motorcycles, related memorabilia, with an emphasis World War II
Marconi Automotive Museum Tustin Automotive historical, exotic, and classic cars including super bikes, open wheel racing cars, American muscle cars, vintage racing and high performance exotics
Mission San Juan Capistrano San Juan Capistrano History Remains of the historic Spanish mission and church
Mother Colony House Anaheim Historic house mid 19th-century house
Muckenthaler Cultural Center Fullerton Art Cultural arts center with exhibit gallery
Murphy-Smith Bungalow Laguna Beach Local history operated by the Laguna Beach Historical Society, 1920's beach cottage with local history displays
Museum of Teaching and Learning Fullerton Multiple educational artifacts and traveling exhibitions about topics related to education
Museum of The Republic of Vietnam Westminster Military History History of the Republic of Vietnam and its Military
Muzeo Anaheim Multiple Changing exhibitions about the arts, knowledge, entertainment, culture and local history
Newland House Huntington Beach Historic house oldest residence in city of Huntington Beach, operated by the Huntington Beach Historical Society
Ocean Institute Dana Point Maritime Open to the public seven days a week, features marine life aquariums, marine science exhibits and programs, tours of Pilgrim, a replica museum brig ship
Old Orange County Courthouse Santa Ana Local history Contains the Orange County History Center
Orange County Center for Contemporary Art Santa Ana Art
Orange County Museum of Art Santa Ana Art Modern and contemporary art
Pretend City Children's Museum Irvine Children's
Ralph B. Clark Regional Park Interpretive Center Buena Park Natural history Features an ice age fossil and local geology exhibits
Ramon Peralta Adobe Anaheim Historic house mid 19th-century adobe house, exhibits on the history of the Santa Ana Canyon area, open for special events and by appointment
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum Yorba Linda Biographical Life of President Richard Nixon, includes his birthplace home
Santa Ana Fire Department Museum Santa Ana Firefighting
Stanley Ranch Museum Garden Grove Open air Operated by the Garden Grove Historical Society, includes several historic buildings from the 1880s to early 1900s[1]
Surfing Heritage and Culture Center San Clemente Sports
Susanna Bixby Bryant Museum and Botanic Garden Yorba Linda Local history operated by the Yorba Linda Heritage Museum and Historical Society
Tustin Area Museum Tustin Local history operated by the Tustin Area Historical Society
University of California, Irvine University Art Galleries Irvine Art 3 galleries on campus
Westminster Museum Westminster Open air operated by the Westminster Historical Society in Blakey Historical Park
Whitaker-Jaynes House Buena Park Historic house turn of the 20th-century Victorian period house, operated by the Buena Park Historical Society, also the late 19th-century Bacon House, home of a miner's family

See also[edit]

Defunct museums[edit]


  1. ^ "The Garden Grove Historical Society". Garden Grove, California. Archived from the original on 12 November 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  2. ^ "The Cunningham Museum". Briggs Cunningham. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Briggs Cunningham Auto Museum Closed". LA Times. January 1, 1987. Retrieved 2 March 2016.

External links[edit]