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Petersen Automotive Museum

6060 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 (Central L.A)
323-930-2277
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As featured in 3 days in Los Angeles
Ranked #22 of 385 attractions in Los Angeles
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Specialty Museums, History Museums, Museums
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Petersen Automotive Museum is dedicated to the exploration and presentation of the automobile and its impact on American life and culture using... more » Owner description: The Petersen Automotive Museum is dedicated to the exploration and presentation of the automobile and its impact on American life and culture using Los Angeles as the prime example. Encompassing more than 300,000 square feet, its exhibits and lifelike dioramas feature more than 150 rare and classic cars, trucks and motorcycles. Covering four floors, the facility features permanent exhibits on the first floor that trace the history of the automobile. Visitors are invited to walk through, not by, exhibits and dioramas and experience settings of early Los Angeles where the world’s first shopping district was designed. The second floor presents five rotating galleries with state-of-the-art displays of race cars, classic cars, vintage motorcycles, concept cars, celebrity and movie cars, and auto design and technology. The May Family Discovery Center is located on the third floor. Designed to spark interest in science by way of the automobile, the 6,500 square-foot, interactive "hands-on" learning center teaches children basic scientific principles by explaining the fundamental functions of a car. A spectacular all-glass penthouse conference center, Founder’s Lounge and kitchen, comprise the fourth floor, which is available for special events and functions. The Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, governed by a Board of Directors. « less
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374 reviews from our community

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los angeles
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
17 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014 NEW

I love cars and museums, but this place has always been a bit of a disappointment. Like the Paley Center (formerly the Museum of Radio and Television), I feel like they are just a location to have events. By all means though, attend an event there if you are invited... but you're probably better of finding a car show to... More

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Lexington, South Carolina
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014 NEW

First, let me say, do the vault tour!!! You get to see 100+ (170 on the day we were there) and many of them have much history or uniqueness. Such as the round door Rolls Royce, insured at $25 million. The museum was very large and offered a wide selection of cars. I was worried it would be more hot... More

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Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

If you are into antique auto collections, this is one of the best, with a chance to visit the private vault where millions of dollars worth of the most pristine autos are housed. Worth the pay for the guided tour.......

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Fremont, California
Top Contributor
725 reviews 725 reviews
363 attraction reviews
689 helpful votes 689 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

This is a very good automobile museum to go to when in the LA area. I liked the exhibits that showed both the cars and life style at the time. I enjoyed the short film about driving so fast on the streets in Europe. The car collection was very good as well. We stayed about 2 1/2 hours. There are... More

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Oklahoma
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

We were looking for things to do near our hotel while my husband was in a conference and we found this gem. The Hot Wheels collection was awesome. My sons (9 and 12) loved every minute of it!

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Indianapolis, Indiana
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
10 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

General admission will get you two floors of early model cars and classics. For the price, I thought it was a bit expensive but the museum was very good. There was an entire area with various Mustangs through the years and we would have loved to see more classic Chevy's.

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Greeley,CO
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

I've been to the Petersen twice. Our most recent trip was on July 5, 2014. The theme/exhibits change from time to time. Check to see what's on display before you go if you have specific interests. There was a big exhibit on Mustang's recently and it was good ( I'm a GM guy) for Ford guys it was probably excellent!... More

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Mechelen
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2014

But I loved this museum!! It's really worth a visit. From the very first car till the brand new ones. Even prototype cars are in the museum.

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chicago
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2014

My family loves cars so this was the place to go. My husband went on the vault tour (couldnt take my daughter she was too young. Kids need to be thirteen) he came back fron the two hour tour with the biggest smile on his face. You cant take pictures on the tour but he has some great memories. Would... More

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Aptos, California
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
19 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2014

This is my favorite car museum. Not only do they have a fine collection of restored cars, but they're displayed on themed sets on the first floor. This gives you a sense of not only stepping from car to car, but also traveling across time and place. They have changing exhibits on the second floor, so check their website to... More

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