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“Lovely museum you can see in a day” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Bowers Museum of Cultural Art

Bowers Museum of Cultural Art
2002 N. Main St. at 20th St., Santa Ana, CA
714-567-3600
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Ranked #1 of 12 attractions in Santa Ana
Type: Children's Museums, Art Museums, History Museums
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Exhibits specialize in the art of the world's indigenous peoples.
Southern California
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Lovely museum you can see in a day”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

If you're looking for a museum in a beautiful setting with interesting collections that you can actually get through in a single visit, the Bowers is for you. The permanent collections of Polynesian art and artifacts and the California history section will delight you and your out-of-town guests. I was also lucky enough to catch the amazing temporary Faberge exhibit. It's exquisite!! My only wish was that for some of the intricate jeweled pieces, I wished they'd had a magnifying glass handy to fully appreciate the level of detail in the pieces.

I took my mom, who very much enjoyed the museum, too. It was a nice mother-daughter day.

Great location, easy to get to. I can't believe I've lived in So Cal my whole life (and even worked less than a mile from the museum for several years!) and this was the first time I visited. It won't be my last.

Visited October 2012
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137 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    77
    52
    5
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Encinitas, California
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
58 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Great permanent collection, fine traveling exhibits and wonderful cafe!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

Do not miss the Cafe for a break after visiting the many fine exhibits! great art, great gift shop too, easy parking
bring the family or take a tour: check special events and free admission days

Visited May 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Silver Spring, Maryland
Top Contributor
570 reviews 570 reviews
200 attraction reviews
Reviews in 208 cities Reviews in 208 cities
218 helpful votes 218 helpful votes
“Beautiful Mission House, Large Collections”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

I was surprised by the quality and depth of the collections at the Bowers Museum. The collection is housed in a mission style house with a very large modern annex. The displays are well organized and professional. The Polynesian art display is impressive, the best I've seen outside of the Quai Branly Museum in Paris. I particularly enjoyed the ancestor towers. Also quite impressive are the well organized displays of Chinese and Mayan art. The mission house has some interesting modern California paintings and Spanish colonial artifacts. There were excellent temporary exhibitions of Faberge art and scrimshaw. The gift shop has a pleasant clutter of interesting jewelry and there is an upscale restaurant. Onsite parking is $6.50, but you can find free street parking nearby. Definitely an outstanding medium size museum and the best I've seen in Orange County.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whittier, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Best Little Museum in Orange County”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

The museum is a real treasure. If you haven't been you should stop on by. It's a great visit with a variety of static displays and rotating displays. The restaurant is reasonable and a nice lunch spot. Check the museum out on the first Sunday of the month when it has free admission.

Visited November 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seal Beach, California
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Everything old is new (to me)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

The permanent exhibits are interesting and the travelling shows are a good variety of genres, artists, eras - there's something for everyone. Check the website, on weekends, they may have local performers in the shady atrium. Parking is EXCELLENT!

Visited May 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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