Bowers Museum
Bowers Museum
4.5
Art MuseumsChildren's MuseumsHistory Museums
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Take a trip around the globe at the Bowers Museum! Opened in 1936, the Bowers prides itself on showcasing world-class arts and cultures in a warm, inviting space located in the heart of Orange County. Bowers has been voted "Best Museum in Orange County" by OC Register for 26 years and has organized more than 50 special exhibitions in just the past 15 years in partnership with some of the greatest museums in the world. Recent highlights include blockbusters such as Terra Cotta Warriors, Mummies: Treasures from the British Museum, Guo Pei: Couture Beyond, and Inside the Walt Disney Archives. Over 100,000 square feet and surrounded by lush gardens, the Bowers campus includes a 296 seat auditorium, 12,000 square feet of event space, a Patina-owned Tangata Restaurant, a robust Gallery Store, 8 permanent exhibitions, and spectacular featured exhibits on rotation, to ensure a full day of engaging fun with every visit. Bowers Museum, bringing the world to you.
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  • Rosemary W
    Seattle, Washington1,567 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting Cultural Experience
    I haven't been here in at least 30 years, and it has certainly changed over time. My recollection is that it was once all about California. There are still a California exhibits, but the scope has now expanded to include the world. When we were there, there was a special exhibit of African bead art. We also saw exhibits on Polynesia and China. There is more here than I can see in a single visit.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 2, 2023
  • Krishna T
    44 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Treasure of a museum
    Was not expecting this lovely treasure after driving in from touristy Anaheim! The newest exhibit was the Ubuhle, glassbead weaving from South Africa. Lovely and informative exhibit. The permanent collections are so interesting, and I did absolutely love the Early Californians exhibit. Additionally, the architecture and grounds of the museum are so inspiring and beautiful.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 15, 2023
  • phvi2617
    Anaheim, California553 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Exploring local and global culture
    This is not a huge museum, but it features a number of interesting exhibits about local and global art and culture. The exhibits about Native Californians and the California Missions are a bit on the small and older side, but they still have some cool artifacts. The Pacific Islands and Ancient Chinese art exhibits were really well done and the California Gold Medal exhibition had a nice variety of current artworks. Overall, this is a fine museum and a hidden gem in Orange County. Well worth a visit!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written July 29, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles405 reviews
Excellent
263
Very good
120
Average
14
Poor
6
Terrible
2

Krishna T
44 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
Was not expecting this lovely treasure after driving in from touristy Anaheim! The newest exhibit was the Ubuhle, glassbead weaving from South Africa. Lovely and informative exhibit. The permanent collections are so interesting, and I did absolutely love the Early Californians exhibit. Additionally, the architecture and grounds of the museum are so inspiring and beautiful.
Written July 15, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rosemary W
Seattle, WA1,567 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
I haven't been here in at least 30 years, and it has certainly changed over time. My recollection is that it was once all about California. There are still a California exhibits, but the scope has now expanded to include the world.

When we were there, there was a special exhibit of African bead art. We also saw exhibits on Polynesia and China.

There is more here than I can see in a single visit.
Written July 2, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Scott Failmezger
Oregon City, OR867 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Couples
We were happy to get to see the exhibit showing the 50 years of Disney Archives gathered. From Walt's desk to Herbie the Love Bug it is all here. We enjoyed seeing the carpet bag and blocks from Mary Poppins. The letter Walt wrote about buying land in Anaheim. The costumes were very cool.
Written October 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RoseRN199
Orange, CA45 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Friends
I went to the exhibit on John F. Kennedy in photos. I read that this exhibit is on loan form the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. Ir is not a large exhibit but it is quite interesting. The photos start with JFK when he was a toddler and the photos trace his life through college years, his run for senator and then President of the United States. I really enjoyed the exhibit. There was another exhibit there at the same time of photos of an exhibition to the antartic in the early 1900. That exhibit was more extensive and very interesting as well.
Written April 29, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ConnieLongBeach
Long Beach339 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2017 • Friends
I went to the Friday Kahlo exhibit with a friend this week and although we really liked the exhibit, especially the movie, the experience was just terrible. On the website they offer a 2 for 1 ticket to the $20 exhibit if you dine at Tangata during restaurant week. I made reservations for lunch at 12:30 and called to see how we could see the exhibit first and then have lunch, to get a jump on the traffic home. I offered to pay ahead fo rlunch an dafter a long wait they said it is really only for dinner. While not clear on te website I accepted that. When we sat down for lunch we were given the coupon for the 2 for 1 exhibit and told yes, it did apply to lunch. At that point the manger came over when I questioned this and asked to be refunded for 1 exhibit ticket. She offered to lower our bill due to the mix up but first went to see if they would honor the coupon. She reported they would do it at the desk after lunch. I really feel she did her best and lunch was delicious. However, Grace at the desk would not honor it saying it was too much trouble to refund tickets and issues new ones. I realize we are only talking about $10 here but there was no one waiting at the desk and customer service is what it is all about. I am a docent at an art museum and would hope no one would ever feel it' is too much trouble to assist a guest. What a disappointment!!
Written March 11, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dexter W
Concord28 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019
We did the free tour of the Museum and found it to be fascinating. There was a special exhibit on the fashion of Gou Pei. She is a Chinese designer that makes incredibly ornate and complex fashion. Rihanna wore one of her creation to the Met Ball. this was an amazing exhibit. The museum also covers history of Santa Ana area, Native American, Pacific, African, and Asian art. Museum is small enough to cover in 3 or 4 hours and will be time well spent. There is a small cafe for lunch or snack. Overall a splendid outing.
Written August 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Globaljoan
Hawaii625 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Friends
This was my first visit to the Bowers and I certainly hope it won't be the last. The Guo Pei exhibit of her designs was nothing short of extraordinary and a MUST for anyone interested in exceptional craftwork in clothing. There is nothing else in the world like it.
Written May 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

globaljoan
18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Friends
A must-see for anyone who loves clothes, shoes, jewelry, and/or headdresses. Best designer exhibit I have ever seen.
Written May 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kirk E
Santa Fe, NM1,053 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Couples
Built in Mission style on grounds once occupied by one of Santa Ana's most prominent families, the Bowers combines a lovely setting (second only to Phoenix' Heard Museum) with a solid permanent collection and a regularly rotating series of traveling shows. A small but well-supported and run institution, the Bowers recently scored a major coup by landing the first-ever exhibition of the work of Chinese fashion designer Guo Pei, immediately increasing its visibility and expanding its audience to an international level. The collection here is particularly strong on Western and California art, as well as Asian artefacts. The building is itself a regional treasure, with a spectacular mural of California history emblazoned across a second-floor gallery ceiling. The restaurant offers both a relaxed atmosphere and an excellent menu of haute cuisine.
Written May 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rosy
Louisville, KY88 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Couples
If you are visiting in the Orange County the Bower Musem of Cultural Art is very much worth a visit. For those of us in wheelchairs this museum was absolutely wonderful to get around and view the exhibits. The Bower displays of Chinese and Polynesian artifacts are very well done. The special exhibit of couture gowns is absolutely beautiful.
Written April 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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