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“Automotive Heaven on the Miracle Mile”

Petersen Automotive Museum
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Skip the Line: Petersen Automotive Museum General Admission Ticket
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Los Angeles Miracle Mile Segway Tour
Ranked #11 of 559 things to do in Los Angeles
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
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 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.
El Segundo, California
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Automotive Heaven on the Miracle Mile”
Reviewed August 18, 2014

The Petersen met my expectations - and my expectations were high. It is a multi-faceted automotive museum where you could easily spend several hours traversing the history of motoring, not just in Los Angeles, but worldwide.

Downstairs, you will discover the roots (and routes!) of California car culture through fantastic displays that you can actually walk through. Upstairs, there are many, many cars and interesting displays that cover everything from autos of Hollywood fame, to expensive exotics, to innovations in motoring. (The 3rd floor Discovery Center was closed for renovations).

When I went yesterday, there was a great space devoted to the "World's Greatest Sports Coupes" according to a handful of celebrities. Some of the cars were nearly eye-watering.

The price is fair - for an extra $20, you can check the "vault", which purports to feature many more, rare cars. I didn't opt for the vault on this visit. Plus, there is a Johnny Rockets restaurant right inside if you're hungry.

Bottom line, if you are an automotive enthusiast, you will find a reasonably-priced haven for all things auto on the Miracle Mile.

Located on the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax.

Getting there by car: there is a parking garage on-site.

Getting there by public transit: take the Purple Line to Wilshire/Western, then upstairs, get on the 720 Rapid bus to Wilshire and Fairfax.

Visited August 2014
1 Thank NYCJonB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Virginia Beach, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Great Attraction even for those who might not consider themselves car lovers!”
Reviewed August 10, 2014

I visited with 2 car lovers, and found the exhibits most interesting and fun. This is a great value, as well, with tiered pricing, depending on how in-depth your interest is. The higher priced tour of the Vault received rave reviews from my travelling partners, as well.

Visited August 2014
1 Thank Susan F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buckeye, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
122 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Take the vault tour, worth it!”
Reviewed August 9, 2014

Very nice museum with a lot to see. I visited with my son and we loved it! Take the vault tour if you like history and special insight. The upper part of the museum was nice enough although it won't take very long to see it all (1-2 hrs). Book the tour when you show up as it only goes every 1-1/2 hour or so, then see the rest. The vault tour was insightful and our guide was very knowledgable about all the cars he showed. The tour took 1-1/2 to 2 hours, was all on foot, and there were no restrooms in the vault (lower garage), also NO pictures allowed on the tour. There is a 50's type diner in the same building as the museum.

Visited August 2014
Thank Robert D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thousand Oaks, California
Level 6 Contributor
140 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Great collection - one of a kind”
Reviewed August 9, 2014

A great collection of beautiful cars. If you love cars (or just like pretty things) this the place for you. Be sure to check hours of operation.

Visited November 2013
Thank Michael G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Petersen auto heaven”
Reviewed August 7, 2014

Many of the treasures from the Petersen Automotive Museum have featured on Jay Leno's Garage and it was one attraction we just had to see! Certainly not disappointed with the display of beautifully restored and original auto creations. Our visit coincided with the 50 years of Mustang and Town Cars - Arriving in Style displays.

To ogle at two floors took an hour or two and for those with a stronger desire, upgrade your admission to the premium level to see (guided tour) of the vaults of cars which wait their turn for display.

Highly recommended.

Visited July 2014
Thank andybags
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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