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Filled with mementos from the wild west, souvenirs from cowboy film sets, local art, and exhibits on California’s environment, the Autry Museum of the American West is a wonderful place to immerse yourself in the history and culture of the western U.S. Additionally, the exhibits are peppered with kid-friendly activities, the gardens offer a slice of natural beauty, and the outdoor plaza and cafe provide the perfect spots to relax.
There are two museums under the Autry umbrella: the Autry Museum of the American West in Griffith Park and the Historic Southwest Museum Mt. Washington Campus about eight miles away in the Mount Washington area. For this post we’ll just focus on the main museum in Griffith Park.
Here’s everything you need to know to plan your visit to the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, California.
About the Autry
The Autry Museum of the American West is located in LA’s massive Griffith Park (home to Griffith Observatory, the Hollywood Sign, and plenty of other sights) just across the road from the Los Angeles Zoo.
The museum, which was founded by Jackie and Gene Autry and Joanne and Monte Hale, originally opened in 1988 as the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum. Later, the museum merged with the nonprofit organization Women of the West, followed by the Southwest Museum of the American Indian. The combination of these three organizations created the current Autry Museum of the American West in 2003.
Today, the Autry highlights the diverse history of the American West through its exhibitions and events. The museum’s collection is brimming with paintings, pottery, movie memorabilia, and a wide variety of historical artifacts. It also hosts many different kinds of events, such as lectures, film screenings, festivals, and family-friendly gatherings.
Tickets and Hours
A regular ticket to the Autry Museum of the American West is $14. There are discounts for seniors, students, and children three to twelve years old. Admission is free for children younger than three. Entry is also free for active military personnel and veterans, peace officers, and park rangers. Tickets are available online or at the museum.
The museum is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday and from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekends.
It is closed on Mondays. The museum is also closed on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (the third Monday in January), Presidents’ Day (the third Monday in February), Memorial Day (the last Monday in May), Independence Day (July 4), Labor Day (the first Monday in September), Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November), Christmas Eve (December 24), Christmas Day (December 25), and New Year’s Eve (December 31).
How to Get to the Autry
To get to the Autry, you can drive or take the bus.
The museum is located in Griffith Park near the interchange of Route 134 and Interstate 5. From Interstate 5, take the Zoo Drive exit to the museum, which is across the street from the LA Zoo. Parking is free at the Autry.
To get to the museum by bus, hop on the Metro Local Line 96. If you’re taking the route northbound (leaving from Union Station), get off at the Autry stop. If you’re taking the route southbound (from the Burbank area), hop off at the LA Zoo stop.
The Autry Museum of the American West is located at 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027.
Rules and Tips
Here are a few more things to keep in mind when visiting the Autry:
- Guided tours are offered on weekends at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.
- There is a cafe, as well as a store, at the museum.
- Group rates are available for groups of 10 or more people.
- All of the museum galleries are stroller-friendly. There are strollers available that are free to borrow.
- Food and drinks are not allowed inside the galleries (except for water bottles).
- Oversized bags and backpacks are not permitted inside the museum. If you have any large bags, you can check them at the Visitor Services desk.
If you’re looking for a museum in Los Angeles full of local art, regional history, and family-friendly activities, look no further than the Autry Museum of the American West. It’s the perfect place to learn all about the stories and culture of the Western U.S. and one of the best museums in the city.