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11 Must-Visit Museums in California by Culture Trip

11 Must-Visit Museums in California

By: Deanna Morgado, Culture Trip

Updated: 30 October 2017

California is jam-packed with exciting things to do and see. But what about the history? What about the art? The galaxy around us? Up and down the state, there are museums that highlight all of these things and so much more. Educate yourself, have fun, and experience the interesting collections at these must-see museums in California. ..

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"Top 10 Best Historic Sites to Visit in L.A."

"Is there any better place for a history lesson than aboard an actual battleship? Nicknamed “The World’s Greatest Battleship” because of its impressive guns, heavy armor, speed, and modernization, the Iowa is also considered the Battleship of Presidents, since no other naval ship has hosted as many U.S. presidents."

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KTLA Shout Out As Giveaway Draws Near

Don't miss your chance at some sweet prizes! Enter today!

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Explore some of LA's popular veteran-owned businesses

ABC7'S Eye on LA shines the spotlight on the verteran workforce on the Battleship IOWA:

Come aboard the USS Iowa in the port of Los Angeles and see for yourself the only battleship on display in the continental west coast! This museum memorial attraction allows visitors to learn all about the Iowa's years of active service, including her time in WWII, the Korean War and the Cold War. Download the app and enjoy a guided tour as well as virtual reality applications such as hearing from President Roosevelt himself, who spent several days aboard the ship traveling across the Atlantic in 1943. This is an attraction you won't want to miss!

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San Pedro battleship takes flight with vintage helicopter exhibit

The Battleship IOWA Museum was recently mentioned in the OC Breeze, a local Orange County online magazine:

An eight-month restoration project on a 1950s-era military rescue helicopter turned up some surprises leading up to Saturday’s debut of the newest exhibit on board the Battleship Iowa.

For one, it was learned the twin-rotor helicopter never served in the U.S. Navy. Instead, it was one of only 15 sold directly to the French Navy and used in the years leading up to the Vietnam War.

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Pack 872 Tours the USS Iowa

"As part of their monthly activity in April, Pack 872 Cub Scouts and their families were treated to an amazing tour of the famed USS Iowa from fore (front) to aft (back) and all places in-between.

Docked at the port of Los Angeles, the USS Iowa is steeped in history – first, during WWII, it fortunately escaped the destruction of the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor as it was still under construction. Later, it became the flagship that carried President Franklin Roosevelt across the Atlantic in 1943 for meetings with key world leaders. Then, it was most notably in Tokyo Bay for the formal signing of the Japanese surrender on August 29, 1945, participated in many combat operations, and hosted more presidents than any other battleship throughout its long service."

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A Night on The Battleship

The Battleship IOWA was recently covered by NBC Los Angeles!

"FAMOUS DESTINATIONS... that offer the occasional sleepover opportunity? They definitely exist, with many aquariums and museums occasionally offering offbeat overnights, complete with educational seminars and fun dinners (and breakfasts). But finding a place of historical importance, one with stories aplenty, is rather harder to find, as is finding a place that's rarely stayed in one place for long...  Now Atlas Obscura, those urban explorers of history and meaning, is hosting an...OVERNIGHT ON THE USS IOWA: No doubt about it: This is not an everyday occurrence, or even every week or every year."

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Women's History Month

The Battleship IOWA Museum was recently mentioned in the OC Breeze, a local Orange County online magazine:

"The Battleship IOWA Museum has opened a new temporary display entitled “Celebrating the American Spirit – Battleship IOWA Salutes Women’s History Month,” that will be part of the ship’s tour through March 31. Guests will get a glimpse into the achievements women have made in the United States Navy and in service for their country."

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Alternative Maritime Power Exhibit Unveiled

The Battleship IOWA's Alternative Maritime Power exhibit was recently featured in the Maritime Logistics Professional!

"Global engineering group Cavotec, the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the historic Battleship Iowa museum unveiled a public Alternative Maritime Power (AMP) educational exhibit during a January 23 reception commemorating Battleship USS IOWA’s new shore-side power connection, just south of the Port of Los Angeles’ World Cruise Center." 

Photo credit: Port of Los Angeles

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Kettlebells and Alarmbells 911 Throwdown Event to Raise Funds for US Military & First Responders

Teams of Two or Four To Compete in Fitness Competition onboard Battleship IOWA

L.A. WATERFRONT, CA (February 10, 2017) – The Battleship IOWA Museum will be the site of Kettlebells and Alarmbells 911 Throwdown, a fitness competition to celebrate and commemorate the brave men and women of the United States Military and First Responders. Black Knight Patrol and California Warrior Fit will host this event, Saturday, February 18, which is open for the public to view for free.

The competition begins at 8:00 a.m. and continues through 5:00 p.m., featuring cross fit training and a four-member team fitness relay. The public will have a chance to see just what it takes to be shape to handle some of the toughest and most dangerous work faced by the brave men and women of our military and emergency responders. Active military can participate in the competition for FREE, veterans and first responders for $100 entry fee, and the public for $150 entry fee. If you are interested in participating, please register at

Councilman Joe Buscaino of the 15th District will be participating with his team. Join the excitement and have a chance to compete against Team Buscaino and help support this great cause.

About California Warrior Fit

California Warrior Fit is a non-profit organization whose mission is to host quality fitness events and give back to those that serve our country. Proceeds from fitness events benefit military organizations and charities, as well as first responder organizations and charities. For more information please visit

About Black Knight Patrol

Black Knight Patrol is a full service private security company located in San Pedro, CA. Founded by San Pedro native and United States Marine Corps veteran Manuel Jimenez. Black Knight Patrol hires only the most qualified candidates, including military veterans and former law enforcement officers. For more information please visit

About The Battleship IOWA Museum

Battleship IOWA is the West Coast’s only battleship open to the public and is currently celebrating its fifth year at the L.A. Waterfront. Owned and operated by the nonprofit Pacific Battleship Center (PBC), Battleship IOWA is an interactive naval museum dedicated to celebrating the American spirit. Battleship IOWA offers daily tours from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. For more information, please visit

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Pacific Battleship Center
250 S. Harbor Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90731