To summon your inner intellectual curiosity, you could brush off those dusty books and get in a read or two, or you could take a museum tour right in the middle of Orange County at these best museum tours in the OC.
2002 N. Main St.
Santa Ana, CA 92706
Founded in 1937, the Bowers Museum is the largest museum in Orange County. The museum attracts visitors from all over California for its fusion of history, arts and culture. Visitors can take advantage of the guided tours which are available in four formats: group tours, school tours, self-guided tours and audio tours. Group tours are docent-led tours for visitors of 15 or more, while school tours are one hour docent-led tours for grades 3-12. The audio tour is a virtual tour offered online on the museum’s website. Call to schedule an appointment.
Orange County Museum of Art
850 San Clemente Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
The Orange County Museum of Art is a place for modern and contemporary art in Orange County. Located in Newport Beach, the museum offers public tours and school tours. Public tours are offered on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m. during the day. Evening tours are offered every third Thursday at 6 p.m. Public tours are free with admission. School tours are open to elementary school, middle school, high school and college students. Each tour is held for up 30 to 60 students, plus A Tour Studio Process. College student tours require a minimum of 10 students. To schedule a tour, you can fill out a tour request form at the museum’s website.
The Irvine Museum
18881 Von Karmen Ave., Suite 100
Irvine, CA 92612
The Irvine Museum is the cornerstone of visual arts capturing all things California. Guided tours are available for all to enjoy. The museum offers guided tours for students and teachers who want to experience firsthand the major works of art reflecting the history and culture of California. For those wanting to partake in the guided tours, field trips are arranged every Tuesday through Thursday from 9 to 10:45 a.m. for a tour of the museum. Call ahead to schedule an appointment.
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Lyon Air Museum
19300 Ike Jones Road
Santa Ana, CA 92707
The Lyon Air Museum provides a touch of aviation history through exhibits that feature authentic aircraft, rare vehicles and related memorabilia to OC residents. Hour-long group tours of 10 or more are available at the museum and are led by volunteer docents during regular hours of operation. To schedule a group tour, make sure to complete the Lyon Air Museum Group Tour contact form on the museum’s website.
Heritage Museum of Orange County
3101 W. Harvard St.
Santa Ana, CA 92704
The Heritage Museum of Orange County acts as a cultural and natural historic center that enhances the learning experience of visitors who attend. Public tours of the Kellogg House – a Queen Anne-style Victorian structure designed by Hiram Clay Kellogg – are available to the public during select hours. Select hours for the tour are as follows; Friday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Alternate times are available by appointment only for groups of 10 or more. Santa Ana residents receive free admission and tours every first Sunday of each month. To schedule an appointment, visit the museum’s website.
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