Top 20 Los Angeles attractions

Exposition Park

Exposition Park

Exposition Park is south of downtown LA. It has three museums, an IMAX, Rose Garden, and Coliseum. 

Exposition Park is at 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles, and has a lovely, park-like setting, with pathways connecting three museums. 

The California Science Center and California African American Museum are FREE to visit.

The third museum, the Natural History Museum of LA, requires an entrance fee.

Explore the beautiful Rose Garden on a sunny LA day, and purchase an ice-cream from one of the many vendors.  Just steps away, you can also purchase a meal at the food hall inside the California Science Center.  

5 best things to do at Exposition Park

1. See the Endeavour Space Shuttle at the California Science Center.

The California Science Center has an excellent space and aviation collection, with the Endeavor Space Shuttle, space capsules from the 1950s and 60s, fighter jets, and a spy plane.  There's also a range of other exhibits, including aquariums, touchtanks, and exhibits on the human body and world ecosystems. Kids under seven can play in the Family Rooms

General admission is FREE, but excludes the Endeavor Space Shuttle and IMAX. Check hours and tickets.

This is the impressive Endeavor Space Shuttle.

Check out the Control Room for the Endeavor Space Shuttle.

There's a live video feed of the Flight Deck inside the Endeavor Space Shuttle.

The Apollo Command Module docked with a Russian spacecraft in orbit for 44 hours in 1975.

Watch a live, narrated scuba show in the kelp tank.

The IMAX Theater is at the entrance of the California Science Center at Exposition Park.

2. See dinosaur skeletons at the Natural History Museum.

The stunning beaux-arts Natural History Museum has an exquisite, domed rotunda lined with Italian marble.  Visit the Dinosaur Hall, Age of Mammals, and Gem and Minerals Hall. 

Check hours and tickets.

3. Visit the FREE Rose Garden at Exposition Park.

Explore this six-acre garden with a magnificent fountain as its centerpiece.  Relax at one of the picnic tables overlooking the garden.  Enjoy an icecream or cold drink from a vendor, or purchase food at the nearby food hall in the Science Center.

4. Explore the FREE California African American Museum.

See 4,000 artifacts documenting black history, including paintings, sculpture and film.  Check hours.

5. Check out events at the famous Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Check upcoming events.

Learn about the history of Exposition Park, including the host of two Olympic Games.

Exposition Park was originally known as Agricultural Park when it opened in 1876.  It had a fairground to display farmers' produce, and a racetrack used for camel, dog, bike and car races. 

Gambling and prostitution became rampant, so the City of Los Angeles purchased the park in 1908 renaming it Exposition Park.  A new identity was forged for the park as a recreational and cultural hub in the Olmsted tradition of the City Beautiful Movement.  The racetrack was converted to a sunken rose garden surrounded by historic buildings constructed in 1912. These include the Armory, the LA County Historical and Art Museum (now the Natural History Museum), and State Exposition Building (now the California Science Center).  The State Exposition Building showcased California's agriculture, horticulture, primary resources, and scenic attractions.  

The Coliseum opened in 1923 to host USC Football games. It has also hosted two superbowls (1967, 1973), two Olympics (1932, 1984) and one World Series (1959). The California African American Museum opened in Exposition Park to coincide with the 1984 Olympics.

Know before you go

  • Address:  700 Exposition Park Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90037.
  • Parking:  Paid parking lots.  Cash only.
  • Public Transport:  Take the inexpensive EXPO line from downtown Santa Monica to the Expo Park/USC Station in 50 minutes.  Cash required for fares.
  • Food:  Food hall at the Science Center.

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