Visit Bowers Museum in Santa Ana | Expedia
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Bowers Museum

This small museum in Santa Ana pulls big exhibitions from around the world.

Orange County’s largest museum is known as a center for cultural art, with a small but eclectic array of collections. Among the 120,000 pieces you’ll find diverse and unusual artifacts. There’s an African shield made from animal hide, an initiation mask from the Congo. There’s also a coat worn by a colonel in the American Civil War. Artifacts date from the Neolithic era to the 20th century, representing cultures from the Pacific Islands, Africa and Asia.

Set on picturesque grounds that include a striking Spanish Mission-style building, the facility covers 93,000 square feet (8,640 square meters). A highlight is the Native American Art Collection, the museum’s largest exhibit, with more than 24,000 pieces dating from prehistoric to contemporary times. 

The collection of paintings includes more than 2,000 works from celebrated Californian artists of the late 19th to early 20th century. Most notable is the collection of 40 pieces by husband-and-wife artists William and Alberta McCloskey. They toured America together in the late 19th century painting portraits and still lifes. There is also a separate collection of memorabilia from the early days of Orange County. 

Bowers Museum hosts a variety of visiting exhibitions, along with related films, guest lecturers, workshops and music performances. Call or visit the museum website for an event schedule and details.

Kidseum, an extension of the museum, is a fun, play-based learning center catered to youngsters. Opening hours for this section vary throughout the year.

The main part of the museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, and entry is free on the first Sunday of the month. If you want to view the featured exhibition on Sundays, you’ll need to join the line for a separate free ticket and then wait again to enter the exhibition space. Only 250 people an hour are allowed in at one time.

Allow at least three hours to tour the museum, and you may want to eat lunch at the on-site Tangata restaurant. It’s a popular venue so a reservation is recommended. 

The Bowers Museum is a five-minute drive from downtown Santa Ana. Parking is available for a fee, and the museum is also accessible from downtown by bus.


Guide to Exploring around Bowers Museum


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Best Lodging Options Near Bowers Museum

See all 3,085 Properties near Bowers Museum
Santa Ana Travel Inn $68
Santa Ana Travel Inn

Santa Ana Travel Inn

2005 North Main Street, Santa Ana, CA
     
    2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in Santa Ana, this motel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Bowers Museum and within 3 mi (5 km) of Children's Hospital of Orange County and Santa Ana Zoo. Chapman University and The Outlets at Orange are also within 3 mi (5 km). Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center is 23 minutes by foot.

    Sanitized Designer Apt - King Bed - Modern Bldg - Nurses - Choc & St Joseph $103
    Sanitized Designer Apt - King Bed - Modern Bldg - Nurses - Choc & St Joseph

    Sanitized Designer Apt - King Bed - Modern Bldg - Nurses - Choc & St Joseph

    Santa Ana, CA
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Santa Ana apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Bowers Museum and Discovery Science Center. Children's Hospital of Orange County and Santa Ana Zoo are also within 3 mi (5 km). Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center is 23 minutes by foot.

      Sanitized Designer Apt - King Bed - Modern Bldg - Nurses - Choc & St Joseph $92
      Sanitized Designer Apt - King Bed - Modern Bldg - Nurses - Choc & St Joseph

      Sanitized Designer Apt - King Bed - Modern Bldg - Nurses - Choc & St Joseph

      Santa Ana, CA
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Santa Ana, this romantic apartment building is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Bowers Museum and within 3 mi (5 km) of Children's Hospital of Orange County and Santa Ana Zoo. Chapman University is 3 mi (4.8 km) away. Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center is 23 minutes by foot.

        Sanitized Designer Apt - King Bed - Modern Bldg - Nurses - Choc & St Joseph
        Sanitized Designer Apt - King Bed - Modern Bldg - Nurses - Choc & St Joseph

        Sanitized Designer Apt - King Bed - Modern Bldg - Nurses - Choc & St Joseph

        Santa Ana, CA
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Santa Ana, this romantic apartment building is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Bowers Museum and within 3 mi (5 km) of Children's Hospital of Orange County and Santa Ana Zoo. Chapman University is 3 mi (4.8 km) away. Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center is 23 minutes by foot.

          Spacious 2BD Home Next to Disneyland - Sleeps 6
          Spacious 2BD Home Next to Disneyland - Sleeps 6

          Spacious 2BD Home Next to Disneyland - Sleeps 6

          108 E 16th St, Santa Ana, CA
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            This family-friendly Santa Ana apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Bowers Museum and Old Orange County Courthouse. Children's Hospital of Orange County and Santa Ana Zoo are also within 3 mi (5 km). Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center is 20 minutes by foot.

            Modern Home by Disneyland & Beach Near Food & Bars
            Modern Home by Disneyland & Beach Near Food & Bars

            Modern Home by Disneyland & Beach Near Food & Bars

            110 E 16th St, Santa Ana, CA
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              This family-friendly Santa Ana apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Bowers Museum and Old Orange County Courthouse. Children's Hospital of Orange County and Santa Ana Zoo are also within 3 mi (5 km). Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center is 20 minutes by foot.

              Lovely Modern Studio Near Disneyland, Bars, & Food
              Lovely Modern Studio Near Disneyland, Bars, & Food

              Lovely Modern Studio Near Disneyland, Bars, & Food

              106 E 16th St, Unit B, Santa Ana, CA
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                This family-friendly Santa Ana apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Bowers Museum and Old Orange County Courthouse. Children's Hospital of Orange County and Santa Ana Zoo are also within 3 mi (5 km). Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center is 20 minutes by foot.

                Stylish Modern Home by Disneyland & Downtown
                Stylish Modern Home by Disneyland & Downtown

                Stylish Modern Home by Disneyland & Downtown

                1525 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Santa Ana, this apartment building is 0.3 mi (0.4 km) from Bowers Museum and within 3 mi (5 km) of Children's Hospital of Orange County and Santa Ana Zoo. Old Orange County Courthouse and Discovery Science Center are also within 1 mi (2 km). Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center is 20 minutes by foot.