Must-See Museums in Orange County

With Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Medieval Times, numerous beaches close by, and so much more… Orange County is known for its entertainment and excitement! Naturally, this makes it a top choice for traveling student groups. But with all the glitz of theme parks and beach days, the glamorous museums of Orange County are sometimes forgotten. These museums shine just as bright as all the other attractions in the OC and will captivate your group’s attention through their engaging and interactive exhibits!

Discovery Cube

Photo Courtesy of Discovery Cube OC

Discovery Cube of Orange County boasts an impressive 11 ongoing exhibits and always has something new on the way. Interactive exhibits can be found throughout the Discovery Cube’s first two floors. From a rock wall, to their “Shake Shack” and a working seismograph, there are plenty of opportunities to engage in science! The Boeing Rocket Lab offers a Rocket Fuel Station for your enthusiastic rocket scientists-to-be, while the Eco Challenge teaches kids of all ages how to be “Green Superheroes” every day. Discovery Cube is a must-see for young scientists eager to learn more about the world around them and beyond.


Mission San Juan Capistrano

The majestic missions that line California’s coast play an integral part in the state’s history, and their preservation provides some insight to what life may have been for Padres, soldiers, and Native Americans. San Juan Capistrano exhibits paintings and artifacts that illustrate the vivid and spirited history of what became the state of California. Students can see where the Padres and soldiers lived, take an audio tour, or visit the Mission Clubhouse – offering several hands-on learning opportunities.  Engaging and immersive, Mission San Juan Capistrano is a perfect stop for any student trip.


Bowers Museum/Kidseum

Bowers Museum Bell Tower. Photo by Eric Stoner.

With its stunning permanent collection of art from The Pacific, Africa, Asia, and more, the Bowers is something to behold. It’s travelling exhibitions make it even more appealing to student groups of all ages. Always changing and always exciting, the exhibitions provide visitors with an in-depth look into aspects of life, art, and history – both nationally and abroad. To add to the fun, the Bowers’ extension, Kidseum, is located just down the street. With its mission, “igniting imagination through exploration,” Kidseum is never short of interactive experiences. No matter what grade or class, the Bowers offers something for every student in your group to enjoy.


Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace

This amazing homage to the 37th President of the United States features several enticing permanent galleries and exhibits, Nixon’s birthplace, and even an Army One helicopter used by President Nixon (and Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Ford, too)! A favorite among guests includes a replica of President Nixon’s Oval Office, where guests can sit behind the president’s desk (selfies welcome!) and explore the magnificent replica. The Library and Museum also have new exhibitions every few months exploring a wide variety of aspects in American life and history. Be sure to visit The Nixon Library to explore some of the upcoming exhibitions and plan your visit today!

As if iconic theme parks and great weather year-round weren’t already enough of a reason to add Orange County to your student travels, these museums seal the deal! Education is always an essential part of student travel and building one or more of these awesome museums into your itinerary is a great way to ensure students are getting the most out of their trip.