Petersen Museum is rated the No 1 Automotive museum in the world.
Its vast collection of vehicles, including restored antiques, race cars, and cars from famous movies, entertain both kids and adults alike.
The three main floors and the Vault in the basement are home to 350 unique vehicles.
This article covers everything you must know before booking the Petersen Automotive Museum tickets.
Table of contents
- What to expect
- Where to buy Petersen Automotive Museum tickets
- How do online tickets work
- Petersen Automotive Museum ticket prices
- Petersen Automotive Museum tickets
- Petersen Museum Private Tour tickets
- How to reach
- Opening hours of Petersen Automotive Museum
- How long does the Petersen Museum take?
- Best time to visit
- Cars in Petersen Museum
- Petersen Automotive Museum vault
- Petersen Museum for kids
- Restaurant at Petersen Automotive Museum
- FAQs about the Petersen Automotive Museum
What to expect
The Petersen Automotive Museum is spread across three floors, each exhibiting classic, historic, contemporary, and futuristic cars.
The first floor of the museum has two galleries with cars like the 2006 Aston Martin DBS, 1964 Aston Martin DB5, etc, put on exhibit.
The second floor displays cars featured in iconic movies like Back to the Future’s DeLorean, the Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters, a Lexus from Black Panther, and the Bat Mobile.
This floor also has a gallery where one can check out some of the world’s fastest supercars.
On the third floor, discover classic models of Mercedes Benz, Corvette, Jaguar, and Bugatti.
The museum’s in-house Discovery Center offers some outstanding, hands-on activities for kids.
For instance, children can build their own cars, learn about car design and mechanics, and play with interactive displays.
Where to buy Petersen Automotive Museum tickets
The Petersen Automotive Museum tickets are available at the attraction and online.
Online ticket prices tend to be cheaper than tickets at the venue.
When you buy online, you can avoid the long queues at the attraction’s ticket counters.
Because some attractions sell a limited number of tickets, during peak days they may sell out. Booking early helps avoid last-minute disappointments.
How do online tickets work
Go to the Petersen Automotive Museum booking page, select your preferred date and the number of tickets, and buy the tickets right away.
Once you purchase museum tickets, they get delivered to your email address.
There is no need to get printouts of the ticket.
You can show the e-ticket on your smartphone when you visit the attraction.
Remember to bring your official IDs.
Petersen Automotive Museum ticket prices
The Petersen Automotive Museum tickets are priced at US$21 for all adults aged between 18 and 61.
Tickets for all senior citizens aged above 62 can be bought at a discounted price of US$19.
Children between four and 17 years old can get the ticket at US$11.
The museum tickets for infants under four years are free.
Petersen Automotive Museum tickets
This ticket helps you see and experience everything there is at Petersen Automotive Museum (except the Vault).
You get to understand 120 years of automotive history and culture by exploring 100+ classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles displayed over three floors and 25 galleries.
This Petersen Auto Museum ticket also gets you access to all the interactive exhibits.
Adult Ticket (18 to 61 years): US$21
Senior Ticket (62+ years): US$19
Youth Ticket (4 to 17 years): US$11
Infant Ticket (up to 3 years): Free
Petersen Museum Private Tour tickets
This experience is a 1-hour guided tour of the highlights of the Petersen Museum.
Seasoned car enthusiasts opt for a private tour because the expert guide taking them around narrates stories and anecdotes, which spice up the activity.
After the guided tour is over, you are free to explore the rest of the car museum at your pace.
Tour Cost: US$162 (for a group of two)
How to reach
Petersen Automotive Museum is along Museum Row in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Address: 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, United States. Get Directions
You can get to the museum by public transport or car.
Wilshire / Western Station is the closest subway station to the Petersen Museum of cars.
If you are in Downtown Los Angeles, it is best to board a Purple Line train from the Union Station.
There is a train every 12 minutes, and the journey lasts 13 minutes and seven stops.
Once you get down from the Purple Line train, you must board the local bus line 20 to Wilshire / Spaulding.
Petersen Auto Museum is half a km (0.3 miles) from Wilshire / Spaulding bus stop, and you can walk the distance in five minutes.
For more train options, check out LA Metro’s website.
If you’re driving by car, turn on Google Maps and get started.
Petersen Automotive Museum has its own parking garage located on Fairfax Ave., just south of Wilshire Blvd.
Opening hours of Petersen Automotive Museum
Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is open from 10 am to 5 pm throughout the week.
The attraction remains closed on Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day.
How long does the Petersen Museum take?
To see all the cars on display, visitors need to spend 3 hours on the three floors of the Petersen Museum.
The museum has a dedicated kids’ zone on the second floor, and when the kids arrive here, they would never want to leave.
So, if you’re here with kids, you may end up staying for 4 hours or more
Best time to visit
The best time to visit the Petersen Museum is when the attraction opens at 10 am.
You will get ample time to stroll inside the museum, as it is usually less crowded in the morning.
For a satisfactory visit you must be at the car museum at least by 3 pm.
Since there is a lot of walking wearing comfortable shoes helps.
The only vehicle visitors can sit in is a 1910 Ford Model T on the third floor.
Cars in Petersen Museum
The Petersen Automotive Museum has 100000 sq ft of exhibits, divided into 25 galleries and over 300 vehicles.
Half of these cars are displayed on three floors for the visitors to see, and the rest are hidden in a vault, which requires special permission to visit.
The ground floor focuses on automotive artistry, displaying many extravagant automobiles.
The second floor of the museum focuses on automotive engineering—including design, performance, and interactive teaching exhibits.
If you are interested in racing, check out the section on racing, motorcycles, hot rods, and customs on the second floor.
The third floor’s theme is the automobile’s history, emphasizing the car culture of Southern California.
Here are some of the cars at Petersen Auto Museum, which visitors have particularly loved.
Petersen Museum’s XNR is a replica of the original car built by world-famous car designer Virgil Exner.
The one-off Plymouth XNR concept car is a two-seater roadster built on a modified Plymouth Valiant chassis.
Shah of Iran was the last owner of the car, after which it survived the Lebanese Civil War and reached Canada.
Gotham Garage has made the replica that now sits at the car museum in LA.
Mach 5 car, on display on the third floor, is inspired by the animated TV series Speed Racer (1967-1968) and the film Speed Racer (2008).
The high-tech Mach 5 race car can leap short distances and drive underwater in the animated television series.
Since the series is still popular, in 1999, Speed Racer Enterprises built a fully operable interpretation of the cartoon Mach 5.
Delorean from Back to the Future
The DeLorean DMC-12 time machine got famous thanks to the 1985 blockbuster movie called Back to the Future.
The original time machine cum car was loaned to the Petersen Museum by Universal Studios Hollywood.
It is part of the Cars of Film and Television exhibit in the Hollywood Gallery on the third floor.
Petersen Automotive Museum vault
Half of the car collection at Petersen museum is in its Vault, in the building’s basement level.
During the Covid lockdown, the museum opened its Vault for a virtual tour.
The highlight of the Petersen museum vault are:
- Cadillac made in 1903, equipped with a one-cylinder combustion engine
- N600 microcar bearing serial number one, the first Honda to be imported into the USA
- Mercedes 600 Landaulet, earlier owned by Saddam Hussein
- A Popemobile that never got used
- The first armored US Presidential car
- Ferrari 308 GTS, stunt car used in numerous movies made by Universal Studios
- Rolls-Royce Round Door, with a length of 6 meters (20 feet)
- Kaiser Darrin, one of the first production cars with a fiberglass body
- Gold-painted Mustang, built by Ford to mark the car’s one millionth unit
- Jaguar XJ220, an after-hours project which almost became a hit
There are additional restrictions on those visiting the Petersen Museum’s Vault –
- Backpacks, food, and drink are not allowed
- Visitors can’t take photographs
- No video recording is allowed
- Children under ten years are not permitted
- Touching the vehicles is not allowed
Petersen Museum for kids
Petersen Auto Museum has something for everybody in the family.
There are numerous interactive exhibits that the family can explore together.
At the Cars Mechanical Institute, which is inspired by an animated film CARS, car characters explain how mechanical systems work.
Kids can also paint and personalize virtual cars.
Children can also zoom toy cars around a racetrack.
If your kid loves racing, they will get hooked to the virtual race car with the Forza Motorsports Experience.
They can opt for one of the eight curated experiences and race their heart out.
Restaurant at Petersen Automotive Museum
Petersen Museum’s restaurant Meyers Manx Cafe is open form 9 am to 6 pm.
The restaurant offers homemade pasta, wood-fired pizzas, an innovative assortment of entrees, artisanal bread, pastries, etc.
FAQs about the Petersen Automotive Museum
Here are some questions, visitors usually ask before visiting the Petersen Automotive Museum.
The last entry to the museum is 30 minutes before the closing time, i.e., 4.30 pm.
For the first 15 minutes, the parking is absolutely free. All Petersen Visitors (ticketed) pay US$17, while Non Petersen Visitors (non-ticketed) pay US$21 for car parking.
The garage is open from 6 am to 11 pm throughout the week.
Since the parking doesn’t have elevators, it is best for guests with strollers, wheelchairs, disabilities, etc., to be dropped off and picked up on the first floor.
Wear clothes according to the day’s weather. We highly recommend wearing comfortable shoes as the museum tour requires a lot of walking.
The museum allows handheld photography, but guests are not allowed to take pictures or videos in special exhibitions. Tripods, monopods, and selfie sticks are not permitted at any time.
Yes, the museum provides complimentary wheelchairs on a first-come, first-served basis.
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