Museums & Historic Sites

There’s so much to learn and discover in Santa Ana, CA. Our sunny city is home to a variety of must-see historical landmarks. From history lovers to science enthusiasts and beyond, we’ve got something to pique everybody's interests.

History Museums in Santa Ana, CA

What better way to immerse yourself in O.C. culture than spending a day at one of our many museums and historical sites dedicated to preserving and promoting Orange County customs and traditions? 

With large grounds full of bountiful gardens and vintage architecture, the Heritage Museum of Orange County is the perfect place to stroll and sightsee while learning more about our community. This landmark houses other popular Santa Ana attractions, including the Kellogg House. The Heritage Museum is complete with a gift shop, so you can pick up the perfect souvenir to commemorate your trip.

The Old Orange County Courthouse is Southern California’s oldest court building and has been the setting for many historical events that shaped our area. The building houses the Orange County History Center, as well as local government offices. 

Celebrate women's history at the Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House and Medical Museum. This nationally registered historic site, first built in 1889, was the residence of one of the first female physicians in Orange County. The property gives you a glimpse into the daily life of icon Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle. 

Science & Art Museums 

The Bowers Museum is one of the most popular attractions in Orange County. With six permanent galleries and dozens of exhibits and pop-ups, there’s always something to explore. The museum hosts several special events throughout the year, including movie nights, craft shows, holiday and cultural festivals, and kid discovery days. 

Spark a love of education and learning at the Discovery Cube OC. At this interactive campus, kids can learn about the importance of STEM through engaging programs and exhibits like the organic waste lab and rainforest adventure. 

Fire & Air Museums 

Let your curiosity take flight at the Lyon Air Museum, where you can find unique aircrafts, rare vehicles, and other flight memorabilia. Explore the museum on your own, or schedule a group tour with one of their friendly volunteers. The Santa Ana Fire Museum, housed inside a working fire station, has vintage fire trucks, memorabilia, statements, and photos. This exhibit allows you to take a step back in time while learning about the proud history of Santa Ana firefighters.