Day 4: Visiting the LA Natural History Museum

Rose garden entrance to the Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum (NHM) in Los Angeles is the largest natural and historical museum in the western United States, It started in 1913 as the Museum of History, Science, and Art. The main building alone is worth seeing It has massive marble-walled rooms and a domed and colonnaded rotunda,

We started with the Gem and Mineral Hall on the first level. I was fascinated by the variety of precious rocks, many found in California. We were lucky to see a special diamonds exhibit featuring four of nature’s rarest colorful diamond masterpieces. The star of this showcase was the Juliet Pink diamond, renown for its exceptional clarity, size, intense color grade, and lack of inclusions. Another of the featured gems was The Rainbow Necklace comprised of blue-grey (extremely rare), green-yellow, orange-pink, purple-pink, and brown-orange diamonds. Though the stones and settings were beautiful, I have never favored diamonds over other stones. But seeing these works of art was a great opportunity.

Tiger in an NHM diorama

The African Mammal Hall is a collection of dioramas portraying the animals in natural settings. I was surprised by the giraffe’s short body; I wondered how the animal did not topple over. I was surprised to see a honey badger among the displays.

Honey badger

The Dinosaur Hall has 300 real fossils, and 20 complete dinosaurs and ancient sea creatures.

The Age of Mammals Hall shows the diversity of mammals featuring a total of 240 specimens, including 38 articulated mammal skeletons.

The Becoming Los Angeles exhibit tells the 500-year story of how Southern California went from tiny pueblo to sprawling metropolis. I particularly enjoyed the 1939 city model of downtown Los Angeles.

The California Science Museum

Space shuttle fuel tank outside of the California Science Museum

Although there were more levels to explore, we decided to visit the nearby California Science Museum. Entrance to this museum is free, but there was a charge to see the space shuttle Endeavor which is on permanent display. Since we had seen other shuttles, we decided to return to the hotel and then meet up later for a Korean dinner.


Tom took us to the International Food Court in Koreatown in downtown LA. It was my first time tasting Kimchi which is said to be one of the world’s healthiest foods. Kimchi is a  reddish fermented cabbage (and sometimes radish) dish made with a mix of garlic, salt, vinegar, chile peppers, and other spices. It was an interesting experience. We all ordered different meals so I was able to sample spicy boiled pork, bulgogi, a barbecued beef dish, and Korean-style octopus and shrimp appetizers. For beverages, we had a Korean beer and a Korean rice wine which was sweet and fruity.


About The Author

Jane V. Blanchard

I am an award-winning author of the "Woman On Her Way" book series, writing about my travel adventures. For more information on the books, please visit I started the "Woman On Her Way" travel blog in 2013 to share my experiences as I explored 13 countries with my husband, traveling by ship, foot, bike, bus, train, and plane. Dennis and I continue to make memories and hope you will enjoy following along.

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