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by Kate Mulcrone | November 02, 2012
NBC has rounded up this list of the 10 best museums in the Greater Los Angeles area. We've also included some stories to help you get started planning.

1. The Getty Center Los Angeles
This museum houses outstanding collections of both classic and modern art and photography. The building itself features stunning architecture and makes for an incredible spot to take photos.

2. California Science Center
Interactive exhibits on human inventions, innovations, and the life processes of all kinds of living things make the California Science Center an unforgettable stop.

3. Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The museum is considered the largest encyclopedic art museum in the western United States, and no wonder. The permanent collection includes more than 100,000 pieces from all corners of the world.

4. La Brea Tar Pits
L.A. may change fast, but that wasn't so 40,000 years ago. Ice Age plant and animal exhibits make the tar pits well worth a visit, and you can even watch scientists at work excavating new fossils.

5. Griffith Observatory
This iconic Los Angeles landmark was recently remodeled. Now visitors can enjoy Star Parties for an up-close look at the sun, moon, and planets.

6. Hollywood Museum in the Max Factor Building
A glimpse into movie history is always a draw. The museum houses the world's largest collection of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia, making it worth the crowds.

7. California Heritage Museum
The museum building is as interesting and unique as the exhibits themselves. The house is filled with collectible pieces representing California's history. Enjoy ever-changing exhibits like the Skateboard exhibition tracing the evolution of boards. 

8. The Autry
This lesser-known museum offers a wide range of special exhibitions, activities, and events designed around the culture of Los Angeles. For example, The Autry celebrates the Day of the Dead with hands-on activities, calaca arts, traditional Mexican food.

9. Skirball Cultural Center
This center for the arts features changing exhibitions which run the gamut from music to theater to comedy, not to mention film and literary programs.

10. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
This museum's classic wildlife exhibits include dinosaurs, whales, and birds, not to mention "big sexy bugs."

Source: NBC Los Angeles