In the city of Oakland, the Oakland Museum of California stands as a beacon of cultural enlightenment and artistic expression. This museum, a marvel in its own right, is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the diverse tapestry of California’s rich heritage. From its inception, the museum has been a place where art, history, and culture converge, offering visitors a profound understanding of the state’s dynamic story.

The architecture itself is a testament to its commitment to accessibility and community engagement. With open spaces that invite reflection and interaction, the museum’s design encourages a journey through California’s artistic and historical landscapes. It’s not just a place to view art; it’s a space where visitors are invited to connect with the stories and ideas that shape California.

Located in Oakland, the museum serves as a central hub for locals and tourists alike, offering a window into the soul of California. Its collections span various mediums and historical periods, reflecting the state’s diverse cultures and communities. Whether you’re a history buff, art aficionado, or someone curious about California’s story, the Oakland provides a comprehensive and immersive experience.

The Oakland Museum of California houses an impressive array of exhibits that cater to a wide range of interests. Art lovers will find themselves mesmerized by the extensive collection of California art, showcasing works from the 19th century to the present day. These pieces not only highlight the artistic talent within the state but also reflect the social and political currents of their times.

History enthusiasts will appreciate the dedication to preserving California’s past. From the Gold Rush era to the present day, the exhibits provide a detailed narrative of the state’s evolution. Interactive displays and multimedia presentations bring history to life, allowing visitors to engage with the material in a meaningful way.

One of the museum’s greatest strengths is its ability to present complex themes in accessible ways. Through its innovative exhibitions, the museum fosters a deeper understanding of California’s environmental challenges, technological advancements, and diverse cultures. Each visit offers new insights, making it a place of ongoing discovery and engagement.

The Oakland goes beyond being a mere repository of art and history; it actively engages with the community through a variety of educational programs and events. These initiatives are designed to inspire creativity and learning, making the museum a vibrant center for cultural exchange and intellectual growth.

The museum’s educational programs cater to all ages, offering workshops, lectures, and tours that deepen the public’s understanding of California’s heritage. Special events, such as the annual Day of the Dead celebration, highlight the cultural richness of the state, providing a platform for diverse expressions of art and tradition.

The Oakland is also known for hosting an annual Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) exhibition. This event is a cultural highlight that celebrates the Latin American tradition of honoring deceased loved ones. The museum typically features a range of installations, traditional altars (ofrendas), and art pieces created by local artists and community members. These exhibitions are designed to explore the cultural significance of the holiday and often include educational programs, workshops, and special events that provide insights into the traditions and practices associated with the Day of the Dead. The museum’s commitment to community engagement and cultural representation makes its Day of the Dead celebration a meaningful and vibrant experience for visitors.


A day spent at The Oakland Museum of California is a journey through the heart of California’s art, history, and culture. From the moment visitors step inside, they are invited to embark on an exploration of the state’s vibrant legacy. The art galleries offer a feast for the eyes, with collections that span various styles and periods, while the history exhibits provide a deep dive into the events that shaped California.

The museum ensures that every visitor’s experience is enriching and enjoyable. With amenities such as a cafe serving local cuisine and a gift shop offering unique California-themed memorabilia, the museum caters to the practical needs of its guests. These facilities enhance the overall experience, allowing visitors to relax and reflect on their discoveries.

Encouraging visitors to take their time, the museum is a place where a day can be filled with learning, inspiration, and leisure. It’s a testament to the museum’s commitment to making art and history accessible to everyone, providing a space where the past and present of California are celebrated in equal measure.

While The Oakland Museum of California offers an in-depth look at the state’s heritage, a trip to the Bay Area is not complete without a visit to the Museum of 3D Illusions in San Francisco. This unique attraction, located just a short drive from Oakland, provides a fun and interactive experience that complements the more traditional museum visit.

The Museum of 3D Illusions is designed to engage and entertain, with interactive displays that allow visitors to become part of the art. From posing on a magic carpet near the Golden Gate Bridge to dodging zombies, the museum offers a series of captivating scenarios for unforgettable photo opportunities. It’s a place where imagination is unleashed, and visitors of all ages can enjoy the thrill of illusion.

Adding to the experience, the “Smash It!” section offers a cathartic release, where visitors can express themselves creatively before letting go of their stress by smashing plates. This unique combination of art, illusion, and interactive fun makes the Museum of 3D Illusions a must-visit, offering a contrast to the more reflective experience of The Oakland Museum of California.

Planning your visit to The Oakland Museum of California and the Museum of 3D Illusions requires some forethought to ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience. The best times to visit, ticket purchasing options, and strategies for maximizing your time at each museum are crucial considerations for any trip planner.

For those looking to explore both museums, it’s advisable to allocate a full day to enjoy what each has to offer fully. The Oakland’s extensive collections and interactive displays can easily fill a morning or afternoon, while the Museum of 3D Illusions provides a lighter, more playful counterpoint to end the day.

Visitors are encouraged to embrace the opportunity to dive deep into the art, history, and culture of California through these two distinctive museums. Each offers a unique perspective on the creative spirit and cultural diversity of the state, making for an enriching and memorable cultural journey through the Bay Area.

This exploration of The Oakland Museum of California, complemented by a visit to the Museum of 3D Illusions in San Francisco, provides a comprehensive view of the cultural richness and diversity of the Bay Area. Through art, history, and interactive experiences, visitors can connect with California’s past and present, enriching their understanding and appreciation of the state’s unique heritage.


Yes, The Oakland Museum of California annually celebrates the Day of the Dead with special exhibitions and events. These include traditional altars, art installations, and community-created ofrendas, highlighting the cultural significance of this Latin American tradition within California.

The Museum of 3D Illusions in San Francisco offers a fun and interactive experience that contrasts with the historical and cultural exploration at The Oakland Museum. It features engaging 3D artworks and the "Smash It!" activity, providing a unique addition to the cultural journey through California.

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All Access for 2 April special

Access to the Museum of 3D Illusions and SMASH It! for 2 adults (12+ Years Old)
*Waiver Required Upon Check-In

$70 $60
Lucky Combo Pass April Special

Access to the Museum of 3D Illusions for 4 adults.

$100 $80
Silver VIP Package

VIP Experience for 2 for Museum of Illusions, skip the line, receive a special gift, and get a 1 to 1 experience with our photographer who will take pictures on your camera
*Each additional person will be charged $50 at the front desk. (Up to 4)

$200 $150
Golden VIP Package

VIP Experience for 2 for Museum of Illusions, skip the line, receive a special gift, and get a 1 to 1 experience with our photographer who uses a professional camera to take your photos, edit them and send them within 10 business days
*Each additional person will be a $65 charge at the front desk. (Up to 4)

$300 $250
Combo Ripleys x MOI

Access to the Museum of 3D illusions and Ripley's. Believe It or Not! for 1.

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General admission

Access to the Museum of 3D Illusions for 1 (6+ years old).

All Access

Access to the Museum of 3D Illusions and SMASH It! for 1 adult (12+ Years Old)
*Waiver Required Upon Check-In

Smash It

Access to the SMASH It! for 1 adult (12+ Years Old). Includes 3 ceramic plates.
*Waiver Required Upon Check-In




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(regular + smash it)