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Take in the eye candy at the Petersen Automotive Museum

Why: Heavy metal has an exquisite headquarters in the Petersen Automotive Museum. Cars and California have always been a dream couple. After all, the Golden State inspired such brands as the Malibu and the Laguna.

What: For auto buffs, it’s like a trip to the candy store. Across three themed floors, the Petersen pays tribute to the influence and fun of classic automobiles. Perhaps no other invention, save the light bulb, has so influenced American culture.

History has a floor of its own, as does industry, which tells the stories of the inventors and visionaries. But save the bottom floor, devoted to artistry, for last.

Among the collection are cars as fanciful as the 1989 Batmobile, or as simple and elegant as a 1900 Smith Runabout. There are race cars, concept cars and ancient Bugattis. In a way, the Petersen is the world’s ultimate showroom.  

Make a day of it. The museum is located across from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and up the street from the La Brea Tar Pits.

Where: 6060 Wilshire Blvd., about 9 miles west of downtown Los Angeles.

How much: $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students with ID, $7 for children. Parking is free for the first 30 minutes with a $12 flat rate thereafter.

Info: Petersen Automotive Museum

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