Travel deal: Explore freely on Museum Day

National Steinbeck Center
The city of Salinas celebrates its most famous resident, author John Steinbeck, at a center that bears his name.
(Los Angeles Times)

Boost your culture quotient with a free museum visit. The annual Museum Day (Sept. 21.) sponsored by Smithsonian magazine offers travelers free tickets to participating museums in California and across the nation.

The deal: Tickets are free but you have to register online to download them. Each ticket is good for two visitors. In California, you could branch out and visit lesser-known museums such as the American Bookbinders Museum in San Francisco, the Cayucos History Museum in the central coastal town, or the National Steinbeck Center, which celebrates author John Steinbeck and his work, in Salinas. Eighty-eight museums in California are participating in the free day.

When: Good on Sept. 21 only.

More options: Closer to home, the Autry Museum of the American West in Griffith Park (usually $6 to $14 for tickets) and the Catalina Island Museum (usually $15 to $17) are participating in Museum Day.

Info: Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day 2019,