This museum in Griffith Park was the realization of a dream for actor/singer Gene Autry, America’s beloved Singing Cowboy of the mid-20th century, who founded it in 1988. Its 500,000 pieces, including the collection of the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, are inventively displayed to evoke the experiences of people who settled west of the Mississippi. In addition to the expected guns, saddlery, wagons, clothing, Indian pottery and Western art displays, special exhibitions hone in on subjects such as Hopi Katsina dolls and 2014’s immensely popular “Route 66: The Road and the Romance.” The Crossroads West Cafe opened for breakfast and lunch in late 2013, providing not just moderately priced dining but a showcase for the unique cuisine of the American West. Its monthly Cowboy Lunch includes discussions with Western filmmakers and actors. Docent-led tours are available on weekends.
- Frommer's Staff