A museum’s gift shop can feel like an extension of the overall cultural experience—and the best of the best offer one-of-a-kind items that allow you to bring a piece of your trip home. Check out some of the coolest museum gift shops across California, listed south to north.
Housed in a historic art deco–style structure built by industrialist Henry Ford, the San Diego Air & Space Museum boasts one of the largest collections of aircraft in the country. The Balboa Park institution’s gift shop is equally impressive. Find a woven Amelia Earhart doll or a child-sized space suit (complete with NASA patch) for your mini aviator. Model airplanes, telescopes, astronaut ice cream, parachutes, and desktop planetariums make fun gifts for any age.
Every year, the massive Comic-Con welcomes nearly 200,000 people to San Diego for one weekend in July—but the permanent Comic-Con Museum and its quirky gift shop give guests an opportunity to geek out year-round. Shop exclusive festival merch (hoodies and baseball caps), as well as graphic novels, action figures, comic books, and unexpected delights like a model kit of the iconic DeLorean of Back to the Future fame.
3. Route 66 Museum, Victorville
A retro time capsule dedicated to all things kitsch, the Route 66 Museum shop is a must for fans of the Mother Road. Located in Old Town Victorville in San Bernardino County, the shelves are stocked with Americana-themed items like Thunderbird-emblazoned lunch boxes, real vintage license plates, and neon signs. Spring for a pair of fuzzy dice to keep you company on your next California road trip.
The Architecture and Design Center, an offshoot of the Palm Springs Art Museum, is aptly located in a classic midcentury-international-style structure, the former Santa Fe Federal Savings and Loan. Head into the old bank’s vault to find the Museum Design Store. Also known as the Bradford W. Bates Vault, the shop offers works by local artists, as well as architecture- and design-related gifts. Think coffee-table books, candle sticks, vases, and dishware.
Go inside “The MIND,” the creative moniker of OCMA’s shop, to find a carefully curated assortment from art collectors Emmanuel Renoird and Nicholas Libert. The 20-foot-long mirrored sculpture that anchors the space isn’t for sale—but everything else is yours for the shopping. Browse the rotating selection to find laser-cut leather necklaces, vases that look like nimbus clouds, and plenty of art books to elevate your coffee table game.
6. The Getty, Los Angeles
Take home a piece inspired by The Getty’s celebrated collection at its airy, art gallery–like gift shop. A pair of iris-shaped glass earrings evoke Van Gogh’s famous flowers, while a fragrance diffuser allows you to enjoy the scents of the Getty Villa’s Roman herb garden in your living room. Lean into your own artistic side with painting, drawing, and photography guides for both children and adults.
7. The Huntington, San Marino
A one-time estate of railroad magnate Henry E. Huntington, the 120-acre Huntington comprises a library, art museum, botanical gardens, and a destination-worthy gift shop. Explore a beautiful assortment of jewelry, sculptures, books, and pottery with items that pay homage to this museum’s Southern California location (like a quirky avocado ornament). Some gifts, such as the Rose Garden Miniature Tea Set and tea rose earrings, are inspired by the Huntington’s beloved Rose Garden Tea Room.
Opened in 2021, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and its stellar gift shop are dedicated to the art of movie magic. Impress film-buff friends with a piece from one of the store’s exclusive Academy member collaborations. The line with director Pedro Almodóvar features a colorful umbrella inspired by Todo Sobre Mi Madre (All About My Mother), while costume designer Ruth Carter’s offerings include chic cuff bracelets and a paper doll set.
Dive into Solvang‘s Danish history and culture—and find an unexpected souvenir—at Elverhøj. Visitors can browse a selection of goods imported from the motherland, including wooden toys, handmade jewelry, embroidered hand towels, and storytelling scarves by celebrated designer Katja Bie.
Hands-on learning comes to life at the MOXI in Santa Barbara. Its shop invites kids of every age to continue their journey of interactive play at home. Explore the world of science and technology with microscopes, rocket sets, and solar print paper. Future engineers and architects will love glow-in-the-dark builder tiles and plastic beam sets that can be constructed into two-foot-tall suspension bridges. Each purchase supports MOXI’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) education programs and museum operations.
A life-size statue of Lucy greets visitors with open arms to Snoopy's Gallery & Gift Shop at the Charles M. Schulz Museum. Whimsical collectibles from the Peanuts collection—Linus doll (complete with blanket), Charlie Brown’s zig-zag shirt, and holiday-themed Snoopy figurines—line the shelves. Make sure to check out the giftshop’s display case showcasing awards Schulz earned during his half-century creating his beloved comic strip.
12. SFMOMA, San Francisco
This bastion of modern art and contemporary design has a gift shop to match. Elevate your aesthetic with sophisticated decor: An at-home version of the Mini Gromeo x SFMOMA Living Wall adds an instant dose of greenery, while a colorful desktop mobile brightens the workday. Discover only-at-the-MOMA finds from artists like illustrator Carissa Potter, architect Andrew Holder, and designer Kristina Micotti.
Take a figurative ride through time at the Walt Disney Family Museum, celebrating the life and legacy of Walt Disney. The Presidio gift shop focuses on exclusive throwback items like a button-eyed Mickey doll in the classic 1930s style and mint-condition issues of The “E” Ticket, a 90s-era magazine dedicated to Walt’s Magic Kingdom. Learn how Disney magic came to life with illustrated histories of The Jungle Book, Pinocchio, Snow White, and more.
Tucked against a wall at the gift shop of this Sacramento institution, a one-of-a-kind Art-O-Mat dispenses handmade art, vending-machine style, for only $5 a pop. With your new piece in hand, you can go on to browse the rest of the merchandise. Puzzles of paintings from the museum’s permanent collection where sculptural vases, woven bowls, and miniature music boxes might catch your eye.
The suggested donation to stand in for an entry fee at this museum off Highway 395 is modest, so you’ll have plenty left to spend at its charming shop. Lone Pine was once the top destination for Western flicks—more than 400 films were shot in and around the Alabama Hills. Take a piece of history with you: a hand-painted leather bag from a local artist, a written history of horses in movies and TV, or a John Wayne flask for the cowboy in your life.