Culver City10808 Culver Blvd, Culver City
Best known for its movie studios, Culver City is also where you’ll find a pair of Southern California’s most distinctive museums. In a renovated 1949 armory, the Wende Museum of Cold War History preserves artifacts from Eastern Bloc countries that were salvaged by its founder Justinian Jampol—including the largest section of the Berlin Wall outside of that city. At the Museum of Jurassic Technology, you’ll find an assortment of seemingly unrelated exhibits (decaying dice, miniature Disney figures) that share one thing in common: the unorthodox sensibility of museum founder David Wilson, recipient of a coveted MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant. As for moviemaking in Culver City, tours at Sony Pictures Studios lead through this historic lot—formerly MGM Studios—where such classics as The Wizard of Oz were filmed. Speaking of Oz, the restored Culver Hotel is where most of the movie’s cast, including all 124 of the actors who played Munchkins, stayed during production.