Montclair, California, nestled in the heart of San Bernardino County, may be known for its suburban tranquility, but the cultural gems that surround it offer both residents and visitors a journey through art, history and nature. From stunning works of art to vibrant historical collections, the museums near Montclair are worth more than just a quick look. Here is a summary of the five most important museums in the area that you should definitely visit:
Chaffey Community Museum of Art (CCMA)
Located in neighboring Ontario, the Chaffey Community Museum of Art has been a beacon for art enthusiasts since 1941. Serving the community for over 80 years, the CCMA features an impressive collection of American art spanning a variety of genres and periods. It prides itself on supporting regional artists while preserving the region’s rich art history. In addition to its permanent collection, the museum offers rotating contemporary exhibitions, so there is always something new for regular visitors.
Ontario Museum of History and Art
Just a stone’s throw from Montclair, the Ontario Museum of History & Art is an ode to the regional history, art and culture of Ontario and surrounding areas. The museum focuses on local narratives and features exhibits that detail the city’s development, its connection to the citrus industry, and the influence of transportation. It’s a haven for history buffs looking to delve deep into Southern California’s rich past. The beautifully preserved architecture of the museum building itself, which was once the city’s post office, adds extra charm.
Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology
Located in Claremont, just a short drive from Montclair, this museum is a wonderland for those interested in ancient life and the history of our planet. It is one of the few museums on a K-12 school campus in the United States. The Alf Museum houses an extensive collection of fossils from around the world and offers insights into prehistoric life, from the smallest trilobites to majestic dinosaurs. Its two main halls, the Hall of Life and the Hall of Footprints, fascinate visitors with their detailed narratives and impeccable depictions.
Planes of Fame aircraft museum.
For aviation enthusiasts and history lovers alike, the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino is a flying experience. Founded in 1957, the museum houses a remarkable collection of historic aircraft, many of which are in airworthy condition. One of the world’s leading aviation museums, it offers an in-depth look at the development of flight and the significant role aviation played in shaping modern history. Regular air shows, interactive demonstrations and knowledgeable docents make every visit unforgettable.
Claremont Museum of Art
Another jewel in Claremont’s crown, the Claremont Museum of Art highlights the city’s heritage as an art colony. The museum features an extensive collection of works by local artists, many of whom have played crucial roles in shaping Southern California’s contemporary art scene. The regularly changing exhibitions provide a new perspective with every visit and make it a dynamic place to enjoy art.
In summary, Montclair’s neighboring towns are rich in culture, history and artistic expression. The museums in the area are not only repositories of the past, but also actively participate in shaping contemporary thought and artistic innovation. Whether you’re an art lover, history buff, or just curious, these five museums near Montclair offer an enriching experience you won’t want to miss.