I'm taking an art history class this semester and one of our assignments involved going to a museum and critiquing a piece of art. The closest museum to me is the Long Beach Museum of Art-- and it has free admission on Fridays (plus free parking any day).
Before this, the last time I'd gone to the museum was when I was in first or second grade, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. It's a fairly small museum, but the collections they had on display were amazing. There was a lot of abstract pieces that were unexpectedly emotional-- my favorites were done by J. Esteban Perez, whose work is all done with enamel on copper sheets, which I thought was pretty genius. There were also a lot of great photography pieces, and a really interesting exhibit involving one artist's woodwork.
I took pictures, but I don't think I'm technically supposed to post them? Which is fine by me, because I highly recommend that you go see for yourselves. Particularly the woodwork exhibit-- the artist, whose name I've unfortunately forgotten-- made a ton of really beautiful wooden sculptures and cabinet-type things, most of which have some kind of decoration that involves porcupine quills and minerals. They were honestly really cool.
Plus, I'm told that the cafe there is amazing. It was closed when I went, but I at least enjoyed the art, the view of the beach, and the area. That part of Long Beach is a major shopping/beach/restaurant strip, so it makes the trip all the more enticing.