Hello there, fellow museum lovers! If you’re planning a trip to the United States, then visiting the Smithsonian museums is a must-do activity. As the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, the Smithsonian Institution boasts 19 museums and galleries, as well as the National Zoological Park, all of which are located in Washington D.C. and New York City. Each museum has its unique exhibits and collections that cater to different interests. With so many museums to choose from, we’ve put together a list of the top Smithsonian museums that you definitely don’t want to miss.
The Best Smithsonian Museums to Visit
The Smithsonian Institution, located in Washington D.C., is the largest museum and research complex in the world. It consists of 19 museums, 9 research centers, and the National Zoological Park. The Smithsonian Institution was established in 1846 and is known for its diverse collections of artifacts, specimens, and artworks. It is a must-visit destination for people of all ages who are interested in American history, culture, and science.
National Museum of American History
The National Museum of American History is an exciting place for history buffs. It houses more than 3 million artifacts that tell the story of the American people. The museum has many exhibits that showcase American innovation, technology, and culture. Some of the most popular exhibits include the Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the national anthem, First Ladies’ gowns, the Kermit the Frog puppet, and Abraham Lincoln’s top hat. The museum also has a section devoted to famous American icons like Julia Child and Muhammad Ali.
National Air and Space Museum
The National Air and Space Museum is a must-visit place for aviation enthusiasts and anyone interested in space exploration. The museum has an impressive collection of airplanes, spacecraft, and other objects that explain the history of flight. Some of the most famous exhibits include the Wright Brothers’ Flyer, the Spirit of St. Louis, and the Apollo Lunar Module. The museum also has a planetarium that offers visitors a chance to experience the universe in a unique way.
National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History is a fascinating place that takes visitors on a journey through the natural world. It has more than 144 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, rocks, and minerals. One of the most popular exhibits is the Hope Diamond, a rare and beautiful diamond that is believed to be cursed. The museum also has an exhibit on human origins which explores the evolution of humans from our primate ancestors. The Sant Ocean Hall is another popular exhibit that features a 1,500-gallon aquarium and a life-size model of a North Atlantic Right Whale.
National Museum of African American History and Culture
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a relatively new addition to the Smithsonian Institution, having opened in 2016. It is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. The museum has more than 37,000 objects in its collection and hosts a variety of exhibits and programs. Some of the most popular exhibits include the history of slavery, the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement, and the achievements and contributions of African Americans in sports, music, and the arts.
In conclusion, these are just a few of the best museums to visit when you’re in Washington D.C. The Smithsonian Institution has something for everyone, whether you’re interested in history, art, science, or culture. So, pack your bags and head to D.C. to explore these amazing museums and learn more about the world around us.
Other Smithsonian Museums Worth Visiting
National Museum of African American History and Culture
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is one of the newest additions to the Smithsonian museums, having opened in 2016.
The museum is dedicated to exploring the history and culture of African Americans, and its exhibits cover a wide variety of topics. Some of the topics explored in the museum include slavery, the Civil Rights movement, African American contributions to the arts, and contemporary African American life.
Visitors to the museum can expect to see objects and artifacts from throughout African American history, including slave shackles, Harriet Tubman’s shawl, and Chuck Berry’s red Cadillac. The museum also has an extensive collection of photographs, videos, and interactive exhibits that allow visitors to explore the history and culture of African Americans in depth.
National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery is home to the largest collection of portraits in the world, and includes portraits of some of the most famous and influential people in history.
The museum’s collection includes portraits of all of the presidents of the United States, as well as portraits of other politicians, artists, musicians, and cultural figures. Some of the most famous portraits in the museum’s collection include Gilbert Stuart’s famous portrait of George Washington, and the “cracked plate” portrait of Abraham Lincoln.
In addition to its portrait collection, the museum also features a large collection of American art, including paintings, sculpture, and photographs. Visitors to the museum can expect to see works by some of America’s most famous artists, including Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Norman Rockwell.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Smithsonian American Art Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and showcasing American art from the colonial period to the present day.
The museum’s collection includes a wide variety of art forms, including painting, sculpture, photography, and folk art. Some of the most famous works in the museum’s collection include Edward Hopper’s “Night Hawks,” Grant Wood’s “American Gothic,” and Nam June Paik’s “Electronic Superhighway.”
In addition to its permanent collection, the museum also hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, featuring works by both well-known and emerging artists.
Visitors to the museum can also explore the museum’s many interactive exhibits, which allow visitors to learn more about American art and its role in the country’s history and culture.