15 Most Visited Museums in the USA

  • UPDATED Feb 15, 2018
Sometimes taking the much-beaten path is perhaps the best way for enlightenment. And so here’s a list of the 15 most visited museums in the USA, that vastly enlighten on many fronts than one. Science, History, Math, and Arts, basically ever stream has a beautiful abundance of knowledge and data that is congregated at one place for you to see and learn. These museums are beyond average and they mean serious stuff! So check them out as you get ready for some major edification and along with it come marvelous overwhelming moments! Spread across the nation, most of the popular ones lie in the hotspot regions of Washington, New York and Illinois and the Smithsonian Institution parents most of them.
Given below are the most visited Museums in USA:

1. National Museum of Natural History - Washington, DC

Image source: Wikipedia.org  

Dedicated to stirring curiosity, discovery, and learning about the natural world through its supreme research, collections, exhibitions, and education outreach programs, the National Museum of Natural History is the world’s prominent museum and research complex. It opened in 1910, and since then has had many curious souls flocking to it. From culture to gemology, this museum will surprise you with the wide array of displays here. Spread across a whopping 1.5 million square feet, this museum doesn’t cease amusing you! What you must look out for here? 30 million insects carefully pinned into tiny boxes, 4 million plants pressed onto sheets of paper in the Museum’s herbarium, 7 million fish in liquid-filled jars, and 2 million cultural artifacts!

2. California Academy of Sciences - San Francisco, California

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Dedicated to discovering, explaining, and nourishing life on Earth, the California Academy of Sciences is located at the Golden Gate Park, SF. Interestingly this is the only museum that has an aquarium, planetarium, and a natural history museum in one place! Along with these, the museum also conducts innovative programs in scientific research and education. The museum is sheer brilliance with high quality knowledge that is actually easy to understand. The highlight of the museum are the many butterflies in the rainforest, flapping away around you! Absolute value for money here. Don’t miss the very informative earthquake exhibit as well. 

3. National Air and Space Museum - Washington, DC


Image source: flickr.com/Don DeBold  

With more than thousands of objects on display, the National Air and Space Museum is the largest of the Smithsonian Institution’s museums. A lunar rock you can touch, is one the main attraction of this place that draws visitors here. Home to the largest collection of artefacts of human flight, you are sure to be awestruck at this marvelous museum in Washington D.C. Tours and educational activities for both children and adults give detailed information of all the articles on display. This larger than life experience will keep you wanting more of the aviation aircrafts and space phenomena. 

4. Museum of Science and Industry - Illinois, Chicago

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The Museum of Science and Industry provides a unique experience inspiring and motivating children in achieving their fullest potential of science. Remarkably, the museum’s existence was a result of the founder, Julius Rosenwald’s child’s enthrallment at an interactive museum display, which influenced Julius to share this experience with Chicago. Having hosted more than an enormous 180 million visitors, this undoubtedly is one of the most visited museums in the USA. The events and exhibitions provide a uniquely memorable experience. All in all, a wholesome experience of natural history, cultural history, savvy science, art, aquatic world and other planets, is what you can expect at the Museum of Science and Industry. 

5. The Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York, NY

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Perhaps the most popular museum of the States, The Metropolitan Museum of Art has millions of visitors congregating annually. What you will find over here are 2 million works compassing 5,000 years from ancient Egypt, Europe’s classics to American and modern work! Popularly known as the Met, this museum also offers online edification, now could it get any better?! Aspiring to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects, since its foundation in 1870, this is one place where art comes alive right before your eyes. Its events and exhibitions reveal some great insights on unexpected connections across time and various cultures.

6. American Museum of Natural History - New York, NY

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Located in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the American Museum of Natural History is a beautiful structure itself. Made up of 27 interconnected buildings. One of the largest in the world, the AMNH consists of 45 permanent exhibition halls. These halls include a biodiversity, environmental halls, the Hall of Ocean Life, and some more halls. This is also one of the world’s preeminent scientific and cultural institutions, the museum constantly thrives to advance in its global mission to discover, interpret, and disseminate information about literally everything that the universe is made up of. Renowned for spectacular exhibitions and scientific collections, this serves as a field guide to the entire planet and present a panorama of the world's cultures.

7. National Museum of American History - Washington, DC

Image source: wikipedia.org  

Another one from the Smithsonian Institute, the National Museum of American History too attracts millions of visitors to it yearly. This is a free museum, where entrance fees are not applicable and everything else is free too. Featuring varied factors of the American history, the museum includes showcases of social, political, cultural scientific, and military history events. The unmatched assortments, severe research, and dynamic civic outreach give an upper hand experience at this museum. Staying true to its name the NMAH endeavors to help people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. 

8. National Gallery of Art - Washington, DC

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With a collection made up of European and American art from the Renaissance period to modern day works, the National Gallery of Art is every art lover’s dream! Bringing an international flare to the museum are the frequent visiting exhibitions. The museum houses work of da Vinci, Jackson Pollock, Monet, Manet amongst many other notable artists. The museum too is free of charge. The east building and the west building form the main portions of the gallery. A sculpture garden too is a must visit when you come here. The museum also holds film screenings and informative Sunday lectures.

9. Field Museum of Natural History - Illinois, Chicago

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Highly passionate about what they do the Field Museum of Natural History is truly one of its kind. Inspiring curiosity about life on Earth, the FMNH explores the world’s existence so that it can become a better place to live in. With highly interesting exhibitions, collections, and research on story of life on Earth and scientific mysteries respectively, science here translates into action for a healthy planet. Anyone who comes to Chicago, has to visit this museum. With a lot to see, a day’s tour is ideal. A great place for kids and adults alike. The German U-boat especially is one of the most popular attractions of this museum. 
Plan a weekend trip at these Top Aquariums in USA

10. The Art Institute of Chicago- Illinois, Chicago

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At The Art Institute of Chicago behold art that couldn’t get any more mesmerizing. With a mission to collect, preserve, and interpret works of art of the highest quality from across the globe for the inspiration and education of our visitors, the museum comprises of approximately 300,000 works of arts. These include ancient as well as modern creations. Subjective talks, exhibitions, and events too, are held here. The non-art lovers too are ought to fall in love with this place. You can even click pictures of most of the exhibits here (without flash). The building is huge with lots of floors and aisles, so you may definitely need to ask for directions. 

11. Denver Museum of Nature & Science - Denver, Colorado

Image source: flickr.com/Ted Eytan  

Fancy some dinosaurs, rocks and minerals? This is the place to head! The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is a fabulous stop for families and anyone who is inquisitive about nature and science in general. When in Denver, you cannot miss a visit to this place. Along with the permanent exhibits, the museum also has some great temporary exhibits, having topics as diverse as the Mayan’s culture. Perfect to take the kids out for a day and let them free, running around in the greens. What more? They even have a zoo here! Everything that a good day looks like, right here. Don't miss this top museum in America for kids.
Also take your kids to these Top 10 Zoos in the USA

12. The J. Paul Getty Center - Los Angeles, California

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In one word, this place is simply; brilliant! Home to some of the best artwork in the world, The J. Paul Getty Center seeks to inspire curiosity. The visual arts collected here are represented in a manner that will be understanding and enjoyable. All the works of art here, are of outstanding quality and historical importance. With art gathered from all corners of the world, the European paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, especially are to keep a lookout for. The total number of arts build up to a huge number of 44,000 works here. The architecture of the museum is awestriking too. Definitly the best museum in USA for art lovers.

13. Museum of Science - Boston, Massachusetts

Image source: wikipedia.org  

Situated in Boston, the Museum of Science leads with a mission to change the nation’s relation with science and technology. The displays here are super scientifically engaging and fun at the same time. A theatre showing a short film about the polar continents is quite gripping too. History, arts, geography all academic subjects can be studied here. Perfect to get your children studying even on a holiday! Other than the exhibits, there are some pretty good activities too that can make you and the kids entertained. Not many are fond of the planetarium here, but the 4D theatre steals the show!

14. The Hall of Human Life at the Museum of Science - Boston, Massachusetts

Image Source: mos.org

The Hall of Human Life at the Museum of Science is a unique experience for everyone. Hands-on activities for every age. Here, you can have a good time as well as learn some fun stuff, at the same time. However, the area of this museum is huge, and will require you to spend an entire day here, if you wish to see all the works displayed here. This is your chance to learn about the evolution of science in today’s world! Not just this, but the museum is an enlightening blend of history and science. Specially, look out for the "What happens when you microwave" exhibit!

15. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden - Washington, DC

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The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, is one of the "big five" modern art museums in the USA Located next to the Natural History Museum, this museum has some splendid sculptures outside too, before you step in, it’s great to check these out. What to expect here? Art that pushes boundaries! Even for those who come to the mall, and want a short escapade from the crowd, the circular exhibition space outside the actual museum, will be superb. The basement of the museum has fascinating animation and video art exhibits. The best part of the museum, however, is the very exciting gift shop, which is the best among all the other gift shops at the other museums.  
Indeed, USA has a lot of museums that are thoroughly enlightening, and the above mentioned are the best of the best! So put on a wizard hat for the much captivating experience!
Featured image source: wikimedia.org  

A deep-dyed Piscean, Seema is a dreamer. This extends to the fact that she is seldom in another world of her's or dreaming of the place she would rather be. A wild-child at heart and a keen observer otherwise, Seema's free-spirited psyche is eternally quenching for new experiences. There is no poison for her as restorative as Life, she is the one who will give you the cliched 'I-am-high-on-life', should you offer her a drink. She gets hungover on the feel of a new place, food and conversations with strangers! All this adding to the way she feels and writes!

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