Start at the National Museum of Natural History where your guide will take you to visit the highlights of the collection, housed in a massive building that covers the area of 18 football fields. Gaze into the world-famous Hope Diamond, whose brilliant blue sparkle, and immodest size of 46 karats that captured the attention of former owner Marie Antoinette. Wander through the displays of gems and minerals, including the Dom Pedro Aquamarine, the worlds largest gem of its type, which glows brilliantly from within. Travel back in time to learn about death rituals while exploring real mummies from Ancient Egypt. Then step out of the past into the wild, exploring the mighty polar bears, elephants, and giraffes that roam across earths surface. From the land, jump into the sea at the Ocean Hall, where youll discover a live coral reef exhibit as well as a 45-ton whale, Phoenix, which is a replica of a real living what that the museum tracks.
Then move to the National Gallery of Art and follow your guide through one of Americas best collections of artwork produced by Renaissance artists, French Impressionists, and great American painters. See works from Claude Monet, Raphael, Gilbert Stuart, Vincent Van Gough, and Edgar Degas, as well as more modern artists like Picasso, Pollock, Warhol, and OKeefe, as you learn whats really behind the creation of some of these pieces. Your guide leads the way through the halls of the museum, telling stories, and stopping at famous works of art. Some pieces youll see on this tour include Ginevra de Benci by Leonardo da Vinci, Self Portrait by Vincent Van Gogh, and Woman with a Parasol by Claude Monet. Listen as your guide fills you in on the techniques behind some of the paintings, as well as some of the history and scandals that happened because of them.
By the end, youll have experienced two of the Smithsonians most spectacular galleries in one convenient tour.