Plans for a trip to Washington, D.C., any time soon? There are plenty of attractions to visit. However, with so many places to visit, it can be easy to miss out on the very best experiences possible. In order to make the most of your next vacation, here are the top 5 museums in the nation’s capital according to popular review sites such as TripAdvisor or Lonely Planet.
1. National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art is often rated to be the number one museum to visit in the nation’s capital because of its extensive artwork collection and knowledgeable staff. With artwork from such artists as Rembrandt, Leonard da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, and more, you will have plenty of pieces to admire.
For people that want to learn as much as they can about the artwork, tours are available at different times. The tours typically last about one hour and focuses on the history behind different pieces of work.
2. Smithsonian Institution Building
The Smithsonian Institution Building is world famous and consists of 15 specialty museums and affiliates. If you want to visit the Smithsonian, you may want to look into nearby Washington, D.C., hotels since you will need days to see everything the complex has to offer.
Within the Smithsonian, the National Air and Space Museum is considered to be the most popular of its museums. Visitors can see everything from the actual Wright’s Brothers’ 1903 Flyer to the Apollo Command Module Columbia from Apollo 11. If you only have a few hours to spend in Washington, D.C., the National Air and Space Museum will not disappoint.
The Newseum is an excellent place to visit for people that want to learn about U.S. history from a journalistic point of view. With seven levels filled with various exhibits, there is plenty to explore. However, some of the content may not necessarily be suitable for children 10 and under.
4. Hillwood Museum & Gardens
If you love to learn about history and stroll beautiful gardens, the Hillwood Museum & Garden is for you. The site is actually the grand estate of the Post Cereal heiress, Marjorie Merriweather Post, and is home to beautiful gardens and Russian and French decorative arts. While there is much to see, the site is not particularly child friendly, so young families may not benefit as much as other visitors.
5. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is a site dedicated to educating people about the rise of Hitler’s Germany and the devastation of World War II. It is a powerful and emotionally draining site to visit, but is well worth the effort. With its passionate voice, the museum is geared more toward young visitors in order to best teach them that history should not be repeated. However, you better book tickets in advance due to the museum’s popularity.