10 of the Best Museums in the USA

The USA is a wonderfully diverse country, with countless attractions to suit all interests. There are some wonderful Museums that are waiting to be explored which will help you learn all about the heritage of the nation, the lifestyle of the people, art from the modern and bygone eras, plus wonderful explorations and discoveries. Check out our Top 10 USA Museum guide for more…

The Smithsonian Institution was established in 1846 and located in Washington DC. Widely regarded as the biggest Museum complex and research area in the world, it is comprised of 19 Museums in total, 9 research centres and the National Zoo. The African and American Art Museums (the Renwick Gallery) and Space Exploration Museum are well worth exploring, along with the American History and the American Indian Museum. In all, there are over 130 million items in the collection of the Museum, with its own Police force to protect the exhibits and items!

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was created in 1872 and is located at 5th Avenue, Manhattan, New York, on the east side of Central Park. Home to over two million works of art, the main building of the Museum is known as the Met and is one of the largest art galleries in the world. If you are interested in medieval and Renaissance art, check out “The Cloisters” area.

The collection of art is immense, with works from Ancient Egypt to the European Masters. It also holds a collection of historic musical instruments and ancient weaponry. The Met has been measured at nearly a quarter of a mile long, and encompasses two million square feet!

The J.Paul Getty Museum covers two locations, one at the Getty Centre in Los Angeles and the other at the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades LA, and was established in 1954. The collection at the Getty Centre contains art from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age, while at the Getty Villa there is ancient art from Rome and Greece.

The Museum of Modern Art is located in Midtown Manhattan, New York and was founded in 1929. It attracts approximately 2.5 million visitors a year. It is known worldwide as being the home of modern art – it has a huge collection of modern and contemporary arts from architecture, design, drawings, and paintings to film and electronic media. It has been estimated that there are over 300,000 books and publications housed in the Museum. The award-winning restaurant called “The Modern” attracts huge crowds.

The Museum of Fine Arts is located at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachussetts, and attracts on average one million visitors a year. It is home to nearly half a million treasured works of art. The Museum was officially founded in 1870 and the current site dates from around 1909. The Japanese, Egyptian and American art collections are outstanding. The Museum is also closely linked to the local Boston art academy called the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and its sister Museum Nagoya in Japan.

The Field Museum is located in Chicago, Illinois, and sits on Lake Shore Drive near Lake Michigan, in a beautiful and scenic area called the Museum Campus of Chicago. The Museum was founded in 1893. Some of the most alluring and inciting exhibits at the Museum are : Sue, which is possibly the largest, most preserved and complete fossil of a Tyrannosauras dinosaur in the world, complete with replica head! There are also some 23 human mummies from Ancient Egypt on display, along with a quite large collection of native American artefacts. The “Evolving Planet” exhibition is well worth viewing, it gives a concise description of the history and evolution of our world.

The Cleveland Museum of Arts is located in the University Circle area of Cleveland, Ohio. The Museum houses over 40,000 works of art. Admission to the permanent galleries is free to the public, with admission prices levied for some exhibitions. At present the Museum is being significantly renovated. June 2008 saw the re-opening of 19 galleries which are located in the most historic building of the Museum, the 1916 Building.

The Salvador Dali Museum is located on the campus of the University of South Florida St.Petersburg, and has the largest amount of works from the artist Salvador Dali outside of the European area. The collection of the artist’s works at the Museum include nearly 100 oil paintings, lots of graphics and prints, watercolours and plenty of written material from the great artist.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the largest children’s Museums in the world and is located in Indianapolis City in the State of Indiana. The Museum was founded in 1925, with the current building created in 1976. There are six levels to the Museum, with planetariums, Egyptian pyramids recreated, play areas for children, together with research areas representing the cultures and traditions of different nations in the world. There is a science section, and a “Dinosphere” section, with dinosaur fossils to further entrall the young ones in the family!

The Dallas Museum of Art is located along Woodall Rodgers Freeway in Dallas, Texas. Established in 1903, the collections at the Museum include the $20 million Hamon Building collection and the $38 million Reves collection, along with Egyptian art. The Reves collection is housed in a beautiful recreation of their house in France in the Museum, and features work by the Impressionist and Modernist painters, from Cezanne to Van Gogh.

So there you have it – a guide to ten of the best Museums to visit in the USA. In order to get to the wonderful Museums that we have listed, your best bet is to hire a car. Check out our Car Hire USA  page.

Have you visited some of these Top 10 USA Museums we have mentioned in the past? Have you been to a Museum that you really enjoyed that was not on our list? Please let us know – as always we appreciate your comments!