Museums are an excellent way to explore the world’s history, art, and culture. However, many of the well-known museums charge admission fees, making it difficult for everyone to visit them. Fortunately, there are many museums in the United States that are free to the public. Here are 20 free museums across the country that you should consider visiting.
1. Smithsonian National Museum of American History
The Smithsonian National Museum of American History is a museum that displays artifacts that reflect the history of the nation, beginning with the American Revolution and continuing up to the present day. The museum is located in Washington, District of Columbia. The inaugural gowns worn by the First Ladies, Abraham Lincoln’s top hat, and the Star-Spangled Banner are some of the items that are on display for guests to view.
2. Getty Center
The Getty Center is a museum of art that can be found in Los Angeles, California. It is known for its collection of European artwork, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, and decorative arts. The campus of the museum is known for its stunning architecture and stunning gardens, which contribute to its status as a popular destination for both locals and tourists.
3. National Museum of Natural History
The Hope Diamond and a giant squid are just two of the many natural history artifacts that can be found at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, which is also part of the Smithsonian Institution and is located in the same city. The exhibits at the museum delve into a variety of subjects, including human history, marine life, and various forms of biodiversity.
4. Museum of Contemporary Art
Located in Chicago, Illinois, the Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the nation’s largest contemporary art museums. The museum’s collection includes works by artists such as Jeff Koons, Kara Walker, and Kerry James Marshall.
5. National Museum of the American Indian
Also part of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of the American Indian is located in Washington, D.C., and New York City. The museum’s exhibits explore the history and culture of Native American tribes from across the United States.
6. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is home to an extensive collection of art from around the world, including works by Monet, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh. The museum also features exhibits that explore topics such as ancient Egyptian art, contemporary art, and photography.
7. Museum of Flight
The Museum of Flight is one of the largest aviation and aerospace museums in the world, and it can be found in Seattle, in the state of Washington. Exhibits that highlight the history of aviation and space exploration can be explored by guests, and the museum’s collection of more than 160 aircraft and spacecraft can also be viewed by guests.
8. National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art, which can be found in Washington, District of Columbia, is home to an extensive collection of artwork, including works of painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from both Europe and the United States. The collection of the museum features the work of illustrious figures like Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, and Mary Cassatt, amongst others.
9. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is a contemporary art museum that features works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, and Jackson Pollock. The museum also features rotating exhibits that showcase new and emerging artists.
10. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Located in New York City, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the largest and most comprehensive art museums in the world. The museum’s collection includes art from ancient Egypt, Europe, Asia, and the Americas, including works by Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Picasso.
11. National Museum of African American History and Culture
Located in Washington, D.C., the National Museum of African American History and Culture explores the history and culture of African Americans from slavery to the present day. The museum’s exhibits feature artifacts such as Harriet Tubman’s shawl and a segregated Southern Railway train car.
12. National Portrait Gallery
Also part of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Portrait Gallery is located in Washington, D.C. The museum features portraits of important figures in American history, including presidents, artists, and athletes. Visitors can view portraits of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and other notable figures, as well as contemporary portraits of celebrities and cultural icons.
13. The Broad
Located in downtown Los Angeles, The Broad is a contemporary art museum that features works by some of the world’s most celebrated contemporary artists, including Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, and Cindy Sherman. The museum also features rotating exhibitions and a stunning architectural design.
14. Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest and most renowned art museums in the United States. The museum’s collection includes more than 300,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from around the world.
15. The National WWII Museum
Located in New Orleans, Louisiana, The National WWII Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of World War II. Visitors can explore exhibits that showcase the war’s impact on the United States and the world, including a collection of historic aircraft and vehicles.
16. Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston is a non-collecting institution that focuses on contemporary art and artists. The museum’s exhibits feature works by local and international artists and explore topics such as social justice, identity, and technology.
17. The Museum of the City of New York
The Museum of the City of New York explores the history and culture of New York City, from its earliest days to the present. Visitors can view exhibits that showcase the city’s art, culture, and diversity, including a collection of more than 1.5 million photographs.
18. Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum features a vast collection of artwork from around the world, including American Indian art, Western art, and contemporary art. The museum’s collection includes works by artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Vincent van Gogh, and Claude Monet.
19. National Museum of Women in the Arts
Located in Washington, D.C., the National Museum of Women in the Arts is the only museum in the world dedicated solely to women artists. The museum’s collection includes works by artists such as Frida Kahlo, Mary Cassatt, and Georgia O’Keeffe.
20. The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit is a non-collecting museum that features rotating exhibits of contemporary art and hosts events and performances by local and international artists. The museum’s exhibits explore a wide range of topics and mediums, including painting, sculpture, performance art, and video.
Which ones will you visit?
These are just a few of the many free museums in the United States that offer visitors a chance to explore the world’s history, art, and culture without breaking the bank. Whether you’re interested in ancient artifacts or contemporary art, there’s a museum on this list that’s sure to capture your interest. So the next time you’re looking for a fun and educational activity, consider visiting one of these free museums