The museums that made it into our top 10 list offer visitors everything from historical artifacts, ancient aircraft, classical works of art to bold contemporary pieces and stunning architecture to explore.
METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, known as “the Met”, is the largest art museum in the United States with its permanent collection containing over two million works of art. Over 6 million people visit annually making it was the fourth most visited art museum in the world. Also named TripAdvisor’s top museum in the world for the last two years.
ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO
The Art Institute of Chicago, founded in 1879 and located in Chicago’s Grant Park, is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. Recognized for its curatorial efforts and popularity among visitors, the museum hosts approximately 1.5 million people annually. Its permanent collection includes nearly 300,000 works of art.
9/11 MEMORIAL & MUSEUM
Located at the World Trade Center in New York City, the 9/11 Memorial Museum tells the story of 9/11 through media, narratives, and a collection of monumental and authentic artifacts, presenting visitors with personal stories of loss, recovery, and hope. TripAdvisor says that this museum has already received over four million visitors.
THE NATIONAL WWII MUSEUM
The National WWII Museum is a military history museum located in New Orleans. The museum focuses on the contribution made by the United States to Allied victory in World War II. Founded in 2000, it was later designated by the U.S. Congress as America’s official National WWII Museum in 2003. The museum emphasizes the American experience in World War II.
SMITHSONIAN NATIONAL AIR & SPACE MUSEUM
The National Air and Space Museum is home to the world’s largest display of aviation and space artifacts, including nearly two million photographs and 60,000 relics including the Wright Brothers’ 1903 Flyer. The museum sees over 6 million visitors annually, making it the fifth most visited museum in the world, and the second most visited museum in the United States.
USS MIDWAY MUSEUM
The USS Midway was one of America’s longest-serving aircraft carriers from 1945 to 1991. It now serves as the USS Midway Museum located in San Diego. It houses more than 60 exhibits included a self-guided audio tour to more than 60 locations, including sleeping quarters, officers quarters, engine room, galley, bridge, brig, post office, and primary flight control.
THE GETTY CENTER
The Getty Center in Los Angeles is well known for its architecture, gardens, and views overlooking Los Angeles. The Museum features pre-20th-century paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture, decorative arts and photographs from the 1830’s through present day from all over the world. Among the artworks on display is the Vincent Van Gogh painting Irises.
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER VISITOR COMPLEX
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida features exhibits and displays, historic spacecraft and memorabilia, shows, two IMAX theaters, and a range of bus tours of the spaceport. Home to the real Space Shuttle Atlantis orbiter and the Shuttle Launch Experience, a simulated ride into space. The center also provides astronaut training experiences and simulators.
NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART
The National Gallery of Art, and its attached Sculpture Garden, is a national art museum in Washington, D.C. The Gallery’s collection of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, medals, and decorative arts traces the development of Western Art from the Middle Ages to the present, including the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the Americas.
AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
The American Museum of Natural History in New York City, is one of the largest natural history museums in the world. The museum collections contain over 34 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, human remains, and human cultural artifacts as well as specialized collections for frozen tissue and genomic and astrophysical data.