3 Top-Choice Museums in Washington DC

There is nothing quite like the famed Smithsonian Institution, a massive collection of 19 art-stuffed museums, many lined up side-by-side along the National Mall. From rockets to dinosaurs to Rodin sculptures to the 45-carat Hope Diamond, these legendary Washington, DC museums house a multitude of riches.  You can thank James Smithson for the pleasure. The brainchild of eccentric Englishman, James Smithson bequeathed over half a million dollars to the USA back in 1826 to launch these modern marvels.  The Smithsonian now holds over 140 million artworks, artifacts, scientific specimens, and other pieces in its treasure trove of museums. Mr. Smithson’s directed that they all be free, for always. 

Reynolds Center for American Art & Portraiture

The Reynolds Center is one of the city’s most excellent museums. This is a Smithsonian venue that combines the American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery into one enormous collection of American art. Indeed, the artwork on display here is unmatched anywhere in the world. View famed original works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer, Andy Warhol, and many more celebrated American artists. Don’t miss the Luce Foundation Center on the 3rd and 4th floors. This open storage area is stuffed with more than 3000 glorious paintings, miniatures, sculptures, and folk-art pieces. The museum also houses a first-floor glass-roofed inner courtyard dotted with trees and marble benches. It’s a lovely spot for a bring-your-own picnic or to eat sandwiches ordered at the cafe.

National Air and Space Museum

This legendary museum in Washington, DC’s National Mall contains hugely popular museum exhibits, including the:

  • Wright brothers’ flyer
  • Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St Louis
  • Chuck Yeager’s Bell X-1
  • Amelia Earhart’s natty Vega 5B 
  • Howard Hughes’ H-1 Racer 

Kids and adults alike enjoy strolling through the Skylab Orbital Workshop and viewing the ‘Apollo to the Moon’ exhibit. Immersive experiences abound and include an IMAX theater, flight simulators, and a planetarium. Exhibits are in the process of being overhauled until 2025, adding new displays such as Destination Moon, a look at the history of lunar exploration. Other exhibitions are being refreshed and rejuvenated. Furthermore, more space and aviation-related pieces are housed in Virginia at the Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center annex.

National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art consists of two buildings in Washington, DC’s National Mall. They hold hundreds of masterpieces for your continued enjoyment. The West Building showcases European art through to the early 1900s, and the East Building displays modern and contemporary art. According to Worker’s Compensation Lawyers in Washington DC, An underground walkway connects the two buildings and is made extraordinary by Leo Villareal’s light sculpture, Multiverse. You can spend a full day here easily, as there are plentiful in-house cafes. Consider joining one of the volunteer-led tours or taking advantage of a multi-language tour audioguide, which introduces you to the gallery’s highlights. There’s also an audioguide just for kids. Moreover, free classical concerts and films regularly take place fall through spring. Washington, DC has many more thrilling museums beyond the Smithsonian. Free ones include the haunting US Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Gallery of Art. The National Archives and Library of Congress are government-run and aren’t technically museums, but they hold museum-caliber displays and exhibits. There are a handful of impressive admission-charging museums, as well.