Vacations to United States Museums

Vacations to United States Museums
There are an estimated 17,500 museums throughout the United States. The decision to vacation to one or a few of them is daunting at best. From the Smithsonian Institution to the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, these educational---and sometimes off-the-wall---venues offer wonderful learning experiences for everyone.

Educational Museums

The Smithsonian Institution is the first museum to come to mind when considering educational museums in America. With 19 museums and nine research centers, the exhibits offer something for every interest. GoSmithsonian.com also offers visitors the ability to plan hotel stays and other aspects of a vacation while exploring the Smithsonian's sites.

Smithsonian Institution
1100 Jefferson Drive SW
Washington, DC,‎ 20013
202-633-1000‎
si.edu

For the West Coast, consider San Francisco's Exploratorium, "the museum of science, art and human perception." A hands-on museum, this is an especially family-friendly experience and a great way to spark a love of science in the young and young-at-heart.

Exploratorium
Palace of Fine Arts
3601 Lyon St.
San Francisco, CA 94123
415-561-0360
exploratorium.edu

Off-the-Wall Museums

Philadelphia's Mütter Museum was originally a teaching tool for future doctors to learn about "human medical anomalies." Its collection includes 20,000 specimens, models, memorabilia, apparati and portraits, according to the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Though this may be disturbing for young children, it promises to be an unforgettable addition to a vacation.

Mütter Museum
19 S. 22nd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-3097
215-563-3737
collphyphil.org/visit_mutter.htm

Farther south lies the Devil Rope Museum of McLean, Texas, dedicated wholly to barbed wire. It includes sculptures composed of barbed wire, the "evolution of the American cowboy" exhibit and a demonstration of the construction of barbed wire. Certainly a specialty museum, it promises to "present every detail and aspect of barbed wire."

Devil's Rope Barbed Wire Museum
100 Kingsley St.
McLean, TX 79057
806-779-2225
barbwiremuseum.com

Children's Museums

The Louisiana Children's Museum boasts an "Access/ABILITY" exhibit to teach able-bodied children about living as a disabled person and helping children "discover how similar we all are" with American Sign Language and more. Giant bubbles and "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" round out the offerings.

Louisiana Children's Museum
420 Julia St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
504-586-0725, ext. 210
lcm.org

The Children's Museum of Denver features a puppet theater, engineering exhibit and "Ready Vet Go!" for aspiring veterinarians. The Center for the Young Child is designed "for newborns through four years" and offers a safe space for learning motor skills, cognitive skills and social skills. The wide age range served makes this ideal for families with multiple children.

The Children's Museum of Denver
2121 Children's Museum Drive
Denver, CO 80211
303-433-7444
mychildsmuseum.org

Article Written By Amanda Courtney

A writer since 2000, Amanda Courtney worked as the news and copy editor for "The Lion's Roar," her collegiate newspaper, and as copy editor of the yearbook "Le Souvenir." She holds a Bachelor of General Studies with concentrations in English and mass communications from Southeastern Louisiana University.

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