Dauntless JaunterExplore • Educate • Experience • Enlighten
United States Cities With the Best Museums (Art, History, Science & More)

United States Cities With the Best Museums (Art, History, Science & More)


Embark on a journey through time and space and learn something new in the process with our guide to the top United States cities with the best museums.

As the age-old saying goes, “Those who don’t learn history are destined to repeat it.”

Unfortunately, learning history from a boring textbook or tedious lecture can be rather taxing on the brain. In fact, learning anything in this format can become dull after a while.

Sometimes, the best way to learn about the world is to get out and experience things firsthand. You can encounter priceless artifacts and ancient cultures within the comfortable confines of a museum.

This guide to the top United States cities with the best museums will serve as an invaluable aide during your quest for knowledge.


The Field Museum of Natural History is one of the best museums in any US cities
The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Taken by S. Hannan via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Sports and pizza are often the first things that come to mind when one thinks of the Windy City, but Chicago is so much more than that.

As the largest city in the Midwest, Chicago serves as a hub of history, art, and culture. The city’s Museum Campus spans 57 acres along the shores of Lake Michigan and includes several museums, each of which is dedicated to a different area of study. Some of the city’s most notable museums include the Field Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Science and Industry.

At the Field Museum, you can make the acquaintance of Sue, the largest and best-preserved T-Rex in the world, or you can stop by the Art institute and view iconic works such as American Gothic and Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. You can even become a mad scientist and create your very own tornado at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Related read: 10 Impressive Restaurants with the Best Views in the United States

New York City

The Morgan Library & Museum, formerly the Pierpont Morgan Library, is one of the best library museums in the country
The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City. Taken by S. Yin via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

The tall buildings and bright lights of New York City could never dim the glow of the fantastic museums that call this city home.

New York City is well-known for its illustrious art museums, such as the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art, or MoMA, as locals call it.

History museums also abound in the Big Apple, allowing visitors the unique opportunity to step back in time. At the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, you can trace the history of your forefathers and experience what life was like for newcomers in the early 1900s.

You can also recreate your favorite scenes from the film Night at the Museum at the American Museum of Natural History. Here you can come face-to-face with an Easter Island moai statue, ponder the intricacies of the universe at the Rose Center for Earth and Space, or recline in the shadow of a 94-foot blue whale model.

Related read: Why are New Yorkers rude?

Washington, D.C.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC
Inside the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History on the National Mall. Taken by Q. Villarreal via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

When it comes to the top United States cities with the best museums, Washington, D.C. is perhaps the cream of the crop.

The nation’s capital is home to some of the most impressive and renowned museums in the world. The Smithsonian Institute is comprised of 20 different museums, each with its own area of expertise. Every museum in the Smithsonian Institute is completely free to the public, allowing visitors unbridled access to some of the most interesting historical artifacts.

The National Air and Space Museum houses a wide assortment of aircraft, both real and imaginary, including the Apollo 11 command module and a model of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek. Keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of Dorothy’s ruby slippers or Darth Vader’s mask at the National Museum of American History, or wander among heralded works at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

For further reading, check out our United States destination guide.

Brynne Boyke
Written by
Brynne Boyke
Join the discussion

Dauntless Jaunter