Trying to figure out the top 4 museums in the United States is more opinionated that it is real. After all, the total amount of museums in the U.S. is around 35,000. We don’t know anyone who has the time to create a formula and come up with the four best choices, but we will definitely give you some of the best options. Again, these are our choices alone, and are not in any order:
1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Located in the heart of Manhattan, New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the most popular choices in the U.S. We would venture to say that they win by default, considering the amount of people that live in New York City, and all the tourists that reach NYC every year. However, there are amazing views that can’t be missed.
This location offers over 400,000 pieces to their collection. One of our personal favorites is the marble portrait of the emperor Augustus, dating back to A.D. 14-37. This stone sculpture has been around for over 2,000 years, and is considered a lifetime experience to see in person.
2. The Art Institute of Chicago
Personally we go to Chicago about once every 2 years, and have been to the Art Institute of Chicago eight times. Several of the expensive pieces of artwork are found at AIC, and there is something to be said about standing right in front of a $1,000,000 painting. Add in the extensive information regarding the history of the paintings and other pieces of artwork, you could literally stay here all day.
Our favorite pieces revolve around the medieval periods. They have pieces like the Fingered Gauntlet, which was worn by one of the members of the Imperial Habsburg Family. If you’re not familiar with this, the House of Habsburg was full of Kings and Queens during its time. It was also considered the most important royal houses in Europe.
3. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Even though we have never personally been here, anything that starts with Smithsonian is a popular choice in the United States. Located in the nation’s capital, you will see everything from plant life and human evolution, to the Hope Diamond. If you are not familiar with the Hope Diamond, it’s a 45.52 carat diamond with a deep-blue color.
However, this is actually a facade, because of the trace amounts of boron within the crystal structure. Regardless, if you want to see something that is over 1 billion years old, this piece on display makes the trip worthwhile.
4. The National WWII Museum
Everyone has specific things that intrigue them, and for us it’s learning more about World Wars. In this case, World War II reshaped the United States as it is known today. The National WWII Museum offers history unlike anything you have seen on television or in the movies. Real-life events, stories of soldiers that experienced them and everything from uniforms to the technology used will be right in front of you.
We’ve been to this museum 3 times, and still have not been able to see everything there. Most importantly, it’s the only museum we’ve ever seen where we leave feeling like we are connected to it. Once you put a name with a face, and the stories they tell some 70 years ago, it’s an overwhelming feeling that will leave you feeling several different emotions.
All four of these museums will provide an enjoyable experience for all ages. Unfortunately they are not all in one location, so choose wisely.