Museums provide some of the most unique, educational, and memorable student experiences when traveling, not to mention the amount of local culture and history gained. Sometimes finding just the right museum for your student group can be hard, between catching and keeping their attention and taking them somewhere they will truly learn something. We understand the difficulties, so that’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 9 museums in the United States, a collection of the most classic, prestigious, educational, and outright fun must-see museums we could find!
Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York, NY
- This New York landmark is a 145-year-old oasis of art, complete with a beautiful rooftop garden and great views of Central Park. Ranked the number one art museum in the country and fourth in the world, the Met is a national landmark. Enjoy the Met’s collection of modern art, ancient Egyptian art, and even art of the Old Masters on this must-see stop!
2. Please Touch Museum - Philadelphia, PA
- Throw out everything you thought you knew about museums as you are invited to touch over two floors worth of fun interactive displays ranging from the Rainforest to the Rabbit hole, even including a massive maze and Clifford the Big Red Dog.
3. Art Institute of Chicago - Chicago, IL
- When in the Windy City you absolutely must stop at the Art Institute of Chicago, a world-famous museum filled with amazing contemporary and modern art. See pieces from Andy Warhol and Pollock, as well as classic works like American Gothic and Water Lilies, all right alongside the picturesque Millennium Park.
4. Exploratorium - San Francisco, CA
- This must-see San Francisco stop allows kids of all ages to explore a 21st-century learning lab full of over 600 different displays, ranging from educational mazes to total darkness experiences. Enjoy the park and waterfront scenic spot typical of California!
5. National WWII Museum - New Orleans, LA
- New Orleans offers one of the very best American history museums, the National WWII Museum, showing interactive exhibits, artifacts, and personal histories to portray the American war experiences. Enjoy the onsite 4D film opportunities here as well.
6. Getty Center - Los Angeles, CA
- The Richard Meier design and Travertine Stone exterior only begin to show the magnificent wonders inside the Getty Center, full of gorgeous gardens, beautiful sculptures, and classic works by masters such as Van Gogh and Rembrandt.
7. Chihuly Garden + Glass - Seattle, WA
- Head to Seattle for the Chihuly Glass Garden, Dale Chihuly’s personal playground of pieces that have gained quick worldwide attention. Explore the galleries and glasshouse to see the famous glassblower in his natural habitat and enjoy the views of the close-by Space Needle while doing so.
8. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum - Washington D.C.
- D.C. has tons to offer when it comes to museums, but this stop, in particular, includes one of the most comprehensive collections of air and spacecraft in the entire world. Learn the history of aviation, planetary science, and space flight all under one, fairly massive and impressive, roof!
9. American Museum of Natural History - New York, NY
- New York hits it out of the park again with this historic (ca. 1867) must-stop in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, across from Central Park. See ancient fossils, mammals, meteorites, and even Native American artifacts at one of the absolute largest natural history museums in the world.
- California Science Center - Los Angeles, CA - All the science fun you can handle!
- USS Midway Museum - San Diego, CA - One of the top maritime museums in the world!
- Center For Puppetry Arts - Atlanta, GA - An odd yet loving history of Kermit the Frog.
- City Museum - St. Louis, MO - You’ll have so much fun playing you’ll forget you’re learning!