Have fun out of the sun and see some breathtaking paintings and other artifacts!
Museums are an adventure and exploration of our nation’s most creative works, whether they are paintings and sculptures, historical artifacts, or scientific innovations representing milestones. You see firsthand how these works have shaped our cultures, our lives and our futures. Museums can also be a welcome reprieve when fun in the sun turns into overwhelming heat, sunburns and general wipe out. There’s nothing like a wonderfully air-conditioned facility with its refreshing coolness.
Visit Some of the Top Museums in the Nation
TripAdvisor has ranked our country’s museums gauged on the quantity and quality of travelers’ reviews according to a Forbes1 interview with the TripAdvisor spokes person. Other travel experts, such as the Travel Channel2, Travel and Leisure3 and This Is Insider4 have also weighed in on their top museums.
The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art
Three out of four travel sites agreed that the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (the Met) topped the list. More than 7 million people visit the Met every year.
It is the largest museum in the country in terms of size, spanning more than two million square feet (four city blocks) and also the largest in terms of museum pieces with its more than two million works. On display are paintings from Renoir, Manet, Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Rembrandt, and other famous artists. As you can imagine, the range of works on display is vast, from art collections, architecture and artifacts of ancient Egypt to Medieval Europe and the Renaissance masters to American and modern art. The Met also contains works of Byzantine, Asian, African, Oceanian and Islamic art as well as collections of antique weapons, armor, musical instruments and costumes.
Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the country’s oldest museums and is the second largest art museum in the U.S. This Chicago museum spans more than 1 million square feet and contains an estimated 300,000 works of art. Founded in 1879, the museum’s architecture is a work of art in itself with its Beaux Arts style of Corinthian columns and friezes characteristic of Greek and Roman cultures. The museum draws roughly 1.5 million visitors per year and is famous for its paintings by Seurat, Picasso and other world-renowned artists. In fact, it contains artifacts from all over the world, exhibiting more than 5,000 years of artistic expression from the Byzantine Empire and Japanese art to contemporary American pieces.
Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art is located in the Wade Park District of Cleveland and draws more than 700,00 visitors a year, who come from all over the world. The museum is known for substantial exhibitions of Asian and Egyptian Art and contains more than 45,000 artworks. You’ll find a broad array of artworks, including Chinese Art, Modern European Art, African Art, Greek and Roman Art, Medieval Art, Japanese and Korean Art, among others. Famous artists’ paintings are on display, including Botticelli, Caravaggio, El Greco, Rubens, Renoir, Gauguin, Monet, Vincent Van Gogh and Picasso, to name a few. The museum also has on display more recent 20th century art works by Warhol, Jackson Pollock, and more. The museum contains one of the nation’s largest art libraries of more than 37,000 books and a photographic collection of roughly 47,000 images.
Smithsonian Museums, Washington, D.C.
The largest museum complex in the world, the Smithsonian Institution comprises 19 museums and galleries, the majority of which are located throughout Washington D.C. with a number of them situated near the National Mall. You have a variety to choose from, including the Air and Space Museum, American History Museum, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Natural History and the National Museum of the American Indian. More than 25 million people visit the Smithsonian Museums every year.
Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Get ready to be awed by the museum’s stunning architecture of travertine stone surfaces, metal and glass. Visitors enjoy its exquisite gardens, courtyard and breathtaking views of Los Angeles from the Santa Monica Mountains. The museum sits on top of a hill surrounded by 600 acres of natural habitat. On a clear day you can see beyond the Los Angeles skyline to the San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains on the eastern side and the Pacific Ocean on the western side. The museum holds works of art and artifacts that have been collected since the 1830’s to present day, and they include European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculptures and photographs. Notable artworks on display are Vincent Van Gogh’s painting Irises and Paul Gauguin’s Arii Matamoe (The Royal End).
The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana
The National World War II Museum opened in New Orleans in the year 2000 on June 6, in commemoration of D-Day. The building was previously a factory that built boats for D-Day and has since been converted and the space expanded to house more exhibits. The museum portrays the United States’ effort in reaching the Allied victory in World War II, and you’ll get a sense of the amphibious landings and Home Front contributions of Americans, who supported our armed forces fighting in Europe and the Pacific. You’ll see aircraft on display and bombers along with vintage vehicles, and you can take part in an interactive submarine experience. You can see the 4-D film Beyond All Boundaries that is produced and narrated by Tom Hanks and billed as a “journey through the war that changed the world.”
National 9/11 Memorial & Museum, New York City
The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum was designed to incorporate two pools, each one-acre in size, and they contain the largest man made waterfalls in the nation. These pools symbolize the Twin Towers’ footprints. The purpose of the waterfalls is to curb the city sounds and make the memorial feel like a sanctuary. White oaks are planted throughout the memorial and the 2,983 victims’ names are inscribed on the 152 parapets surrounding the pools.
The museum is underground and accessible though a pavilion. It contains artifacts from 9/11, such as steel from the Twin Towers, photographs from the wreckage. In total, the museum contains more than 40,000 images, 14,000 artifacts, more then 500 hours of video and over 3,500 oral recordings.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Titusville, Fl.
The Kennedy Space Center, located in Titusville, Florida has been the principal launch center for human spaceflight since 1968.
The Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs took place at the Kennedy Space Center. Florida guests can tour the Kennedy Space Center visitor complex, which is open to the public and contains impressive displays that include spacecrafts, such as the space shuttle Atlantis and the Saturn V moon rocket. You can see the control room used during launches, the immense crawler that carried rockets to their launch pads and meet veteran astronauts. “Heroes & Legends” is an attraction that conveys the stories of NASA’s astronauts who pioneered space.
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
The National Gallery of Art, located in Washington D.C. has artwork donated by some of the world’s top collectors, and it houses the only painting in the United States painted by Leonardo da Vinci. The gallery boasts a collection of paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, photographs and medals. You can see how Western Art developed during the Middle Ages up to present day.
The museum consists of two buildings (East and West) that are connected by an underground passage. The West Building contains an impressive collection of artwork created by European masters during the medieval period up to the 19th century, including famous paintings by Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet.
In contrast, the East Building concentrates on modern and contemporary paintings, including Matisse, Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock.
People also enjoy visiting the Sculpture Garden, which contains a reflecting pool and fountain.
The USS Midway Museum in San Diego
The USS Midway Museum has the unique distinction of being located in the United States’ longest-serving 20th century aircraft carrier (1945-1992). In 2004, the Midway Museum opened and by 2015 it was the most popular naval warship museum in the country. More than a million visitors visit the museum every year. Located at the Navy Pier in San Diego, the museum displays more than 60 exhibits and visitors can see more than 29 restored aircraft. Check out the aircraft, cockpits, videos and flight simulators. Listen to an audio tour from more than 60 locations onboard the carrier, such as the galley, bridge, engine room, officers’ quarters, etc.
Charter Your Vehicle Today
If you’re looking for transport to take a group to museums, US Coachways has the perfect vehicle waiting for you. We provide charter services for travelers all over the country and look forward to helping you plan the details of your museum excursion. For customized service, call our toll-free number at 1-888-340-9122 and speak with one of our representatives.