Museums in Washington DC

The Definitive List (2019)

Washington DC museums are among the best in the world, and include Woodrow Wilson House , Woman's National Democratic Club Museum, and dozens more institutions.

Below, we've researched and compiled a list of museums in Washington DC, plus categories like:

And everything in-between. How many museums are there in Washington DC? As of 2019, our list includes 75 awesome museums.

Washington DCmuseum

Museum Categories

All Museums in Washington DC

Woodrow Wilson House

Historic Site

The Woodrow Wilson House was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964. It was the home of the 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson after he left office until 1924 when he passed away in an upstairs bedroom. The House is shown by guided tour of the hour; tours take approximately one hour.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Woodrow Wilson House .

  • Helen Zughaib: Migrations
  • Art at Wilson House: Wilson and the World
  • The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay
Woodrow Wilson House
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $10 per person
  • πŸ“ 2340 S St NW, Washington, DC 20008

Woman's National Democratic Club Museum

Specialty Museum

The Woman's National Democratic Club Museum (WNDC) is located two blocks from Dupont Circle station. The museum is housed in a landmark 19th-century residence. Interior features include the Arts and Crafts foyer and stairwell, and an elaborate plaster ceiling in the former music room. The WNDC museum displays political campaign memorabilia, portraits, photographs, political cartoons, antique furnishings in handsomely appointed rooms, and art exhibits. Public tours are by appointment only.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Woman's National Democratic Club Museum.

  • Arts and Crafts foyer
  • Elaborate plaster ceiling
  • Political campaign memorabilia
Woman's National Democratic Club Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $-- per person
  • πŸ“ 1526 New Hampshire Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036

White House

Historic Site

The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. Public tours include the Blue Room, Red Room and Green Room; the State Dining Room; the China Room; and a view of the White House Rose Garden. Touring the White House takes some advanced planning. All public tour requests must be submitted through one’s Member of Congress up to three months in advance and no less than 21 days prior to your visit.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at White House.

  • State Dining Room
  • Green Room
  • Red Room
White House
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500

Washington Monument

Historic Site

The Washington Monument, built to commemorate George Washington, is a 555-foot tall marble obelisk located on the National Mall. It was the tallest structure in the world between 1884 and 1889 (it was overtaken by the Eiffel Tower in Paris). Timed tickets are required to ride the elevator to the 500-foot observation deck.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Washington Monument.

  • Observation deck
  • Memorial stones
Washington Monument
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 2 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20024

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Specialty Museum

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) is located adjacent to the National Mall. The USHMM is dedicated to the documentation, study, and interpretation of Holocaust history. The main exhibit spans three floors and offers a chronological narrative of the Holocaust through historical artifacts, photographs, and film footage.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

  • Permanent Exhibition: The Holocaust
  • Americans and the Holocaust
  • American Witnesses
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 100 Raoul Wallenberg Pl SW, Washington, DC 20024

United States Capitol

Historic Site

The United States Capitol is both a monument and a working office building. You'll enter the building through the Capitol Visitor Center which is open to visitors from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The Capitol Visitor Center hosts rotating temporary exhibitions, interactive programs, and offers walking tours.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at United States Capitol.

  • Architectural Models
  • Table from President Lincoln’s second inauguration
  • Visit the interpretive carts
United States Capitol
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ First St SE, Washington, DC 20004

National Museum of the US Navy

Specialty Museum

The National Museum of the United States Navy is located in the former Breech Mechanism Shop of the old Naval Gun Factory on the grounds of the Washington Navy Yard. The museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, displaying, and interpreting historic naval artifacts and artwork.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Museum of the US Navy.

  • Dive! Dive! U.S. Navy Submarines
  • The American Revolution and the French Alliance
  • The Forgotten Wars of the Nineteenth Century
National Museum of the US Navy
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 736 Sicard St SE, Washington, DC 20374

Tudor Place

Historic Site

Tudor Place is a Federal-style mansion. It was originally the home of Martha Washington's granddaughter, Martha Parke Custis Peter, and her husband Thomas Peter. The museum archive holds a collection of 5,000 books and a Manuscript Collection that includes early land records, maps, photographs, moving pictures, diaries, household receipts, correspondence, and one of only three letters extant from George to Martha Washington. The House is shown by guided tour only however, garden visits are self-guided and available whenever the museum is open.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Tudor Place.

  • The Washington Collection
  • A portrait miniature of President Washington
  • 1775 letter in which General Washington notified his wife of his appointment to lead the Continental Army
Tudor Place
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1644 31st St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Specialty Museum

The Wilderness Society Gallery, located on the first floor of The Wilderness Society’s national headquarters building in Washington DC, is home to an in-depth collection of Ansel Adams photographs. Ansel Adams, the world-famous landscape Photographer, was a Wilderness Society council member.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at The Wilderness Society Gallery.

  • The Ansel Adams Collection
The Wilderness Society Gallery
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1615 M Street NW Washington, D.C.

The Octagon House

Historic Site

The Octagon House is located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, DC. In 1898, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) established The Octagon as its national headquarters. In the 1970s, The Octagon was opened to the public as a museum.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at The Octagon House.

  • Without Regard to Sex, Race or Color
  • Architecture and history exhibits
The Octagon House
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1799 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006

Textile Museum

Specialty Museum

The Textile Museum is located within George Washington University. The museum's collection includes more than 19,000 objects and spans 5,000 years, dating from 3,000 B.C.E. to the present. They have one of the most important research collections of Oriental carpets in the world.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Textile Museum.

  • Woven Interiors: Furnishing Early Medieval Egypt
  • Fast Fashion/Slow Art
  • Textiles 101
Textile Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $8 per person
  • πŸ“ 701 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20052

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Art Museum

Together, the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) and branch museum, the Renwick Gallery, house one of the world's largest and most inclusive collections of American art, from the colonial period to the present. Significant artists represented in its collection include Nam June Paik, Jenny Holzer, David Hockney, Georgia O'Keeffe, John Singer Sargent, and many more.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Smithsonian American Art Museum.

  • Picturing the American Buffalo: George Catlin and Modern Native American Artists
  • Galleries for Folk and Self-Taught Art
  • Sculpture Down to Scale: Models for Public Art at Federal Buildings, 1974–1985
Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ F St NW &, 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument

Historic Site

The Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument is a historic house and museum located in the Capitol Hill. It was built in 1800. In the 20th century, the house became the headquarters of the National Woman’s Party, a political movement that fought for equal rights for women. The monument is named after suffragists and National Woman's Party leaders Alva Belmont and Alice Paul.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument.

  • Bust of NWP co-founder Alice Paul
  • Susan B. Anthony’s desk
Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 144 Constitution Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002

Scottish Rite Temple and Supreme Council Library

Historic Site

The House of the Temple, located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, is a Masonic temple that serves as the headquarters of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, U.S.A. Guided tours are free.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Scottish Rite Temple and Supreme Council Library.

  • President Truman’s 33rd degree collar
  • Main Library
  • George Washington Banquet Hall
Scottish Rite Temple and Supreme Council Library
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1733 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Saint John Paul II National Shrine

Historic Site

The Saint John Paul II National Shrine is a place of prayer for Catholics and welcomes people of all faiths. The Shrine houses a permanent exhibit called "A Gift of Love: the Life of Saint John Paul II" which highlights significant events in the life of Pope John Paul II and his momentous influence. The shrine is also home to the Redemptor Hominis Church and Luminous Mysteries Chapel, both of which are decorated with mosaic art.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Saint John Paul II National Shrine.

  • A Gift of Love: the Life of Saint John Paul II
  • Relic of St. John Paul II’s blood
  • Mosaic Art
Saint John Paul II National Shrine
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 3900 Harewood Rd NE, Washington, DC 20017

S. Dillon Ripley Center

Art Museum

The S. Dillon Ripley Center, a Smithsonian Institution, is located in the National Mall. The above-ground portion is only a small copper-domed pagoda. Underground it houses the Smithsonian Associates, the Discovery Theater, and the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service, as well as, a conference center, an art gallery, meeting/classrooms, and exhibition space. It connects to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the National Museum of African Art, and the Freer Gallery of Art.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at S. Dillon Ripley Center.

  • Changing exhibitions
  • The Smithsonian Associates
  • Discovery Theater
S. Dillon Ripley Center
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1100 Jefferson Dr SW, Washington, DC 20560

Art Museum

The Renwick Gallery is a branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The Gallery is located just steps from the White House in the heart of historic federal Washington, DC. Its collection and exhibitions focus on American craft and decorative arts from the 19th to the 21st century.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Renwick Gallery.

  • Ginny Ruffner: Reforestation of the Imagination
  • Michael Sherrill Retrospective
  • Connections: Contemporary Craft at the Renwick Gallery
Renwick Gallery
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1661 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006

President Lincoln's Cottage

Historic Site

President Lincoln's Cottage, also known as President Lincoln and Soldiers’ Home National Monument, is located in the Petworth neighborhood of Northwest Washington, DC. To escape both the DC heat and political pressures, President Abraham Lincoln and his family stayed in the cottage seasonally.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at President Lincoln's Cottage.

  • Lincoln’s Slippers return to the Cottage!
  • American by Belief
  • originALs: Ronald Reagan’s 1986 Immigration Act
President Lincoln's Cottage
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $15 per person
  • πŸ“ 140 Rock Creek Church Rd NW, Washington, DC 20011

The Phillips Collection

Art Museum

The Phillips Collection was founded in 1921 as the Phillips Memorial Gallery. It is located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC. The museum's permanent collection consists of 3,000 works by American and European impressionist and modern artists.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at The Phillips Collection.

  • Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • The Repentant St. Peter by El Greco
  • Time and Timelessness (The Spirit of Creation) by Augustus Vincent Tack
The Phillips Collection
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $12 per person
  • πŸ“ 1600 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Old Stone House

Historic Site

Built in 1765, the Old Stone House is the oldest unchanged building in Washington, DC. It is an example of vernacular architecture. Today the kitchen, parlor, and bedrooms are furnished as they would have been in the late 18th century.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Old Stone House .

  • The kitchen's hearth
  • A clock believed to have been made by John Suter Jr.
  • Carved wooden mantle
Old Stone House
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 3051 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

O Street Museum

Private Museum

The O Street Museum focuses on exploring the creative process. The museum is made up of five interconnected townhouses that include over 100 rooms and 32 secret doors. The collection contains 15,000 pieces of art, 20,000 books, architecture, manuscripts, music, and memorabilia.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at O Street Museum.

  • Paintings by Kurt Wenner
  • Signed scripts of the Academy Award winning trilogy Lord of the Rings
  • Letters and drawings by John Lennon
O Street Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0+ per person
  • πŸ“ 2016 O St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Newseum

Specialty Museum

The Newseum has seven levels, 15 theaters, and 15 galleries. It is an interactive museum that promotes free expression and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The museum's exhibits include the 9/11 Gallery, "which displays the broadcast antennae from the top of the World Trade Center; the Berlin Wall Gallery, whose eight concrete sections are one of the largest displays of the original wall outside Germany; and the Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery, which features photographs from every Pulitzer Prize-winning entry dating back to 1942."

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Newseum.

  • 9/11 Gallery
  • Berlin Wall Gallery
  • Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery
Newseum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $25 per person
  • πŸ“ 555 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

National Postal Museum

Specialty Museum

The National Postal Museum is located in the historic City Post Office Building. The building was constructed in 1914 and served as the Washington, DC post office from 1914 to 1986. The museum’s galleries display America’s postal history from Colonial times to the present. The museum's collections contain prestigious U.S. and international postal issues and specialized collections, archival postal documents and 3-D objects.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Postal Museum.

  • Moving the Mail
  • The William H. Gross Stamp Gallery
  • Systems at Work
National Postal Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 2 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002

Art Museum

Established in 1962 by Congress, the National Portrait Gallery has a mission β€œto tell the story of America by portraying the people who shape the nation’s history, development and culture. Part of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Portrait Gallery shares a building with the American Art Museum (also owned and curated by the Smithsonian).

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Portrait Gallery.

  • Gilbert Stuart’s β€œLansdowne” painting of George Washington
  • The β€œcracked-plate” portrait of Abraham Lincoln by Alexander Gardner
  • Andy Warhol’s portrait of Michael Jackson
National Portrait Gallery
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 8th St. NW & F St. NW, Washington, DC 20001

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Art Museum

The National Museum of Women in the Arts is "the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts." The museum hosts diverse temporary exhibitions and is home to a collection of 4,500 artworks by more than 1,000 women artists.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Museum of Women in the Arts.

  • Ulysses by Friederun Friederichs
  • Fisher Woman in Profile by Anna Ancher
  • Seated Woman with Hat by Isabel Bishop
National Museum of Women in the Arts
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $10 per person
  • πŸ“ 1250 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005

National Museum of the American Indian

Specialty Museum

The National Museum of the American Indian is part of the Smithsonian Institution. The museum's architecture, landscaping, and exhibitions were all designed in collaboration with tribes and communities from across the hemisphere in order to advance both knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Museum of the American Indian.

  • The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire
  • Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations
  • Our Universes: Traditional Knowledge Shapes Our World
National Museum of the American Indian
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Natural History Museum

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History's collection contains over 145 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, human remains, and human cultural artifacts. The collection and exhibitions both "tell the history of the planet and are a record of human interaction with the environment and one another."

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

  • African Bush Elephant
  • Butterfly Pavilion
  • David H. Koch Hall of Fossils - Deep Time
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20560

National Museum of American Jewish Military History

Specialty Museum

The National Museum of American Jewish Military History was founded in 1958. The museum "documents and preserves the contributions of Jewish Americans to the peace and freedom of the United States, educates the public concerning the courage, heroism and sacrifices made by Jewish Americans who served in the armed forces, and works to combat anti-Semitism."

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Museum of American Jewish Military History.

  • Jews in the American Military
  • Hall of Heroes: American Jewish Recipients of the Medal of Honor
  • Major General Julius Klein: His Life and Work
National Museum of American Jewish Military History
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1811 R St NW, Washington, DC 20009

National Museum of American History

History Museum

The National Museum of American History "is home to more than 1.8 million objects and more than three shelf-miles of archival collections" regarding the heritage of the United States in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific, and military history. The museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution and located on the National Mall.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Museum of American History.

  • Original Star-Spangled Banner
  • Abraham Lincoln’s top hat
  • First artificial heart
National Museum of American History
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1300 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20560

National Museum of African Art

Art Museum

The National Museum of African Art, located on the National Mall, is a Smithsonian Institution. The Museum currently has 11,861 objects from both Sub-Saharan and Arab North Africa in its collection, of which 10,746 are traditional and 1,115 contemporary. Its objects range from 15th-century sculptures and masks to multi-media contemporary art, and the photographs from photojournalists Eliot Elisofon and Constance Stuart Larrabee.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Museum of African Art.

  • Africa ReViewed: the photographic legacy of Eliot Elisofon
  • African Cosmos: Stellar Arts
  • African Textiles
National Museum of African Art
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 950 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560

National Museum of African American History and Culture

History Museum

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a Smithsonian Institution museum located on the National Mall. It is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. About 3,500 items are currently on display to the public from the museum's large collection of over 40,000 objects.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Museum of African American History and Culture.

  • Items from the SΓ£o JosΓ© Paquete Africa
  • Items owned by Harriet Tubman
  • Feet and wrist manacles
National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1400 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20560

National Guard Memorial Museum

Specialty Museum

The National Guard Memorial Museum is a military museum located in northwestern Washington, DC. It houses six galleries relating to the National Guard of the United States: Militia Era, The National Guard Comes of Age, The Citizen Soldier in World War II, Cold War Era, National Guard in the Modern Era, and Closing Sequence.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Guard Memorial Museum.

  • Brown Bess musket
  • Militia order
  • Military equipment and personal items
National Guard Memorial Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ One Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

National Geographic Museum

Private Museum

The National Geographic Museum showcases rotating exhibitions featuring the work of their explorers, photographers, and scientists, as well as, exhibitions on natural history, culture, history, and society. The museum's collection and exhibitions include iconic photography, world-famous artifacts, interactive learning stations, and behind-the-scenes stories.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Geographic Museum.

  • National Geographic: Exploration Starts Here
  • Women: A Century of Change
  • Pottery that Jacques Cousteau recovered from a shipwreck
National Geographic Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $15 per person
  • πŸ“ 1145 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Art Museum

When the NGA first opened in 1941, the collection consisted entirely of Andrew W. Mellon’s personal collection of artworks, including 126 paintings and 26 sculptures. Today the National Gallery of Art is home to exhibits spanning some 124 thousand works by more than 13 thousand artists from the Renaissance to present day!

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Gallery of Art.

  • Ginevra de' Benci by Leonardo da Vinci
  • The Portrait of Countess Ebba Sparre - Suspected Lover of a Queen
  • Little Dancer by Degas
National Gallery of Art
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20565

National Building Museum

Specialty Museum

The National Building Museum is dedicated to educating the public on the impact of architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning. The museum offers exhibitions, educational programs, and special events for all ages.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Building Museum.

  • Animals, Collected
  • Flickering Treasures
  • House & Home
National Building Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $10 per person
  • πŸ“ 401 F St NW, Washington, DC 20001

National Bonsai Foundation

Specialty Museum

The National Bonsai Foundation is the world's first museum devoted to Bonsai. The museum is located on the grounds of the U.S. National Arboretum in Northeast Washington, DC. The museum has four collections -- the Japanese, the Chinese, the North American, and the Viewing Stone.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Bonsai Foundation.

  • The Japanese Collection
  • The Chinese Collection
  • The Viewing Stone Collection
National Bonsai Foundation
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 3501 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002

National Archives Museum

History Museum

The National Archives Building is located north of the National Mall. It houses the original copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. You'll find these documents and more in the main chamber of the National Archives, the Rotunda.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Archives Museum .

  • Declaration of Independence
  • Constitution
  • Bill of Rights
National Archives Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 700 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20408

Museum of the Bible

Specialty Museum

The Museum of the Bible documents the narrative, history, and impact of the Bible. The museum's 40,000 objects and artifacts are divided among six floors each highlighting a different aspect of the Bible's history and impact.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Museum of the Bible.

  • Rare printed Bibles
  • Torah scrolls
  • Biblical papyri
Museum of the Bible
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $25 per person
  • πŸ“ 400 4th St SW, Washington, DC 20024

Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site

Historic Site

The Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site is located in Northwest Washington, DC. Mary McLeod Bethune was a world-renowned educator, civil rights champion, leader of women, and presidential adviser. She was the first African American woman to hold so high an office in the federal government. Today the house museum features permanent and changing exhibits interpreting her life and black women's history. It is open to the public for tours on Thursdays, Fridays, & Saturdays.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site.

  • A three-story Victorian townhouse
  • A two-story carriage house
Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1318 Vermont Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005

Madame Tussauds

Specialty Museum

Madame Tussauds is an internationally famous wax museum. The location in DC is the 12th venue worldwide. The collection, of course, includes wax sculptures of famous figures from politics, culture, sports, music, and television. The DC location has more waxworks of political figures than any other location.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Madame Tussauds.

  • Presidents Gallery
  • Civil Rights Room
  • Glamour Room
Madame Tussauds
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $22+ per person
  • πŸ“ 1001 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004

Lincoln Memorial

Historic Site

The Lincoln Memorial is located on the western end of the National Mall across from the Washington Monument. The interior is divided into three chambers (north, south, and central). While the central chamber houses the statue of Lincoln, the north and south side chambers contain carved inscriptions of his Second Inaugural Address and Gettysburg Address.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Lincoln Memorial.

  • Frieze and Cornice
  • The Murals
  • The Statue
Lincoln Memorial
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 2 Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington, DC 20037

Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum

Specialty Museum

The new Lillian and Albert Small Capital Jewish Museum will open just blocks from the US Capitol in 2021. The new museum's exhibition galleries will explore the past, present, and future of Jewish Washington. The historic synagogue will be the centerpiece of the new museum.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum.

  • Hand-knit lace collar worn on the Supreme Court bench by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
  • Neon sign from Abe Jacovsky’s Jewish bookstore in Wheaton, Maryland.
  • Oral history collections
Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ Washington, DC

Library of Congress

Library

The Library of Congress, located in Captial Hill, claims to be the largest library in the world. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. To get your bearings, take a free one-hour walking tour of this historic building. Its the best way to learn about its history, symbolic art and architecture and the Library’s history and work.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Library of Congress.

  • Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote
  • Comic Art: 120 Years of Panels and Pages
  • Mapping a Growing Nation: From Independence to Statehood
Library of Congress
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC 20540

Laogai Museum

Specialty Museum

The Laogai Museum is located in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. It focuses on human rights in the People's Republic of China. The exhibits shine a spotlight on the brutal and exploitative prison system, the LÑogǎi, the Chinese prison system of "Reform through Labor".

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Laogai Museum.

  • Inception
  • β€œReeducation through labor”
  • Boxed in
Laogai Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ First & Second Floor, 1901 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

L. Ron Hubbard House

Historic Site

The L. Ron Hubbard House, located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C, is also known as the Original Founding Church of Scientology. Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard lived in the home from 1955 until 1959. Today, it is fully renovated and restored and displays the chronicles of L. Ron Hubbard’s life in Washington, DC. Public tours are given on a regular basis.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at L. Ron Hubbard House.

  • Mediterranean Revival Style architecture
  • Chronicles of L. Ron Hubbard’s life in Washington, DC.
  • Photographs
L. Ron Hubbard House
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1812 19th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Kreeger Museum

Art Museum

The Kreeger Museum is a modern and contemporary art museum located in the former home of David Lloyd Kreeger and Carmen Kreeger. The collection is made up primarily of works from the 1850s to the present.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Kreeger Museum.

  • Paul Reed, 29
  • Elmer Bischoff, Girl with Mirror
  • Pierre Bonnard, Seascape, Cannes (Marine, Cannes)
Kreeger Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $10 per person
  • πŸ“ 2401 Foxhall Rd NW, Washington, DC 20007

International Spy Museum

Private Museum

The International Spy Museum's permanent collection traces the complete history of espionage, from the Greek and Roman empires to the present day. With more than 750 artifacts, it is the largest collection of international espionage artifacts on public display.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at International Spy Museum.

  • Covers & Legends
  • School for Spies
  • The Secret History of History
International Spy Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $25 per person
  • πŸ“ 700 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20024

Interior Museum

Specialty Museum

The Interior Museum's mission is to "inspire and educate Departmental employeesβ€”as well as the general publicβ€” about the ongoing stewardship of the nation’s public lands, natural resources, and cultural heritage." The Museum's collection includes 8,000+ objects of historical, cultural and scientific importance documenting the Department of the Interior's history and missions.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Interior Museum.

  • North American Indian baskets
  • Landscape paintings of the American West by Thomas Moran
  • Geological specimens
Interior Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1849 C St NW, Washington, DC 20240

Art Museum

The Howard University Art Gallery was established in 1928 in order to β€œmake revolving exhibitions of contemporary arts and crafts available for visitation and study to students.” Since then numerous purchases and gifts from friends and faculty of the University, private collectors, and art foundations have contributed to the current diverse permanent collection.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Howard University Art Gallery.

  • Henry O. Tanner’s Return from the Crucifixion
  • Artifacts of Alain Locke
  • Renaissance and Baroque Paintings
Howard University Art Gallery
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 2455 6th St NW, Washington, DC 20059

Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

History Museum

The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. is an educational foundation and museum. The society provides lectures, exhibits, classes, community events, and other educational programs as part of its mission to preserve and display the history of Washington, D.C.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Historical Society of Washington, D.C..

  • The Big Picture
  • DC Hall of History
  • The Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square
Historical Society of Washington, D.C.
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 801 K Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Art Museum

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is part of the Smithsonian Institution. It is located in the heart of DC on the National Mall. The collection is one of the most important of postwar American and European art in the world.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

  • Yoko Ono's Wish Tree for Washington, DC
  • Tino Sehgal's This You
  • Marcel Duchamp: The Barbara and Aaron Levine Collection
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ Independence Ave SW &, 7th St SW, Washington, DC 20560

Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

Private Museum

Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens is a decorative arts museum. The museum's collection includes nearly 17,000 objects from Hillwood’s collection of Russian imperial art, French 18th-century decorative art, and Marjorie Merriweather Post’s personal collection of apparel, jewelry, and accessories. The Gardens consist of 13 acres of beautiful and thoughtfully landscaped "outdoor rooms."

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens.

  • Russian Sacred Arts Gallery
  • French Drawing Room
  • Lunar Lawn
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $15 per person
  • πŸ“ 4155 Linnean Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

Heurich House Museum

Historic Site

Heurich House Museum is a Gilded Age mansion in Washington DC's Dupont Circle neighborhood. The house museum preserves the legacy of historic brewer Christian Heurich. The museum offers one-hour-long tours every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 11:30am, 1:00pm, and 2:30pm. Reservations are suggested.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Heurich House Museum.

  • Home/Brewed: How the Chr. Heurich Brewing Co. Witnessed DC History
  • "Patriarch of Brewers" The Enduring Reputation of Christian Heurich
  • A (Good) American
Heurich House Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $10 per person
  • πŸ“ 1307 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

German-American Heritage Museum of the USA

Specialty Museum

The German-American Heritage Museum of the USA (GAHM) is located in the Penn Quarter's Hockemeyer Hall in Washington DC. The museum's collection and rotating exhibitions explore the 400-year long history of Germans in America from 1600 to now.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at German-American Heritage Museum of the USA.

  • From the Black Forest to the California Desert: The Life and Work of Fritz Faiss
  • Stars and Stripes over the Rhine: The American Occupation in Germany after World War I, 1918-1923.
  • Culinary Customs: A Taste of Germany
German-American Heritage Museum of the USA
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $5 per person
  • πŸ“ 719 6th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Georgetown University Art Galleries

Art Museum

The Art Galleries of the Department of Art and Art History, located in the Walsh building and around the Georgetown campus, provide a teaching gallery environment to students, working artists, and the general public. The Spagnuolo Art Gallery is the main space for exhibitions. It hosts are three main exhibitions during the academic year.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Georgetown University Art Galleries.

  • American Arts and Crafts Ceramics
  • American Studies: 50 Years of Interdisciplinary Connections
  • Arts Advocacy in Action: The Future of Music Coalition
Georgetown University Art Galleries
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1221 36th St NW 101 & 102, Washington, DC 20007

George Washington University Art Galleries

Art Museum

The Luther W. Brady Art Gallery and the Dimock Gallery make up the George Washington University Art Galleries. They display the University's permanent art collections, as well as visiting exhibitions. The collections include painting, sculpture, and photographs, ranging from rare historic pieces to Washington and Americana to modern art.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at George Washington University Art Galleries.

  • IN FASHION: Selections from the GW Collection
  • Icons of Contemporary Art: Selections from the Luther W. Brady Collection
  • Sean Scully, Yellow Yellow Yellow Triptych, 2009
George Washington University Art Galleries
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $5 per person
  • πŸ“ 500 17th Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20006

General Federation of Women's Clubs Headquarters

Historic Site

The General Federation of Women's Clubs Headquarters, also known as the Miles Mansion, was built as a private residence in 1875. It became a social club and has served as the headquarters of the General Federation of Women's Clubs since 1922.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at General Federation of Women's Clubs Headquarters.

  • Historic rooms
  • GFWC International President's office
  • JuliWard Howe Drawing Room
General Federation of Women's Clubs Headquarters
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $10 per person
  • πŸ“ 1734 N St NW #1, Washington, DC 20036

National Deaf Life Museum at Gallaudet University

Specialty Museum

The National Deaf Life Museum at Gallaudet University hosts exhibits and programming that interpret the rich and complex deaf experience in the United States.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Deaf Life Museum at Gallaudet University.

  • Gallaudet at 150 and Beyond
  • Language, Culture, Communities: 200 Years of Impact by the American School for the Deaf
  • We are Equal: The National Fraternal Society of the Deaf
National Deaf Life Museum at Gallaudet University
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ Chapel Hall, 800 Florida Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002

Art Museum

Freer Gallery of Art is one of two Smithsonian Institutions that consists of Asian art. The Freer Gallery's collection contains objects dating from Neolithic times to the early 20th century, as well as the world's most important collection of works by James McNeill Whistler.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Freer Gallery of Art.

  • Chinese paintings
  • Whistler’s Peacock Room
  • Islamic painting and metalware
Freer Gallery of Art
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ Jefferson Drive and 12th Street, SW Washington, DC

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

Historic Site

The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site is located in Anacostia, a neighborhood in Southeast Washington DC. Cedar Hill, the home where Frederick Douglass lived from 1877 until his death in 1895, is the focal point of the site. It has been restored to its 1895 appearance and is furnished with original objects that belonged to Frederick Douglass. The only way to get inside Frederick Douglass' home is to be on a guided tour. Rangers lead daily tours at scheduled times.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.

  • Guided tours of the home
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1411 W St SE, Washington, DC 20020

Ford's Theatre

Historic Site

Ford's Theatre opened in Washington DC in August 1863. It is famous for being the site of the assassination of United States President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. Today the site consists of a theater, museum, and the Petersen House. The museum's exhibits follow Abraham Lincoln from the beginning of his presidency to the moments leading up to his assassination.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Ford's Theatre .

  • Derringer pistol
  • Booth's diary
  • Original door to Lincoln's theater box
Ford's Theatre
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $3 per person
  • πŸ“ 511 10th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

Folger Shakespeare Library

Library

The Folger Shakespeare Library is located on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. The independent research library has the world's largest collection of the printed works of William Shakespeare and is a primary repository for rare materials from the early modern period (1500–1750).

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Folger Shakespeare Library.

  • The only extant complete copy of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus first quarto, published in 1594
  • The False Folio
  • The Macro Manuscript
Folger Shakespeare Library
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 201 E Capitol St SE, Washington, DC 20003

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection

Library

Dumbarton Oaks is a historic estate in Washington DC's Georgetown neighborhood. The Museum is known for its specialized collections of Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art. It also is home to the House Collection which includes historic interiors, Asian, European, and American artworks, and interior furnishings.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

  • Byzantine Collection
  • Pre-Columbian Collection
  • House Collection
  • The Garden
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1703 32nd St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Dumbarton House

Historic Site

Located in Washington DC's Georgetown neighborhood, Dumbarton House is a Federal-style house from around 1800. The museum's collection includes 1,000+ pieces of furniture, paintings, textiles, silver, and ceramics primarily from the Federal period, 1789 to 1825, as well as, a manuscript and document collection including journals, account books, and letters that together document nearly 300 years of Nourse family life.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Dumbarton House.

  • Federal period furniture
  • Nourse family letters
  • Federal period silver
Dumbarton House
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $10 per person
  • πŸ“ 2715 Q St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Decatur House

Historic Site

Decatur House was built in 1818. Today it is a historic house museum managed by the White House Historical Association. The house is open to the public for scheduled tours on Mondays.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Decatur House.

  • Little button of ivory in a staircase banister
  • A British coin turned upside down in a brass door fixture
  • Parquet Seal of California
Decatur House
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 748 Jackson Pl NW, Washington, DC 20006

DAR Museum

Specialty Museum

The DAR Museum is run by the Daughters of the American Revolution. This art and history museum has a collection of over 30,000 objects reflecting the material culture and social history of the United States prior to 1840. It is primarily made up of decorative arts, costumes, quilts, and needlework.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at DAR Museum.

  • American Period Rooms
  • Fashioning The New Woman: 1890-1925
  • Quilt Collection
DAR Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1776 D St NW, Washington, DC 20006

Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office

Specialty Museum

Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office is a museum and historic site. It consists of the restored rooms where Clara Barton had lived and worked during the Civil War.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office.

  • Clara Barton's Restored Rooms
Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $10 per person
  • πŸ“ 437 7th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20004

Charles Sumner School

Historic Site

The Charles Sumner School was constructed and established in 1872. It was one of the earliest schools for African Americans in Washington, D.C. Today it houses a small museum, a research room, art exhibits, and the archives of the District of Columbia Public Schools.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Charles Sumner School.

  • The DC Public Schools Archives
Charles Sumner School
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1201 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Specialty Museum

The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery is one of the museums that make up the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. The gallery focuses on Asian art. The collection includes Chinese, Indian, Korean and Japanese paintings, photography, contemporary ceramics from China, 19th- and 20th-century Japanese prints, contemporary Japanese pottery, and other related Asian arts.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

  • Boy Viewing Mt Fuji, F1898.110
  • Jahangir Preferring a Sufi Shaikh to Kings from the St. Petersburg Album, F1942.15a
  • Funerary relief bust, F1908.236
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1050 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560

Art Museum of the Americas

Art Museum

The Art Museum of the Americas is the first art museum in the US that is primarily devoted to exhibiting works of modern and contemporary art from Latin America and the Caribbean. The museum's collection consists of 2000 objects in varying media including painting, sculpture, installations, prints, drawings, and photographs.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Art Museum of the Americas.

  • Carlos Cruz-DΓ­ez
  • Pedro Figari
  • Leonel Gonzalez
Art Museum of the Americas
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 201 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20006

Larz Anderson House

Historic Site

The Larz Anderson House is a Gilded Age mansion located in Washington DC's Dupont Circle neighborhood. The collection consists of European and Asian fine and decorative arts, as well as, historical American artifacts.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Larz Anderson House.

  • Two sets of Flemish tapestries
  • European landscapes paintings
  • Whimsical maps of Washington, D.C.
Larz Anderson House
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 2118 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

Anacostia Community Museum

Specialty Museum

The Anacostia Community Museum is one of twenty museums under the umbrella of the Smithsonian Institution. The museum's collection documents urban communities and the lives of urban residents, from home life and everyday activities to the community-building efforts of artists, activists, and others.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Anacostia Community Museum.

  • Anacostia, Our Neighborhood
  • Washington, D.C. Educators
  • African American Quilts
Anacostia Community Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1901 Fort Pl SE, Washington, DC 20020

American University Museum

Art Museum

American University Museum (AU) is located on American University’s main campus at the Katzen Arts Center. It consists of a three-story, 30,000 square-foot museum and sculpture garden. It hosts rotating exhibitions of contemporary art from around the globe.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at American University Museum.

  • Topographies of Life: Pam Rogers, Lynn Sures, Mel Watkin
  • Moves like Walter: New Curators Open the Corcoran Legacy Collection
  • JiΕ™Γ­ KolΓ‘Ε™ (1914–2002): Forms of Visual Poetry
American University Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016

African American Civil War Memorial Museum

War Museum

The African American Civil War Memorial Museum preserves and shares the largely ignored stories of enormous contributions made by the 209,145 members of the United States Colored Troops to the American Civil War. The Museum's collection includes artifacts, documents, primary sources, and technology.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at African American Civil War Memorial Museum.

  • Replicas of period clothing
  • Uniforms and weaponry of the Civil War
  • The African American Civil War Memorial Registry
African American Civil War Memorial Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1925 Vermont Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

National Air and Space Museum

Science Museum

The National Air and Space Museum was established in 1946. In 2018, it was the fifth most visited museum in the world and the second most visited museum in the United States. It is a research center and museum focused on the history and science of aviation and spaceflight, as well as planetary science and terrestrial geology and geophysics.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Air and Space Museum.

  • Wright brothers' airplane
  • Model of the starship Enterprise
  • Apollo 11 command module
National Air and Space Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 600 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560

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