The Smithsonian Museums are collectively referred to as the Smithsonian Institution and is the world's largest museum complex and research organization. The Smithsonian is comprised of 19 museums, 16 of which are in Washington, DC, and the National Zoo. The Smithsonian Museums provide visitors to Washington, DC a glimpse into the past, the present and the future. This comprehensive guide will help you plan you visit.
National Museum of African Art
The Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art focuses on the visual arts of Africa that intertwine spiritual beliefs with social purpose. Visitors to the National Museum of African Art will see a beautiful collection of textiles, masks, tools, ceramics, musical instruments and the many tangible objects that collectively tell a rich story of Africa’s history.
Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture
The Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture is a museum dedicated to documenting, preserving and interpreting African American history from local and community history perspectives.
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery form the national museum of Asian Art for the U.S. The Freer Gallery holds a collection of 19th- and early 20th-century American art, including the world's largest number of works by James McNeill Whistler.
The S. Dillon Ripley Center
The S. Dillon Ripley Center is located on the National Mall next to the Smithsonian Castle. Here you will find the Smithsonian International Gallery, Smithsonian Associates, and the Discovery Theater.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is dedicated to international 20th Century Art. Visitors will get to view creations by Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky, and Clyfford Still. Located on the National Mall, the museum and the Sculpture Garden are a favorite stop for visitors.
National Air and Space Museum
The National Air and Space Museum houses hundreds of artifacts including the original Wright 1903 Flyer, the Spirit of St. Louis, the Apollo 11 command module, and a lunar rock sample that visitors can touch.
National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, located in Chantilly, VA, houses the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay and Space Shuttle Enterprise.
National Museum of American History
Renovations on the National Museum of American History were completed in 2008. Guests can see the original Star Spangled Banner, Lincoln's top hat, and Muhammad Ali's boxing gloves among a treasure of items that tell the American tale.
National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History is a favorite among young and old. Visitors won’t want to miss the dinosaurs, the Sant Ocean Hall and the Butterfly Pavilion. With more than 126 million natural science specimens and cultural artifacts there is plenty to see for everyone.
National Museum of the American Indian
The National Museum of the American Indian is the first national museum dedicated to the preservation, study, and exhibition of the life, languages, literature, history, and arts of Native Americans.
National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery preserves the visual aspects of American history, from the individuals who led the U.S. to those who wrote about her, to the great inventors who helped build her, the National Portrait Gallery tells their tale through visual arts, performing arts and new media.
National Postal Museum
Before email, there was snail mail. The National Postal Museum works to preserve, study and educate visitors about postal history and philately. Stamp collectors will delight at the wonderful postage exhibits.
Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery
The American Art Museum houses one of the largest collections of American art in the world. With artwork from more than 7,000 artists including John Singleton Copley, Gilbert Stuart, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam, Mary Cassatt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper and Roy Lichtenstein, visitors to The American Art Museum will not be disappointed.
Smithsonian Institution Building, the Castle
Affectionately called "The Castle", the building houses the Smithsonian Institution Visitor Center and the Smithsonian’s administrative offices.
Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building
The original home of the National Museum, The Smithonian Arts and Industries Building is currently closed for renovations.
The National Zoo
The National Zoo in Washington, DC is home to elephants, giraffes, tigers, pandas, lions and so many more from the great animal kingdom. Kids will love visiting National Zoo and with its free admission so will parents.