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Museum Musings

May/14/2022 / by BINDU GOPAL RAO
Museum of Ice Cream New York: Photos courtesy: Museum of Ice Cream on Facebook

If you like to see a city under the lens of art, culture, history and food, the best way would be to visit a museum. And if you are in America, you will never be disappointed with the variety of museums. We list seven of the must-see museums in the USA here.

National Gallery of Art – Washington D.C.

Started in 1937, this is a space dedicated to European and American art and is located near Capitol Hill. The space was donated by patron Paul Mellon, the art coming from his personal collection. You can see the works of artists like Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet and Dégas among more than 2,600 works. If you seek to learn more about European paintings, Italian Renaissance paintings and the works of masters of Florentine and Venetian art, this is the place to go. The best part is that it is free to visitors. Washington has some world-class museums, such as the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the National Museum of Natural History, among many others.

Closest Airport: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

Did you know: This city is home to the oldest continually operating botanical gardens.

Museum of Ice Cream – New York

This museum is sure to trigger the childhood memories in you. A space that reimagines the way we experience and love ice cream, the Museum of Ice Cream allows you to savor sweet treats as you walk through the many interactive galleries here. There is also a giant sprinkle pool where you can slide, splash, and play as you satisfy your inner child looking at installations sure to trigger a multi-sensory experience. You must slide down an epic three-story slide and take a celestial ride on a pink museum subway. Follow the buzzing sound to see the giant Queen Beehive. The extremely Instagram-able museum is going to keep your camera trigger-happy too. Do not miss the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park when in New York.

Closest Airport:  JFK Airport

Did you know: New York Is the birthplace of LGBTQ+ rights in the US.

Mutter Museum – Philadelphia

This medical museum has an impressive and extensive collections of anatomical artifacts, medical instruments and more. A place to understand the limitations and strengths of the human body, you can even see the preserved remains of famous people in American history, including Albert Einstein’s brain. The museum has a series of ongoing exhibitions, and very recently launched its own podcast, “My Favorite Malady,” as well. When here do visit the Liberty Bell Center, Independence Hall and Philadelphia Museum of Art as well.

Closest Airport:  Philadelphia International Airport

Did you know: Philadelphia is the first World Heritage City in the United States.

Jazz Museum – New Orleans

The birthplace of jazz, New Orleans has this fantastic museum dedicated to all things jazz. It celebrates the history of the musical form through interactive exhibits, musical performances, and more. 

You can see five rotating exhibits, understand the history of famous jazz musicians, and see a fine collection of jazz-related paintings and photography. In a city that is great to walk and explore, check the French Quarter, with the infamous Bourbon Street, the trendy Warehouse District, and the posh Garden District when you are here.

Closest Airport:  Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

Did you know: The oldest continuously active cathedral in the United States, St. Louis Cathedral is in New Orleans.

Kennedy Space Center – Florida

Located on Merritt Island in Central Florida, about an hour east of Orlando, this is NASA’s primary launch center. This is where human space flights and famous space shuttles have flown their final missions. Popular with visitors, the Kennedy Space Center will offer an experience of what it is like to be an astronaut on the Shuttle Launch Experience flight simulator. You can also go on a mission control tour, train with an astronaut in the family Astronaut Training Experience (ATX) program or even dine with an astronaut. When in Florida, do visit Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando.

Closest Airport:  Orlando International Airport

Did you know: Florida is home to 7700 plus lakes.

National Museum of African American Music – Nashville, Tennessee

The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) is the only museum dedicated to music genres created and influenced by African Americans. The stage costumes, instruments, sheet music, recording equipment and photographs here are all an ode to the music of African Americans. Spread over 56000 square foot, the museum preserves and celebrates over 50 music genres and styles created and inspired by African Americans. There are artifacts, objects, memorabilia, and clothing in this state-of-the-art space and each of the museum galleries is designed to share a different narrative and a unique perspective on African American music and history. When in Nashville, do not miss the Country Music Hall of Fame and Music Row.

Closest Airport:  Nashville International Airport

Did you know: Nashville’s Centennial Park is home to the only replica of the Greek Parthenon.

US Olympic & Paralympic Museum – Colorado Springs, Colorado

This museum honors the athletes and ideals of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in its 60,000-square-foot facility. The 12 interactive galleries celebrate the achievements of the US Olympians and Paralympians. The Team USA athletes were consulted while this space was being put together. Said to be the most accessible museum ever, the physical, digital, and virtual experiences are aimed to encourage people to find and fulfill their Olympic-sized dreams. Visit Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and Will Rogers Shrine Of The Sun, and check the sights of North Cheyenne Cañon Park when you are here.

Closest Airport: Denver International Airport Did you know: Colorado is home to the world’s largest natural hot springs swimming pool.

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