Are you looking for an inexpensive way to spend the day in the nation’s capital? Whether it’s your first time visiting Washington DC or you’ve lived here all your life, it‘s a capital (pun intended) idea to take advantage of the excellent free museums. There are many in the National Mall and beyond. The capital has many impressive museums covering everything from science and nature to art and history. Indeed, you’re likely to find many things that excite you. Plan your perfect day exploring a few of the best museums in town.
- The National Portrait Gallery
This is a historic art museum that houses a complete collection of presidential portraits. The National Portrait Gallery offers an enthralling view of the history of America through its many faces. Along with the presidential portraits, there are also portraits of the first ladies. Plus, you’ll see miniature portraits, early forms of photography, and much more. With rotating exhibits and exciting programs and events, you’re sure to find something that keeps you coming back.
- The National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art is an art lover’s dream. It boasts iconic classical works, including van Gogh’s “Self Portrait.” It also has the only Leonardo da Vinci painting in the Americas. You can browse the permanent collections of paintings, photographs, sculptures, prints, drawings, sculptures, and decorative arts of celebrated Western artists.
- The Hirshhorn Museum
The Hirshhorn Museum is an impressive piece of architecture—a massive open cylinder surrounds the large fountain and Sculpture Garden in the center courtyard. Inside, you’ll find modern artwork from the past 50 years, both traditional and unconventional, as well as events, artist talks, and performances.
- The Renwick Gallery
According to the Slip and Fall Lawyers in Washington DC, the Renwick Gallery is a branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and features an excellent great souvenir store with creations by local artists. The museum has a collection of contemporary American craft, billed as one of the best in the country. It also has an extensive collection of African American works.
- The National Museum of American History
The National Museum of American History covers the scientific, political, cultural, social, and military heritage of the United States. It is one of the most expansive of the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, consisting of three floors featuring artifacts and exhibitions. Must-see highlights include the original Star-Spangled Banner Flag and the First Ladies of America exhibit.
- The National Museum of African American History and Culture
This recent addition to the Washington, DC Smithsonian museum set features over 30,000 pieces highlighting African American life dating back to the 19th Century. You can see Harriet Tubman’s eating utensils or a jumpsuit and cape worn by James Brown.
- The National Museum of the American Indian
The National Museum of the American Indian is a building made of limestone and designed to mimic a rock formation. The museum features artworks and artifacts and artworks that represent indigenous tribes from the U.S., South America, the Caribbean, and Canada.
- The National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History is the most frequently-visited of all the Washington, DC Smithsonians. With its displays of animals, plants, minerals, fossils, and cultural artifacts, there’s always something more to see. Check out the breathtaking Hope Diamond in the Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals. Or, view the most extensive collection of vertebrates in the world in the Hall of Mammals.
- National Air and Space Museum
Space fan or not, this museum is definitely worth a visit. You can see the plane that the Wright Brothers flew on the first-ever flight. Or, see the command module of the Apollo 11, which helped put the first astronauts on the moon.