Attractions The Best Museums in the United States  

Kim Martinez
Originally by
16.2k votes 3.9k voters 300.5k views 86 items

List Rules Vote up and add American museums that you think are the absolute best in the country.

A list of the most visited museums in the United States, with pictures. For some, "the most popular" means "the best", and these are definitely some of the most famous American museums. Top museums are often major tourist attractions, and can be a museum of natural history, art, science, or many others. Early museums were collections owned by private individuals. Whether these collections were open to the public was up to the owner. Today, museums are institutions dedicated to the study and exhibition of art, artifacts, and other objects of importance. One can only imagine the collections necessary to make the museums on this list some of the most popular in the world.

What are the best museums in the US? Included on this list are museums of art - both classical and modern, natural history, and children's museums. These institutions document and display the national heritage of the US through art, fossils, historical letters and papers, and other relics of USA culture and world history.

To vote on more American travel sites, check out this list of the best US cities for vacations.
Ranker may collect a commission from links on this page. Prices & inventory are accurate as of publish date.
list ordered by

1
971 255
Smithsonian is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Blake Edwards added Washington, D.C., USA

2
568 221
Metropolitan Museum of Art is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
New York City, New York, USA
Visitors: 4,891,450

3
723 238
Art Institute of Chicago is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Visitors: 1,846,889

4
483 194
American Museum of Natural His... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Blake Edwards added New York City, New York, USA

5
775 228
Field Museum of Natural Histor... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Blake Edwards added Chicago, Illinois, USA

6
338 149
Philadelphia Museum of Art is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Visitors: 812,479

7
564 161
Museum of Science and Industry is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
ncaa8852 added Illinois, USA
Chicago Il
 

8
281 135
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Blake Edwards added Boston, Massachusetts, USA

9
341 119
The Henry Ford is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
ElaineElizabethBelz added Dearborn, Michigan, USA

10
321 142
United States Holocaust Memori... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
sebbzor added Washington, D.C., USA

11
241 136
Getty Center is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
California, USA
Visitors: 1,153,903

12
246 112
National Gallery of Art is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Visitors: 4,605,606

13
244 151
Museum of Modern Art is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Blake Edwards added New York City, New York, USA

14
160 132
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Blake Edwards added New York City, New York, USA
Visitors: 1,263,111

15
216 87
Cleveland Museum of Art is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
David J Gill added University Circle, Cleveland, Ohio

16
142 77
Franklin Institute is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
jacobrafael added Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

17
97 63
National Baseball Hall of Fame... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
jonathan-guerra added Cooperstown, New York, USA

18
156 106
Los Angeles County Museum of A... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
California, USA
Visitors: 695,545

19
192 92
Detroit Institute of Arts is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
ElaineElizabethBelz added Detroit, Michigan, USA

20
183 120
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
JenNotsaying added Downtown Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland OH

21
230 132
The Children's Museum of India... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Indiana, USA
Visitors: 1,300,000

22
90 36
Carnegie Museum of Natural His... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Museums in the United States

23
94 83
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Southwest, Washington, D.C.
Visitors: 668,125

24
85 41
Newseum is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
jonathan-guerra added Washington, D.C., USA

25
137 89
National Portrait Gallery is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Visitors: 1,186,493