Attractions The Best Museums in the United States  

Kim Martinez
Originally by
15.6k votes 3.8k voters 297.7k 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.
list ordered by

1
956 244
Smithsonian is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Blake Edwards added Washington, D.C., USA

2
555 214
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
703 235
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
474 185
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
763 222
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
329 143
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
554 156
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
331 115
The Henry Ford is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
ElaineElizabethBelz added Dearborn, Michigan, USA

9
273 131
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Blake Edwards added Boston, Massachusetts, USA

10
307 139
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
241 109
National Gallery of Art is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Visitors: 4,605,606

12
233 132
Getty Center is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
California, USA - Visitors: 1,153,903

13
237 148
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
155 129
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
207 84
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
93 58
National Baseball Hall of Fame... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
jonathan-guerra added Cooperstown, New York, USA

17
138 75
Franklin Institute is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
jacobrafael added Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

18
152 102
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
186 89
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
179 115
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
225 130
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
89 32
Carnegie Museum of Natural His... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Museums in the United States

23
136 86
National Portrait Gallery is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Visitors: 1,186,493

24
84 38
Newseum is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
jonathan-guerra added Washington, D.C., USA

25
92 80
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Southwest, Washington, D.C. - Visitors: 668,125

26
127 99
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Blake Edwards added Houston, Texas, USA

27
75 38
Exploratorium is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
IvyEllis added

28
56 49
Museum of Contemporary Art, Ch... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
mail-09-_kev312_ added Chicago, Illinois, USA

29
106 90
Denver Art Museum is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
NicoleSchaap added Denver Art Museum From the architecture to the touring exhibits, the Denver Art Museum is gaining much recognition, and is a "MUST SEE" for visitors to the mile high city.  

30
47 32
Salvador Dali Museum is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Museums in the United States

31
108 76
Minneapolis Institute of Arts is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Minnesota, USA - Visitors: 525,617

32
88 77
Kimbell Art Museum is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
CWinn added Fort Worth, Texas, USA - Fort Worth, Texas

33
77 90
High Museum of Art is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Atlanta, Georgia, USA - Visitors: 535,000

34
93 91
San Francisco Museum of Modern... is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
California, USA - Visitors: 703,520

35
52 18
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Diana Parker added Kansas City, Missouri, USA

36
46 32
Barnes Foundation of Philadelp... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Paul Lipton added Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

37
96 83
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Scul... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Grand Rapids Charter Township, Michigan, USA - Visitors: 504,488

38
54 22
Mütter Museum is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
MarcNormanMitchell added Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

39
64 69
Freer and Sackler Galleries is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Museums in the United States

40
52 38
The Andy Warhol Museum is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

41
49 22
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museu... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Hannah Brown added Boston, Massachusetts, USA

42
78 70
Walker Art Center is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Minnesota, USA - Visitors: 610,371

43
78 70
M. H. de Young Memorial Museum is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Visitors: 1,840,812

44
40 27
Peabody Museum of Archaeology ... is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Museums in the United States

45
21 12
Frick Collection is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
New York City, New York, USA

46
51 38
Los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Museums in the United States

47
52 29
Museum of Science is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
ahtull added Massachusetts, United States of America

48
35 25
Peabody Essex Museum is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Museums in the United States

49
32 35
Whitney Museum of American Art is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
New York City, New York, USA

50
47 39
Natural History Museum of Utah is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
maggie.bradford26 added Natural History Museum of Utah Salt Lake City, UT