attractions The Best Museums in the United States  

Kim Martinez
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14.3k votes 3.5k voters 289.4k views 84 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
885 220
Smithsonian is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Blake Edwards added Smithsonian Washington, D.C., USA

2
513 195
Metropolitan Museum of Art is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Metropolitan Museum of Art New York City, New York, USA - Visitors: 4,891,450

3
656 219
Art Institute of Chicago is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Art Institute of Chicago Chicago, Illinois, USA - Visitors: 1,846,889

4
443 169
American Museum of Natural His... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Blake Edwards added American Museum of Natural History New York City, New York, USA

5
720 210
Field Museum of Natural Histor... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Blake Edwards added Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois, USA

6
312 135
Philadelphia Museum of Art is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Philadelphia Museum of Art Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - Visitors: 812,479

7
525 143
Museum of Science and Industry is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
ncaa8852 added Museum of Science and Industry Illinois, USA - Chicago Il  

8
303 104
The Henry Ford is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
ElaineElizabethBelz added The Henry Ford Dearborn, Michigan, USA

9
284 122
United States Holocaust Memori... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
sebbzor added United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Washington^! D.C., USA

10
250 124
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Blake Edwards added Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Boston, Massachusetts, USA

11
225 98
National Gallery of Art is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
National Gallery of Art Visitors: 4,605,606

12
149 114
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Blake Edwards added Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York City, New York, USA - Visitors: 1,263,111

13
215 121
Getty Center is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Getty Center California, USA - Visitors: 1,153,903

14
217 139
Museum of Modern Art is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Blake Edwards added Museum of Modern Art New York City, New York, USA

The Best Children's Museums in the World

15
81 45
National Baseball Hall of Fame... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
jonathan-guerra added National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Cooperstown, New York, USA

16
126 67
Franklin Institute is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
jacobrafael added Franklin Institute Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

17
181 78
Cleveland Museum of Art is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
David J Gill added Cleveland Museum of Art University Circle, Cleveland, Ohio

18
144 92
Los Angeles County Museum of A... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Los Angeles County Museum of Art California, USA - Visitors: 695,545

19
166 84
Detroit Institute of Arts is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
ElaineElizabethBelz added Detroit Institute of Arts Detroit, Michigan, USA

20
218 122
The Children's Museum of India... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis Indiana, USA - Visitors: 1,300,000

21
161 103
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
JenNotsaying added Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Downtown Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio - Cleveland OH

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22
81 25
Carnegie Museum of Natural His... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Museums in the United States

23
89 70
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Southwest, Washington, D.C. - Visitors: 668,125

24
127 78
National Portrait Gallery is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
National Portrait Gallery Visitors: 1,186,493

25
70 28
Newseum is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
jonathan-guerra added Newseum Washington, D.C., USA

26
118 92
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Blake Edwards added Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Houston, Texas, USA

27
99 79
Denver Art Museum is listed (or ranked) 27 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.  

28
65 33
Exploratorium is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
IvyEllis added Exploratorium

The Best Museums in the World

29
50 45
Museum of Contemporary Art, Ch... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
mail-09-_kev312_ added Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Chicago, Illinois, USA

30
76 84
High Museum of Art is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
High Museum of Art Atlanta, Georgia, USA - Visitors: 535,000

31
100 71
Minneapolis Institute of Arts is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Minneapolis Institute of Arts Minnesota, USA - Visitors: 525,617

32
38 27
Salvador Dali Museum is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Museums in the United States

33
82 72
Kimbell Art Museum is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
CWinn added Kimbell Art Museum Fort Worth, Texas, USA - Fort Worth, Texas

34
88 84
San Francisco Museum of Modern... is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art California, USA - Visitors: 703,520

35
62 65
Freer and Sackler Galleries is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Museums in the United States

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36
91 78
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Scul... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Grand Rapids Charter Township, Michigan, USA - Visitors: 504,488

37
51 32
Los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Museums in the United States

38
39 28
Barnes Foundation of Philadelp... is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Paul Lipton added Barnes Foundation of Philadelphia Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

39
77 67
M. H. de Young Memorial Museum is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
M. H. de Young Memorial Museum Visitors: 1,840,812

40
41 14
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Diana Parker added Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Kansas City, Missouri, USA

41
46 19
Mütter Museum is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
MarcNormanMitchell added Mütter Museum Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

42
41 18
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museu... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Hannah Brown added Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Boston, Massachusetts, USA

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43
43 34
The Andy Warhol Museum is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
The Andy Warhol Museum Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

44
53 41
Pensacola Naval Air Station Hi... is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
JenLangfeld added Pensacola Naval Air Station Historic District Warrington, Florida, USA

45
72 68
Walker Art Center is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Walker Art Center Minnesota, USA - Visitors: 610,371

46
45 35
Natural History Museum of Utah is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
maggie.bradford26 added Natural History Museum of Utah Salt Lake City, UT

47
31 23
Peabody Essex Museum is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Museums in the United States

48
47 28
Museum of Science is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
ahtull added Museum of Science Massachusetts, United States of America

49
34 26
Peabody Museum of Archaeology ... is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Museums in the United States

50
33 28
National Museum of the Marine ... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
jordan-mcelwain added National Museum of the Marine Corps