Attractions The Best Museums in the United States  

Kim Martinez
Originally by
15k votes 3.7k voters 294.1k 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
930 233
Smithsonian is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Blake Edwards added Washington, D.C., USA

2
535 208
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
681 232
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
460 179
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
746 217
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
325 139
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
541 152
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
320 111
The Henry Ford is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
ElaineElizabethBelz added Dearborn, Michigan, USA

9
259 126
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
295 130
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
234 103
National Gallery of Art is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Visitors: 4,605,606

12
222 127
Getty Center is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
California, USA - Visitors: 1,153,903

13
229 142
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
150 120
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
90 50
National Baseball Hall of Fame... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
jonathan-guerra added Cooperstown, New York, USA

16
136 70
Franklin Institute is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
jacobrafael added Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

17
193 80
Cleveland Museum of Art is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
David J Gill added University Circle, Cleveland, Ohio

18
148 97
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
178 85
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
224 126
The Children's Museum of India... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Indiana, USA - Visitors: 1,300,000

21
172 110
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
JenNotsaying added Downtown Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio - Cleveland OH

22
84 28
Carnegie Museum of Natural His... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Museums in the United States

23
80 34
Newseum is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
jonathan-guerra added Washington, D.C., USA

24
92 76
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Southwest, Washington, D.C. - Visitors: 668,125

25
132 85
National Portrait Gallery is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Visitors: 1,186,493

26
124 96
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
71 37
Exploratorium is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
IvyEllis added

28
55 47
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
105 86
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
45 30
Salvador Dali Museum is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Museums in the United States

31
104 73
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
86 75
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 88
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
92 88
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
45 29
Barnes Foundation of Philadelp... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Paul Lipton added Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

36
52 20
Mütter Museum is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
MarcNormanMitchell added Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

37
95 81
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
63 67
Freer and Sackler Galleries is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Museums in the United States

39
47 19
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museu... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Hannah Brown added Boston, Massachusetts, USA

40
45 16
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Diana Parker added Kansas City, Missouri, USA

41
49 36
The Andy Warhol Museum is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

42
77 68
Walker Art Center is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
Minnesota, USA - Visitors: 610,371

43
77 68
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
51 36
Los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Museums in the United States

45
39 26
Peabody Museum of Archaeology ... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Museums in the United States

46
52 28
Museum of Science is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
ahtull added Massachusetts, United States of America

47
18 10
Frick Collection is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Museums in the United States
New York City, New York, USA

48
33 24
Peabody Essex Museum is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Museums in the United States

49
30 33
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
46 38
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