As previously mentioned, the adoration I have for Washington DC is immeasurable. One thing I love: all the museums. Most of them are free, and all of them are stunning. In the most recent trip, we visited a few of my favorites, plus a few new ones! Check em oouuuut:
US Botanic Garden
This isn’t owned by the Smithsonian Institute, but rather the National Park Service (an organization getting quite a bit of attention as of late). I love NPS and I hadn’t been to the Botanic Garden in DC before despite all my trips! I love botanic gardens so much – here’s my post about Denver’s lovely garden. After a few recommendations to visit DC’s, I made sure to make it our first stop in December.
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
A classic and one of my favorites. I didn’t remember to take too many pictures – but I remembered my buffalo, of course. I really really really enjoyed the history of the world globe presentation, too.
Smithsonian Museum of American Art
EASILY the best art museum I’ve ever been to. Up close to Chinatown, it includes a wonderful presidential portrait gallery, funky button art, guards that make your wear your backpacks on the front of your body, and a modern art section that’s near impossible to find. It also features tons of landscapes and impressionism (my two favorite types) as well as Rockwell, Homer, & Hopper. I love those guys.
Department of the Interior Museum
I have a Department of the Interior sticker on my water bottle. I. Love. This. Department. So I did a little research to see if you can actually visit… AND YOU CAN! Overall, not a big attraction in the DC realm – the security guards inside were pretty confused about why we were there. But we saw a teeny DOI museum, and found our way to the National Park Service library. It was a goofy time.
Smithsonian Museum of American History
I could really do without ever going into this museum again, to be honest. But I think we did it for Ryan? I can’t remember. I think it was the first time I’ve been in here since maybe 2007, so it was fun to see what was the same, and what had changed over 10 years. Weird things: there’s already a Breaking Bad exhibit featured?? And there was a strange Fort Collins/Colorado State University shoutout in their innovation collection. We said hello to Dorothy’s red slippers, too.
Smithsonian Postal Museum
Ugh, my heart. Someone made this museum with me in mind. It’s tucked up northeast of the mall near Union Station and is full of quirky collections and mail-related items. There used to be a little station where you could write postcards and they’d send them out for you. It was cute. There are staples like the delivery methods seen below, and cool current exhibits like a stamp collection (Seinfeld got one?), letters from wartimes, and a PostSecret section. I think it’s such a unique and cool museum.
There are tons more, of course. You can only go to so many in a 2 day trip, but luckily I’ve been many times to see most of what DC has to offer!!! Feel free to let me know if you have any favorite museums or hate my opinions. I love feedback.