20 U.S. Museums
These 20 top-notch museums—of art, fashion, dinosaurs, and more—are free to the public some or all of the time. What are you waiting for? Get a sneak peek of the list below, then find all 20 online. Plus, we want to hear from you. Tell us about another free museum in the comments section below.
Smithsonian Institution Washington, D.C.
The nation’s capital is chockablock with free attractions, and most of the Smithsonian Institution’s 19 museums and galleries are among them. National Mall attractions like the Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, and the iconic Smithsonian Castle are must-sees for all visitors to D.C.
Dinosaur Trail Montana
Travel the free Dinosaur Trail to several locations in Montana. Jordan’s Garfield County Museum has a full-size Triceratops replica, a full T. rex skull, and other Cretaceous fossils from the Hell Creek Formation. About 90 minutes away, the Fort Peck Interpretive Center and Museum boasts one of the world’s most complete T. rex skeletons, as well as creatures from the Cretaceous Sea. Three hours farther on, at the Blaine County Museum in Chinook, visitors can actually handle fossils of ancient dinos and sea creatures.
Fairbanks Community Museum and Dog Mushers Museum Fairbanks, Alaska
The free community museum tells the story of Fairbanks, while a second site in the same building pays particular attention to the faithful, four-legged athletes that helped build modern Alaska. From Native Alaskan sleds to the Klondike Gold Rush days and the modern Iditarod, the Dog Mushers Museum may be the world’s foremost museum dedicated to the topic.
Indianapolis Museum of Art Indianapolis, Indiana
This Indianapolis museum boasts outstanding collections of Georges Seurat and the neo-Impressionists; Paul Gauguin and the Pont-Aven school; J.M.W. Turner; Japanese paintings from the Edo period; and Chinese ceramics. Access to Lilly House, an outstanding example of an early-20th-century American country estate, is included with free admission.
Help us build our list! Tell us about a free museum near you. Leave the details in the comments section below.
Photo: Mike Heller/My Shot
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