Visiting the Smithsonian is a rite of passage for school children within a day’s drive of the museum but if you weren’t lucky enough to pay a visit when you were a kid then it should be added to your must-see list. The place is filled with an astounding amount of artifacts including the Hope Diamond, you simply can’t see everything in a day. Many of the galleries and museums have free admission so you have no excuses not to check it out.
When English chemist James Smithson passed away in 1829 he bequeathed his entire fortune to the US, which totalled more than half a million dollars. That was a huge sum at the time, however the government had no idea what to do with at the time until they finally decided to build a natural history museum. It grew to become of the most incredible museums in the world. Here is what you can expect to see here.
National Air and Space Museum
If you have ever been remotely interested in space travel then you need to check this place out, but be prepared to spend the day. They house some of the rockets used for the Apollo and space shuttle missions. You can also see the origins of modern flight in the Wright Brothers wing and there are tons of films and videos to check out throughout the museum. They even have an IMAX theater where you can see some interesting films. Here is a look at what you can expect to see.
Be Prepared for Crowds
The Smithsonian, while massive, is still the most visited museum in the world so be prepared for the crowds that will be here. There are several different buildings that are all packed with history and science exhibits so there are busloads of school kids all over the museum. Some of the more popular exhibits will have lineups to get in so have some patience.
Booking a Tour
You might want to try one of the formal tours of the different museums available. There are tours of everything from the Postal Museum to a tour of the National Art Gallery. You can check out exhibits from former president to natural history. All of the tour guides are employed by the museum and are incredibly knowledgeable on the subjects they are showing you. Again many of the tours are free of charge making them well worth it.