Lumpkin County built its now historic jail in 1884. It features jail cells on the building’s second floor. The sheriff or a deputy lived on the ground floor. The National Register of Historic Places added the building to its list in 1985. Inside, visitors can glimpse the jail’s iron cell doors and scribbles inmates on the cell walls as they passed the time.
The 1940 Air Terminal Museum is located at at William P. Hobby Airport and housed in the original art deco building which served as the first purpose-built terminal for passenger flight in Houston. The museum features collections focusing on civil aviation history in Space City. It is operated by the Houston Aeronautical Heritage Society (HAHS), a non-profit organization.
The storied history of the 48th Highlanders of Canada, a part-time militia, is on full display in this delightful museum in the basement of St. Andrew’s Church. The museum displays a range of photographs, artifacts and uniforms to bring the unit to life. The museum was founded in 1959 and has been located in St. Andrew’s Church since 1997. Former unit members staff the museum and are more than willing to share personal anecdotes, further enhancing the visitor experience.
For more than a decade, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has provided visitors with a unique insight into the nation’s 16th president. The museum is home to an incredible collection of artifacts, books and documents that help tell the story of the man who presided over the country during one of the most difficult times. The library is not part of the National Archives and Records Administration’s network of presidential libraries. It is administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
Just south of Adairsville, the raiders stopped to tear up the track, prohibiting their pursuers from continuing the chase in a locomotive. At this point, the pursuers abandoned their second locomotive — the William R. Smith — and continued on foot. Minutes later, they commandeered their third engine. They ran the Texas in reverse for the remainder of the chase. Today, a small museum located in the historic 1847 Western & Atlantic depot interprets the city’s role in the Great Locomotive Chase and features a number of exhibits related to the town’s history.
The Rock is more myth than reality. Still, the former federal penitentiary attracts more than 1 million visitors annually as a museum. Some of the country’s most notorious criminals were incarcerated on The Rock at one time or another. Several tried to escape, but none were successful. Or, were they? Even though the prison closed in the 1960s, its stories about remain legendary to this day.
The Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum is located in former mill manager’s house located next to what was once Hawaii’s largest working sugar factory. The museum, located in the historic plantation town of Puunene, Maui, showcases the history of Hawaiian sugarcane plantations and how the industry shaped the community.
The Amelia Island Museum of History provides visitors with an overview of the island’s history, starting with its Native American occupants and continuing through modern times. The museum is located in the former Nassau County jail.
Founded in 1869, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City is one of the world’s preeminent cultural institutions and features 45 permanent exhibition halls. The museum is home to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial, New York State’s official memorial to its 33rd governor and the nation’s 26th president, and a tribute to Roosevelt’s enduring legacy of conservation. The museum’s five active research divisions and three cross-disciplinary centers support approximately 200 scientists, whose work draws on a world-class permanent collection of more than 34 million specimens and artifacts, as well as specialized collections for frozen tissue and genomic and astrophysical data, and one of the largest natural history libraries in the world.
Inside the Arizona State Capitol building, which was built in 1901 and predates Arizona’s 1912 entry into the Union as a state, the story of The Grand Canyon State comes to life. Displays include the silver and copper punchbowl service from the USS Arizona, said to be the only one of its kind. it is composed of etched copper panels depicting desert scenes set into a silver bowl ornamented with mermaids, dolphins, waves, and other nautical themes. In addition, the museum also displays a collection of gifts received by Arizona as part of the Merci Train sent by France to the United States following World War II. Outside, the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza on the Phoenix state capitol grounds are filled with an impressive collection of monuments, including one to the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II.
The Art Car Museum is a contemporary art museum that celebrates the post-modern age of car-culture. The museum features a collection of stock cars and lowriders that artists have remolded and customized to their choosing. The museum, nicknamed the Garage Mahal, opened in February 1988.
The 480,000-square-foot Art Gallery of Ontario is home to an impressive collection of art. But, its collection of more than 90,000 items doesn’t just include works by European artists, thought Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and others are well represented. The museum houses an extensive collection of works by Canadian artists. Members of the Ontario Society of Artists established the museum in 1900 as the Art Museum of Toronto. Today, it is the second most visited art museum in Toronto following the Royal Ontario Museum.
Founded in 1879 and located in Chicago’s Grant Park, the Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country. It is home to more than 300,000 works of art, including a range of iconic and instantly recognizable works of art. Among the works in the museum’s vast collection are Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884, Pablo Picasso’s The Old Guitarist and Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks. Roughly 1.5 million people visit the museum every year. The museum is located in a building built in 1893 for the World’s Columbian Exposition.
Located in the heart of Atlanta’s trendy Buckhead community, the Atlanta History Center was founded in 1926. The museum, which sits on a 33-acre campus, features six permanent exhibits and temporary exhibits. In addition to the main exhibits, the museum is also home to the historic Swan House, Tullie Smith Farm and Wood Family Cabin. The museum is home to one of the largest collections of Civil War artifacts in the United States.
The Atlanta Monetary Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in Midtown provides an interesting look into the history of currency. The museum’s collection includes a nice range of historic bills and coins. That includes $100,000 bills with President Woodrow Wilson and $10,000 bills with O’Hagel printed on them. It also has on display a rare set of coins from the former U.S. Mint in Dahlonega, Ga.
Auckland Museum is regarded as one of the finest Museums in the Southern Hemisphere and is renowned for its unique collection of Māori and Pacific treasures. It is also a war memorial for the Auckland province. Housed in one of the country’s finest heritage buildings, the Museum tells the story of New Zealand as a nation; from award-winning natural history exhibits to galleries which investigate New Zealand’s cultural origins. Scars on the Heart, the Museum’s war memorial exhibition, tells the story of New Zealand at war, while He Taonga Māori – the Museum’s Māori treasures gallery, displays over 2,000 priceless Māori artifacts, including rare carvings and the last great Māori war canoe carved from a giant Totara tree. Auckland Museum is the only venue in Auckland where visitors can experience a Māori cultural performance daily.
The story of Betsy Ross is one of the great American legends. As the story goes, Gen. George Washington approached Ross and asked her to make a flag. She obliged, and the rest is history. While it’s a great story, it’s most likely just a legend. Still, a visit to the Betsy Ross House is a worthy trip to learn more about Ross, a seamstress who died in 1836. The house dates to 1740 and is said to be Ross’ residence from 1776 until 1779. However, there is some debate about whether this is actually the house in which she lived.
The Bob Dylan Center is located in Tulsa’s burgeoning arts district, just steps from the city’s Woody Guthrie Center. The Bob Dylan Center features cutting-edge and immersive technology in a multimedia environment designed to impress visitors new to Dylan and long-time fans and aficionados. Visitors can listen to rare recordings, watch rarely seen videos and view one-of-a-kind memorabilia ad artifacts that tell the story of “the poet laureate of rock and roll.” The Bob Dylan Center and the Woody Guthrie Center operate under the auspices of the American Song Archives, a project of the George Kaiser Family Foundation. The foundation acquired Dylan’s archives in 2016 and Guthrie’s in 2010.
The Booth Western Art Museum opened in 2003 and showcases Western art and is said to be the largest permanent exhibition space for Western art nationwide. The 120,000-square foot museum is the second largest art museum in Georgia. It features works by Frederic Remington, Albert Bierstadt, George Caitlin and Charles Russell.
The Bristow Train Depot and Museum is located in the historical Bristow train depot, constructed in 1923. Bristow grew up along a railroad running between Sapulpa and Oklahoma City. The museum features information about the town’s history and the people who shaped it. A former Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway caboose, built in 1929 and rebuilt in 1969, is on display next to the museum. It bears the paint scheme of the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway (the “Frisco”).
The British Museum is home to one of the most significant collections of artifacts related to human history, art and culture, including the Rosetta Stone. The museum is home to more than 100,000 objects from the Classical world, making it one of the most comprehensive collections of antiquities from that era. It was established in 1753 and primarily based on the collections of the physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane. The museum, located in the Bloomsbury section of London, first opened on Jan. 15, 1759. More than 5.8 million people visit the museum annually, making it the most visited museum in England.
The San Francisco Cable Car Museum on Mason Street in San Francisco’s Nob Hill neighborhood is the perfect museum for anyone who wants to learn more about the history of the city’s unique attraction. The museum includes a number of old cable cars and exhibits about how they operate. Visitors can also see the powerhouse and the actual cables that pull cars up and down the city’s many hills.
The Cable Car Museum opened in December 2000 in the former winding house, which operated from 1902 until 1978, at the Kelburn end of the Wellington Cable Car. The museum houses a pair of original grip cars that once ran along the line. No. 1 is in red 1970s livery and features contemporary advertising, while No. 3 was restored in 2005 to a green livery dating to circa 1905; a San Francisco Cable Car bell was also added. If nothing else, the area around the museum offers some of the best views of Wellington.
Julius von Haast, a German geologist, founded the Canterbury Museum in 1867. He used his collection as the core of the museum’s exhibits. The Canterbury Museum opened to the public in December 1867 and moved to its current location in October 1870. The museum is part natural history museum and part history museum. Its extensive holdings include the largest collection in the world of Antarctic objects from the age of exploration and discovery.
The Capitoline Museums are located on the Piazza del Campidoglio atop of Capitoline Hill in the heart of Rome. Pope Clement XII opened the museums to the public in 1734. The museum’s stunning collection includes the Ancient Roman Dying Gaul (also known as the Dying Galatian) statue, the bronze statue of the Capitoline Wolf nursing Romulus and Remus and the original equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius that once stood in Piazza del Campidoglio.
The house of John Luther “Casey” Jones is today a museum. Although it has been moved from its original location, it is open to the public and features a wide array of exhibits, including railroad memorabilia and Jones’ personal effects. A life-sized replica of Illinois Central engine No. 382, the locomotive Jones was engineering on his last trip, sits behind Jones’ house. The actual locomotive was repaired after the wreck and ran for 35 years before being scrapped.
The Central Ohio Fire Museum & Learning Center opened in 2002 inside the restored historic Columbus Engine House (No.16) dating to 1908. In addition to historic engines and equipment, the museum aims to educate visitors about the dangers of fire and features a Safety Kitchen and a Safety Bedroom showing potential hazards and how to escape in an emergency.
Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu opened in May 2003 and replaced the former Robert McDougall Art Gallery, which opened in 1932. The Christchurch Art Gallery is home to works by both New Zealand and international artists. Following the 2010 Canterbury earthquake and the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake, Civil Defence used the building as a headquarters. The art gallery reopened in December 2015 following extensive refurbishments.
To run the government and military during World War II, Prime Minister Winston Churchill needed a place safe from German bombing raids. He found that place in a sprawling underground complex today known as the Churchill War Rooms. The complex was operational starting Aug. 27, 1939, a week before Great Britain declared war on Germany. The museum complex offers an incredible, one-of-a-kind look at Winston Churchill and England’s approach to World War II. The complex is home to meeting rooms, bedrooms and map rooms, where the war’s progress was plotted and monitored.
The College Football Hall of Fame opened in Atlanta in August 2014 in Downtown Atlanta next to the Georgia World Congress Center and Centennial Olympic Park. The College Football Hall of Fame was previously located in South Bend, Ind. More than 975 players and more than 210 coaches have been enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame. More than 300 schools are represented. The 94,256-square-foot facility includes exhibits, interactive displays, event space and a 45-yard indoor football field.
The Country Music Hall of Fame first museum opened on Music Row in 1967. The current museum — located in downtown Nashville — opened in a $37 million facility in 2001 and features various permanent and temporary exhibits dedicated to telling the history of country music, from its earliest roots to modern-day superstars. No visit to the museum would be complete without purchasing an add-on tour of RCA Studio B. Located a few blocks away from the museum, the historic studio — still in use today — has been used by some of music’s biggest stars, from The Everly Brothers to Roy Orbison to Elvis Presley.
On March 30, 1842, Crawford W. Long stepped into the history books when he used Ether as a surgical anesthesia. His legacy lives on at the museum that bears his name. The Crawford W. Long Museum in the Jackson County city of Jefferson, about 25 miles from Athens, opened in 1957.
The Archaeological Crypt located in front of Notre Dame preserves 2,000 years of Parian history. The crypt is home to Roman ruins dating to antiquity, which were discovered during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The museum was created in 1980.
In a picturesque mansion located on the Waaigat inlet and dating to 1729, the Maritime Museum features an incredible collection of artifacts and stories about the island’s inextricable connection to the sea. Curacao was “discovered” in 1499 and has been an important shipping center throughout its history.
In 1898, the federal government built a customs house and a post office at the corner of Second and Commerce streets to help process the increasing volumes of mail to and from the city. In 1984, the building was transformed into the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center touted as the state’s second-largest general interest museum. The museum features a number of permanent exhibits, including the postmaster’s office and Memory Lane, dedicated to telling the story of Clarksville and Montgomery County’s history.
The 1836 Lumpkin County Courthouse in downtown Dahlonega, Ga., is home to the Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site. Located on the town square, the courthouse is the oldest surviving courthouse building in the state, serving in that capacity until 1965. The state park is a testament to the first major gold rush in the nation. The museum collection includes exhibits about how gold is mined, tools miners used and actual samples of gold. The building features wooden seats from 1889 and the judge’s chambers.
The Delta Flight Museum was established in 1995 and opened to the public in June 2014. Located in a pair of 1940s era maintenance hangars, the museum is home to historic aircraft, including the Spirit of Delta, Delta’s first Boeing 767. Employees, retirees, and friends purchased the plane and donated it to Delta in 1982.
Located off of Interstate 75 in Ocala, Florida, the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing features an amazing array of cars and vintage engines Garlits has rebuilt for display. Garlits’ impact on the sport is immeasurable. He was the first driver to officially surpass a number of speed marks, including hitting 270 mph on a quarter-mile track and 200 mph on a 1/8-mile track. Artifacts that help tell the story of drag racing’s history are featured throughout. Highlights include the Swamp Rat I, the car Garlits raced when he set his first world record; the Swamp Rat 14, the first rear engine car Garlits built; and the Swamp Rat 34.
The Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute in downtown Waco is dedicated to telling not just the story of Dr Pepper, but the story of the entire soft drink industry. Charles Alderton who developed a unique combination of flavors in 1885 in Dr. Wade Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store. The soft drink — which, according to legend, Morrison named after the father of a girl he once loved — quickly became known as a “Waco.” The museum is located in the former Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company building. Completed in 1906, the structure was the first building built specifically to bottle Dr Pepper and remained in use until the 1960s when operations moved to a facility with more room for canning. The building remained vacant for roughly two decades until 1985 — the centennial of Dr Pepper — when work started to convert the building into a museum. The museum officially opened to the public on May 11, 1991.
Dr. Samuel Johnson wrote the dictionary. Literally. Between 1748 and 1759, Johnson paid a £30 rent, and while living in the house compiled his seminal work, A Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1755 and heralded as “one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship.” Wool merchant Richard Gough built the house during the latter half of the 17th century, and after Johnson moved out, the building was used for a number of purposes. The edifice was damaged during World War II, damage that can still be seen today.
The 4,200-square-foot museum, located in Hilliard, Ohio, a western suburb of Columbus, boasts more than 150 television sets, including mechanical sets from the 1920s and American and British equipment from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Many of the sets are in working order. The museum’s most popular exhibits include the collection of early color sets, a DuMont Royal Sovereign, the working Baird mechanical set and the RCA remote telecasting van. The Early Television Foundation, a non-profit organization that operates the museum, is always looking to expand its collection of equipment.
The Edwin Fox Maritime Museum houses what is said to be the “oldest merchant sailing ship still afloat.” The vessel, built in 1853 in India, transported immigrants to New Zealand and Australia and is the only remaining ship that brought convicts to Australia. After its sailing days, the boat was used in the 1880s as a floating freezer and later as a coal store hulk. In about 1950, the Edwin Fox was left to rot on its moorings, but preserved as a museum piece.
The Elberton Granite Museum in Elberton, Ga., opened in 1981. The free museum is dedicated to telling the story of how granite is produced and its impact on Elberton, Ga., is on display. The many exhibits at the museum include artifacts, photographs and whimsical anecdotes. While the tools of the trade show how granite is carved from the earth, a seven-foot-tall granite statue tucked away in a backroom of the museum illustrates a lighter side of the granite industry and how people view the monuments produced.
For millions of immigrants, Ellis Island was the first view of America. Today, it is a moving experience for anyone wanting to learn more about that era in U.S. history. The island, part of Statue of Liberty National Monument, sits in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty. Though quiet today, it’s amazing to think of what the Great Hall was like as new arrivals to the country passed through in search of a better life here.
The Fernandina Beach Marine Welcome Center & Shrimping Museum gives visitors to Amelia Island a quick overview of the shrimping industry and its impact on the region. The Amelia Island Museum of History began running the museum after the city of Fernandina Beach approached the museum in 2010. The small museum, located on the waterfront in downtown Fernandina Beach, includes information about the shrimping industry and the families who played a vital role in its development. Theor efforts helped make the state “the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry.”
The Field Museum of Natural History is one of the largest natural history museums in the world. Known colloquially as The Field Museum, the museum is home to more than 24 million specimens and objects, including gems, meteorites, fossils and cultural artifacts from around the globe. More than 2 million people visit the museum every year. Among the most famous items in the collection are Sue, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton currently known, and the infamous Lions of Tsavo.
Dating to 1769, Fort Church is the oldest church on the island. The church’s associated museum features a number of historic artifacts chronicling the Dutch Protestant congregation that dates to 1635.
The historic Fraunces Tavern played a prominent role before, during and after the American Revolution. The edifice was a headquarters for George Washington, a venue for peace negotiations with the British and housed federal offices during the early days of the republic. Downstairs is a tavern, and a museum is located upstairs. Exhibits include a lock of hair and a tooth from George Washington.
Galleria degli Uffizi is arguably the most famous art museum in the world. It makes sense considering Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance in the 14th century. The museum is located in the Historic Centre of Florence and opened as a museum in 1769. Among its famous works of art is Sandro Botticelli’s 15th century “Birth of Venus.” It also houses works by Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci.
The Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze (Gallery of the Academy of Florence) is home to Michelangelo’s famed David statue and is the second most visited art museum in Italy. The museum dates to 1784 and has been home to the David sculpture since 1873. In addition to its most famous work of art, the museum houses paintings by Florentine artists, many from 1300-1600.
The George W. Bush Presidential Center opened on April 25, 2013. The centerpiece is a 9/11 exhibit, but it is but one section of the 14,000-square-foot museum that opened to the public last month. In addition, the museum features a full scale replica of the Oval Office, information about life in The White House, President Bush’s two dogs, a collection of autographed baseballs and an exhibit — complete with hanging chads — about the 2000 election in which Bush defeated then Vice President Al Gore.
The Georgia Capitol Museum traces its origins to 1889 when the Georgia General Assembly revived the office of state geologist and directed him “to collect, analyze, and classify specimens of minerals, plants and soils.” The following year, the governor designated the corridors of the fourth floor of the Capitol as temporary quarters to house the museum.
The Georgia State Railroad Museum is home to more than 40 railroad locomotives and cars and house in the historic Georgia State Railroad Museum roundhouse. The building dates to 1851, but the railroad demolished about half of the roundhouse in 1926 and re-engineered the facility to accommodate larger steam engines. Southern Railway, successor of the Central of Georgia Railroad, closed the facility in 1963 and subsequently started demolishing buildings on the property. The Coastal Heritage Society in 1989 took over management of the facility to preserve the shops for future generations.
Hale Pa‘ahao, or stuck-in-irons house, was built in the 1850s as the “new” prison in the port town of Lahaina. The jail saw increasing use during the peak of the whaling era, a time when Lahaina was an important destination.
The National Historical Fire Foundation is better know as the Hall of Flame. The museum is dedicated to preserving firefighting equipment used in Arizona and around the world. The museum has five exhibit bays and the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes gallery. The equipment is grouped as: Hand & Horse Drawn (1725–1908); Motorized Apparatus (1897–1948); Motorized Apparatus (1918–1968); Motorized Apparatus (1919–1950) and Wildland Firefighting. It has also have a large collection of Fire Department arm patches.
While many know the Harry Ransom Center as an internationally renowned humanities research center, it hosts many exhibits of interest to the general traveling public. The center, located at The University of Texas at Austin, is home to 100,000 works of art, 5 million photographs, more than 42 million manuscripts and nearly 1 million books. The collection’s highlights include one of only 20 complete copies of the Gutenberg Bible in the world.
The story of Arizona would be far from complete without the Native American perspective. While it is at times a difficult story to tell and a difficult story to hear, the Heard Museum does a magnificent job brining the Native American Experience to life. Dwight B. and Maie Bartlett Heard founded the museum in 1929 to house their personal art collection. Today, the 130,000-square-foot museum features more than 40,000 items in its collection, including the Barry Goldwater collection of Hopi kachina dolls.
The High Museum of Art, the premier art museum in the South, is in the midst of a multi-year partnership with The Museum of Modern Art. Through 2013, the partnership will bring many international exhibitions to Atlanta and past exhibitions have included masterpieces by Claude Monet and Leonardo de Vinci.
The Royal Navy light cruiser HMS Belfast was commissioned on Aug. 5, 1939, and built by Harland and Wolff shipyard in its namesake city of Belfast. This is the same company that built another famous ship, the Titanic. The Belfast saw action during some of the most pivotal battles of World War II, including the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.
No trip to Toronto is complete without a visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame. The museum — known as the Temple de la renommée du hockey in French — dates to 1943 and has been in its current location on Yonge Street in the heart of Toronto since 1993. There are roughly 400 people — including players, builders and referees — inducted into the Hall of Fame. The 60,000-square-foot museum is home to heaps of memorabilia, helping to tell the story of hockey from its earliest days to modern times.
The Household Cavalry Museum preserves and interprets the history of the Regiments of the Household Cavalry, which dates back more than 350 years. The museum opened in June 2007 in the historic Horse Guards building. The museum includes working stables in addition to an extensive collection of historical artifacts.
The Houston Police Department museum is located in the lobby of HPD headquarters at 1200 Travis. The museum features displays and a memorial wall honoring the officers who gave their lives in the line of duty. Displays include artifacts from the Honor Guard, SWAT, Mounted Patrol, badges, uniforms and other equipment police used over the years.
The Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum chronicles the history of aviation in Las Vegas, from the first flights in 1920 to present day. The museum is located inside McCarran International Airport above baggage claim. Additional exhibits are located in ticketing and at the A, B, C and D gates. The museum is free, so even those who lost everything at the Blackjack table can enjoy this attraction.
The Hunter Museum of American Art features works representing a range of genres, including American Impressionism, early modernism, regionalism and post World War II modern and contemporary art. The museum, perched on an 80-foot bluff on the edge of the Tennessee River, opened in 1952 and is located in a building represents three distinct architectural stages: the original 1904 classical revival mansion designed by Abram Garfield, the son of president James A. Garfield, which has housed the museum since its opening in 1952, a brutalist addition built in 1975, and a 2005 addition designed by Randall Stout which now serves as the entrance to the museum.
The Illinois State Museum in Springfield, Illinois, is the state’s official museum of the natural history. Founded in 1877, the museum was originally located inside the sixth Illinois State Capitol but moved as the state government expanded. Between 1961 and 1963, the state built the museum’s current building, the first purpose-built state museum. Exhibits include local fossils, dioramas of Native American life, a collection of glass paperweights and archaeological and ethnographic artifacts.
Thanks to mechanic Ernest Holmes, Chattanooga is inextricably linked to the world of towing. Holmes invented the tow truck in 1916 in Chattanooga, Tenn. Today, those trucks are indispensable emergency vehicles throughout the world. So, it makes sense the International Towing & Recovery Museum would open here in September 1995. Over its more than 20-year history, the museum has amassed a collection that includes antique and modern tow trucks, photos and related toys. Outside the museum stands the Wall of the Fallen memorial, which includes the names of towers killed in the line of duty.
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum features an incredible collection of military and civilian aircraft. The museum housed on a historic aircraft carrier at Pier 86 at 46th Street in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood on the West Side of Manhattan.
The Johnny Cash Tennessee, Museum opened its doors to the public in May 2013. The museum, located in downtown Nashville, features a remarkable collection of Cash artifacts, including the standard concert posters and album covers. But the museum’s collection includes more off the beaten path artifacts such as the first wills of Cash and his first wife, Vivian; an artist royalty check from 1957; tin cups from Folsom Prison given to Cash in 1968, and handwritten lyrics of “Walk the Line” that cash wrote in 1990 for museum founder Bill Miller.
Since 2006, the Pinball Hall of Fame has featured a vast array of pinball machines – ranging from modern machines to rarer classics. The attraction is free to visit, but it costs to play pinball. Still, it’s cheaper than the craps table.
The LBJ Presidential Library gives visitors have the opportunity to learn about America’s 36th President, Lyndon B. Johnson, a particularly complex leader. The museum features state-of-the-art exhibitions to highlight many of the critical issues Johnson faced, including education, civil rights, the environment and the Vietnam War. Visitors can pick up a telephone and listen to audio recordings of Johnson as he conducts business. Beyond the political aspects, the museum sheds light on the personal lives of the president and the first lady, Lady Bird Johnson. The library was dedicated in May 1971 and is one of fourteen presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.
For anyone interested in learning more about the complex maze of sewers winding its way beneath the Parisian streets, a visit to Le Musée des Égouts de Paris (the Paris Sewer Museum) is a must. The museum is located beneath the Quai d’Orsay near the famous Pont de l’Alma in the city’s 7th arrondissement and chronicles the need for sewers and their construction. Exhibits include replica and equipment used in the upkeep of the system, such as a giant ball used to clear clogs. An actual sewer line, complete with raw sewage, running below reminds museum-goers’ that while the museum and the city’s underground may be out of sight, it’s not always out of smell. A visit to the museum can take an hour or so, less for anyone who might be unable to keep their olfactory senses in check.
Abraham Lincoln went to the Great Western Railroad depot on the morning of Feb. 11, 1861, to begin his inaugural journey to Washington D.C. Lincoln and his eldest son, Robert, planned to leave on the 8 a.m. train, while the rest of his family would follow later that day. Lincoln gave a short speech to the group of friends and family who came to see him off. Today, the privately owned depot features Lincoln-related exhibits.
Benci di Cione and Simone di Francesco Talenti built the Loggia dei Lanzi, also known as the Loggia della Signoria, between 1376 and 1382. It is located on a corner of the Piazza della Signoria and adjoins the Uffizi Gallery. More than anything, the building is an open-air museum as it houses many historic statues.
The London Canal Museum, located in the King’s Cross section of London, tells the often overlooked story of London’s Canals. The museum explores canals from their earliest days as important trade routes to the more leisurely pursuits they are used for today. The museum is housed in a former ice warehouse once used by Carlo Gatti that was built sometime in the mid-19th century to house ice that was imported from Norway by ship and canal barge.
London’s extensive subway system is famous the world over. But, the modern system took decades to develop. This museum, established in 1980 and located in a former flower shop in Covent Garden, showcases the history of transport from horse-drawn carriages to today’s subway system. Its holdings include an impressive collection of vehicles and artifacts used in developing London’s extensive transit system. Among the items on display is Metropolitan Railway steam locomotive No. 23. This engine is one of two surviving steam locomotives from the Metropolitan Railway, the company that built the first passenger-carrying underground railway in the world.
The story of fighting fires in Marietta, Ga., from bucket brigades to pumper and ladder trucks, is on display at the Marietta Fire Museum. One of the highlights of the museum is an 1879 horse-drawn Silsby steamer, which is nicknamed “Aurora.” The unit is said to be one of only five of its kind still in existence. The horse-drawn steamer remained in service until 1921 when it was replaced by an American LaFrance Pumper, also on display in the museum. The pumper is famous for being one of the first motorized fire vehicles in North Georgia. Also on display are a 1929 Seagrave pumper, a 1949 Pirsch ladder truck and a 1952 Chevrolet panel truck. In addition to the fire vehicles, a number of antique helmets, firefighting accessories and a “Wall of Flame” featuring photos of some of the city’s larger fires from over the years are on display.
The Marietta Museum of History is housed in a former cotton warehouse and hotel. It is one of the oldest buildings in Marietta and was where the members of the Andrews Raid before stealing a locomotive in Kennesaw, Ga., on April 12, 1862. The museum offers a series of exhibits dedicated to the city’s history and features memorabilia, including photographs and artifacts.
The water was vital to Chicago’s growth and success as a city, and nowhere is that more apparent than at the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum. The five-story museum is located in the southwest bridge house of the DuSable Bridge, better known as the Michigan Avenue Bridge. The museum includes exhibits on the history of the Chicago River and the bridge, and visitors can access the bridge’s gear room.
The New York Mets’ Hall of Fame & Museum showcases the team’s five-plus-decade history. The 3,700 square-foot museum, located next to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, features exhibits, photos and videos from the Mets’ history. The museum, on the first base side of Citi Field, is open to fans with game tickets. Some notable artifacts include a Casey Stengel jersey from 1962, Tom Seaver’s 1969 Cy Young Award and the 1986 Game 6 World Series ball that Mookie Wilson hit and “trickled” through the legs of Boston Red Sox’s first baseman Bill Bucker. The museum also features an exhibit about Mr. Met and the “Ring of Champions” display dedicated to the Mets’ 1969 and 1986 World Champion teams. The Mets Hall of Fame includes 21 members. The Mets began to play as an expansion team in 1962.
One might not expect to find a large Jewish population in the middle of a Caribbean paradise. But Curacao is home to the “oldest synagogue building in continuous use in the Western Hemisphere,” and the Mikve Israel Emanuel Synagogue & Jewish Museum chronicles the congregation’s history.
MOTAT – Museum of Transport and Technology – opened in 1964, and is the largest museum of transport, technology and social history in New Zealand. It houses a number of outstanding collections.
Anywhere in the world, the Musée d’Orsay would be the best art museum in the city. In Paris, it is probably the second best art museum in town. Regardless, the Musée d’Orsay is one of the best art museums in the world. It is home to one of the largest collections of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces. Manet, Monet, Degas, Renoir, Gauguin and Van Gogh are among the artists prominently featured in the museum. The museum opened in 1986 in the former Gare d’Orsay railway station, built in 1900.
The Louvre is perhaps the world’s best art museum. It and houses some of the most famous and consequential works of art ever created, including Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. A former royal palace, the Louvre is located between the Tuileries Gardens and the church of Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois and is situated on the Right Bank of the Seine River. Construction on the earliest incarnation of the building, the Louvre Castle started in 1202 while construction on the Louvre Palace dates to 1546.
Museo Correr began when Teodoro Correr, a member of a traditional Venetian family, bequeathed his collection to the city of Venice. Correr collected works of art and objects that reflect the history of Venice. The items were housed initially in the Correr family’s Grand Canal palace, which first opened to the public in 1836. In 1922, the collection moved to its current location on St. Mark’s Square, where it occupies the Napoleonic Wing and a portion of the Procuratie Nuove.
Anyone wanting a unique look at the past should look no further than the Museo Criminologico or Crime Museum. Educational and informative, this small museum is also home to some real oddities, such as the Milazzo Cage. This horrible body-shaped iron cage that still contains the remains of its last inhabitant. Kids will assuredly love it.
The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (or the Museum of the Works of the Cathedral in English) is home to many of the original works of art created for Florence’s famed Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (better known as the Duomo). The museum, which has been called “one of the world’s most important collections of sculpture,” opened in 1891. Its collection includes Lorenzo Ghiberti’s doors for the Baptistery of Florence Cathedral (called the Gates of Paradise) and The Deposition, a pietà Michelangelo sculpted and intended for his tomb.
Slavery is a major part of Curacao’s history, and the Kura Hulanda Museum takes an in-depth look at how the institution shaped the island’s history.
Located on 51 acres next to Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Georgia, the Museum of Aviation is the second-largest aerospace museum of the U.S. Air Force and the fourth most visited Department of Defense museum. The museum, which opened in 1984, has four exhibit buildings displaying U.S. Air Force aircraft, missiles, cockpits and other exhibits. The museum is also home to Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame.
The Museum of Science and Industry, located in the former Palace of Fine Arts built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, opened in 1933 during the Century of Progress Exposition. The museum was initially endowed by Julius Rosenwald, the Sears, Roebuck and Company president. Today, the museum is home to more 2,000 exhibits displayed in 75 major halls. Among the most famous exhibits are German submarine U-505 captured during World War II, the Apollo 8 spacecraft that carried the first humans to orbit the Moon and the first diesel-powered streamlined stainless-steel passenger train, the Pioneer Zephyr.
This 200,000-square-foot, $250 million museum museum opened in April 2010. Its collection is astounding, bringing together more than 15,000 instruments from 200-plus countries under one roof. But, these are not just static displays. To bring the instruments to life, the museum uses a combination of wireless technology and high-resolution videos. When a museum guest approaches a video screen, they can listen to and watch the instruments in action, played by true artisans who can bring them to life.
The National Archaeological Museum of Naples is home to an extensive collection of Greek and Roman artifacts. The museum houses Roman artifacts from nearby Pompeii, Stabiae and Herculaneum.
Since March 2005, the National Atomic Testing Museum has focused its attention on a more ominous bit of Sin City’s history: its connection to nuclear testing and the development of atomic bombs.
The private, nonprofit National Constitution Center brings people together to learn about, debate and celebrate arguably the most important document ever created: the U.S. Constitution. The center, located on Independence Mall, is an interactive museum that is a hub for conversation and study of the Constitution. Its congressional charter “to disseminate information about the U.S. Constitution on a nonpartisan basis.”
The National Gallery dates to 1824 when the British government bought 38 paintings from the heirs of John Julius Angerstein, a London businessman. Today, the museum, located in Trafalgar Square, is home to more than 2,300 works of art, some dating to the mid-13th century. Some critics point out the museum’s collection is smaller when compared to other European national galleries.
The National Lighthouse Museum officially opened in 2015 as a dedication to the history of Lighthouses and their keepers. Located in the St. George neighborhood of Staten Island in New York City, the museum is located on the former site of the United States Lighthouse Service General Depot.
The National Museum of Funeral History contains a collection of artifacts and relics that aim to “educate the public and preserve the heritage of death care.” The 35,000-square-foot museum opened in 1992 and is home to “the country’s largest collection of funeral service artifacts and features renowned exhibits on one of man’s oldest cultural customs,” according to its website. The museum features a wide array of caskets and hearses, which one might expect to see at a funeral museum. But, the well-researched exhibits go much deeper, ranging from a look at celebrities’ deaths to the history of embalming to the mourning customs of the 19th century.
The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, better known as The Mob Museum, is located in Downtown Las Vegas in the historic U.S. Post Office and federal courthouse. The building, on the National Register of Historic Places, on Nov. 15, 1950, hosted one of the Kefauver Committee Hearings, which investigated organized crime. The museum opened on Feb. 14, 2012, the 79th anniversary of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. The museum displays artifacts belonging to legendary mobsters, including Al Capone, Bugsy Siegel and John Gotti. It also has St. Valentine’s Day Wall, from the building where members from the South Side Italian gang led by Al Capone in Chicago murdered seven men affiliated with the Moran gang on Feb. 14, 1929.
Sept. 11, 2001, was one of the darkest days in the city’s history. The city persevered and rebuilt. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum commemorates that fateful day. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum, located in the basement and footprint of the former Twin Towers, is a poignant reminder of the day, with exhibits bringing to life the heartbreaking, heartwarming and heroic stories that emerged from the devastation and destruction.
Housed in the former Court Street station, the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn features exhibits that tell the story of the subway, from its earliest construction to the modern cars that transport tourists and commuters alike every day. The museum opened in 1976. In many ways, the centerpiece of the museum is the station itself. Court Street opened as the terminus for trains on the IND Fulton Street Line. However, it closed in 1946 due to low ridership numbers and sat largely vacant for three decades. It was used at times as a filming location for movies set in New York City. On July 4, 1976, the temporary New York City Transit Exhibit opened in the Court Street, coinciding with the United States Bicentennial celebration. The exhibit proved to be so popular the exhibit was made permanent.
The National Maritime Museum celebrates New Zealand’s seafaring history from the voyaging traditions of the Pacific peoples to early European arrivals and modern ocean racing. In Māori, the museum name is Te Huiteananui-a-Tangaroa, the legendary house belonging to Tangaroa, Māori god of the sea. Galleries tell the story of peoples whose lives were forever linked to the sea. Along the way, try your hand at yacht design, relax in a Kiwi style bach, hear the cannon fire and test your sea legs in the rocking cabin. Don’t miss the opportunity to get out on the water aboard one of the museum’s fully restored heritage fleet.
Based on content courtesy of Tourism New Zealand.
From the days of bartering for goods to today’s currency and modern system of banking, the Numismatic Museum takes a look at money on the island. This delightful museum, owned and operated by the Bank of the Netherlands Antilles, is conveniently located in the Scharloo section of Willemstad and a short walk from popular attractions such as the Queen Emma Bridge.
The O. Henry Museum is the former home of William Sydney Porter, better known as O. Henry. The short story writer authored such standards as “The Gift of the Magi,” “The Ransom of Red Chief” and “The Last Leaf.” The museum collects, preserves and interprets artifacts and archival materials relative to Porter. Through exhibits, programs and tours, the museum focuses on Porter’s years in Austin. While living in the city, he wrote his earliest stories. The museum is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Simón Bolívar’s two sisters lived in this octagonal building while Bolívar worked in a house on a hill overlooking Willemstad’s harbor. The Curacao Monument Foundation and the Avila Beach Hotel restored the building, which is today part of the hotel. The building is home to a museum highlighting Curacao’s connection to Simón Bolívar.
The old Rockdale County Jail was built in 1897 and was remained in use until 1969. Its exterior walls are three bricks thick, while interior walls are two bricks thick. The floor and ceiling of the second floor are constructed of steel with six inches of concrete above it. The main floor consisted of an office for sheriff and living quarters for his family. Five Rockdale County sheriffs and their families lived in the building between 1897 and 1969. The Rockdale County Historical Society acquired the property in 1975.
The Old Lahaina Courthouse opened in 1860 and remained in service until the 1970s when the Lahaina Civic Center was built. Architect William D’Esmond restored the courthouse in 1925. Today, the courthouse is home to a museum, art galleries, a visitor center and a community meeting room. Among the artifacts on display is the last Flag of Hawaii to fly over the courthouse.
Sometimes it feels like the history of Dallas centers on the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Contrary to prevailing opinion, it does not. Any visitor to Dallas looking to explore more of the city’s history should begin at the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History & Culture near Dealey Plaza in the heart of downtown Dallas. The museum, located in the historic 1892 Dallas County Courthouse, explores the fascinating history of Dallas, how the city grew into the major metropolis it is today and some of the cultural conflicts along the way.
Palazzo Ducale (or the Doge’s Palace in English) is the former residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority in the former Venetian Republic. The old palace opened as a museum in 1923. Doge Agnello Participazio moved the seat of the Venetian government to the current location from the island of Malamocco in 810. Construction on the existing building began circa 1340.
The Museum traces its origins to October 1993. The original small museum in the city’s historic city hall has today blossomed to a more robust museum located in the same building. Open to the public without charge, the museum features a number of exhibits that interpret the city’s law enforcement history. One of the more unique exhibits is the jail rock with leg shackles attached to it. Dating to the 1860s, the jail rock was used to detain lawbreakers in the days before the city had a proper jail. Another particularly poignant display is the Memorial Room. The memorial honors the Phoenix police officers killed in the line of duty.
The small, but packed Picton Heritage & Whaling Museum is home to more than 2,000 artifacts that help tell the area’s history, including its strong roots in the whaling industry. While the museum has been around for 60 years, its current home on London Quay was built in 1990 on the site of Waitohi Pa.
The Pima Air & Space Museum is one of the world’s largest aerospace museums. The museum, established in 1976, is home to roughly 300 aircraft and more than 125,000 artifacts displayed outdoors and in five hangars across more than 80 acres. Its collection includes an SR-71A Blackbird, an A-10 Warthog, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress and President Kennedy’s Air Force One. The museum, situated adjacent to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, is the country’s third largest aviation museum and the largest privately funded aviation and aerospace museum in the world. The museum is also home to the Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame.
Quake City tackles the devastating earthquakes that struck Christchurch, their impact on the city and how the city has worked to rebuild and reinvent itself. The museum first opened as part of the Re:START container mall in February 2013 and moved to its current location in June 2017. Quake City offers a compelling and in-depth look at the earthquakes, both from a scientific standpoint and a cultural one.
There is a lot that can be said about Richard Nixon. Though he is perhaps best known as the only president ever to resign from office, the 37th president of the United States is a complex person whose fingerprints can be found in so many aspects of 20th-century politics. The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum first opened in July 1990. An updated iteration of the museum, complete with updated exhibits (including one on Watergate, which led to his resignation in August 1974), opened in October 2016. In addition to exhibits, the museum also includes the house where Nixon was born in 1913 and the VH-3A Sea King helicopter Nixon used when he departed from the White House for the last time as president.
The Rose Tree Museum opened in 1964 inside a former hotel in downtown Tombstone. The museum showcases a different side of history in the mining town, one that doesn’t include a famous gunfight. But the real highlight is the World’s Largest Rose Bush. According to various sources, Mary Gee, a homesick woman from Scotland, planted the Lady Banksia rose tree in 1885. By the 1930s, the bush claimed the title of world’s largest. The building itself was the first adobe structure built in Tombstone. The Visina Mining Co. built the structure as an employee lodging house. It was later the Cochise House and the Arcade Hotel before assuming the name of Rose Tree Inn in 1935.
The Royal Ontario Museum is part art, part natural history and part world culture museum. The museum, founded in 1914, is home to more than 13 million artifacts, including dinosaur fossils and works of art. The items are displayed in 40 galleries and exhibition spaces. The museum is one of the most visited in North America.
The Ruth Paine House Museum opened on November 6, 2013. The city of Irving purchased Ruth Paine’s small suburban home in 2009 to preserve the home’s history surrounding the tragedy. Half a century later, the historic home was restored to its 1963 look and transformed into a multimedia museum to interpret what happened in November 1963. On November 21, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald went to the house for an overnight visit with his wife and kids, who had been living with Paine. This was unusual as Oswald usually visited on the weekends. Video images projected onto glass panes depict actors re-creating certain moments, such as when Paine was shocked to hear Marina tell a police officer that her husband owned a gun. Paine lived in the house until 1966 and now resides in California.
The Savannah History Museum, housed in the former Central of Georgia Depot, chronicles the history of Savannah from 1733 to modern times. Among the 40,000 artifacts housed in the museum is the bench from the movie Forrest Gump, information about Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts and a steam locomotive from the early 20th century. The railroad used the building until 1972, and the Coastal Heritage Society opened the museum in 1989.
Savonet Museum is located in the former plantation house of the Savonet Plantation and situated inside Christoffelpark National Park. The museum provides visitors with a look at plantation life on the island of Curaçao.
Since it officially opened on April 25, 1999, the Smyrna Museum has dedicated to keeping alive the stories that make the Jonquil City unique — from images of the city’s past to artifacts from important events in history.
Located in a replica of the city’s railroad depot that was build in 1910 and razed in 1959, the museum is home to thousands of photographs, a number of exhibits and other displays, the museum is also home to a number of genealogical research materials.
While admission is free, the museum, which is operated by volunteers, does accept donations.
The South Dakota Air and Space Museum displays more than 30 aircraft ranging from World War II to active-duty bombers, such as the B-29 Superfortress and the B-1B Lancer. The museum is part of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and is located just outside Ellsworth Air Force Base.
The 35-acre Southeastern Railway Museum opened in its current location in 1998. The museum, which previously operated on a 12-acre site until 1997, is home to approximately 90 pieces of rolling stock, including locomotives, passenger cars and cabooses. Guests can board a vintage caboose for a ride around the museum’s grounds, which was previously home to a railcar repair facility. The museum has been designated “Georgia’s Official Transportation History Museum.”
The Southern Arizona Transportation Museum preserves and interprets the history of railroads in southern Arizona. The one-time records vault building at the former Southern Pacific depot houses the museum. The city of Tucson purchased the building in 1998 and renovated it in 2004 to restore it to its 1941 style. Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup helped dedicate the museum on March 20, 2005, the 125th anniversary of the arrival of the railroad in Tucson. The centerpiece of this museum is Southern Pacific locomotive No. 1673. Schenectady Locomotive Works built the steamer in 1900, and it starred in the movie Oklahoma in 1955.
A Smithsonian Institution affiliate, the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History features collections of rare Civil War weapons, uniforms and other personal items; an exciting exhibit about the Great Locomotive Chase, including the General locomotive; and a full-scale replica of a locomotive factory that helped rebuild the South after the war. The Jolley Education Center features a variety of hands-on exhibits to inspire a love of learning in children. During the sesquicentennial, 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Southern Museum will be hosting numerous events that will explore topics relevant to this tumultuous time in history.
The Susanna Dickinson Museum occupies the house Joseph Hannig constructed in 1869 for his new wife, Susanna Dickinson. Dickinson survived the Battle of the Alamo and delivered the news of its fall to Sam Houston. Houston went on to defeat Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto, winning independence for the Republic of Texas. Dickinson earned the nickname of the “Messenger of the Alamo.” The “rubble-rock” style house, a style of architecture brought to the Texas Hill Country by German immigrants, is the only remaining residence of Susanna Dickinson. The museum displays rare Dickinson family artifacts and furniture Hannig produced.
Tate Modern is among the world’s largest modern and contemporary art museums. The museum, which opened in the former Bankside Power Station in May 2000, is one of the most visited attractions in London. The museum houses more than 60,000 works of art that are regularly rotated. Its collection displays of the Tate Modern is open to the public for free.
New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, opened in 1998 on Wellington’s waterfront. The museum, a celebration of New Zealand’s identity – the people, culture and environment, features hi-tech and traditional displays. As well as significant collections of New Zealand art, the 16,000-plus taonga / treasures looked after by Te Papa are the largest Māori collection in any museum and cover a broad spectrum of Māori art and culture, from revered and significant cultural heirlooms through to humble everyday items dating from early pre-European times to today. In 2017, the museum was named as one of the top 25 museums in the world by TripAdvisor – the only museum in Australasia to be included.
Opened in January 2009, Tellus is home to one of only two digital planetariums in Georgia. The 120,000-square-foot museum also includes Science in Motion, a journey through the development of motorized transportation. Tellus replaced the Weinman Mineral Museum, a 9,000-square-foot museum.
The Tennessee State Museum highlights the history of Tennessee starting from pre-colonization and into the 20th century. The museum interprets the Frontier, the age of President Andrew Jackson and the American Civil War.
Watching the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace is a tradition for visitors to London. For those wanting to learn more about the guards, a visit to The Guards Museum is a must. The museum tells the story of the five regiments of Foot Guards namely Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards. The museum, which opened in 1988 in Wellington Barracks on Birdcage Walk near Buckingham Palace, chronicles the five regiments’ history from the 17th century to modern times. The museum’s exhibits include examples of Guards uniforms, weapons and various artifacts that interpret the history of the regiments and what being a soldier in the Guards is all about.
A legacy of the philanthropists John and Dominique de Menil, the Menil Collection opened in 1987. The museum presents regular rotations of artworks from its growing permanent collection, organizes special exhibitions and programs throughout the year, publishes scholarly books, and conducts research into the conservation of modern and contemporary art. The Menil Collection’s main museum building, the first building in the United States designed by Renzo Piano, anchors a park-like 30-acre campus, which also includes the Cy Twombly Gallery, a site- specific Dan Flavin installation, the Byzantine Fresco Chapel — now a venue for long-term installations by contemporary artists — and outdoor sculpture.
The Met was established in 1870 and since that time has built one of the best museum collections in the world. Its collection includes works from such renowned artists as Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, to name just a few. One incredible piece is by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, depicting Gen. George Washington leading his trips across the Delaware River.
Established in 1900, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is one of the 10 largest art museums. The museum is home to an encyclopedic collection of more than 65,000 works dating from antiquity to the present. The main campus comprises the Audrey Jones Beck Building, designed by Rafael Moneo and opened in 2000; the Caroline Wiess Law Building, originally designed by William Ward Watkin, with extensions by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe completed in 1958 and 1974; and the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden, designed by Isamu Noguchi and opened in 1986. Additional spaces include a repertory cinema, two libraries, public archives, and facilities for conservation and storage.
The nonprofit Neon Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs. The museum, founded in 1996, is home to dozens of signs that once stood outside of casinos in the city.
Originally opened in 1989, the museum, tells not only the story of Kennedy’s assassination and the aftermath of his death, but puts into context Kennedy’s visit to Dallas, which was in essence the first stop of his 1964 re-election campaign. The most powerful scene in the museum is arguably the reconstructed sniper’s perch. According to the Warren Commission, Oswald organized boxes containing schoolbooks into the perch; the museum based its reconstruction on photographs taken on Nov. 22, 1963.
The Tombstone Epitaph is perhaps the most revered institution in Tombstone, Arizona. John P. Clum founded the newspaper in 1880, and today, it is the oldest continuously published newspaper in the Grand Canyon State. Since the town was name Tombstone and “every Tombstone needs an epitaph,” as Clum would later say, the newspaper had its name. The publication witnessed history, when, in 1881, it reported on the now-infamous Shootout at the OK Corral. Today, the paper is a monthly journal of western history. Students at the University of Arizona continue to publish a local edition of The Tombstone Epitaph. The newspaper office in Tombstone is a museum about its role in the community.
During the 1960s, the U.S. Air Force built 54 missile silos around the country, including 18 around Tucson, Ariz., to defend the country in case of attack. By the 1980s, these Titan Missile silos were obsolete, so President Reagan decommissioned them. The Titan Missile Museum opened on May 21, 1986, inside the former Titan II Missile Site 8 (571-7) in Sahuarita, Ariz., about 20 miles south of Tucson. The museum interprets life at the complex and the steps to fire the missile. The centerpiece of the museum is an inert Titan II intercontinental ballistic missile in the silo.
The Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, New Zealand’s oldest history museum, focuses on the early settlers to the Dunedin region. The Otago Early Settlers’ Association first founded in 1898, and the earliest iteration of the museum opened in 1908. The current iteration of the museum opened in 2012. It features 14 themed galleries with interactive displays telling the stories from the earliest settlers to more recent arrivals.
There are two versions of Tombstone. The first is the stuff of legends. The second is the real history, which while entertaining and almost unbelievable, is a little less grandiose. For anyone especially interested in learning the full story of Tombstone, a visit to the Tombstone Courthouse is an absolute must. Cochise County built the courthouse in 1882 for administrators of the then-newly created Cochise County. It remained in use until 1929, when the county seat relocated to Bisbee. After its abandonment, proprietors planned to repurpose the courthouse as a hotel, but today the courthouse houses a museum dedicated to telling the historically accurate story of Tombstone.
The Toronto Railway Museum opened in 2010 in a portion of the historic John Street Roundhouse in the heart of Toronto. Canadian Pacific Railway built the roundhouse, designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1990, in 1929-31; it is today the only remaining roundhouse in downtown Toronto. The museum is home to locomotives, rolling stock and railroad artifacts that interpret the history of railroads in the Toronto area and Canada. The museum, which is part of the 17-acre Roundhouse Park and sits in the shadows of the Rogers Centre and CN Tower, has also relocated several historic buildings to its grounds, including Don Station, which Canadian Pacific Railway built in 1896 and original at the Don River and Queen Street East.
The First Toronto Post Office is the only surviving example of a post office that served as a department of the British Royal Mail in Canada. The Georgian style building dates to 1833 before York became the city of Toronto and is also sometimes referred to as the Fourth York Post Office. Today, the museum, which is also home to the Town of York Historical Society, includes a range of exhibits about the history of mail in Canada and the building itself.
The Tower of London is perhaps the single most famous London landmark, best known for its history as a jail. Today, the tower, which dates to 1078, is one of London’s most popular tourist attractions and is home to the Crown Jewels. The tower, which sits on the north bank of the River Thames, has been besieged at various times and controlling the edifice has been critical to control of England. Its peak use as a prison was the 16th and 17th centuries. Among the many prominent people “sent to the Tower” are Anne Boleyn, Sir Walter Raleigh and Elizabeth Throckmorton.
The Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block was founded 1924 in the El Presidio Historic District of downtown Tucson. The 74,000-square-foot museum features permanent and traveling exhibitions of Modern and Contemporary, Native American, American West, Latin American, and Asian art. The main museum occupies a contemporary building, while the museum’s Historic Block of 19th and 20th century adobe and Mission Revival-style buildings, encompassing an entire four-acre city block, includes the John K. Goodman Pavilion of Western Art, which displays the Museum’s notable art of the American West collection, the Museum restaurant Café a la C’Art, and other exhibition and studio spaces.
Ty Cobb has a tough legacy, to say the least. He is one of the greatest players to ever take the field. He holds the all-time career batting average record with a .366 average, and he was selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936 as part of the inaugural class. The Ty Cobb Museum in his hometown of Royston, Ga., puts Cobb in an interesting light. The museum helps tell the story of Cobb and how he helped shape his home town, an impact that is felt even today.
The Philadelphia Mint has been a staple of the city since 1792 when the nation’s first-ever Mint opened here. At the time, the city was the nation’s capital. The Mint has been housed in its current building at the intersection of N. 5th and Arch streets since 1969. Visitors can take free self-guided tours and see the coining operations from a walkway 40 feet above the factory floor.
The Vandalia State House is the fourth statehouse of Illinois and is the oldest surviving capitol building in the state. The structure served as the capital from 1836 until 1839, when it moved to Springfield. The two-story painted brick structure later served as a courthouse and was converted into a state monument in 1933.
For anyone interested in learning more about the history of Wellington, the Wellington Museum is an absolute must. The centerpiece of the museum is the building itself. The museum is located in the Bond Store, which sits in the heart of Wellington’s waterfront district. Leading architect Frederick de Jersey Clere designed the 1892 heritage building. The museum features a mix of stories about the community of Wellington and maritime history, including information about the 1968 Wahine disaster, a deadly ferry disaster that claimed the lives of 53 passengers.
The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum chronicles the Jewish experience and the universal themes of diversity and human dignity. The museum, which opened in 1996, collects and preserves Jewish culture and history through permanent exhibitions like the Absence of Humanity: The Holocaust Years, 1933-1945. The exhibit was designed by local architect and Holocaust survivor Ben Hirsch. The Cuba Family Archives also houses the largest repository of Jewish archival material in the region.
The William Root House Museum & Garden showcases what life was like for a middle-class Georgia family during the 1860s. Hannah and William Root built the simple frame house circa 1845. William Root an early merchant in Marietta, and the first druggist in town. The structure was more typical of houses in the south than the grand plantations and columned mansions.
The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame honors men and women who have contributed to the sport of women’s basketball. The Hall of Fame opened in 1999 in Knoxville, Tenn.
The Woody Guthrie Center, opened in 2013, is dedicated to spreading Woody Guthrie’s message of diversity, equality and justice to a new generation who can create their own ripples of change. The center honors Guthrie’s life and legacy by educating visitors, teachers, students and scholars about his relevance today and his important role in American history through on-site programming, classroom materials, youth music programs, artist-in-residence programs, school outreach, internships, fellowship opportunities and the Woody Guthrie Archives.
Pharmacist John Pemberton invented Coca-Cola in 1886. The original World of Coca-Cola opened in Atlanta in 1991, but was upgraded in its current location near Centennial Olympic Park in May 2007. The 35,000-square-foot exhibition features the largest collection of Coke memorabilia, a 4-D theater and a bottling operation that produces eight ounce commemorative bottles for guests.