The Smithsonian Museums

We love to travel, and 2020 was supposed to be a big travel year for us. Like the rest of you, that hasn't happened. 

We're still dreaming about travel, reading about new destinations, and making (tentative) plans for the future. We hope all of you are well and staying safe... and that you find some inspiration here for YOUR future travels.

With vaccines arriving, let's hope we can be traveling again in 2021!

The Smithsonian Museums make Washington DC a travel destination even if you don't care anything about it being the U.S. Capital.

There are more museums in one place than you can imagine. Even to see the top few it could take you days...

...Maybe a couple of weeks to see them all... talk about museum overload!

According to their website, there are 19 museums...

9 research centers...

and the National Zoo.

Most are scattered around Washington DC. Together they comprise one of the finest collection of museums in the world.

...But seriously, they're all worth seeing.

Smithsonian Museums On The Mall

Washington DC Mall from the Washington Monument

Ten of the museums are located right on or near the National Mall.

They are strung out for about a mile on both sides of the Mall between the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument.

Walk Or Take The Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus

You'll do a lot of walking within the museums too, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes.

Remember that the hop-on-hop-off buses are an option for getting around to the different museums. There is food available in several of the buildings.

The Castle

The iconic building of the Smithsonian Museum is the "Castle".

This red sandstone building was the Smithsonian's first building. It's centrally located on the Mall.

There really isn't much to see here, but it's a good place to start because it's the Information Center for all the museums.

National Air and Space Museum

One of the most visited of all the museums is the National Air and Space Museum. It displays many historic aircraft and spacecraft.

There are full scale models of a Lunar Lander and rockets.

The Imax Theater offers different films on flight several times a day.

More Airplanes at Dulles

If you like airplanes, get out to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport in Virginia. There are many more aircraft out here.

These two are probably right up there as candidates for Mark's two favorites. He does love airplanes!

Museum of Natural History

Another favorite is the National Museum of Natural History. It is well loved for its dinosaur exhibit and for the room full of precious stones including the legendary Hope Diamond.

If you want to give your kids a real thrill, check into a Smithsonian Sleepover. You'll see the movie, "Night at the Museum", get to explore the museum, and sleep with dinosaurs!

National Museum of American History

The National Museum of American History is the one that offers proof for the saying "The Smithsonian is America's attic."

It's in the museum that you will find the "Star Spangled Banner."

You'll find such diverse exhibits as inaugural gowns worn by President's wives all the way to steam trains.

You'll also find Kermit the Frog and ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the "Wizard of Oz".

Art Galleries

The National Gallery of Art contains a great collection of Western European and American paintings.

The Freer and Sackler Galleries have Asian art and American art with an Asian influence.

The Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is a collection of modern art. Next to the building is an outdoor sculpture garden.

Visit the National Museum of African Art and the National Museum of the American Indian to see and learn about the history of the native peoples of the Americas.

There is a National Portrait Gallery, an American Art Museum, a National Postal Museum and the National Zoo.

The National Archives

The National Archives Building is also on the Mall, but it is not a Smithsonian Museum.

The Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom is the permanent home of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the U.S. and the Bill of Rights.

Hours For All Smithsonian Museums

The Smithsonian Museums are open every day of the year except they are closed on Christmas Day.

They are open from 10:00 a.m. until 5:30 in the winter.

Most stay open until 6:30 or 7:30 in the summer.

Check the Smithsonian website for details.

Admission is free making visits to the Smithsonian a great bargain.

Happy travels... even if you don't travel the world... just remember that life is a journey... embrace and enjoy it! Judy and Mark

Curious about what else we've written about?  Search our site for a destination or travel tip.

But... We'd love to have you share this page or comment on it…
Thanks, Judy and Mark

International Travel Tips l Europe Travel Tips l Travel In America
Hotel and B&B Tips l Packing Lists
Go from Smithsonian Museums to MouseToursTravels Home Page

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Did it help with your travel planning and preparation? Eager to leave on that next vacation? Please leave your tips or comments in the box below.

Timely Tips

The New Year is here...
And we're ready to put 2020 behind us.
What are your resolutions? To lose weight? To Exercise more?
We're hoping for an end to this virus and the travel restrictions so...
Why not a FUN resolution!
Resolve to TRAVEL!
It's a good time to plan your travels...

We have lists to help....
Custom Tour Planning List

Destination stories....
Europe Travel Tips
Africa Dream List
See America

Travel Planning
International Travel Planning Tips
Guidebooks can help you plan

Don't Forget Valentine's Day
Romantic Weekends

What About Your Passport?
Time to get one... or renew...

Answers about Passports and Visas

Dreaming of Warm Weather or Snow?

Jokulsarlon Iceberg Lake, Iceland

Packing for a Tropical Vacation
Cold Weather Packing List

…Or just make a resolution to explore more pages here and get ideas for travel destinations and how to get there.

NOW is the time to start planning for a great trip this year.


Search MouseToursTravels
Travel questions or destination info?
Find our answers faster..


We want you to feel comfortable out in the world and on our pages - so surf away in your own language...

Updated Tips & New Travel Stories

  1. 2020 Travels - What Travels?

    Our 2020 travels were slim. COVID kept us home too. One trip to the Three Guyanas, but dreaming of travel next year.

    Read More

  2. Discovering The Three Guyanas

    Love discovering less touristed regions? The three Guyanas are tucked up in the north east corner of South America that doesn’t get much attention.

    Read More

  3. 2019 Travels - Africa, Asia, Europe and USA

    On our 2019 travels, it was independent travel, a custom tour and a group tour. All work beautifully... just depends on where you’re going and what you want.

    Read More

Two Ways To Like Us!

Like Our Site Top Left
Like Our Fanpage Below
Thank You!

Ready For A New Adventure?

We escape by traveling…
But there are more ways to escape. 
Work on something you LOVE…
With A Website
SBI Teaches You Everything

First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life