Smithsonians are a huge part of what make DC and New York a paradise for history buffs. These world class museums encompass art, science and technology, and natural history in abundance. Plus, they are all free everyday. Most of the names are self-explanatory, so take your pick for whatever you’re in the mood to learn on your visit.
National Mall, 4th St. and Independence Ave., S.W.
Use videos, interactive technology, and displays of artifacts to help you learn about Native cosmologies, history, and contemporary cultural identity.
1000 Jefferson Dr SW
Storm the castle for information.
2 Massachusetts Ave. NE
This Smithsonian Institution museum houses the world's largest philatelic collection and chronicles America's mail service from colonial times to the present.
1901 Fort Pl SE
This Smithsonian museum wears several hats: as community hall and museum for the surrounding black neighborhood of Anacostia, and as a place for rotating exhibits.
2 E 91st St
This eclectic museum occupying an opulent, 64-room mansion on the Upper East Side explores design across continents and cultures.
8th and F Streets, NW
The world's biggest and most inclusive collection of American art houses a collection that spans three centuries, from the colonial period to today.
1050 Independence Ave SW
The Smithsonian's first museum on the Mall devoted exclusively to art, the Freer Gallery possesses an outstanding Asian collection totalling some 27,000 works.
17th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. NW
This ornate brick building adds a touch of quiet elegance to the bustling corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 17th Street.
1400 Constitution Ave NW
This unique underground building houses stunning galleries, a library, photographic archives, and educational facilities.
F Street NW
Traces the history of America through visual and performing arts that pay tribute to great American icons like Marilyn Monroe and Rosa Parks.
6th and Independence Ave., SW
This is the country's most visited museum, attracting 9 million people annually to the world's largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft.
Independence Ave. SW
This spectacular, aggressively modern cylindrical building by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill enlivens the predominantly neoclassical architecture lining the Mall.
10th Street and Constitution Ave
This is one of the world's great natural history museums.
1400 Constitution Ave NW
This unique museum captures the essence of America by presenting the objects and ideas that have figured prominently in the nation's material and social development.
3001 Connecticut Ave NW
Two words: baby panda.