Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Top 100 Museums in the United States

American Museums

Best Museums in the USA

The United States of America is well known for its many museums covering cultures, art, science, and history from all over the world. New York City and Washington, D.C. account for some of the most visited museums, but many other cities have delightful gems waiting to be discovered and appreciated.

We will explore and share insights into the best Museums, Art Galleries, and Historic Sites across America.

A Tour of American Museums

Top 10 Museums in America

Top 10 Museums in the USA

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art or MET, New York City
    • The Metropolitan Museum of Art often called the “MET,” is in New York City and is one of the largest art museums in the United States. It is in the top five most visited art museum in the world. Its collection has over two million works of art from antiquity to modern times, consisting of paintings, sculptures, musical instruments, costumes, and accessories, and antique weapons and armor from around the world. Highlights include large gallery installations, ranging from first-century Rome through modern American design.
  • National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
    • The National Gallery of Art and its attached Sculpture Garden is the national art museum in Washington, D.C., located on the National Mall. The museum was originally privately established in 1937 for the American people by a joint resolution of the United States Congress. Andrew W. Mellon donated a substantial art collection and funds for construction. The Gallery’s collection of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, medals, and decorative arts traces the development of Western Art from the Middle Ages to the present.
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
    • The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is one of the largest museums in the United States. Founded in 1870 the museum moved to its current location in 1909. The museum is affiliated with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts. It has more than 450,000 works of art, some highlights of the collection include Egyptian, French impressionist, and post-impressionist Art, Chinese Art, Japanese works, 18th, and 19th-century American Art.
  • Getty Museum, Los Angeles
    • The J. Paul Getty Museum commonly called the Getty Museum, is an art museum housed on two campuses: the Getty Center and Getty Villa. The Getty Center is in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, and the collection features Western art from the Middle Ages to the present. The museum’s second location is the Getty Villa, which is located in the Pacific Palisades or Malibu neighborhood and exhibits art from ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.
  • Legion of Honor Museum, San Francisco
    • The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco consists of two separate museum locations, the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park. The “Legion of Honor” is the name used both for the museum collection and for the building it occupies.
  • Art Institute of Chicago
    • The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States, with a permanent collection of about 300,000 works of art. As a research institution, the Art Institute of Chicago, has a conservation science department, conservation laboratories and one of the most extensive art history and architecture libraries in the United States.
  • Cleveland Museum of Art
    • The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) is an art museum, internationally renowned for its holdings of Asian and Egyptian art, the museum’s collection has a diverse permanent collection of more than 45,000 works of art from around the world. The Cleveland Museum of Art, in addition to its permanent collection, provides special exhibitions, lectures, films, and musical programs. The department of performing arts, music, and film hosts a film series and the museum’s Performing Arts events.
  • The Philadelphia Museum of Art
    • The Philadelphia Museum of Art is an art museum which was initially chartered in 1876 for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. The main museum building was completed in 1928 on a hill located at the northwest end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The museum’s collection is over 240,000 objects with significant holdings of European, American and Asian Art. The artwork in the collection includes sculpture, paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, armor, and decorative arts. The Philadelphia Museum of Art administers several annexes including the Rodin Museum, the Perelman Building and the historic colonial-era houses of Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove located in Fairmount Park.
  • National Air and Space Museum, New York City
    • The National Air and Space Museum displays the most extensive collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world. It was established in 1946 and opened its main building in 1976. The museum has historical objects such as the Apollo 11 module, the Friendship 7 capsule, the Bell X-1 which broke the sound barrier, and the Wright brothers’ plane.
  • American Museum of Natural History, New York City
    • The American Museum of Natural History is one of the largest museums in the world comprises 28 connected buildings housing 45 permanent exhibition halls, in addition to a planetarium and a library. The museum collections contain over 33 million objects, of which only a small fraction can be displayed at any given time. The mission of the American Museum of Natural History is: “To discover, interpret, and disseminate—through scientific research and education—knowledge about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe.”

Museums in the United States

  • Museums support over three-quarters of a million jobs.
  • Museums contribute $50 billion to the U.S. economy every year.
  • There are about 850 million visits each year to American museums.
  • Museum volunteers contribute a million hours of service every week.
  • Museums partner with Schools and Communities for mutual benefits.
  • Museums are considered the most trustworthy source of information than local papers, the U.S. government, or academics.
  • Museums are considered a more reliable source of historical information than books or teachers.
  • Zoos save Species and support conservation.

America’s 10 Best Cities for Museums

Top 10 Tourist Attractions in America

(not including Museums)

  • Grand Canyon
  • Niagara Falls
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • National Mall
  • Central Park, NYC
  • Times Square, NYC
  • Golden Gate Bridge

American Proverbs and Quotes


  • Country:                                United States of America
  • Political Capital:                    Washington, D.C.
  • Largest City:                          New York City
  • Population                            234 million



“Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience.”
– George Washington


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