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Best museums in Washington D.C.

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ESB Professional // Shutterstock

Best museums in Washington D.C.

The United States is home to more than 35,000 museums, according to data from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. These cultural strongholds run the gamut of natural history, world wars, art, and even children's books.

While some fancy a trip to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. or the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, others like to cozy up in a corner and read the Very Hungry Caterpillar at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, Mass. How does one define a museum?

Early museums housed private collections curated by individuals, while today's museums—many of them major tourist attractions—are filled with art, history, science, artifacts, fossils, historical documents, and some curious collections. Along with exhibitions of art, history, and science, Stacker unearthed museums filled with bananas, popcorn, and some very odd stuff.

All across the U.S., visitors can find museums to explore any subject that piques the imagination. A trip to Washington D.C. provides an opportunity to visit a number of iconic museums for free. A visit to Boston means getting to enjoy the Museum of Fine Arts or learn about the Boston Tea Party ships. In California, travelers can tour the International Museum of Bananas before popping by the Wyandot Popcorn Museum in Ohio or The Museum of Bad Art in Massachusetts.

Have you ever checked out the museums in your area? To determine the best museums in Washington D.C., Stacker turned to data from Foursquare (data current as of April 19, 2019). All museums were ranked by Foursquare’s algorithm, which predicts the “best” museums based on combined factors of the number of check-ins, rating signals, category matches, tips, and photo trends. Click through this gallery to find out which are the best museums Washington D.C. has to offer.

You may also like: Best parks in Washington D.C.

 

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Mr.TinDC // Flickr

#10. Albert Einstein Planetarium

- Address: 600 Independence Ave. SW (at 6th St. SW), Washington
- Foursquare rating: 9.3
- See more on Albert Einstein Planetarium
 

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Another Believer // Wikimedia Commons

#9. National Museum of American History

- Address: 1400 Constitution Ave. NW (at 14th St. NW), Washington
- Foursquare rating: 9.3
- See more on National Museum of American History
 

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Rob Young // Wikimedia Commons

#8. National Gallery of Art

- Address: 6th St. and Constitution Ave. NW (at Constitution Ave. NW), Washington
- Foursquare rating: 9.4
- See more on National Gallery of Art
 

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AgnosticPreachersKid // Wikimedia COmmons

#7. Renwick Gallery

- Address: 1661 Pennsylvania Ave. NW (17th St. NW), Washington
- Foursquare rating: 9.4
- See more on Renwick Gallery
 

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Jawed Karim // Wikimedia Commons

#6. National Air and Space Museum

- Address: 600 Independence Ave. SW (at 6th St SW), Washington
- Foursquare rating: 9.4
- See more on National Air and Space Museum
 

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Martin Hearn // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Newseum

- Address: 555 Pennsylvania Ave NW (at 6th St NW), Washington
- Foursquare rating: 9.4
- See more on Newseum
 

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Alvesgaspar // Wikimedia Commons

#4. National Museum of Natural History

- Address: 1000 Constitution Ave NW (at 10th St NW), Washington
- Foursquare rating: 9.4
- See more on National Museum of Natural History
 

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Wikimedia Commons

#3. National Gallery of Art - West Building

- Address: Constitution Ave NW (at Madison Dr NW), Washington
- Foursquare rating: 9.5
- See more on National Gallery of Art - West Building
 

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Bobak Ha’Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#2. National Portrait Gallery

- Address: 800 F St NW (at 8th St. NW), Washington
- Foursquare rating: 9.5
- See more on National Portrait Gallery
 

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Fuzheado // Wikimedia Commons

#1. National Museum of African American History and Culture

- Address: 1400 Constitution Ave NW (btwn 12th & 14th St NW), Washington
- Foursquare rating: 9.5
- See more on National Museum of African American History and Culture
 

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