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while today's museums—many of them major tourist attractions—are filled with art, history, science, artifacts, fossils, historical documents, and some curious collections.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 Western Carolinas, 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 Western Carolinas has to offer.
You might also like: Best commutes in North Carolina
- Address: 420 College St., Greenville
- Foursquare rating: 7.9
- See more on Greenville County Museum of Art
- Address: 35 Wall St., Asheville
- Foursquare rating: 7.0
- See more on a SHEville Museum
- Address: 356 Field St., Greenville
- Foursquare rating: 7.2
- See more on Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Baseball Library
- Address: 25 Heritage Green Place, Greenville
- Foursquare rating: 7.5
- See more on Upcountry History Museum
- Address: 400 N. Main St., Hendersonville
- Foursquare rating: 7.9
- See more on Mineral & Lapidary Museum
- Address: 225 Winery Road, Asheville
- Foursquare rating: 8.1
- See more on Biltmore Legacy At Antler Hill Village
- Address: Chesnee Hwy., Chesnee
- Foursquare rating: 8.6
- See more on Cowpens Battleground
- Address: 300 College St. (at N. Academy Street), Greenville
- Foursquare rating: 8.7
- See more on The Children's Museum of the Upstate
- Address: 1 Battle Square, Suite 1B, Asheville
- Foursquare rating: 9.0
- See more on Asheville Pinball Museum
- Address: 1 Lodge St., Asheville
- Foursquare rating: 9.4
- See more on Biltmore House