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while today's museums—many of them major tourist attractions—are filled with art, history, science, artifacts, fossils, historical documents, and some curious collections.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 Houston, 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 Houston has to offer.
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- Address: 1 Westcott St., Houston
- Foursquare rating: 8.5
- See more on Bayou Bend
- Address: 5555 Hermann Park Dr., Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston
- Foursquare rating: 8.4
- See more on Cockrell Butterfly Center
- Address: 1370 Southmore Blvd (at Caroline St.), Houston
- Foursquare rating: 8.8
- See more on Asia Society Texas Center
- Address: 140 Heights Blvd, Houston
- Foursquare rating: 8.6
- See more on Art Car Museum
- Address: 1601 NASA Pkwy, Space Center Houston, Houston
- Foursquare rating: 8.7
- See more on Space Shuttle Independence
- Address: 1500 Binz St. (at La Branch St.), Houston
- Foursquare rating: 9.2
- See more on Children's Museum of Houston
- Address: 1601 Nasa Pkwy, Houston
- Foursquare rating: 9.0
- See more on Space Center Houston
- Address: 1533 Sul Ross St. (btwn Mulberry & Mandell), Houston
- Foursquare rating: 9.1
- See more on The Menil Collection
- Address: 5555 Hermann Park Dr. (at Caroline St.), Houston
- Foursquare rating: 9.4
- See more on Houston Museum of Natural Science
- Address: 1001 Bissonnet St., Houston
- Foursquare rating: 9.5
- See more on Museum of Fine Arts Houston