National Museum of American History, Washington DC

Categories: History Museums, Museums
Inspirock Rating:
4.1/5 based on 3,200+ reviews on the web
Part of the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History tells the story of America's socio-political, cultural, and military history from the American Revolution to present day. As you tour, the three extensive floors of exhibits, don't miss its most famous artifact: the original flag that flew during the War of 1812 and inspired the "Star Spangled Banner" poem. The museum stores thousands of archival records, papers, photographs, and recordings. If you're a fervent museum-goer, be aware that the complex is very extensive when toured in its entirety, so plan accordingly. Check the museum's online schedule for information on lectures, activities, and traveling exhibits. Use our Washington DC trip builder to visit National Museum of American History on your trip to Washington DC, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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  • Number 3 on my list behind Natural History and Air and Space. Loads of interesting information on a variety of subjects. 
  • I've been trying to see the first lady dresses for decades and finally had the chance to do it. This museum is good, but not the best. However, because there are things that you can only see here, it ...  read more »
  • We really enjoyed our time in this museum, with its completely diverse look at American customs and mores over the years. The first lady gowns (what will happen if Hilary wins) and the flag are must-s...  read more »
  • Phenomenal museum. Set up well for big crowds and designed well to go through all of the different areas. Super kid friendly with interactive displays everywhere. Was blown away by this museum and the immense amount of artifacts and historical items it houses. From Lincolns top hat to Julia Childs Kitchen. Without a doubt a must visit.
  • Exceptional museum, full of history. A wonderful experience for kids where they can aquire so much knowledge and appreciate what the real heroes had done to have the country we have now. Beautiful place, and keeps growing, we will definitely go back in the future.
  • The Smithsonian museums are all filled with interesting exhibits and come with a wealth of information about each item. Couple that stand out are the Touch Rock, one of only a handful of pieces of Moon rock that you can actually touch, and the first model from the Star Trek original series. A brilliant day out for anyone with an interest in space or flying things!
  • I'm only able to give an average rating to the museum for this review, but I will say that the last time I was here the museum had more exhibits open. However, I will say that the two nearly empty floors will have some great exhibits, but they are currently not available so my visit wasn't a bit of a let down. I liked the "enterprising America" section with the history of capitalism, advertising, and invention. It was neat seeing how things have progressed over the years.
  • The Smithsonian is an incredible experience altogether, but the American History Museum is particularly grand. For such a young country, America has a rich and vibrant history and this museum does a fantastic job of representing most of it. The building itself was very crowded on the day that my friends and I visited (Tuesday), so that made seeing everything a bit of a challenge. It's a large building and completely free to enter like the rest of the Smithsonian museums. There was something compelling to see on every floor from tales of war, to American industrialism and consumerism, to American social evolution. Though it's a large building, it's jam-packed with memorabilia from every year of America's existence. My only complaint would be that the restrooms were not as clean as I was hoping, but they were definitely still usable. A quick tip for the restrooms would be to avoid using the ones next to the main entrance. There is always a big crowd waiting to use those restrooms, but there are guaranteed to be open restrooms with no waiting throughout the museum. If you're going to visit the Smithsonian in Washington DC, make the Museum of American History a must see stop on your trip.
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