Washington, DC isn’t just home to powerful people, breathtaking monuments, and impressive government buildings. It’s also the location of many of the world’s most famous and preeminent museums.
The Big Three
The best of the Smithsonian museums
- Duration: 4 hours
- Flexible itinerary available—just ask!
Whether you are here on a romantic weekend or a family getaway, the Air and Space, Natural History, and American History museums surely top your list of must-sees in DC!
The DC museums tour starts at the American History Museum, the greatest and most eclectic collection of Americana in existence. You’re blown away by the real Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired the National Anthem! Not to mention Archie Bunker’s chair, a Jim Henson puppet, gowns worn by the First Ladies, and a real gunboat from 1776. And if anyone in your family is a fan of the Broadway hit Hamilton, they might never stop talking about getting to see Lin Manuel-Miranda’s real Hamilton costume up close!
Next, put your safari hats on to explore true natural wonders at the Natural History Museum! Henry, the African Bush Elephant, is waiting to greet you. After introducing you to Henry, your guide shows you fossils from some of the most fearsome creatures to ever live (we’re looking at you, Megalodon!). One giant squid and an enormous whale later, you meet some long-lost relatives in the Hall of Human Origins, and learn exactly why you’re so smart. The Hope Diamond is waiting to dazzle you next, before the creepy crawlies at the Live Insect Zoo lead you to some actual Egyptian Mummies!
And just when you think your day can’t possibly get any better, it’s time to take to the skies! The Air and Space Museum blows you away with its sheer size, and the fact that dozens of airplanes are casually hanging from the ceiling. Your guide takes you to the machine that started it all- the original Wright Brothers’ 1903 flyer. Time flies as technology evolves, and the flyer leads to a plane and then a rocket! The Spirit of St. Louis, Amelia Earhart’s Vega 5B, WWI & II airplanes, and even the supplies astronauts use in space bring the timeline of flight to life. You feel like you’re a part of it, and you even get to touch a piece of the moon!
And with that, you’ll have accomplished the main Smithsonian highlights in a mere half-day tour! All that’s left is to grab a bite to eat and let arguments ensue over what was the coolest exhibit you saw. We apologize in advance!
American History Museum
- George Washington’s ceremonial uniform
- Greensboro lunch counter
- Dorthy’s Rub Slippers
Natural History Museum
- The Hope Diamond
- Hall of Human Origins
- Ocean’s Hall
Air and Space History
- Wright Flyer
- Spirit of St. Louis
- Apollo 11 Command Module