Top Ten Museums

From the diverse and fascinating collections of the world-renowned Smithsonian museums to unique local museums illuminating maritime history and fine art, the Capital Region is home to some of America's best and most interesting museums.

Washington, DC, National Mall, Smithsonian, castle
Governor's Palace, Colonial Williamsburg, VA
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, Maryland, museum, water, maritime, boats, attractions, Chesapeake Bay, USA
International Spy Museum
Baltimore Museum of Art, art, museum, gallery, exhibits, attractions, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
National Archives, Washington DC, attractions, museums
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Maryland
The Phillips Collection, art, museum, gallery, attractions, Washington, DC, USA
1 of 10

THE SMITHSONIAN MUSEUMS

This collection of 19 renowned museums covers everything from art to history and includes the National Zoo. Eleven of the region's Smithsonian museums are located along the National Mall in Washington, DC. The National Air and Space Museum's companion facility, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, is located near Dulles Airport in Virginia and features a Concorde, the Space Shuttle Discovery, and other major aviation and space artefacts.

2 of 10

COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG

Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia is a living history museum, recreating colonial life in early America. Enjoy hands-on activities, guided tours of the original 18th-century buildings, and two art museums dedicated to folk and decorative arts.

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CHESAPEAKE BAY MARITIME MUSEUM

Get immersed in nautical heritage at this unique museum on Maryland's Eastern Shore, where many exhibits are literally on the water.

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INTERNATIONAL SPY MUSEUM

Find out if you have what it takes to be a double agent, or even the next Bond at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC.

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BIRTHPLACE OF COUNTRY MUSIC MUSEUM

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum celebrates the 1927 Victor recording sessions which produced stars such as the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers, leading Bristol, Virginia to become known as the "Birthplace of Country Music". This Smithsonian-affiliated museum uses text, artefacts, theatre experiences, and interactive displays to tell the story of the sessions and how this rich musical heritage lives on in today’s music.

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BALTIMORE MUSEUM OF ART

Matisse fans will enjoy viewing the world’s largest collection of his paintings at the Baltimore Museum of Art

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NATIONAL ARCHIVES

See the original Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and other historical documents at the National Archives in Washington, DC. 

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VIRGINIA MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS

At the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, explore over 33,000 works including Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Faberge.

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NATIONAL MUSEUM OF CIVIL WAR MEDICINE

The National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Maryland explores the innovation and advances that changed medicine forever. 

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THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION

At The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC visitors can admire artwork by Matisse, van Gogh, and Renoir, including his celebrated Luncheon of the Boating Party.

Related: 
History & Culture
Attractions & Family Fun

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