Home #WHERETONEXT Canada 20 Cool Museums across America

20 Cool Museums across America

San Francisco

Museum of Ice Cream
Influenced by Maryellis’s childhood dream of jumping into a pool full of sprinkles, Museum of Ice Cream opened its doors in the summer of 2016. It was born under the premise that ice cream is a  universal symbol of joy, a personal pleasure, and a transportive vehicle for anyone’s imagination. The Museum of Ice Cream is the place where whimsical ideas and products are transformed into real life experiences. Its mission is to design environments that bring people together and provoke imagination. For more information visit  https://www.museumoficecream.com/

Cable Car Museum
Located in the historic Washington/Mason cable car barn and powerhouse, the museum deck overlooks the huge engines and winding wheels that pull the cables. On display are various mechanical devices such as grips, track, cable, brake mechanisms, tools, detailed models, and a large collection of historic photographs. The museum houses three antique cable cars from the 1870s. The Sutter Street Railway No. 46 grip car & No. 54 trailer and the only surviving car from the first cable car company, the Clay Street Hill Railroad No. 8 grip car.
For more information visit http://www.cablecarmuseum.org/museum.html

Walt Disney Family Museum
Find animation, innovation, and inspiration in the remarkable life story of Walt Disney, the man who raised animation to an art, tirelessly pursued innovation, and created a distinctly American legacy that transformed the entertainment world. Located in the scenic Presidio of San Francisco, the museum is a non-profit organization that features contemporary, interactive galleries with state-of-the-art exhibits narrated in Walt’s own voice alongside early drawings, cartoons, films, music, a spectacular model of Disneyland, and more. For more information visit https://www.waltdisney.org/

Cartoon Art Museum
Founded in 1984, the Cartoon Art Museum has something for everyone—from comic strips, comic books and anime to political cartoons, graphic novels and underground comix. People of all ages can view original cartoon art at exhibitions and screenings, produce their own comics and animation at classes and workshops, research deeply into our collection and library, and mix and mingle with professional and aspiring cartoonists. This unique institution houses approximately 7,000 original pieces in their permanent collection and attracts more than 30,000 visitors annually. For more information visit https://www.cartoonart.org/

New York City

American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog
The AKC Museum of the Dog has built one of the largest repositories of canine-related art in the world. For the past 30 years, this collection has been cared for and displayed at its former home outside of St. Louis, Missouri. Now the Museum of the Dog is returning to New York City, home of the AKC headquarters and where the museum first took root. This move provides an opportune moment for the museum to reimagine itself and present its treasures to a far larger audience in one of the greatest cultural capitals in the world. For more info, visit https://museumofthedog.org.

National Lighthouse Museum
Located on the former site of the United States Lighthouse Service’s General Depot in St. George, Staten Island, the National Lighthouse Museum educates visitors about the history and technology of the nation’s lighthouses. A three-minute walk from the Staten Island Ferry’s St. George Terminal, visitors receive a brief orientation to the self-guided museum. Exhibits include: The Wall of Lights, a display of over 160 miniature lighthouse models, as well as exhibits on lighthouse keepers, foghorns and sound signals, illuminants and optics. Guided walking tours of the site are also available by appointment. For more info, visit http://lighthousemuseum.org.

Museum of the Moving Image
The Museum of the Moving Image is the only institution in the United States dedicated to the art, technology and social impact of film, television and digital media. It houses the nation’s largest collection of moving image artifacts, screens hundreds of films annually and offers education programs. The Museum’s core exhibition, Behind the Screen, immerses visitors in the creative process of making moving images through a unique combination of interactive experiences, rare and unusual artifacts, one-of-a-kind artworks and demonstrations of professional crafts and equipment. For more info, visit http://www.movingimage.us.


Heard Museum
Since its founding in 1929, the Heard Museum has grown in size and stature to become recognized internationally for the quality of its collections, world-class exhibitions, educational programming and its unmatched festivals. Dedicated to the advancement of American Indian art, the Heard successfully presents the stories of American Indian people from a first-person perspective, as well as exhibitions that showcase the beauty and vitality of traditional and contemporary art. For more info, visit https://heard.org.

Musical Instrument Museum (MIM)
Explore the world through music at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM). This unique museum, which displays instruments and objects from every country in the world, is ranked Phoenix’s number one attraction on TripAdvisor and the fourth Best Museum for Families nationwide by USA Today Travel. MIM features an expansive collection of instruments from around the world. With more than 6,000 instruments and objects on display, MIM is organized into five Geographic Galleries that each focus on a distinct global region. For more info, visit http://www.mim.org.

Pima Air & Space Museum
Pima Air & Space Museum opened in 1976 and is one of the largest air and space museums in the world — and the largest non-government funded aviation museum. The museum features more than 350 historical aircraft, from a Wright Flyer to a 787 Dreamliner, and encompasses six indoor exhibit hangers (three dedicated to World War II). Pima Air and Space Museum is the exclusive provider of tours of the “Aircraft Boneyard,” the world’s largest military aircraft storage facility. Advance reservations (at least 10 business days prior to your visit) are required for these tours. For more info, visit http://www.pimaair.org.

New Hampshire

Currier Museum of Art
The Currier Museum of Art is an internationally renowned art museum located in Manchester, New Hampshire. The Currier features European and American paintings, decorative arts, photographs and sculpture, including works by Picasso, Monet, O’Keeffe, Wyeth and LeWitt with exhibitions, tours and programs year-round. The Museum also offers tours of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Zimmerman House. For more information visit http://currier.org/

Millyard Museum
The Museum features the permanent exhibit, Woven in Time: 11,000 Years at Amoskeag Falls, that tells the story of Manchester and the people who have lived and worked here. The story starts with the native peoples who fished at Amoskeag Falls 11,000 years ago and continues with displays on the area’s early farmers and lumbermen, and the beginnings of industry in the area.

The exhibit then focuses on the story of the development of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company. This powerful corporation would become one of the largest textile producing companies in the world, employing over 17,000 people, including immigrants from many countries. The company’s vast brick millyard still dominates the cityscape today. For more information visit https://www.manchesterhistoric.org/millyard-museum

Seacoast Science Center
The Seacoast Science Center is a non-profit marine science education organization located within Odiorne Point State Park in Rye, New Hampshire connecting people to the wonders of our coast since 1992. Their goal is to spark curiosity, enhance understanding, and inspire conservation of our Blue Planet. With live animal exhibits featuring the amazing creatures that live in the rapidly changing Gulf of Maine ecosystem, engaging programs make learning about the ocean fun for everyone, and hands-on science exhibits motivate families to become caretakers of our Blue Planet. For more information visit https://www.seacoastsciencecenter.org


Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
This highly rated TripAdvisor attraction located in Old Town Scottsdale features regularly changing and ongoing exhibits of Western and Native American art, rare artifacts and cultural treasures on loan from some of the world’s foremost collectors and institutions. A Smithsonian Affiliate since 2015, the museum has been repeatedly named “Best Western Museum” in the nation (True West magazine). Ongoing exhibitions include authentic Old West cowboy gear, paintings and bronzes by acclaimed contemporary and historic western artists, and Hopi pottery masterworks. Captain Meriwether Lewis’ presentation style pipe tomahawk, Native American buffalo robes, and Kit Carson’s pistol and message pouch are among the historic artifacts on exhibit. Docent-led gallery tours take place at 11:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. The contemporary, two-story museum building is an award-winning architectural gem that meets the highest standards for sustainability and conservation of natural resources. The museum store provides an outstanding selection of quality, western themed merchandise. This must-see attraction is on the free Downtown Scottsdale trolley line, and is within easy walking distance of popular restaurants, art galleries and shops. For more information visit http://scottsdalemuseumwest.org

North Carolina

The Biltmore, Asheville
George Vanderbilt’s 250 room castle is America’s largest home and a top attraction in Asheville.  Nestled in the heart of the the Blue Ridge Mountains, The Biltmore sits on an 8,000 acre estate and is home to forested trails and beautiful gardens, America’s most visited winery and amazing shopping, dining and luxury accommodations. You can discover the elegance and charm of the Biltmore house on a self guided or audio guided tour that weaves through four floors. On your way, marvel at the original furnishings, arts and artifacts collected by George Vanderbilt. Favourite rooms of the mansion include the Library with 10,000, a grand Banquet Hall with its 70 foot high ceiling and an indoor pool in the basement. The Biltmore also offers special exhibits throughout the year.  For more information visit  https://www.biltmore.com/


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