Museums serve an important role in society. They chronicle human beings’ ability to create, innovate, and flourish. Like most things in life, we like to take a well-rounded approach and have provided museums that focus on history, art, and adventure. These are 10 museums we think every guy should visit.
Rediscover Your Curiosity at Exploratorium
A museum created on the theory that curiosity and the simple question of “how” can lead to amazing discoveries, Exploratorium is a museum where a wide range of topics can be discovered and investigated. From the history of polar explorations, to the science of emotion, Exploratorium is a museum to push cognitive boundaries and come away with a deeper understanding of your chosen subject. Many of the exhibits have a participatory element, great for those who enjoy a more tactile approach. Link
Extra: If a trip to the Bay area isn’t in your future plans, Exploratorium’s website has an incredible amount of articles on a diverse range of topics that deserves some of your browsing time.
Pier 15, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111
Image Credit: Patricia Chang Photography
Experience the Elegant South at The Driskill Hotel
Though technically a hotel, the Driskill, located in Austin’s historic sixth street district, is essentially a functioning museum. Western art and sculpture adorn its halls, palatial marble floors and columns encompass the lobby and the history of the civil war era building will intrigue the historically-minded. Requisite ghost stories are an added bonus (be sure to ask the staff). Link
Extra: The hotel contains an excellent restaurant, scrumptious bakery, and historic bar. All demand a visit and don’t forget to wear your boots.
604 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701
Relive the Wild West on the Billy the Kid Trail
While Lincoln, NM, might not ring a bell, you have probably heard of Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, and John Chisum. The epicenter of the Lincoln County War, Lincoln sits in the beautiful Sierra Blanca Mountains in Southern, NM. The town itself is a living museum. All of the buildings have been preserved in their late 19th century original form, including two of the most important structures in the Lincoln County War: The Lincoln County Courthouse and Tunstall Store. Visit and read up about vigilante law and the turbulent history of the American Southwest. Link
Extra: Ruidoso, a short drive from Lincoln, is part of the Billy the Kid trail and has a ski resort and horse track if historied out.
US-380, Lincoln, NM 88338
Image Credit: Steve Minor
Show Your Patriotism and visit The USS Constitution
Today, the United States has the most extensive Navy in the world, but this wasn’t always the case. The USS Constitution Museum located in Boston, Massachusetts, is adjacent to the actual USS Constitution (better known as Old Ironsides). A great way to both experience and read up on the beginning of the nation and the US navy, the museum also has the added benefit of being free. Link
Extra: Bunker Hill is a short stroll away if you’re looking for an American Revolution deep dive.
Building 22, Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, MA 02129
Driving in the City of Angels at the Peterson Automotive Museum
Los Angeles is a city synonymous with celebrities, bright lights, juicing, and gridlock traffic. But the reason for that traffic, the automobile, has always been the preferred method of transportation in California. The Peterson Automotive Museum celebrates this heritage with constantly evolving automotive exhibits. Subjects range from classic hot rods, to the bat-mobile, and the cars of James Bond’s Spectre. Link
Extra: The La Brea Tar Pits are a short drive from the Peterson Museum and are worth a stop.
6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Exploring the Past at The National Museum of American History
The United States is the grandest social experiment in the history of civilization, and while all Smithsonian’s could be on this list, The National Museum of American History gets our nod. It chronicles the experiment of a country created by immigrants with exhibits that make the experience personal: the original star spangled banner, Julia Child’s Kitchen, and the history of transportation in America (including full size locomotives). Link
Extra: All of the Smithsonian Museums deserve a visit and are conveniently located next to each other.
14th St and Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001
Go for the Architecture, Stay for the Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
The Guggenheim—a Frank Lloyd Wright designed building—is one of the most iconic structures in the world. Displaying contemporary art focused on the 19th century, the design of the building is best appreciated by taking the elevator to the top of museum before walking down through the exhibits. The art itself can be on the explorative side, but when combined with the architecture, makes for a visually immersive experience. Link
Extra: The Wright Café is a great spot for a quick bite and drink. The design of the café echoes the museum.
1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128
A Walk through the World in The British Museum
The British Empire once spanned the globe, and that global reach is reflected in one of the most extensive collections in the Western World. Reconstructed Greek temples, the Rosetta Stone, and Lewis chessmen are just a few highlights of a collection that spans history, art and culture. Link
Extra: The entertaining Soho neighborhood is a brief walk from the museum.
Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG, United Kingdom
Surviving the Test of Time in The Hagia Sohpia
Located on the shores of the Sea of Marmara, the Hagia Sophia is one of the most iconic buildings in the world. Originally built in 537 AD, the structure has served as a church, a mosque, and now a museum. Minarets, vaulted domes, mosaics, and beautiful marble accurately represent the cross roads between east and west that is Istanbul’s crowning jewel. Link
Extra: Purchase a museum card to avoid the long lines (especially in the summer).
Sultanahmet Mh., Ayasofya Meydanı, Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Rediscover the Renaissance at The Vatican Museums
Often called the most impressive art collection ever assembled, the Vatican Museums contain galleries, former apartments and chapels. Highlights include the Stanza della Segnatura, the Sistine chapel, and the Gallery of Maps, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Artists include da Vinci, Dali, Van Gogh, Rafaello… basically the most talented individuals of the last millennium. Link
Extra: If a trip to Italia isn’t in the cards, catch the Vatican Museums Film: Link
Viale Vaticano, 00165 Roma, Italy