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Museum Questions

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
76 posts
5 reviews
Museum Questions

There are so many museums in Washington DC, but sadly, on a short visit, I can only get to a few of them. I have a few questions though.

Is the national gallery of art worth seeing?

Should I drive down to Mt. Vernon on a 3-4 day trip, or should I save it for a longer trip south in the summer?

In the Night At the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, what is the museum or place where it's the little Einstein bobble heads reciting the numbers of pi? (I'm such a nerd lol)

Thanks!

21 replies to this topic
Rockville, Maryland
Level Contributor
6,976 posts
20 reviews
1. Re: Museum Questions

1. The National Gallery--yes. It is not of the same caliber at the Met, but what is? The cafe under the waterfall, and the East Wing (especially exterior design), are special.

2. If you can do Mt. Vernon - Monticello - Williamsburg/Jamestown this summer: wait until then.

If you come in the summer, you can get tickets Wednesday, April 4 for dates of your choice during July at the Smithsonian African-American Museum, which has hosted about 3 million visitors since it opened in late September of 2016..

Edited: 20 March 2018, 07:15
Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
15,107 posts
125 reviews
2. Re: Museum Questions

What to see and do in DC really depends on your interests. For me, the National Gallery of Art is definitely worth doing, but I have lots of visitors who could care less about it. Likewise, half-a-day at Mount Vernon could be the highlight of your visit or it could be time that you’d rather spend in one of the Smithsonian museums.

The Einstein bobble heads were in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
40,850 posts
662 reviews
3. Re: Museum Questions

Base the museums on your particular interests. Is your interests more on World War Museum and things like that, ancient history, science, cultural or what exactly?

Falls Church...
Level Contributor
3,570 posts
7 reviews
4. Re: Museum Questions

I love the National Gallery. But the beauty of the National Mall/Smithsonian is you don't have to be exhaustive over every museum. Check out the National Gallery for a couple hours then go across and see the Air and Space. If you find yourself bored somehow then go back to the National Gallery or another museum.

Level Contributor
113 posts
1 review
5. Re: Museum Questions

As to Mount Vernon, it can be accessed from DC via subway and connector bus. Only 15 miles from DC. Go to their website for info.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
10,589 posts
26 reviews
6. Re: Museum Questions

I think popping in to the Museum of American Indians to see the small exhibition about the Native Americans from the area is well worth the time. Pop in via the beautiful Potomac Atrium which will take your breath away.

The Library of Congress is another unique place to visit in DC.

The Museum of American History is also good, and with a bit of planning to see just a few exhibits - eg the First Ladies Dresses, Julia Child's kitchen, Dorothy's shoes and the flag - will mean you're not in there for hours and hours (tho' that's the only place we needed to line up to enter - about half an hour - so that's a disadvantage during a short trip).

Good luck with tickets to the National Museum of American History and Culture . It's amazing. I was lucky to get tickets for 3 mornings on our 5 1/2 day trip in December 2016 and it was well worth spending so much time in this museum (we'd been to DC for 8 days in April that year so saw a lot of the other museums that visit).

I love the National Gallery and could (did!) spend days there.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
76 posts
5 reviews
7. Re: Museum Questions

Thanks so much for your suggestions!

jordansbulls, my family consists of my husband and I (in our mid-50s) and our 12 year old daughter. History is very interesting, and culture and our past strikes us the most. We aren't complete book nerds(no, maybe just me ;p), we like to do exploring as well. We'll visit some monuments, like the Washington Memorial, Lincoln, Jefferson, etc. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think we'll be in DC just in time to see the beautiful cherries! Hopefully we'll be able to visit the Capitol or Supreme Court, but I don't have high hopes.

LittleBiffOne, we'll probably do a huge trip of the east coast during the summer, and will definitely visit the places you mentioned(including Monticello and Mt.Vernon)

JennyR261, I read your trip report for when you visited DC in April 2016, hoping to have just as organized of an itinerary as you did. In your previous response(reply 6) you mentioned that it would be difficult to get tickets to visit the National Museum of American History and Culture. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I went to their website, and tickets are free. Is there something I'm missing here?

Thank you!

~Victoria

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
15,107 posts
125 reviews
8. Re: Museum Questions

The tickets to the Museum of African American History and Culture are free, but they get distributed about 3 months in advance. (Thus timed tickets for April became available beginning in January.). If you did not get tickets in advance, you might still be able to visit the SMAAHC as a limited number of same-day tickets are available on weekdays at 1pm. You can also try to get same day tickets online early in the morning. Check the website for details.

Edited: 21 March 2018, 06:32
New York City, New...
Level Contributor
76 posts
5 reviews
9. Re: Museum Questions

So tickets to both the Smithsonian Museum of American History, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, AND Smithsonian Air and Space Museum have free tickets? Do I need to go early to reserve them?

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
Level Contributor
62,455 posts
48 reviews
10. Re: Museum Questions

“Do I need to go early to reserve them?”

No tickets. Free admission. You go through security, you’re in.

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