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Why These 10 U.S. Museums Have Just Been Named America’s Favorites

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One great part of traveling is the fact that it can make you smarter, expand your worldview, and open up your mind to new ideas. One surefire way to do this is by visiting a museum, and luckily for us, there are many many to choose from around the world. The museum industry bounced back from the pandemic in a big way, and there are many new choices opening up around the world. 

woman at museum

As part of their “10 Best” campaigns, USA Today has asked its readers to choose their favorite museums across America. With over 35,000 museums in the U.S. to choose from, the finalists were narrowed down into 20 contenders across 8 categories, and readers then voted for their favorites. 

rock and roll hall of fame

Here are the top museums across America, as voted by the readers of USA Today. 

Best Art Museum

Winner: Detroit Institute of Arts – Detroit, Michigan 

America’s Motor City has been undergoing a renaissance recently and is becoming a must-visit city for those looking for culture and history. With more than 100 galleries, The Detroit Institute of Arts has one of the country's largest art collections.

With pieces from American, European, African, Asian, and other cultures, this museum is one that is not to miss. It doesn’t hurt that the art is all displayed in the beautiful architectural setting, one that has become a symbol of pride amongst Detroit residents.

Runner Up: American Visionary Art Museum – Baltimore, Maryland 

You can find the top 10 art museum list in full here

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detroit art institute entrance

Best History Museum 

Winner: National Underground Railroad Freedom Center – Cincinnati, Ohio 

Dedicated to chronicling the history of the Underground Railroad and its importance in American history, this eye-opening museum is a must-visit. Through a combination of both permanent and traveling exhibits, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center helps visitors to get a feel for what life was like for those that lived in slavery and the journey that they had to face after escaping.

While the subject matter can be hard to face at times, it’s important and crucial to understanding slavery and all of its long-lasting effects. 

Runner Up: The Heinz History Center – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

The entire list of the top 10 history museums can be found here

national underground railroad museum

Best Music Museum 

Winner: Johnny Cash Museum – Nashville, Tennessee 

It should come as no surprise that America's ‘Music City' has a museum dedicated to one of its most famous musicians, The Man In Black himself, Mister Johnny Cash. Fans of Cash can visit his namesake museum and learn about his life and legacy.

The exhibits include Cash's music career, his marriage to June Carter, and his time in the Air Force. Music fans can also visit the popular Country Music Hall Of Fame while in Nashville as well.

Runner Up: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – Cleveland, Ohio 

The whole list of the top 10 favorite music museums in America can be found here

wall of records at johnny cash museum

Best Science Museum

Winner: Center of Science and Industry (COSI) – Columbus, Ohio 

This nationally esteemed science center has been educating and entertaining visitors for nearly 60 years. Lovingly reared to as COSI, this interactive and engaging institution is a must-visit if you find yourself in or around Columbus, Ohio.

Also, don’t miss the COSI planetarium and its fantastic National Geographic Giant Screen Theater. 

Runner Up: The Wild Center – Tupper Lake, New York 

For those who are interested in the full top 10 list of favorite science museums in the U.S., it can be found here

Center of Science and Industry Columbus Ohio

Best Pop Culture Museum 

Winner: Comic-Con Museum – San Diego, California 

What was once a summertime favorite amongst fans of all things comic, the Comic-Con festival is now on offer year-round. Nestled in the beautiful Balboa Park in San Diego, Comic-Con Museum has enough to appeal to a wide range of visitors, not only die-hard comic fans.

With three floors of exhibits and collections, there is plenty of cool memorabilia to keep you busy for an afternoon. 

Runner Up: Paisley Park – Chanhassen, Minnesota 

You can find the list of the top 10 pop culture museums here.

comic con museum in san diego

In addition to these five categories, readers also picked their favorite religious museums, with Ark Encounter, Williamstown, Kentucky’s life-size replica of Noah’s Ark taking the top prize. 

Another category of ‘best free museums’ awarded The National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center in Columbus, Georgia top honors. And The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis was voted the winner for the ‘best children’s museum’ category. 

ark encounter museum

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.