Museums are for men. Don’t let them tell you differently. Many are boring. Many are a waste of time, shin splints and arguments between beloveds. These, however, are centers of American awesomeness.
J Paul Getty, Los Angeles, CA
With its sprawling, stone pathways, gourmet patio restaurants, luxurious fountains and elevated views, the Getty Museum warrants a visit whether you want to participate in the viewing of famous art or not. A shuttle ships you up a romantically (not scarily) steep mountainside, dropping you at the museum’s hill top entrance by way of enchanting views of the entire Los Angeles area. That being said, the art itself is also particularly remarkable. With a stellar permanent collection and consistently acclaimed contemporary exhibits, the Getty’s material content has scientists and artists clamoring from all corners of the world. Check out their event schedule for premiere art openings, live music and night time to-do’s.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manhattan, NY
Regal in its statuesque pose upon the marble staircase located in uptown Manhattan, the MET inspires awe instantaneously. Within its massive corridors it contains permanent collections of historical artifacts reaching back to costume wigs worn by forefathers and costume jewelry created for foreign queens. With a beautiful outdoor garden, world famous cafe and incredible armor room (authentic and decadent craftsmanship), it seems they couldn’t possibly offer more. Except that they do – glamorous, art-infused events, such as masked balls, films screenings and art salons offered on the MET’S glorious NY rooftop.
Museum of Modern Art, Manhattan, NY
Marked by its modern red lettering looming above its face of slate grey and glass, the MOMA carries a jaw-dropping collection of modern photography, architecture, sculpture, painting, film and all things art. Regularly screening films rarely found in even the most excitingly indie video stores, the MOMA draws massive crowds on a consistent basis not only to its museum but to its infamous MOMA store which sells wacky, innovative, creative clothing and technology . Each Friday after 4pm, they have first-come-first-serve free tickets until close, but be sure to arrive early as the line is known to go for blocks, rain or shine.
Exploratorium, San Francisco, Ca
More than 650 exhibits at the Exploratorium artfully explore scientific theories, themes and concepts. Kids will be thoroughly entertained, even though they won’t necessarily grasp the greater ideas. Promoted as “an experimental, hands-on museum designed to spark curiosity—regardless of your age or familiarity with science,” the exploratorium is filled with art’s true wonders.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts
Critically acclaimed and undeniably classy the Museum of Fine Arts boasts constant contemporary exhibits which, museum director Malcolm Rogers says, frequently “examine how art interacts with, affects, and is drawn from everyday life.” Julia M Klein of the New York Times wrote a raving review of the new Art of the Americas wing opened by the museum which covers the entire hemisphere in a “53-gallery wing, designed by the London-based firm of Foster & Partners,” which, “expands the definition of American art both geographically and chronologically.”
McDonald Observatory, Fort Davis, Texas
The Mcdonald Observatory puts solar viewing in the realm of supernatural with a multimedia theater. The chic lay out allows visitors to witness “sunspots, flares, and prominences safely as they happen live.” Moreover, they are known for their post-sunset Star Parties (including Star Cafe and incredible gift shop), which offers tours of constellations, moons, planets and galaxies.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois
Chicago is a city filled with vibrant history, literary legends and artistic geniuses. This museum certainly pays tribute to its ancestors, as well as to its contemporaries, mixing history with innovation in the most exciting (and least museum-like) of ways. Almost every tuesday evening, large crowds attend Evenings in the Cafe, which showcases free and amazing music, art and delicious food.
National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC
Since 1976, the Air and Space museum has allowed visitors to learn of aviation’s intricate history by way of fascinating visual stimulus, details on the science of flight and closer looks at the universe. It’s gift shop offers freeze-dried space food – ice cream sandwiches and cheese pizzas created for Apollo astronauts, they project IMAX movies on 5-story screens and showcase enormous plane models hanging overhead. According to the Washington Post, “tickets are a hot commodity, so purchase them in advance!”
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Currently showing an astounding Picasso exhibit that is the closest Paris will ever come to the U.S, this museum combines the low and hi brow tastes, genres and crowds. Each year one million visitors come to witness the collection, which spans two millennia and covers six continents. Plus, in winter, it’s courtyard is optimal territory for snow sledding.
Museum of Jurassic Technology, Los Angeles, CA
A little known gem of California’s Culver City neighborhood, the Museum of Jurassic Technology is considered, by its official promoters, as a simple and interesting collection “of specimens and other objects of interest to the scholar, the man of science as well as the more casual visitor, arranged and displayed in accordance with the scientific method.” …The museum itself is as mysterious as its website. Though some might argue that up against the Getty and the Met, this little guy shrinks in size, it provides a fascinating look into religious and antique relics that riddle the mind and boggle the conscious brain.