Museums, those fascinating repositories or art, history, and culture, can be found all over the world, even in the smallest communities. From the grandiose museums, such as the Louvre in Paris and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg Russia to the eclectic, such as the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas, museums consistently rank among a city's most visited attractions.
The world's great art museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City or the Prado in Madrid, are worthy of a trip all by themselves. Such galleries allow visitors to view the masterpieces of centuries, such works as the Mona Lisa by Da Vinci or the somber portraits of Rembrandt in Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum. Many offer guided tours and/or audio tours to help you learn more about the exhibits.
Natural History Museums
The 19th century was a time of discovery and American and European explorers and thinkers relished in collecting specimens and artifacts from their studies and their travels around the world. Huge museums, such as the American Museum of Natural History and the British Museum, feature fascinating -- and extensive -- exhibits, ranging from ancient artifacts to dinosaur bones to rare gemstones. These museums are a fun excursion for young and old alike.
In addition to major, multi-faceted museums, almost every city in the world boasts a museum about something unique to their region. Some draw visitors from around the world, such as Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Others appeal to a more regional audience, such as the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas.
Some museums, so-called living museums, are experiences as much as they are museums. Colonial Williamsburg, the restored 18th century colonial town in southeast Virginia, is a great example of such a museum. Here you can tour authentic 18th century buildings, taste food as it would have been prepared during that time, and shop for hand-made artisan products.