Museums are great spots to hit up on a road trip or vacation. But with so many places to visit so close, how are you supposed to choose? Just check out our list of the best museums in New York City.
Note: Due to the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 crisis, please check official websites before visiting to check for restrictions or closures.
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The Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan is a landmark institution, showcasing works from the 20th century and beyond. The iconic building was designed by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright. In addition to the vast collections of modern and contemporary art, the Guggenheim also hosts many special exhibitions and events. It’s not only one of the best museums in New York City – it’s one of the best museums in the world. Get $3 off admission with your AAA card.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
One of the world’s most famous – and largest – museums, the Met is a favorite of both visitors and locals alike. Find yourself in the company of artworks from some of the world’s masters, spanning 5,000 years. If you’re a fan of medieval art, the Met Cloisters – which houses the museum’s medieval collection of art, manuscripts and tapestries, including the famed Unicorn Tapestries – is not to be missed.
American Museum of Natural History
Another one of the best museums in New York is the American Museum of Natural History. The museum has just about everything within its walls – and it should, considering it’s the largest natural history museum in the world at over 2 million square feet. The museum is a catalog of ecological history, animal species, human culture, architecture, geology and astronomy. Coming in February 2021, the all-new Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals, promises a brilliant showcase of specimens, including some of the largest amethyst geodes on public display. The dinosaurs are also always a visitor favorite. It’s a great trip for the whole family.
Museum of Jewish Heritage
The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is dedicated to educating visitors about Jewish life before, during and after the Holocaust. The museum houses recorded testimonies from Holocaust survivors, liberators, protectors and others, and hosts various programs, events and classes.
The Museum of Modern Art
MoMA is an unforgettable place where thought-provoking creativity and contemporary artwork is all around. Explore the galleries and collections, then head outside to enjoy the Rockefeller Sculpture Garden or grab a bite in one their outdoor restaurant spaces. Be sure to pick up something unique in the gift shop before you leave.
If you love modern art, you’ll also want to check out MoMA PS1 in Queens. A former abandoned public school building, it now features works from an ever-changing roster of diverse artists, often addressing current social, cultural and political issues.
New York Hall of Science
During a typical year, NYSCI welcomes droves of students, teachers and families. With over 450 exhibits, events, and workshops for all ages, the museum practices the “Design-Make-Play” method to educate visitors in the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and math.
Although NYSCI hasn’t yet set a reopening date, it’s celebrating summer and a bygone slice of Americana with a special Queens Drive-In experience. It’s showing open-air movies outside its building in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, with guests appropriately socially distanced inside their cars. Vendors from the Queens Night Market will be on hand selling snacks, and guests can bring their own snacks and nonalcoholic beverages as well.
9/11 Memorial & Museum
Two memorial pools outside pay homage to the 2,977 people killed in the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and the six who died in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The museum holds more than 70,000 artifacts, as well news archives, video footage and first-person testimonies of the events of that day within its 110,000 square feet.
There are so many great museums in New York City! Which one do you think is the best museum in New York City? Will you be visiting any when they reopen? Let us know in the comments below.
Find AAA Discounts on museums and attractions throughout the Northeast.
7 Thoughts on “The Best Museums in New York City”
Yes, we just got back a couple of weeks ago from a trip out west…first, the Luci-Desi museum and National Comedy Center in Jamestown, and then the Corning Glass Museum. They are only an hour apart.
Sounds like a great trip!
Very good information
Very interesting information
my brother was actually stationed on the intrepid when it was an active ship..i have never seen it however..the museums mentioned would be great for part of an excursion to new york….
The most exciting, innovative and happiest new museum in New York State is the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY. You can spend hours or, even, days enjoying everything to do with humor, from stand-up to television to movies and more.
Thanks for the tip! That sounds awesome.