The South’s Best Museums 2022
The South is home to some of the most creative and engaging museums in the country. Home to art and artifacts that span centuries, these museums spark conversations, deepen knowledge, and offer access to astounding works that enliven and challenge those who experience them. The South’s best museums explore varied topicsspace travel, American history, fine art, and sports among themand help visitors take a closer look at the world in all of its rich complexity. Their collections are preserved and stewarded by dedicated curatorial staff who put together exhibitions and programming that educate and inspire. Whether you’re interested in history, art, science, technology, society, or even baseball, there’s a museum in the South that will spark your interest. Step into the galleries, wander the halls, survey the collections, and consider the canvasesyou’re sure to discover something new.
Missouri History Museum St Louis Mo
The Missouri History Museum is one of a collection of museums and activities in St. Louis Forrest Park. Founded in 1866, when there barely was any Missouri history to exhibit, the museum is one of the oldest in the country. It includes extensive exhibits of Missouri history, including artifacts from the whole state, from elsewhere in the nation, Native American culture, and the St. Louis area. Some of the most famous items include a replica of Charles Lindberghs plane The Spirit of St. Louis, artifacts from the Lewis and Clark expedition, toys of the 50s, 60s and 70s, and items featured in the current Route 66 exhibit. The Missouri History Museum is free to all visitors.
Glore Psychiatric Museum St Joseph Mo
According to the website, The original State Lunatic Asylum No. 2 opened in November of 1874 with 25 patients on land located east of the City of St. Joseph. The best museums tell us something about the human condition. In an age where mental health issues affect almost everyone directly or indirectly, we forget that those who suffered the same illnesses in the past couldnt just take a pill or talk to a counselor. The displays in this excellently-curated museum include treatments for the mentally ill and artwork done by those seeking peace from the unrest inside their heads. Visitors experience empathy, awe, discomfort, and above all, gratitude for the work of the ages that led to the advances we enjoy in our time. Adult admission is $6, students are $4, and children under six are free, though curators warn that some exhibits may not be appropriate for children.
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San Diego Model Railroad Museum
Location: Balboa ParkAddress: 1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
Another gem in Balboa Park, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum is a must-see for families with kids who are obsessed with trains.
There are over 27,000 square feet of amazingly detailed model train layouts complete with full towns and farms, tiny carnivals, and more making this the biggest scale Model Railroad Museum in the whole United States.
At-home resources: Theres no better place to learn about how to build a model railroad. Theyve designed a virtual program for families who are up for the task, in addition to online crafts and videos.
Missouri Civil War Museum
Youll find many streets, schools, counties, and other places named for President Jefferson throughout the middle third of the United States, largely because the third president essentially doubled the size of the nation with the Louisiana Purchase that added those states to the Union. The Jefferson Barracks Military Post is no exception. On the grounds of the oldest operational military installation west of the Mississippi River, the old 1905 Post Exchange is now home to the Missouri Civil War Museum.
Although the Show-Me State was a slave state since its statehood in 1821, Missouri was filled with both Union and Confederate sympathizers and sent armies, generals, and supplies to both sides of the nations bloodiest war. And because notable generals on both sides of the conflict including Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee had served at Jefferson Barracks over the years, the Missouri Civil War Museum is a unique place to learn about this piece of American history.
The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and you can find admission prices on their website.
St Louis Art Museum St Louis Mo
The St. Louis Art Museum is situated in the rolling hills of Forrest Park, along with several other of St. Louis cultural attractions. Admission is free every day, and SLAM was recently nominated for Best Free Museum in the United States. With over 33,000 works of art, SLAM holds one of the premiere collections in the country, including unparalleled collections of Asian military art and 20th century German art. They also house such masters as Matisse, Gaugin, Picasso, and Moliere. Museum representatives suggest allowing at least two hours, but recommend an entire day, to enjoy their collections and exhibits.
Miniature Museum Of Greater St Louis Missouri
Permanent and rotating exhibits featuring dolls and dollhouses, room boxes and vignettes, furniture, and accessories in all scales.
Exhibits: custom-built dollhouse from the estate of Jane Brown of Newburgh, IN., a replica of the St. Louis IX Basilica, known as The Old Cathedral, in downtown St. Louis was built in 1975. the Bevo Mill, Gudgel Houses, the Venegoni Collection , the Jane Betz Collection , The Tarry Houses , The Frank Ress Collection , Mary Alice Weiskotten 2 houses .
The museum has a collection of scale dolls in addition to dollhouses, room boxes, vignettes, furniture, artisan pieces, and specialty items on display.
- Location: 4746 Gravois Rd. St. Louis, MO
- Phone: 832-7790
- Admission: $5 adults $4 seniors 62 and up, and youth 13-18 $2 children 2-12 members free.
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Miniature Museum Of Greater St Louis
To admire a variety of impressive homes of a much smaller scale, visit the Miniature Museum of Greater St. Louis. An eclectic collection of small-scale houses, St. Louis landmarks, and other properties obtained from around the world is displayed in a two-story, red brick building that was once a furniture company. See a medieval-era Tudor house, 19th-century Victorian mansion, and a diminutive replica of the Basilica of St. Louis IX which was the first cathedral west of the Mississippi.
The museum is managed by an all-volunteer team and is only open Friday through Sunday. Visit the museums website for the latest information on hours and admission fees.
St Louis Museums Get Top Honors Again
ST. LOUIS — St. Louis is being recognized once again for the strength of its museums- this time from USA Today. Two of the Gateway Citys local museums made the Top 10 list. The City Museum landed the number two spot in the publications readers poll for best childrens museums, and The Magic House came in at number four. St. Louis is the only city in the U.S. to get two children-centric museums on the national list.
On the adult side, the Science Center came in at number five among the best science museums in the country.
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City Museum Of St Louis St Louis Mo
Its hard to describe the City Museum of St. Louis. The official description says the museum is an eclectic mixture of childrens playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects. What it turns out to be is a hands-on, activity-based experience with objects collected from all over St. Louis, preserved, and re-purposed for visitors enjoyment. Part learning center, part art gallery, part thrift store, everything in this museum invites visitors to touch, play, step out, climb on, and experience. This may be one that you must see to understand, but the relatively low admission prices and expansive hours make that possible.
Titanic Museum Branson Mo
Its hard to believe that Branson, home of bright lights and vaudeville-style acts, can house one of the best museums in the state, but its true. The Titanic Museum in Branson is owned by John Joslyn, who went on an expedition to recover artifacts from the actual Titanic in 1987. The museum itself is shaped like the ship, at half scale, and visitors enter though an iceberg shaped doorway. It is set up with a 90-minute self-guided tour designed to make visitors feel like they are inside the Titanic experience. When visitors enter, they are given a boarding pass with a real passengers name on it, and in the museums final room, they learn the fate of those passengers. In between those two rooms, there are 20 exhibits filled with over 400 original items taken from the Titanic itself, including dishes, clothing, jewels, and Madeleine Astors life jacket.
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The 15 Best Museums In St Louis
Eco-Snobbery Sucks: Awesome museum with tons of re-used materials. -Joe Mohr
Casey Furkin: O, the fun to be done at city Museum. one of my favorite places to take my kiddo. And soooo architecturally fantastic.
Myisha: I luv the city museum….. is not just for kids kuz I always have fun
Sarah Stillman: It is free! The museum has a specialty exhibit every few months and has multiple levels of different types of art. Art Hill right out the front door is perfect for an afternoon picnic!
ElizaBeth White: Love visiting the art museum. After the visit, you can enjoy watching the paddle boats in front of the museum…the lake there is perhaps the best view of forest park.
ALIVEMagSTL: Winner of Best Museum in ALIVE’s 2013 Hot List!
Matthew Conner: Tuesdays, all exhibits are free and the museum is open till 8pm! Check it out!!!
Marie Chouteau: If you are a STL city or county resident, the Vatican exhibit is only $15 for you on Tuesdays for the month of July, and the museum is open until 8 on Tues. nites! Read more.
Thomas Jefferson: Spending the day in St. Louis? Be sure and check out the Missouri History Museum’s iPhone App, Historic St. Louis. Step back in time with historical photos from the MHM collection! Read more.
Robert Woerheide: Don’t miss the westward expansion museum beneath the Arch. Neat!
Shelby Barlow: The museum below is amazing!! As a museum studies student, I was in awe! No expense was spared. BEAUTIFUL!!
Johnny Lange: The art is of high quality
National Museum Of Transportation
At the end of the 19th century, St. Louiss Union Station was one of the largest and busiest passenger rail terminals in the world. As Americans shifted their preferred mode of transportation from train to automobile, the National Museum of Transportation began amassing one of the largest collections of transportation vehicles in the world.
Train enthusiasts will delight in seeing Big Boy, the largest successful steam engine ever built, along with box cars, baggage-mail cars, and a Chicago Transit Authority elevated streetcar. History buffs can admire a Gooney Bird, a twin-engine 1943 Douglass Aircraft used in the D-Day invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Theres even a 19th-century horse-drawn milk wagon and an incredibly rare 1901 automobile constructed by the St. Louis Motor Carriage Company, the first successful automobile business west of the Mississippi River.
The National Museum of Transportation is open year-round from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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World War I Museum Liberty Memorial Kansas City Mo
In 1919, all five Supreme Allied Commanders from the Great War gathered in Kansas Citythe only time all five were ever in the same placeto dedicate The Liberty Memorial. It was more than just a monument to the dead, but an act of gratitude for the liberty their lives had bought. As keynote speaker Calvin Coolidge said, It has not been raised to commemorate war and victory, but rather the results of war and victory which are embodied in peace and liberty. Even so, after about 70 years, the memorial fell into disrepair, and then in 1998, Kansas Citians approved a limited run tax to fund its restoration. It re-opened in 2006 and was designated a National Historic Landmark, a rare honor bestowed only by Congress. Its mission statement said, The National World War I Museum and Memorial is America’s museum dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. When planning your visit, be aware that the museum closes at 5 p.m. daily.
Steamboat Arabia Kansas City Mo
As the Treasures of the Steamboat Arabias website tells us, The legend of the Steamboat Arabia is a blend of two stories. The first story takes place in 1858, when the Steamboat Arabia sank in the mud of the Missouri River. Over time, the Missouri changed its course, and the Arabia was concealed beneath the earth. The second story takes place in 1987, when the Arabia was discovered a half mile from the present Missouri River, and excavators struggled to exhume the steamboat and its perfectly-preserved treasures to display them to the public. Their efforts were successful, and now visitors can view the worlds largest collection of pre-Civil War artifacts recovered from a sunken steamboat.
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San Diego Natural History Museum
Location: Balboa ParkAddress: 1788 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
Known to locals as the NAT, this is one of the best museums in San Diego and a favorite of local and visiting kids.
Whats so great about this museum is that children of all ages will get something out of it. Weve been visiting through my daughters entire life. I can tell you first-hand that you can enjoy and learn something new with each visit.
We love saying hello to Al , completing the scavenger hunts in Fossil Mysteries, watching the Foucault Pendulum swing, and learning about Southern Californias unique habitats.
Ive actually had a chance to go behind the scenes at theNAT to see some of the over 8 million specimens in their collection and to find out more about how scientists design the museums exhibits. Its fascinating yet important work they do for our community.
Tip: Its tempting to visit the Balboa Park museums and San Diego Zoo on the same day because theyre next door to each other. Split the visits into two days, if you can, because its otherwise a long day for small kids .
At-home resources: theNAT has always offered a robust list of activities for families to be citizen scientists outside of the museum. Check for ways to find nature in your backyard, learn about our region, find lesson plans, and find activities at home.
Best Museums For Children In San Diego
Not every San Diego museum on this list is solely a childrens museum, but all of them are kid-friendly. You will visit to enjoy the exhibits, but I encourage you to use these insitutions as educational resources year-round whether youre a resident or a tourist.
They also offer summer camps, science courses, offsite excursions, and many more opportunities to expose kids to history, culture, arts, and the environment.
Join their email newsletter lists to stay up-to-date. If you have questions about any of these places, feel free to leave me a comment, and Ill reply.
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The 10 Best Museums In Missouri
If you live in Missouri, you are fortunate enough to be surrounded by fascinating museums that are sure to inspire. From world-class to unique, Missouri has many gems to discover. Without an eclectic mix of the captivating and important, theres something for just about everyone! Of all the exciting museums to visit in Missouri, here are our 10 favorites.
International Photography Hall Of Fame
Another hall-of-fame-style museum in St. Louis is the International Photography Hall of Fame. For nearly 60 years, this 6,000-square-foot gallery and exhibition space has preserved historic photographs, displayed notable cameras and equipment, and honored the most influential people in the field of photography.
The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is currently a $10 admission fee, but you can visit for free on the first Friday of the month when the galleries and museums in the Grand Center area are open late.
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Best Museums In St Louis
The Saint Louis Art Museum is the perfect place for discerning travelers looking to witness superlative artistic creations. Peruse the largest collection of artwork that the city has to offer and flit from exhibit to exhibit viewing exemplary sculptures and skillful paintings. From Impressionistic to Modern art, this museum boasts styles of artwork from all around the world. Art connoisseurs are sure to be delighted with the exhaustive range here, spanning several centuries and more. When in the city, the Saint Louis Art Museum is a must-visit spot for art aficionados.
Located in a former shoe-manufacturing warehouse, this eccentric museum and adventure park has something for both the young and the young-at-heart. With multiple floors of fascinating, educational and fun-filled rooms, it is one of the best downtown attractions. The museum is run by a group of artists and professionals who have done a splendid job of curating an awe-inspiring array of exhibits. Using repurposed pieces of old cities, the makers have built exhilarating slides and grand castles. Feel the authenticity of the multilevel enchanted caves, the architectural museum, a giant aquarium and so much more at the unique City Museum.
Army Museum Ft Leonard Wood Mo
The U.S. Army Museums is actually three museums located in the John B. Mahaffey Museum Complex at Ft. Leonard Wood. It includes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Museum, The U.S. Chemical Corps, and the Military Police Museum. Its a fascinating look at the lesser-known, but vitally important, roles these behind-the-scenes soldiers have played in protecting the United States, from a history of gas masks to a re-creation of an underground Viet Cong tunnel system. For those who respect our nations soldiers, the U.S. Army Museums are a compelling way to learn more of the stories behind the stories.
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