The Smithsonian Institution is one of the most visited attractions in the United States. A museum that lives up to its mission of spreading knowledge, what many do not know is that this museum was actually just bequeathed to the United States by British scientist James Smithson. Why he decided to do so still remains a mystery to everyone.
The Smithsonian Institution is touted to be the largest museum complex and research organization in the world. It houses nineteen museums, the National Zoo and a research organization that is dedicated to the mission and vision of James Smithson. Admission to the museum is absolutely free and is open everyday for the public. Visiting hours start at 10am until 530pm.
If you plan to visit the Smithsonian Institution, it is suggested that you take one of their guided tours so that you are able to fully grasp the meaning and culture behind each of the exhibits. The Smithsonian tours are not the same every single day so it is best to call ahead of time and inquire about the tours that are in their calendar of events for the month and pick the ones that suit your fancy. Some of the famous Smithsonian tours are: The Ocean Hall Navigators, Air and Space Highlights Tours, and the American Art Museum Highlights Tours to name a few. The Institution is also proud of its “live exhibits” wherein every summer there are concerts, activities and programs that celebrate the Festival of American Folklore. This festival runs through the whole year and is one of the most exciting events that many visitors look forward to when they visit the museum.
Should one go hungry after taking the tours, he should not worry as there are restaurants that are also available inside the Smithsonian Institution. Each of the nineteen museums has different restaurants that sort of cater to the theme of the said museum. Kids who enjoy burgers will not be disappointed to know that there is a McDonalds store in the Smithsonian.