Top Best Museums for the Curious Traveler


Museums are an important medium to understand the history, culture, art, and tradition of any country. This is the reason why one of the most common items on every traveler’s itinerary is to get in a bit of museum tourism. There are plenty of incredible museums in the United States for the curious travelers that offer a lot more than the expected. Check out the best museums to explore in USA.

Best Museums for the Curious Traveler:
The Drive-Thru Museum, Alabama

In the tiny town of Seale, Alabama, there is a roadside attraction that doesn’t require getting out of your car. It is a drive-thru, but not the usual kind: It’s not for burgers and fries, there is no ATM machine, and you can’t drop off your dry cleaning. It’s billed as the world’s first drive-thru art and antique gallery.

Created by artist and collector Butch Anthony in 2014, the Drive-Thru is an offshoot of his Museum of Wonder and was built to help control the crowds who show up at the museum. In an unincorporated town of just a few hundred people, having even one such destination would be a gem, but having two near each other is an exceptional wealth of local folk art, unusual collections, antiques, and curios.

The Drive-Thru Museum is made from stacked shipping containers, with windows cut into the sides to reveal a myriad of items collected or created by Anthony. It’s a short drive to get through the whole collection, but each piece will make you hit the brakes. There are the two-headed ducklings, a large gallstone attached to poems (art he calls “intertwangleism”), drawings of skeletons and bones superimposed on old photographic portraits, and found-object art mixed with taxidermy animals. Take as much time as you need.

Mmuseumm, New York

Pronounced “museum,” Mmuseumm is a curated display of artifacts housed in a freight elevator. This tiny space features rotating and permanent collections, specializing in the “overlooked, dismissed, or ignored.” Museum offers a unique opportunity to engage with familiar and exotic everyday objects from around the world. Past exhibitions include Personal Possessions found in the Pacific, Paper Works found in Copying Machines, and Homemade Weapons of Defense.

Created by filmmakers Alex Kalman, Benny, and Josh Safdie, and sponsored by the late Kate Spade (and Andy and Bea Spade) of the purse empire, among the unusual objects featured in the museum have been the shoe thrown at George W. Bush at the Minister’s Palace in Baghdad, a hot water coil heater from Kaunas, Lithuania, and a plastic glove from Paradise Valley, Montana.

American Sign Museum, Ohio

The Museum’s collection reaches back into the 1800s, featuring signs of every sort made from almost every material imaginable. Among the most notable items is the Sputnik-like sign for the “Satellite Shopland” strip mall, and a single-arch McDonald’s sign with the pre-Ronald “Speedee” character. Some of the most beautiful signs are those from the pre-neon era, including signs advertising haberdashers, cobblers, druggists, and other turn-of-the-century businesses.

In 2012, The Sign Museum moved into a much larger space, enabling it to display some of the larger signs from its collection. The new space, with over 500 signs displayed on a faux “Main Street,” allows visitors to view these artifacts in something like their natural environment.

Musical Instrument Museum, Arizona

Housing nearly 7,000 instruments and located in Phoenix, the Musical Instrument Museum, also known as the MIM, catalogs unique examples from nearly every corner of the world across the centuries as well as personal items from famous performers such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Steve Vai, Alice Cooper, and John Lennon. To see what the museum has on display for jazz fanatics, head to its United States Gallery. Don’t miss the Experience Gallery for a rare opportunity to try unusual instruments. Make sure to catch an act in the museum’s concert hall, which is known for its world-class acoustics.

The Field Museum, Illinois

Go way back in time at The Field Museum, Chicago’s acclaimed natural history museum, located at Museum Campus. The Field Museum is a great place to let your curiosity roam and discover the wonders of the natural world. Multisensory displays and interactive exhibits act as visual storytellers, leading you on a journey through ancient earth to the modern-day. Explore a treasure trove of fossils, mummies, precious gemstones and extinct animals, including “Sue,” the largest tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever found. There are many big and small wonders to discover here, making it a great attraction for adults and children alike.

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