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Intriguing American Museums You Can Visit Now

Wanderlust With Us - Issue XXXIII

March 11, 2021

Think museums are boring? We do too! We are apt to change your mind with these amazing experiences across America. You probably thought you’d see familiar names: the Smithsonian, MoMa, the Getty – the icons of American museums. And, maybe we’re bending the connotation of “museum” just a tad. With many of our clients contemplating travel in the coming months close to home, we thought we would highlight some national treasures we think you may have missed – and are well worth the visit. Great for kids, adults, families, and solos, we’d like to hear from you on any special museums in your hometown and certainly comment on any of these that you may have already visited.

Pop-Up, Immersive Van Gogh, Multiple LocationsComing Soon to a City Near You

It’s Van Gogh like you’ve never seen him before, in a multi-media light installation in secret locations. Coming soon to the cities of Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, Charlotte, and Dallas. This is a brilliant new way to experience art as the brushstrokes come alive.

The National WWII Museum - New Orleans, LAOpen Now

If you knew someone who fought or are a descendent of someone who fought, this is an absolute must visit. "I think this might be one of the best museums I’ve ever experienced," says Shelby Donley who recently went with her father. Begin with your own set of dog tags as your ticket and wave your family good-bye as you set off for war. Then, enter a Tom Hanks narrated movie of the entire war which resonates with those short on history and those who could tell their own. The movie itself is worth the visit, but after it sets the stage for the museum you then divide into the two theaters, Europe and the Pacific. "I now see both my grandfathers in a different light now," says Donley. Also, coming soon to the Big Easy, the much anticipated... Four Seasons New Orleans

"I now see both my grandfathers in a different light now and have a better understanding of their life after the war and subsequently, my parents' upbringing," says Donley.

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, CA

Hearst CastleSan Simeon (Central Coast), CA

An indoor pool adorned with gold tiles fit for the Romans. 165 Rooms, 127 acres of gardens, terraces, and pools. If only we could have seen it when William Randolf Hearst had it stocked with zebras and giraffes. Europe is filled with castles, but America has just a few. Recently watching Mank, we thought back to our own Hearst Castle visit. Nearly thirty years in the making, and never actually finished, this is one of the 20th Century's great architectural and art collections. A perfect stopover between Santa Barbara and Carmel. Visit nearby Paso Robles and enjoy some of the central coast's best wineries. Finish your own royal tour with a stay at the Post Ranch Inn.

The Sixth Floor at Dealey PlazaDallas, TX – Open Now

Taking the actual position of Lee Harvey Oswald’s vantage point in downtown Dallas on the fateful day in 1963, this spooky yet authentic museum perfectly depicts the scene and aftermath of the JFK assassination and the sobering effect on the country in the days that followed. Perfect for those that didn’t live through it, and very eerie and reminiscent for those who did. After a heavy day of history head on over to Rosewood Mansion at Turtle Creek. Nothing says vintage Texas like this property!

Baseball Hall of FameCooperstown, NY - Open Now

No huge fans of baseball, we heard someone on our team fell asleep en route to a wedding and woke up in Cooperstown presented with a list to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Picturesque Cooperstown is worth a visit in its own right, looking like a Ralph Waldo Emerson still life. The Baseball Hall of Fame is not merely for fans of the game. It traces the evolution of 20th Century America from civil rights, to women playing during WWII, and the wild and colorful personalities who decorated the game. Once you 'round home enjoy one of the cottages at Blantyre, Lenox, MA

Space Center HoustonHouston, TX - Open Now

In a time when Elon Musk has reinvented space travel, there’s a newfound intrigue among kids and adults alike. At the home of NASA you can see the actual space crafts from the Mercury, Apollo, and the Gemini eras all the way to the Mission Mars interactive exhibit. There are some incredible programs which include Explorer Camp, overnight programs, and VIP access tours. When you're done floating around space, check into the The Houstonian.

Neon Museum - Las Vegas, NV - Open Now

Looking for a little history and nostalgia away from the strip? The Neon Museum is a fantastic experience celebrating the yesteryear of Vegas. Unique exhibits, such as Brilliant, are the best way to see it, of course at night, when the vintage signs of Vegas from the Stardust to the original Caesar's Palace landmark glitter and glow. Check out the swankiest suites in Las Vegas for your next stay.

Spy Museum DCWashington, DC - Open Now

If you’re a fan of The Americans or just of American history this cool and collaborative museum is a family favorite. Go undercover with exhibits such as trying your hand at code cracking or 007 worthy spy gadgets. For kids it’s a great way to invite them to understand some of the complexities of geopolitical climates in a cool and tactile way. Politics aside, the best hotel in DC by a long shot is Trump Hotel Washington, DC. You can do some spying of your own as the lobby bar is usually littered with familiar faces from both sides of the aisle.

Exploratorium - San Francisco, CA

For the young and curious to the young at heart, this museum takes the concept of a children’s interactive museum and invites all ages to explore and discover on subjects that span biology (like genetics and why you look the way you do) to basics in physics. You don't look at exhibits, you play with them. Exploratorium invites you to stretch your mind and grasp concepts that may have eluded you with easy to explain interactive exhibits such as Sky Theater. We recommend checking out Four Seasons Embarcadero (the bridge to bridge view suites are fantastic).

9/11 Memorial and Museum - New York, NY - Open Now

It’s the 20th anniversary this year and, for many, that’s hard to believe. Some of us looked at that smoldering rubble and wondered how do we move on from this? As nation we are now pondering some of the same things and seeing how the site is now commemorated in lower Manhattan gives a sense of hope – that out of the ashes can be something thought provoking, and most importantly a reminder to never forget. Nothing captures the aura of lower Manhattan like a stay at The Greenwich.

International African American Museum - Charleston, SC - Opening early 2022

Set on one of our countries most sacred sites, this museum is about a journey that began centuries ago in Africa, and still continues. It is about the journey of millions of Africans, captured and forced across the Atlantic in the grueling and inhumane Middle Passage, who arrived at Gadsden’s Wharf in Charleston, South Carolina and other ports in the Atlantic World. Their labor, resistance and ingenuity and that of their descendants shaped every aspect of our world. The Center for Family History will enable visitors to trace their genealogy, while changing exhibitions and special events will keep the museum energized. If you are looking for old-world charm (while also hoping to enjoy a leading-edge spa and innovative cuisine) look no further than the Belmond Charleston Place in the heart of the city.


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