Washington DC Travel & Information Guide

Washington D.C. The Smithsonian Institute

The Smithsonian Institute Buildings

Air & Space Museum
The Air & Space Museum is one of the essential stops on a visit to Washington D.C. It is the most visited museum in the world for good reason, as exhibits like the Wright Brothers’ plane, the Apollo 11 command module and IMAX movies never fail to captivate young and old alike.

Arts & Industry Building
Site of James Garfield’s inaugural Ball, the Arts and Industries Building houses changing exhibits from other Smithsonian Museums as well as its own
collection of Victorian era machinery.

The Freer Gallery of Art
The Freer Gallery of Art is a member of the Smithsonian Family of Museums and Galleries. It contains over 26,000 works of art from Japan, China and the Far East.

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gallery
The Hirshhorn Museum houses the Smithsonian’s collection of modern and contemporary art. The drum-shaped building is located next to the Air and Space Museum and has a fascinating sculpture garden across the street.  

National Postal Museum
A new member to the Smithsonian Family of Museums and Galleries, the National Postal Museum chronicles the history of the U.S. mail. Complete with interactive displays, models and over 55,000 stamps the National Postal Museum has activities for visitors of all ages.

National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History chronicles the development of man, animals and nature from prehistoric times to the present. Exhibits include fossils, a living coral reef and of course the Hope diamond. Kids will love the writhing O. Orkin Insect Zoo.

National Museum of American History
The National Museum of American History helps the Smithsonian earn the nickname of  "the nation’s attic". One can view the mementos of a nation ranging from the flag that inspired " The Star Spangled Banner" to Fonzie’s leather jacket.

National Gallery Of Art
The National Gallery of Art is a world-renowned collection of American and European paintings, sculptures and graphic arts. Separated by 4th street on the National Mall, the National Gallery is divided into the West Building and the East Building designed by I.M. Pei.

National Museum of African Art
The National Museum of African Art is a Smithsonian museum dedicated to the art of sub-Saharan Africa. Located next to the Castle on the National Mall, the National Museum of African Art has over 7,000 artifacts in its collection.

National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery is currently closed for renovations. 

Smithsonian Institution Building
The Smithsonian Institution Building, better known as the Castle, is a Norman-style red sandstone building on the National Mall. It is the first Smithsonian building ever built, and now houses the Smithsonian Information Center.

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