Trips

17 Awesome Things to See at the National Museum of American History

The National Museum of American History is one of the Smithsonian Museums in Washington DC. This museum houses objects which are important in American history. From presidents to pop culture, this museum has something to interest just about everyone.

Outside of the National Museum of American History

Know Before You Go

Like many of the museums in Washington DC, the National Museum of American History doesn’t charge admission. However, you will have to go through security upon arrival.

The National Museum of American History is HUGE! There are 3 gallery floors filled with treasures. It would be easy to spend a whole day there. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a whole day to allocate to this museum. We spent about 3 hours at the museum.

Getting to the National American History Museum is easy. The Federal Triangle Metro Stop is nearby. It is also located next to the National Museum of Natural History and near many of the other museums and monuments on the National Mall. The Federal Triangle Metro Stop is nearby.

If you need a quick meal, the LeRoy Neiman Jazz Cafe is conveniently located on the first floor of the Museum. We ate BBQ sandwiches which were pretty tasty.

BBQ Sandwich from the National Museum of American History

The National Museum of American History offers digital audio guides for a small fee. We selected the adult tour. While I typically love an audio tour, I don’t recommend this one. I found the directions to each item to be frustrating to follow.

Digital Tour Device

17 Awesome Things to See

The National Museum of American History has so many treasures. It would be impossible to see everything. However, here are 17 WAY COOL objects which are worth making time to see:

  1. The Batmobile

    The Bat Mobile at the National Museum of American History
    The Batmobile from the Batman Movie with Michael Keaton
  2. A Piece of the Berlin Wall

    Fragment of the Berlin Wall at the National Museum of American History
    Fragment of the Berlin Wall
  3. Part of the World Trade Center

    Steel from the South Tower of the World Trade Center
    Steel from the South Tower of the World Trade Center
  4. Abraham Lincoln’s Hat

    Lincoln's Top Hat in the National Museum of American History
    The Hat Abraham Lincoln was Wearing on the Night of His Assassination
  5. The First Ladies’ Dresses

    Eleanor Roosevelt's Inaugural Gown
    Eleanor Roosevelt’s Inaugural Gown
  6. The Presidential Football

    The Briefcase Known as the "Football" Carried during the Clinton Administration
    The Briefcase Known as the “Football” Carried during the Clinton Administration
  7. George Washington’s Chair

    Chair that Sat by George Washington's Bedside Before He Died
    Chair that Sat by George Washington’s Bedside Before He Died
  8. The Gunboat Philadelphia

    The Gunboat Philadelphia Built and Sunk in 1776The Gunboat Philadelphia Built and Sunk in 1776
    The Gunboat Philadelphia Built and Sunk in 1776
  9. George Washington’s Uniform

    Uniform Worn by George Washington for Portraits and Special Occasions
    Uniform Worn by George Washington for Portraits and Special Occasions
  10. Thomas Jefferson’s Desk

    Desk where Thomas Jefferson Wrote the First Draft of the Declaration of Independence in 1776
    Desk where Thomas Jefferson Wrote the First Draft of the Declaration of Independence in 1776
  11. Apolo Ohno’s Skates

    Speed Skates Worn by Apolo Ohno in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City
    Speed Skates Worn by Apolo Ohno in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City
  12. The Swedish Chef

    The Swedish Chef Puppet from the Muppet Show which Debuted 1975
    The Swedish Chef Puppet from the Muppet Show which Debuted 1975
  13. Penicillin Mold

    Sample of Penicillin Mold Produced by Alexander Fleming in 1928
    Sample of Penicillin Mold Produced by Alexander Fleming in 1928
  14. The Incandescent Lamp

    Incandescent Lamp made by the Edison General Electric Company around 1891
    Incandescent Lamp made by the Edison General Electric Company around 1891
  15. Abraham Lincoln’s Life Mask

    Bronze Cast of Abraham Lincoln's Life Mask from 1886
    Bronze Cast of Abraham Lincoln’s Life Mask from 1886
  16. Julia Child’s Kitchen

    Julia Child's Kitchen from Her Home in Cambridge, Massachusetts
    Julia Child’s Kitchen from Her Home in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  17. Muhammad Ali’s Boxing Gloves

    Muhammad Ali's Autographed Boxing Gloves from about 1974
    Muhammad Ali’s Autographed Boxing Gloves from about 1974

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History has so many interesting artifacts on display for everyone to see. It is such an awesome way to spend an afternoon or an entire day. I can’t wait to go back!

For more information on Washington DC, check out my Washington DC page.

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