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If you love museums, you've come to the right town. For art lovers there is the Art Museum of the Americans, 201 18th St. NW, 202-458-6016, featuring Latin American art, Caribbean art, and an Aztec Garden. Or you can head to Dumbarton Oaks, 1703 32nd St. NW, Tuesday through Sunday 2:00-5:00 p.m., 202-339-6401, where you cannot only enjoy an extensive collection of Byzantine, pre-Columbian, and Hellenistic art, jewelry, and archaeological relics, but also a lovely historic home and 10 acres of formal gardens.
At the National Museum of Women in Arts, 1250 New York Ave NW, 202-783-5000, you'll find over 2,000 paintings, pieces of jewelry, and sculptures created by women. To see one of the oldest art museums in the nation, head to the Corcoran Museum of Art, 625 D St NW, 202-639-1700. Here you will find the works of American and European masters, contemporary art, and special exhibitions featuring the works of major artists. Now that you've visited one of the area's oldest museums, head to one of their newest by stopping at the Kreeger Museum, 2401 Foxhall Rd NW, 202-337-3050. A visit here will give you a chance to admire works by 19th and 20th century artist like Monet, Picasso, Stella, and Miro.
If you would like to learn more about Jewish ceremonial and folk art visit the B'nai B'rith Klutznick Museum, 1640 Rhode Island Ave, NW, advanced reservations only, Monday-Thursday 12:00-3:00, 202-857-6583. At the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum, 1776 D St., NW, 202-879-3241, you'll find 33 rooms featuring early American furniture and fine arts. In fact they feature one of only two tea chest that survived the infamous Boston Tea Party.
Military buffs, will enjoy a visit to the National Museum of the Marine Corps, 18900 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Triangle, VA, 877-635-1775. Here you'll find the US flag raised by the brave Marines at Iwo Jima, exhibits on the Marines role in the WWII's Pacific campaigns, the In the Air, On Land & Sea Vietnam War Gallery, the Making of a Marine Exhibit, period uniforms, weapons, and other memorabilia some dating back to the Revolutionary War. Next you'll want to head on over to the Navy Museum, Building 76, Washington Navy Yard, 9th & M Streets SE, 202-433-2651, where you can see the space suit worn by Captain John Young, commander of Apollo 16, personal belongings of former US Vietnam POW's, a WWII F4U Corsair fighter plane, and relics from Admiral Farragut's flagship at New Orleans and Mobile Bay.
If you are traveling with youngsters, slip by the Capital Children's Museum, 800 Third St. NE, 202-675-4120, where they can touch, feel, taste, and wear the exhibits. Another good choice for kids is the Washington Doll's House and Toy Museum, 5236 44th St. NW, 202-244-0024. Here you'll find antique dolls, houses, toys and games.
If any of your younger travelers have ever said they wanted to grow up to be a doctor, they'll enjoy a stop at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, 2500 Linden Lane, Silver Springs, MD, 301-319-3300. Here you can view amazing exhibits like the bullet that killed President Lincoln, Paul Revere's dental tools, and a whole host of other neat stuff. Or they may enjoy spending some time exploring the galleries at the Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences, 6th and E Streets, 202-334-1201 where they can learn about Lights at Night, Putting DNA to Work, and the Wonders of Science.
Other interesting museum choices are the Textile Museum, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Housed in the John Russell Pope mansion, you'll find the Textile Museum, 2320 St. NW, 202-667-0441. Founded in 1925, it features historic and contemporary handmade textile arts. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1000 Raoul Wallenberg Place SW, 202-488-0400 uses artifacts, photos, films, and oral histories to tell the story of the Holocaust.
News buffs won't mind making the short drive to Arlington, VA for a chance to visit the Newseum, 1101 Wilson Blvd., 888-NWSEUM, Wednesday through Sunday. Here you'll find one of Bob Woodward's Watergate notebooks, go behind the scenes of a working TV studio, and the kit bag carried by a report who died with General George Custer at the battle of Little Bighorn.
Of all the wonderful museums, the complex you can't afford to miss is the Smithsonian Institution. Here you can see Dorothy's shoes from the Wizard of Oz, the flag that inspired the our national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner, and the Wright Brother's 1903 flyer. The world's largest museum complex is made up of the Anacostia Museum, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Arts and Industries Building, Freer Gallery of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of African Art, National Museum of American Art, National Museum of American History, National Museum of the American Indian, National Museum of Natural History, National Portrait Gallery, National Postal Museum, the Renwick Gallery, and the National Zoological Park, which is home to the US's only giant panda. To contact the Smithsonian write Smithsonian Institution Information Center, 1000 Jefferson Drive, SW Washington, D.C. 20560, 202-357-2700. To see them all you'll need to set aside at least a week and even that is pushing it! Also if you find your tummy grumbling during your visit, head on over to the National Museum of the American Indian's Mitsitam Cafe, where you will find a wide variety of interesting authentic regional dishes like fry bread and corn totopos.
Now for a little tip that will make your museum visits more fun: when you first arrive, stop at the information desk, pick up a copy of the museum layout and ask one of the helpful folks there which exhibits normally have a line waiting to get in and what is the best time for the shortest line. Then mark this information on your layout and head out to explore with a plan in mind.
Have you always fancy yourself as James Bond? Then you'll want to spend time exploring the International Spy Museum, 800 F Street NW, 202-393-7798. Here you'll find fascinating exhibits like the School for Spies, The Secret History of Spying, Spies Among Us, and the War of Spies. And you won't want to leave until you pick us some toys of your own at their Spy Museum Store.
Or if you were always drawn to James' evil nemesis, then you need to head instead to the National Museum of Crime and Punishment, 575 7th St NW, 202-621-5567. Here you can try your hand at safe cracking or computer hacking, learn about punishment methods during Medieval and Colonial times, and what not to do from some of America's Dumbest Criminals.
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