National Museum Day 2018: Best Museums to Visit for Free in All 50 States

The Smithsonian is hosting its annual Museum Day on Saturday, September 22, along with more than 1,500 museums across the country. Visitors with a Museum Day ticket will get free entry for two people to any participating museum or cultural institution. You can get your ticket to participating museums here.

Newsweek has chosen some of the most interesting museums to visit on Saturday in all 50 states. 

Smithsonian The Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton known as "Sue" at Washington, D.C.'s Union Station on June 7, 2000. The Smithsonian Museum is hosting its annual Museum Day on September 22. Mark Wilson/Newsmakers

Alabama
Rosa Parks Museum

Alabama's Rosa Parks Museum explores the individuals involved in the Montgomery bus boycott and includes a time machine in its Children’s Wing.

Alaska
Sealaska Heritage Institute

Museum seekers in Alaska should head over to the Sealaska Heritage Institute, which was founded in 1980 to highlight the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures. One of its exhibits, "Our Grandparents’ Names on the Land," looks at 3,500 ancient place names.

Arkansas
Mid-America Science Museum

The Mid-America Science touts itself as Arkansas’s largest hands-on science center, with more than 100 hands-on exhibits on energy, matter, life and perception.

Arizona
Tucson Botanical Gardens

What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than at a stunning botanical garden? Arizona’s Tucson Botanical Gardens has 17 display gardens and three galleries available to visitors. 

California
California Automobile Museum

The California Automobile Museum is the perfect spot for any car enthusiast. The museum, which opened in 1987 as the Towe Ford Museum, has more than 150 cars in its exhibits from all eras.

Colorado
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, a great pick for families, is offering guided tours at noon and 1 p.m. as well as a family-friendly scavenger hunt in celebration of Museum Day. 

Connecticut
The New England Carousel Museum

The quirky New England Carousel Museum showcases more than 100 carousel horses, rounding boards, band organs and carousel miniatures that date as far back as 1880.

Delaware
Hagley Museum

Delaware’s Hagley Museum allows visitors to delve into the history of E.I. du Pont’s gunpowder works. The 235-acre museum includes the ancestral home and gardens of the du Pont family and several characters from the Hagley story.

Zoo Miami A visitor to the third annual "Big Bug Out" at Zoo Miami uses a magnifying glass to check out a Madagascar cockroach on May 5, 2001. Zoo Miami is one of 1,500 institutions in the United States participating in the Smithsonian's annual Museum Day. Joe Raedle/Newsmakers

Florida
Zoo Miami

Animal lovers in Florida will enjoy the 750-acre Zoo Miami, which is home to more than 3,000 animals. There is plenty to do with the whole family, including camel feedings, water play areas and large exhibits like the Amazon & Beyond.

Georgia
Pebble Hill Plantation

Pebble Hill Plantation, which was the winter home and shooting plantation for the Hanna family of Cleveland, Ohio, offers visitors self-guided tours of the grounds, plus a guided tour of the Main House, which boasts more than 40 rooms. 

Hawaii
Iolani Palace

Dive into Hawaiian history by visiting Iolani Palace, the official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy. The palace, which was built in 1882, was the home of King Kalakaua and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani—the last Hawaiian sovereign.

Idaho
Collectors Corner Museum

The Collectors Corner Museum is a quirky spot featuring everything from antiques to coins to military memorabilia. The museum, which has more than 125 collections, changes its Special Feature Room four times a year.

Illinois
American Writers Museum

Channel your inner Ray Bradbury at the American Writers Museum in Chicago. The museum features interactive programming for each member of the family, as well as a special exhibit on abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

Indiana
CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center

The CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center is dedicated to the victims and survivors of twin medical experiments done at Auschwitz. The museum includes lectures by Eva Mozes Kor, a Holocaust survivor who underwent medical experimentation under Josef Mengele with her twin sister, Miriam.

Iowa
Dubuque Museum of Art

The Dubuque Museum of Art (DuMA) is home to nearly 2,500 original works of art. The museum is set to open its "Just to Live Is Holy: Women Religious and a Tradition of Art, Faith and Justice" exhibit just in time for Museum Day.

Kansas
Museum of Deaf History, Arts & Culture

The Museum of Deaf History, Arts & Culture highlights the contributions made by the deaf community. The museum’s Chuck Baird Art Gallery, which will showcase artwork by deaf artists nationally and internationally, will open just in time for Museum Day.

Kentucky
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory

Baseball fans will love the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, where the world-renowned Louisville Slugger bats are made. Visitors can take a factory tour and have the opportunity to hold bats use by baseball giants such as Micky Mantle and Derek Jeter.

Louisiana
Southern Food and Beverage Museum

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a living history museum dedicated to celebrating the South’s culinary culture. While at the museum, be sure to visit the permanent collection of the Museum of the American Cocktail, which aims to educate the public on mixology.

Maine
Abbe Museum

Maine’s Abbe Museum allows visitors to learn about the history and cultures of the Wabanaki, a native people in Maine. The museum’s "People of the First Light" exhibit delves into the more than 12,000 years of the Wabanaki homeland.

Maryland
The Fire Museum of Maryland

Children will enjoy visiting the Fire Museum of Maryland, where they can walk through an 1871 firehouse and send a fire alarm signal. The unique museum dedicated to firefighting in America is home to more than 40 vehicles and apparatuses.

Massachusetts
Concord Museum

Delve into colonial American history with a visit to the Concord Museum, which houses artifacts from the American Revolution, including Paul Revere’s famous lantern and items connected to Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Michigan
Arab American National Museum

The Arab American National Museum (AANM) aims to educate the public about Arab Americans and other minorities. The museum's "Coming to America" exhibit shares the stories of immigrants to the United States from Arab countries.

Minnesota
Duluth Children’s Museum

The Duluth Children’s Museum has two floors of interactive exhibits, creative play and educational programs for children. Kids will enjoy climbing the Ore Boat and learning about the sacred wild rice harvest through the Ojibwe language.

Missouri
1859 Jail, Marshal’s Home & Museum

Jump back in time at the 1859 Jail, Marshal’s Home & Museum in Independence, Missouri. Visitors will learn about the jail’s most famous inmates, including William Quantrill and Franck James, as well as the women and children detained during Order Number 11.

Mississippi
Delta Blues Museum

Mississippi’s oldest museum, the Delta Blues Museum, has a large collection of musical memorabilia and will host a special exhibit celebrating Malaco Records's 50th year on Saturday.

Montana
World Museum of Mining

The World Museum of Mining explores more than a century of American mining history. Visitors can participate in two underground mine tours that go into the depths of the Orphan Girl mine, though the tours are not included in Museum Day's free admission.

Nebraska
Stuhr Museum

The Sturh Museum, a living history complex, delves into the history of pioneers who settled the Nebraska prairies. The museum’s Antique Farm Machinery Building and the Pawnee Earth Lodge are must-visits.

Museum Day- Burlesque Hall of Fame Burlesque artist Dita Von Teese poses in front of a Virgin Atlantic Airways 747-400 aircraft at Las Vegas's McCarran International Airport on June 15, 2010. The Burlesque Hall of Fame has an exhibit on the careers of Dita Von Teese and fellow artist Gypsy Rose Lee. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Nevada
Burlesque Hall of Fame

Learn about the history and living legacy of burlesque, and see thousands of costumes, props and photographs, at the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. Its current exhibit gives visitors an inside look into the careers of Gypsy Rose Lee and Dita Von Teese.

New Hampshire
New Hampshire Boat Museum

The New Hampshire Boat Museum, dedicated to boating heritage in New Hampshire, is home to a rare boats exhibit from the 1900s through the 1940s, as well as a 1950s Fleet Line Model Boats exhibit.

New Jersey
Old Barracks Museum

The Old Barracks Museum pulls visitors into colonial life during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Visitors can participate in hourly tours at the Trenton Barracks or visit the museum’s exhibit on New Jersey during the French and Indian War.

New Mexico
New Mexico Museum of Space History

The New Mexico Museum of Space history offers insight into the state’s role in the U.S. space program and includes the International Space Hall of Fame. Visitors who would like to see a show at the New Horizons Dome Theatre & Planetarium should call ahead at 575-437-2840 to make sure the theatre is not sold out.

New York
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is an absolute must-visit in New York City. The museum, which is housed on a retired aircraft carrier, is home to 28 aircraft, plus the space shuttle Enterprise and the British Airways Concord.

Carolinas Aviation Museum Former US Airways Captain Chesley Sullenberger of U.S. Airways flight 1549 speaks with passenger Pam Seagle at Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, on June 11, 2011.The Carolinas Aviation Museum is participating in the Smithsonian's annual Museum Day on September 22. REUTERS/Jim R. Bounds

North Carolina
Carolinas Aviation Museum

The Carolinas Aviation Museum is home to more than 20 historic aircraft, including U.S. Airways Flight 1549, the "Miracle on the Hudson." Visitors can learn about aviation history, sit in actual cockpits and participate in a scavenger hunt around the museum.

North Dakota
International Peace Garden

The International Peace Garden in North Dakota stretches nearly 2,400 acres along the U.S. and Canadian border. The museum houses an exhibit dedicated to the suffrage movement in Manitoba, Canada, and in North Dakota.

Ohio
National Barber Museum

The National Barber Museum is home to the Barbers Hall of Fame. Visitors will learn about barbering history and see galleries filled with barber tools, poles and colorful signs.

Oklahoma
Pawnee Bill Ranch and Museum

Step into the Wild West in the home of world-renowned entertainer Gordon W. “Pawnee Bill” Lillie. Visitors will learn about Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Shows and can tour the 500-acre grounds, including the original Ranch blacksmith shop and an Indian flower shrine.

Oregon
World Forestry Center Museum

The World Forestry Center Museum, located in Portland’s Washington Park, features a fascinating five-million-year-old, 10,000-pound petrified tree stump.

Pennsylvania
African American Museum in Philadelphia

The African American Museum in Philadelphia looks at the black experience with exhibits on African-American history between 1776 and 1876 and video projections about local heroes. Visitors can also see a special exhibit called "Cotton: The Soft, Dangerous Beauty of the Past," containing photographs by John Dowell.

Rhode Island
International Tennis Hall of Fame

Game, set, match! Learn everything there is to know about the history of tennis and its most famous athletes at the historic Newport Casino, which dates back to 1880.

South Carolina
Spartanburg Art Museum

Current exhibits worth checking out at the Spartanburg Art Museum include "Land/Lines," featuring the work of six American artists, and "Traditions: Compounded," a collection of drawings and paintings from 10 artists using interesting techniques and concepts.

South Dakota
Historic Adams House

The Historic Adams House is a restored 1892 Victorian mansion that aims to tell the stories of two of Deadwood’s founding families. The museum’s Legends Gallery allows visitors to see artifacts from the times of the infamous Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok.

Tennessee
Memphis Rock ’n’ Soul Museum

Learn about the birth of rock and soul music at the Memphis Rock ’n’ Soul Museum. Elvis Presley fans will enjoy the museum’s "King of the Screen" exhibit, which takes a look at Presley’s film career.

Texas
South Austin Museum of Popular Culture

The South Austin Museum of Popular Culture (SouthPop) will host its Museum Day on Sunday along with a special live performance from Kathy and the Kilowatts. The museum features vintage posters, photos and artwork highlighting Austin’s live music history.

Utah
The Leonardo

The Leonardo is the perfect spot to spend a day in Salt Lake City, with interesting exhibits, hands-on activities and a three-story art installation called the Hylozoic Veil. Children are sure to enjoy the City Blocks exhibit made entirely out of LEGO bricks.

Vermont
Birds of Vermont Museum

Get in touch with nature at the Birds of Vermont Museum, which is home to more than 500 life-sized wood carvings of birds, as well as traditional and contemporary art.

Virginia
The American Civil War Museum: Historic Tredegar

Virginia is home to several museums dedicated to the American Civil War. Historic Tredegar is located in the former Tredegar Iron Works and takes a look at the war from the perspectives of the Union, the Confederacy and African-Americans.

Washington
Fort Nisqually Living History Museum

Immerse yourself in 19th-century life at Fort Nisqually Living History Museum. Museum volunteers and staff work in period clothing and speak to visitors in historic dialogue at the Hudson’s Bay Company trading post.

West Virginia
Anna Jarvis Birthplace Museum

Did you know that Anna Jarvis was the founder of Mother’s Day? Visitors can walk though the home built by her father in 1854 and see more than 5,000 artifacts from the 1800 to 1948.

Wisconsin
Wisconsin Veterans Museum

The Wisconsin Veterans Museum has been sharing the stories of the state’s military veterans for more than 100 years. Visitors will get a chance to learn about the state’s role in the Civil War and Spanish-American War, and see full-scale aircraft from the Vietnam War.

Wyoming
Washakie Museum and Cultural Center

The Washakie Museum and Culture Center aims to educate the public about the native people of the Big Horn Basin and their environment. Visitors can also visit a temporary exhibit showcasing the fine-art ceramics created by Dustin Stephenson.

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