Readers Vote Lake Superior Railroad Museum the Best Transportation Museum in the U.S.!

Simeone Automotive Foundation Museum voted runner up

Henry Ford's Model T, the historic flight of the Wright Brothers, the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, the first lunar landing – the U.S. has a long history at the forefront of transportation technology. 10Best. set out to find the best museums in the nation that delve into this history and bring it to life for visitors. For four weeks, our readers have been voting daily for their favorites, and the results are in.

  • Illinois Railway Museum
    Union, Illinois

    The Illinois Railway Museum is the largest railroad museum in the United States, with collections representing various facets of railroading and railroading history in the United States, including 200 acres of locomotives.
    Photo courtesy of Kurt Haubrich / Flickr

  • Maritime Museum of San Diego
    San Diego

    The Maritime Museum of San Diego is home to one world's most impressive collections of historic ships, including The Star of India (the oldest active ship in the world), The Berkeley (an 1898 steam ferryboat) and the tall ship Californian (built for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles). Additionally, there are five galleries of exhibits on topics ranging from San Diego's naval history to the pirates of the Pacific.
    Photo courtesy of Port of San Diego / Flickr

  • National Automobile Museum
    Reno

    The National Automobile Museum in Reno houses one of the largest collections of antique automobiles to be found anywhere in the world. Cars are grouped by age in street settings appropriate to their time. These real-life backdrops include everything from Burma Shave signs to old gas pumps, and highlights include a Cadillac that belonged to Elvis Presley, a gold Delorean belonging to Alice Ramsey (the first woman to drive across the U.S.) and the Thomas Flyer.
    Photo courtesy of Nick Ares / Flickr

  • Petersen Automotive Museum
    Los Angeles

    The Petersen Automotive Museum anchors the eastern end of the famed Museum Row on Miracle Mile in Los Angeles. The museum's collection encompasses over 300 vehicles of all types – including a Batmobile. Five galleries house changing exhibitions of the collection (but don't expect to see more than about 150 autos at any one time), while other galleries display automotive memorabilia. There's a whole exhibition devoted to Hot Wheels toys, too, which is a bit like heaven for car-loving kids.
    Photo courtesy of Petersen Automotive Museum

  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum
    Indianapolis

    Inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, guests find 30,000 square feet filled with race scoring equipment, replica garages, trophies (including the Borg-Warner Trophy) and 75 preserved race ars. Exhibited in chronological order, these winning Indy 500 cars demonstrate how racing has changed through innovation in the past century. After touring this National Historic Landmark, patrons can also request a tour of the famous oval track.
    Photo courtesy of Ron McQueeney

  • Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
    Strasburg, Penn.

    Train enthusiasts will find one of the world's top collections of locomotives (more than 100) and railroad artifacts at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg. After touring the collection, visitors can hop aboard the Strasburg Rail Road just across the street for a ride on a historic train.
    Photo courtesy of Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

  • National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
    Dayton, Ohio

    Dayton's National Museum of the U.S. Air Force presents a broad history of the Air Force, with more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles on display. The collection also includes thousands more historical items, all divided among topical galleries, like the Cold War Gallery, Presidential Gallery and Space Gallery.
    Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock

  • Union Pacific Railroad Museum
    Council Bluffs, Iowa

    The Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs, Iowa celebrates America's premier railroad through a collection of exhibits on rail travel, President Abraham Lincoln's tie to America's railroads and the history-changing construction of the Transcontinental Railroad.
    Photo courtesy of civilengtiger / Flickr

  • Simeone Automotive Foundation Museum
    Philadelphia

    The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia celebrates “The Spirit of Competition” with a collection of more than 65 historically significant cars, ranging from Ferrari and Bugatti to Corvette and Ford, collected by Frederick A. Simeone over the course of five decades.
    Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Tom Mihalek

  • Lake Superior Railroad Museum
    Duluth, Minn.

    The Lake Superior Railroad Museum occupies the Historic Duluth Union Depot, where train enthusiasts will find a superb collection of trains on display, as well as a 3/4 scale recreation of Downtown Duluth circa 1910 and a collection of regional railroad equipment.
    Photo courtesy of James St. John / Flickr

The top 10 winners in the category Best Transportation Museum are as follows:

  1. Lake Superior Railroad Museum - Duluth, Minn.
  2. Simeone Automotive Foundation Museum - Philadelphia
  3. Union Pacific Railroad Museum - Council Bluffs, Iowa
  4. National Museum of the U.S. Air Force - Dayton, Ohio
  5. Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania - Strasburg, Penn.
  6. Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum - Indianapolis
  7. Petersen Automotive Museum - Los Angeles
  8. National Automobile Museum - Reno
  9. Maritime Museum of San Diego - San Diego
  10. Illinois Railway Museum - Union, Illinois

Additional nominees in this category included the California State Railroad Museum, Colorado Railroad Museum, Crawford Auto Aviation Museum, The Henry Ford, Museum of Flight in Seattle, Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, Mystic Seaport, San Diego Air & Space Museum, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

Congratulations to all our winning museums!

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Jim Wrinn

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

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