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Best History Museum: National Museum of the Marine Corps

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Explore 240 years of marine corps history at this Virginia museum

Whether you’re interested in millennia of human history or centuries of American history, you can learn a lot about the past with a visit to one of these excellent history museums. Some have broad, encyclopedic collections, while others narrow in on a certain chapter or facet of history.

  • National Museum of the Marine Corps

    National Museum of the Marine Corps
    Triangle, Va.

    This 135-acre museum site chronicles the history and heritage of the United States Marine Corps. The structure itself is meant to resemble the image of raising the flag and Iwo Jima, while the collection within includes artifacts from 240 years of corps history – uniforms, weapons, medals, flags, aircraft, vehicles and works of art.
    Photo courtesy of National Museum of the Marine Corps

  • The Henry Ford

    The Henry Ford
    Dearborn, Mich.

    The Henry Ford, located in the Detroit metro area, showcases the development of technology in the U.S. and documents the width and breadth of American inventions and innovation. The facility occupies nine acres and includes exhibits on agriculture, the automobile, freedom, timepieces, home appliances, jewelry and presidential limousines. Thematic itineraries, including one title OnWheels, provide a more directed focus for visitors.
    Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

  • National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center

    National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center
    Columbus, Ga.

    Free immersive exhibits at the National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center in Columbus take visitors through 240 years of U.S. history through the lens of what it means to be a U.S. soldier. It's one of the world's top military museums and one of the top rated attractions in Columbus.
    Photo courtesy of Jay Rosenblatt / National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center

  • The Mob Museum

    The Mob Museum
    Las Vegas

    The National Museum of Organized Crime & Law Enforcement, or the Mob Museum for short, documents the darker side of American history by examining the effect organized crime has had on society. Exhibits cover the Prohibition era, organized crime today, forensic lab techniques and law enforcement methods.
    Photo courtesy of The Mob Museum

  • National Museum of the Pacific War

    National Museum of the Pacific War
    Fredericksburg, Texas

    The National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg is the only museum in the nation dedicated to telling stories of the Pacific front of World War II. The six acre complex is divided into several areas, including the George Bush Gallery, Plaza of Presidents, Japanese Garden of Peace and the Pacific Combat Zone.
    Photo courtesy of National Museum of the Pacific War

  • The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

    The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
    Yorktown, Va.

    The history of our nation’s founding comes to life at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Indoor gallery spaces showcase artifacts from the colonial period to the writing of the Constitution; visitors can watch a film on the siege of Yorktown on a 180-degree screen. Outside, the living history museum includes recreations of a Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era family farm.
    Photo courtesy of The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

  • Museum of Native American History

    Museum of Native American History
    Bentonville, Ark.

    The Museum of Native American History invites visitors to step back in time and meet the state's first inhabitants. Among the collection of artifacts are pieces dating back some 14,000 years; highlights include the famous Sweetwater Biface and a wooly mammoth skeleton from the Ice Age.
    Photo courtesy of Museum of Native American History

  • National Civil Rights Museum

    National Civil Rights Museum
    Memphis

    Part sacred ground, and part in-your-face challenge to your personal concept of equality, the museum’s focal point is the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was gunned down in April 1968. Vivid exhibits chronicle the assassination of King and the hunt for his killer, explore the faces and places that defined the American civil rights movement and examine the continuing fight around the world for universal equality.
    Photo courtesy of National Civil Rights Museum

  • The National WWII Museum

    The National WWII Museum
    New Orleans

    The extensive and often interactive exhibits at the National WWII Museum bring to life the events of the latest World War and its aftermath. The collection includes vintage propaganda posters, oral histories from more than 7,000 military personnel, a 4D theater and a collection of wartime aircraft.
    Photo courtesy of The National WWII Museum

  • Museum of History & Industry

    Museum of History & Industry
    Seattle

    Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) ranks as Washington State’s largest private heritage organization, with a collection of some four million historic objects, documents and photographs. Visitors can dive into the history of the Puget Sound region through the collection, with highlights like a Boeing B-1 plane, Rainier Brewing Company’s original “R” sign and a petticoat flag from the Battle of Seattle.
    Photo courtesy of Museum of History & Industry

  • National Museum of the Marine Corps
  • The Henry Ford
  • National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center
  • The Mob Museum
  • National Museum of the Pacific War
  • The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
  • Museum of Native American History
  • National Civil Rights Museum
  • The National WWII Museum
  • Museum of History & Industry

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

  1. National Museum of the Marine Corps - Triangle, Va.
  2. The Henry Ford - Dearborn, Mich.
  3. National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center - Columbus, Ga.
  4. The Mob Museum - Las Vegas
  5. National Museum of the Pacific War - Fredericksburg, Texas
  6. The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown - Yorktown, Va.
  7. Museum of Native American History - Bentonville, Ark.
  8. National Civil Rights Museum - Memphis
  9. The National WWII Museum - New Orleans
  10. Museum of History & Industry - Seattle

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning history museums!

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Brett Barest

Brett Barest

Brett Barest

Beth D'Addono

Beth D'Addono

Beth D'Addono

Joanne DiBona

Joanne DiBona

Joanne DiBona

Ilene Jacobs

Ilene Jacobs

Ilene Jacobs

Jenny Peters

Jenny Peters

Jenny Peters

Karon Warren

Karon Warren

Karon Warren

Corinne Whiting

Corinne Whiting

Corinne Whiting

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