Destinations: London, Paris, New York City, Barcelona, Washington, Rome, San Francisco

Themes: Art and Museums, Historical Vacations, Urban Endeavors

The word museum comes from the Greek mouseion, a temple dedicated to the Muses. Today a museum is a place set aside to house, protect and present artifacts for public study and inspiration. There are museums dedicated to virtually every facet of human ingenuity and natural wonder from the expected—fine arts, folk art and crafts, archeology, history, military and war, science, technology, children’s museums, and natural history—to the frankly weird. Examples include Las Vegas’ Liberace Museum, the Cheese Museum of the Netherlands and the Cockroach Hall of Fame found in Plano, Texas.  Botanical gardens and zoos can be considered varieties of living museums.

The first public museums opened in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, among them the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archeology in Oxford established in 1683, the Museo Sacro in the Vatican established 1756, and the British Museum, which opened to the public in 1759. These museums, though nominally public, were in reality only open to upper class individuals. The Louvre in Paris, founded in 1793 during the French Revolution, was the first truly public museum.

Articles About Museums

History and Modern Delights in Alexandria

Take a day trip from Washington, D.C., to Alexandria, which offers charming historical landmarks and popular boutique shopping.

5 Free Anaheim Attractions

When you’ve exhausted Disneyland, check out these Anaheim gems that’ll educate and entertain your family on the cheap.

Anaheim: Beyond Disneyland, the Birthplace of Mickey

Anaheim is the town that Mickey Mouse built. But the popular family vacation destination has more to offer than ever before.

B.A: European City of South America

Buenos Aires has beautiful architecture, great dining and wines, friendly people, big parks … what are you waiting for?

Family Fun in Atlanta

Take the kids to this sprawling city in the South packed with amusement parks, historic sites and the world’s largest aquarium.

King Tut and China’s Terracotta Warriors Take Atlanta

Discover the fascinating burial practices of two ancient civilizations at these popular exhibits.

Kids Rule in Austin

From its children’s museums to its expansive parks and playgrounds, Austin welcomes kids with open arms.

What Not to Miss When in Austin, Texas

From famous bats and junk art to museums and performing arts, this popular city offers an eclectic mix of sightseeing adventures.

5 (Nearly) Free Bahamas Attractions

Dust the sand off your swimsuit and explore the rest the Bahamas with these free and affordable attractions.

Rambling Along La Rambla

Our local expert in Barcelona shares her favorites for Gaudí architecture, Catalan cuisine, chic fashion, hot hotels and cool modern art.

Teen Travel Treats in Barcelona

Tempt your travel-wary teen with Barcelona’s youthful vibe and culture, funky architecture, vegetarian restaurants and sailing tours.

Beijing’s Top 10 Sights

There are plenty of additional historic and cultural attractions worth your while, but if visiting Beijing for the first time, here are 10 must-see sights to get you on your way.

Best Boston Museums and Institutions

Art, science, children, history, sports—check out the city’s best creative and intellectual institutions, sure to satisfy any range of interests.

Boston Travel Planning by Neighborhood

Our local expert shares her tips to help you plan your vacation to Beantown and discover its many wonderful historic neighborhoods.

5 Free Boston Attractions

Spend time without spending a lot of money to get to know Boston with these free (or nearly free) things to do and see.

Not Your Grandfather’s Branson

This popular spot in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains has added glitz and glam over the years yet remains a great place for old-fashioned fun.

Branson’s Titanic Museum: A Time Travel Surprise

The world’s largest Titanic museum allows visitors to time travel to one of history’s most tragic events via an educational interactive experience for kids and adults alike.

Chicago: Tips for Affordable Family Fun

Broke? Fear not. You don’t need big bucks to enjoy some of Chicago’s best family attractions.

Chicago: Have a Hot Time in Chi-town

The Second City serves up first-class sights, entertainment, shopping and, of course, hearty food.

College Visit Guide: Seattle

Get familiar with colleges and activities in favorite Seattle neighborhoods.

College Visit Guide: California’s South Bay

Maximize your college visit to the Bay Area with info on campuses near San Jose and Santa Cruz.

Washington, D.C., College Visit Guide

Explore the diverse neighborhoods of D.C. during your college visit.

Top Shore Excursions

Want to know what to do in port? Take our expert’s advice and don’t miss these key attractions for cruise ports around the world.

The Lowdown on Family Fun in Mile-High Denver

Check out these museums, The Queen City of the plains has plenty to offers great day adventures for both indoor and outdoor enthusiasts.

Literary Attractions in Dublin

Fans of James Joyce and other Irish writers can keep themselves busy exploring Dublin’s many literary attractions and pub crawls.

Irish Enchantment: Dublin’s Top Attractions

Historical landmarks, world-class museums, incomparable pubs and abundant shopping are just a few of the draws in this capital city.

Conch Out in the Florida Keys

From dolphin excursions to a tour of Hemingway’s house, check out the myriad of family vacation activities in the quirky and charming Florida Keys.

Family Fun in Fort Lauderdale

Once a Spring Break mecca, Fort Lauderdale has evolved into a family-friendly city with an overwhelming possibility for adventure.

Must-See Smithsonian Museums

If you can’t visit all the Smithsonian Institution’s treasures, follow this guide for the best of its 19 exhilarating museums.

10 Top Spring Break Spots

Best destinations for students or families for a memorable Spring Break getaway.

The Banks of Brisbane

Australia’s third largest city has a waterfront teeming with shops, restaurants, a kid-friendly beach and a children’s art center.

10 Ways for Your Kids to Interact With Italy

Keep your kids active, engaged and begging to go back to Italy with these 10 ways for the entire family to experience the country.

7 New England Family Road Trips

Take a family vacation road trip to these New England destinations that are kid-friendly and affordable.

Destinations of Champions

Bobsled, luge, skate and ski at these North American sites that formerly hosted the Summer or Winter Olympic Games.

Touring the Mysteries and Magic of Oxford

Satisfy your love for classic fantasy novels with a look into the magical world of Oxford, where parts of Harry Potter movies were filmed and The Lord of the Rings was inspired.

Top 5 International Aquariums

Let these spectacular aquariums around the globe serve as ambassadors to the underwater world on your next family vacation.

The World’s Top Architecture Museums

These marvelous museums help us understand our built environment—and its past, present and future.

10 Top Natural History Museums

Explore everything from the evolution of the universe to 85 million-year-old dinosaur skeletons at exhibits offered at these natural history museums around the globe.

Top U.S. Aquariums

Be sure to visit the country’s coolest aquariums, where you can play with dolphins and wade barefoot through live marshes.

Salute the Troops of Present and Past

Visit these famous U.S. war memorials this Veterans Day to honor American soldiers and learn about the history of this important holiday.

Where the Wild Things Are

Learn how you can get personal with alligators, prairie dogs and falcons while on vacation.

Hot in Havana

Havana has so much more than old cars, listening to wizened musicians play live music and drinking rum.

Accolades for Abe

Lincoln bicentennial exhibitions, events and activities honoring the 16th President of the United States.

An Art Hike Through UCSD’s Stuart Collection

Explore this kid-friendly La Jolla art collection sprinkled throughout the University of California, San Diego campus, featuring a 180-ton teddy bear and a Stonehenge-like installation.

Museums for Teens in Vegas

Vegas is a teenager, compared with other U.S. cities, just beginning to show the cultural depth that others take for granted.

Sin City Beyond Gaming

Not the gambling type? Check out these myriad Vegas attractions to keep you buzzing from the Strip to Fremont Street, morning til night.

7 London Sights with Teen Appeal

Keep London cool for your teens or pre-teens on your family vacation.

Exploring London

A practical travel guide by our local expert to a historic city with modern verve.

Pound-Saving Tips for Your London Vacation

How to keep from going bankrupt on your next family visit to London.

5 Free Los Angeles Attractions

Just because Los Angeles is virtually synonymous with filthy rich celebrities, doesn’t mean you need to cash out to enjoy some of the cities fabulous attractions.

Burning Rubber: Western Road Adventures

Book a luxury car adventure vacation package and forget the saddle and explore the American West with style and speed in the finest autos around.

Satisfy Your Inner Art Student in Madrid

Explore Madrid’s art world on your family vacation, from Spanish masterpieces by Goya and Dalí, to contemporary art and photography festivals.

Top Things to Do on Martha’s Vineyard

From New England history to maritime culture to classic Atlantic beaches—what not to miss during your vacation to this idyllic, historic island.

Melbourne: Arts and Culture Capital

Australia’s second-largest city boasts arts festivals, eclectic ethnic cuisine, exotic wildlife and easy, walkable streets to explore it all.

Mexico City’s Top Cultural Attractions

Dig into the heart of this city via its art and history museums and popular markets.

The Resurrection of Mexico City

Mexico City is quite possibly the most overlooked tourist destination in the world. But it shouldn’t be. Find out why.

Miami: The Beaches and Beyond

See why Miami continues to be a popular tropical playground, with gorgeous beaches, culinary hotspots, historic landmarks and plenty of attractions for kids and adults alike.

Tips for Visiting Museums with Kids

Visiting museums with kids can be a little daunting. Here’s a list of tips for taking the kids on museum visits.

Museums as Playgrounds

Many museums nationwide make it a point to be interactive and engaging for their younger patrons.

Museums Even a Teenager Will Love

Try a museum of a different stripe to pique your teenager’s interest

Naples’ Surging Modern Art Scene

Italy’s southern city offers an eclectic array of contemporary galleries and modern museums sure to impress art aficionados.

Beauty Amid the Chaos in Naples, Italy

Naples is a diamond-in-the-rough, offering stunning landscapes, historical monuments and a burgeoning art scene.

9 Alternative New York Attractions

Check out these lesser-known New York sightseeing gems, from Manhattan’s last natural salt marsh and 18th century farmhouses to a remote Buddhist museum.

New York City On My Mind

New York City is its own world of things to see and do, for individuals and family travelers alike. Read here for our expert’s recommendations.

D.C.’s New Newseum: The Inside Scoop

Newseum gives kids and adults a newsworthy tour through the history of journalism.

Who Said Hawaii Was Expensive?

From musical performances to historic memorials, there are plenty of things to do on Oahu without spending a dime.

Hawaiian History for the Kids

Learn about Hawaii and explore Oahu’s natural wonders on these affordable kid-friendly excursions.

Say Aloha to Oahu’s Top Attractions

Follow our experts’ guide to the best sites and activities for planning your vacation to this popular Hawaiian island.

Make Your San Francisco Vacation Quirky

Take a detour from the hotspots and visit some offbeat San Francisco attractions, including a museum bar, a pirate store and a trapeze school.

Beach-Bound Getaways in Orange County

Surf’s up at O.C. beaches and seaside resorts at Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and Dana Point.

Winter Park: Orlando’s Secret Haven

Enjoy a serene respite in this former resort village for a break from the nearby theme parks, with a farmer’s market, the Morse Museum Tiffany collection, luxury boutiques and sidewalk cafés.

Visiting the Canadian Children’s Museum

Send families on a “Great Adventure” to learn about cultures of the world at this popular museum, located near Ottawa, Canada.

Paris for Art Lovers

Art students of all ages will find inspiration in Paris’ myriad art fairs, markets and museums.

Paris: Charming City With Historical Beauty

The French capital lives up to its hype, with world-class museums, restaurants, shopping and historical sites. Check out our local expert’s recommended favorites.

Essential Paris Museums

Become enchanted, not overwhelmed, by Paris’ enlivening art scene with this guide to essential Parisian museums.

Family Fun in Philadelphia

Keep everyone from tots to teens entertained in the City of Brotherly Love.

Portland, Oregon: Pints, Pedals and Parks

The City of Roses has something for everyone: microbreweries, biking trails, and plenty of green spaces and places.

Québec’s Gonna Party Like it’s…1608

Celebrating Québec City’s 400th anniversary with 10 months of festivals, art exhibits and street performances—this is one party you won’t want to miss.

Kids Get Craftsy at Québec City Economuseums

Watch bees make honey, tour maple groves and see a skilled blacksmith shape metal.

Québec: North America’s European City

From its historical sites and enclosing wall to its French-influenced culture and cuisine, Québec City offers enticing options for all ages.

San Antonio’s Mission Trail

After seeing the Alamo, head to nearby Missions National Park to see four additional historic Spanish missions, all still active churches.

Texas History and Latin American Arts

Centuries of art and culture are on display at these San Antonio museums.

San Antonio’s Fun Family Attractions

Underwater views of hippos, playing in giant bubbles and a simulated space capsule are just a few of the family attractions in San Antonio.

San Diego’s New Children’s Museum

Interactive art exhibits at this new San Diego attraction let children paint, play and imagine.

Planes, Trains and Ships: San Diego’s Transportation Museums

San Diego’s many transportation museums make this sunny Southern California city the perfect destination for an educational family vacation.

San Diego: A Playground for Kids and Adults

This Southern California destination remains a family favorite, but cool new hotels and restaurants make it an appealing playground for adults too.

San Francisco Green Spaces

Escape the urban jungle and find plenty of places to relax and get back to nature in the City by the Bay.

San Francisco Vacation: An Insider’s Guide

Our local expert shares her city secrets for individuals and families alike, to help you plan your ideal San Francisco vacation.

Child’s Play: San Francisco’s Interactive Zeum

Art meets technology at this innovative museum offering kids and families engaging, interactive displays that bring out the creative child in visitors of all ages.

Sarasota Family Vacation

This Florida beach community offers both affordable and luxury accommodations, beautiful beaches, family attractions and quality cultural venues.

The Idyllic Islands of Georgia

Georgia’s historic coastal islands offer everything from haute to honky-tonk and a pristine national seashore.

Savannah Art and Architecture: A Fusion of Past and Present

Savannah’s remarkably well-preserved historical buildings and celebrated contemporary arts scene offer an elegant feast for the eyes.

Savannah’s Southern Charm and Modern Marvels

Learn about this fine U.S. colonial city’s beautiful historical sites as well as its cutting-edge contemporary attractions.

Seattle’s Neighborhood Parks, Playgrounds and Ducks

Seattle’s many parks guarantee a childhood’s worth of diversions in the Emerald City.

See Seattle as the Locals Do

Being global, acting local while on a family vacation in Washington State’s Emerald City.

East Meets West in the Lion City

Singapore is an ideal entry point to Asia, with its mix of cultures and cuisines, historic sites and modern attractions.

Nelson Mandela’s Madiba Trail

Visit key sites in Nelson Mandela life, from his youth to his freedom from jail.

Accessible Chicago

Tips for how to navigate the Windy City when traveling with a disabled child.

Capital Access: Touring D.C. with Special Needs Kids

Use this guide to plan your Washington, D.C., family trip with your special needs child.

Island Adventures in St. Lucia

A patchwork of colonial history, this Eastern Caribbean island offers a variety of activities, attractions and cuisines stemming from French, British and African influence.

Tampa and St. Pete Family Vacation

Neighboring cities Tampa and St. Petersburg provide excellent beaches and family attractions as well as art and culture for those traveling without little ones.

Ybor City: Tampa’s Cuban Cultural Community

Visit Tampa’s Latin quarter for a taste of Cuban cuisine, entertainment and history.

Hershey: The Sweetest Place on Earth

Immerse yourself in everything chocolate in Hershey, Pa, from a chocolate fondue wrap to chocolate martinis to a chocolate museum. There are new rides at Hersheypark too.

Holiday Hotel Packages

Shop with the Four Seasons San Francisco, get a Tango package at the Hilton Buenos Aires, ring in the New Year in St. Lucia and explore the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh.

Hudson 400: Henry Hudson’s Historic Voyage

It’s been four centuries since this Dutch explorer discovered the Hudson River. Check out the events slated for the year-long celebrations throughout New York State.

Deals: Québec, San Diego, New Orleans and Naples

This week’s deals include Québec hotel and museum discounts, grandparents package in New Orleans, reduced admission to San Diego attractions, and special summer rates for a Florida beach and golf resort.

Traveling Solo With Kids

Single parent travelers can plan memorable family vacations with activities that encourage quality time with the kids.

Vancouver’s Family Vacation Attractions

The city of Vancouver, Canada attracts families with its rainforest wildlife, maritime history and assortment of intriguing museums and outdoor activities.

Washington, D.C., Insider Travel Planning Tips

Insider info from our local expert on where to go and what to see on your next trip to D.C.

History Lessons at D.C. Museums and Memorials

Don’t know which Washington museums are best for kids from tykes to teens? Read here for age-appropriate recommendations.

Historic Presidential Attractions in D.C. Beyond the White House

With the upcoming inauguration, learn about the history and lives of our previous commanders in chief by checking out these top presidential attractions in Washington, D.C.

24 Hours in St. Louis With Kids

Turn your overnight visit to St. Louis into a family getaway. This Midwest city is a gem for kids and parents alike.

Tired of the Mudslinging? Discover D.C. for Yourself

Two Washington guidebooks highlight capital attractions in an interactive format for kids.