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.
Take a day trip from Washington, D.C., to Alexandria, which offers charming historical landmarks and popular boutique shopping.
When you’ve exhausted Disneyland, check out these Anaheim gems that’ll educate and entertain your family on the cheap.
Anaheim is the town that Mickey Mouse built. But the popular family vacation destination has more to offer than ever before.
Buenos Aires has beautiful architecture, great dining and wines, friendly people, big parks … what are you waiting for?
Take the kids to this sprawling city in the South packed with amusement parks, historic sites and the world’s largest aquarium.
Discover the fascinating burial practices of two ancient civilizations at these popular exhibits.
From its children’s museums to its expansive parks and playgrounds, Austin welcomes kids with open arms.
From famous bats and junk art to museums and performing arts, this popular city offers an eclectic mix of sightseeing adventures.
Dust the sand off your swimsuit and explore the rest the Bahamas with these free and affordable attractions.
Our local expert in Barcelona shares her favorites for Gaudí architecture, Catalan cuisine, chic fashion, hot hotels and cool modern art.
Tempt your travel-wary teen with Barcelona’s youthful vibe and culture, funky architecture, vegetarian restaurants and sailing tours.
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.
Art, science, children, history, sports—check out the city’s best creative and intellectual institutions, sure to satisfy any range of interests.
Our local expert shares her tips to help you plan your vacation to Beantown and discover its many wonderful historic neighborhoods.
Spend time without spending a lot of money to get to know Boston with these free (or nearly free) things to do and see.
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.
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.
Broke? Fear not. You don’t need big bucks to enjoy some of Chicago’s best family attractions.
The Second City serves up first-class sights, entertainment, shopping and, of course, hearty food.
Get familiar with colleges and activities in favorite Seattle neighborhoods.
Maximize your college visit to the Bay Area with info on campuses near San Jose and Santa Cruz.
Explore the diverse neighborhoods of D.C. during your college visit.
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.
Check out these museums, The Queen City of the plains has plenty to offers great day adventures for both indoor and outdoor enthusiasts.
Fans of James Joyce and other Irish writers can keep themselves busy exploring Dublin’s many literary attractions and pub crawls.
Historical landmarks, world-class museums, incomparable pubs and abundant shopping are just a few of the draws in this capital city.
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.
Once a Spring Break mecca, Fort Lauderdale has evolved into a family-friendly city with an overwhelming possibility for adventure.
If you can’t visit all the Smithsonian Institution’s treasures, follow this guide for the best of its 19 exhilarating museums.
Best destinations for students or families for a memorable Spring Break getaway.
Australia’s third largest city has a waterfront teeming with shops, restaurants, a kid-friendly beach and a children’s art center.
Keep your kids active, engaged and begging to go back to Italy with these 10 ways for the entire family to experience the country.
Take a family vacation road trip to these New England destinations that are kid-friendly and affordable.
Bobsled, luge, skate and ski at these North American sites that formerly hosted the Summer or Winter Olympic Games.
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.
Let these spectacular aquariums around the globe serve as ambassadors to the underwater world on your next family vacation.
These marvelous museums help us understand our built environment—and its past, present and future.
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.
Be sure to visit the country’s coolest aquariums, where you can play with dolphins and wade barefoot through live marshes.
Visit these famous U.S. war memorials this Veterans Day to honor American soldiers and learn about the history of this important holiday.
Learn how you can get personal with alligators, prairie dogs and falcons while on vacation.
Havana has so much more than old cars, listening to wizened musicians play live music and drinking rum.
Lincoln bicentennial exhibitions, events and activities honoring the 16th President of the United States.
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.
Vegas is a teenager, compared with other U.S. cities, just beginning to show the cultural depth that others take for granted.
Not the gambling type? Check out these myriad Vegas attractions to keep you buzzing from the Strip to Fremont Street, morning til night.
Keep London cool for your teens or pre-teens on your family vacation.
A practical travel guide by our local expert to a historic city with modern verve.
How to keep from going bankrupt on your next family visit to London.
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.
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.
Explore Madrid’s art world on your family vacation, from Spanish masterpieces by Goya and Dalí, to contemporary art and photography festivals.
From New England history to maritime culture to classic Atlantic beaches—what not to miss during your vacation to this idyllic, historic island.
Australia’s second-largest city boasts arts festivals, eclectic ethnic cuisine, exotic wildlife and easy, walkable streets to explore it all.
Dig into the heart of this city via its art and history museums and popular markets.
Mexico City is quite possibly the most overlooked tourist destination in the world. But it shouldn’t be. Find out why.
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.
Visiting museums with kids can be a little daunting. Here’s a list of tips for taking the kids on museum visits.
Many museums nationwide make it a point to be interactive and engaging for their younger patrons.
Try a museum of a different stripe to pique your teenager’s interest
Italy’s southern city offers an eclectic array of contemporary galleries and modern museums sure to impress art aficionados.
Naples is a diamond-in-the-rough, offering stunning landscapes, historical monuments and a burgeoning art scene.
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 is its own world of things to see and do, for individuals and family travelers alike. Read here for our expert’s recommendations.
Newseum gives kids and adults a newsworthy tour through the history of journalism.
From musical performances to historic memorials, there are plenty of things to do on Oahu without spending a dime.
Learn about Hawaii and explore Oahu’s natural wonders on these affordable kid-friendly excursions.
Follow our experts’ guide to the best sites and activities for planning your vacation to this popular Hawaiian island.
Take a detour from the hotspots and visit some offbeat San Francisco attractions, including a museum bar, a pirate store and a trapeze school.
Surf’s up at O.C. beaches and seaside resorts at Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and Dana Point.
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.
Send families on a “Great Adventure” to learn about cultures of the world at this popular museum, located near Ottawa, Canada.
Art students of all ages will find inspiration in Paris’ myriad art fairs, markets and museums.
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.
Become enchanted, not overwhelmed, by Paris’ enlivening art scene with this guide to essential Parisian museums.
Keep everyone from tots to teens entertained in the City of Brotherly Love.
The City of Roses has something for everyone: microbreweries, biking trails, and plenty of green spaces and places.
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.
Watch bees make honey, tour maple groves and see a skilled blacksmith shape metal.
From its historical sites and enclosing wall to its French-influenced culture and cuisine, Québec City offers enticing options for all ages.
After seeing the Alamo, head to nearby Missions National Park to see four additional historic Spanish missions, all still active churches.
Centuries of art and culture are on display at these San Antonio museums.
Underwater views of hippos, playing in giant bubbles and a simulated space capsule are just a few of the family attractions in San Antonio.
Interactive art exhibits at this new San Diego attraction let children paint, play and imagine.
San Diego’s many transportation museums make this sunny Southern California city the perfect destination for an educational family vacation.
This Southern California destination remains a family favorite, but cool new hotels and restaurants make it an appealing playground for adults too.
Escape the urban jungle and find plenty of places to relax and get back to nature in the City by the Bay.
Our local expert shares her city secrets for individuals and families alike, to help you plan your ideal San Francisco vacation.
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.
This Florida beach community offers both affordable and luxury accommodations, beautiful beaches, family attractions and quality cultural venues.
Georgia’s historic coastal islands offer everything from haute to honky-tonk and a pristine national seashore.
Savannah’s remarkably well-preserved historical buildings and celebrated contemporary arts scene offer an elegant feast for the eyes.
Learn about this fine U.S. colonial city’s beautiful historical sites as well as its cutting-edge contemporary attractions.
Seattle’s many parks guarantee a childhood’s worth of diversions in the Emerald City.
Being global, acting local while on a family vacation in Washington State’s Emerald City.
Singapore is an ideal entry point to Asia, with its mix of cultures and cuisines, historic sites and modern attractions.
Visit key sites in Nelson Mandela life, from his youth to his freedom from jail.
Tips for how to navigate the Windy City when traveling with a disabled child.
Use this guide to plan your Washington, D.C., family trip with your special needs child.
A patchwork of colonial history, this Eastern Caribbean island offers a variety of activities, attractions and cuisines stemming from French, British and African influence.
Neighboring cities Tampa and St. Petersburg provide excellent beaches and family attractions as well as art and culture for those traveling without little ones.
Visit Tampa’s Latin quarter for a taste of Cuban cuisine, entertainment and history.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Single parent travelers can plan memorable family vacations with activities that encourage quality time with the kids.
The city of Vancouver, Canada attracts families with its rainforest wildlife, maritime history and assortment of intriguing museums and outdoor activities.
Insider info from our local expert on where to go and what to see on your next trip to D.C.
Don’t know which Washington museums are best for kids from tykes to teens? Read here for age-appropriate recommendations.
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.
Turn your overnight visit to St. Louis into a family getaway. This Midwest city is a gem for kids and parents alike.
Two Washington guidebooks highlight capital attractions in an interactive format for kids.