7 U.S Art Museums you Need to Visit

Wanderlust Wednesday - Destination Inspiration

Unleash your inner wanderlust today with our latest featured destination, Destination Inspiration! Explore our top 7 choices for the best U.S Art Museums you Need to Visit, each choice providing top art, top architecture, and top eating, shopping, and sightseeing opportunities you'll find throughout the 4 most art-filled U.S cities: New York, Chicago, D.C, and L.A.

New York

1.Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) 
Designed by renowned Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi, with a recent 2004 remodel grand opening, sits the Museum of Modern Art, or MOMA, in New York City. This spectacular art museum housing 7 different curatorial departments and focusing on the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries sits at the top of the list for United States art museums, providing guests the finest architecture and design, film, media, paint and sculpture, drawings, and print work. See everything from Matisse to Monet, stop and grab a bite in the on-site eatery, or head out to the highly impressive sculpture garden!

Must See: Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon or Van Gogh’s The Starry Night

2.Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET)

Ranked #3 in the world, only after the Louvre and British Museum, you will find our second-best choice for American art museums, New York City’s famous Metropolitan Museum of Art, or MET. This massive art establishment houses 17 total collections, which contain over 2 million objects in total. See Greek and Roman art, American and European Paintings, and even a highly popular Costume Center. 19th century Europe is focused on a lot, and you can, of course, see works from the greats such as Monet and Van Gogh while here.

Must See: Van Gogh’s Irises and 15 BC Egyptian Temple

Washington D.C

  1. National Gallery of Art
    If you love classical art and neoclassical architecture you’re going to love the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Built in 1941, this historic and gorgeously designed structure houses all the best European and American art from the 13th to the 20th centuries. Enjoy the world’s largest Edgar Degas wax and mix media sculpture collection here, as well as the onsite triple-height atrium and several different sculpture galleries. Be sure to take advantage of the underground connector hallways during inclement weather here, as well.

Must See: Leonardo da Vinci's Ginevra de Benci and Botticelli's Adoration of the Magi.

  1. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
    Another D.C gems sit right next to the National Mall, the ‘aggressively modern’ and well- renowned Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. First built in 1974, this museum housed several 20th-century paintings and sculptures, today adding on many different forms of media such as painting, paper, photography, digital, etc. Enjoy the 3 levels of magnificent art indoors, and the serene sculpture garden outdoors containing Rodin, Matisse, and Calder. This museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian branch and also a fine example of modern architecture in itself. Must See: Giacometti and Thomas Eakins collections


  1. Art Institute of Chicago
    There’s nothing quite like your first (or second, or third, with so much to see) trip to the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the country's premier fine art collections. Here you will have the chance to discover over 300,000 works of art and artifacts, from antiquity to present, from all over the world. Some of the most popular exhibits offered here include the Japanese prints, Frank Lloyd Wright building samples, and Thorne miniature rooms, though it would also be hard to pass up a solid 5-minute stare at the famous Ferris Bueller painting, wouldn’t it?
    Must See: Modern Wing’s architecture and design collection

Los Angeles

  1. Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
    The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is definitely a ‘multi-day destination’, an award-winning contemporary art museum with 3 sprawling floors of art to show off to its thousands of weekly guests. American artists are highlighted mostly here, with several more modern displays by such well known (and at times peculiar) artists such as Tim Burton.

Must See: Chris Burden's Urban Light and Metropolis II

  1. Getty Center 
    L.A doesn’t stop there with the amazing art opportunities, this next, and last, stop on our list being a fiercely fine example of fine modern architecture and art. This entire campus is free to visit, the extravagant J Paul Getty Center sitting hilltop and boasting over 6 fine pavilions filled with the center’s permanent collection. The outdoor Central Garden, fountain-filled courtyard, and luminous rotunda lobby are among the most popular exhibits/areas here, though all the American and European art within the center are visit-worthy alone.

Must See: Oddly enough, the restaurant overlooking the gardens and Santa Monica Mountains