National Museum of American History. There are great exhibits on the history of television, technology, transportation, agriculture, social and political history, labor, photography, music, and many more. Exhibits are added and closed frequently.
One of the more popular exhibits in the museum is the Star-Spangled Banner - the flag that inspired the National Anthem and which flew over Fort McHenry in 1814 during the War of 1812.
The museum is open daily except December 25 from 10 AM - 5:30 PM. Admission is free.
The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum complex and research center, and some of the best museums I have ever visited.
Museums in Washington DC include:
Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture, Arts and Industries Building, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of African Art, National Museum of American History (Behring Center), National Museum of Natural History, National Portrait Gallery, National Postal Museum, National Zoological Park, Smithsonian American Arts Museum and its Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution Building (the Castle).
I only had a chance to visit 3 of the museums listed, so budget your time and plan on what you want to see most. It would probably take a whole week to see all of these museums. All Smithsonian museums in Washington DC have free admission. Check the website for hours.
There are tons of exhibits at the Smithsonian every year. Most people checkout the Natural History Museum and the Air and Space Museum which are cool and great for the kids.
However, as a local, I never go to those two because the I think the exhibits at the other Museums are much more interesting. The Freer and Sackler Galleries (asian art) have had some of my favorite exhibits.
Before you come, check out Smithsonian and National Gallery of Art websites to find out what is being exhibited and plan your visit.
The Smithsonian Museum of American History
This museum displays nearly every aspect of American history including Archie Bunker's chair (a fixture on the set of 'All in the Family'), just about every kind of vehicle from all points of American history, and there used to be at least at one time an exhibit on the American first lady.
The Smithonian museums are absolutely fantastic. There are many of them but the most popular are the Air and Space museum and the American History museum. Some of the others are the Museum of Natural History, the National Portrait Gallery and the Arts and Industries Building.
I spent the better part of 2 days just walking through the Air and Space museum and the American History museum. There is an amazing amount to see in each of them. There are various hands on exhibits for young people and each has a cafe for when you need a break. The best part of these museums is that they are all FREE!
What can I say ? It has one of the greatest collections of the world... and it's free ... what else can you ask for?