Alabama: U.S. Space and Rocket Center
> City: Huntsville
> Type: History, Military, Science, Specialized
> If you have time, also visit: The Legacy Museum
The U.S. Space and Rocket Center, home to one of the world’s largest collections of space memorabilia, has its origins in the 1950s when renowned rocket expert Wernher von Braun established a technology center in Huntsville. Von Braun suggested that a museum be created there and it opened in 1970. More than 650,000 people visit annually.
Alaska: Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center
> City: Anchorage
> Type: Anthropology, Art, Children’s, Culture, History, Library, Natural History, Planetarium, Science
> If you have time, also visit: Alaska Native Heritage Center
An important aspect of the Anchorage Museum is its commitment to recognizing and honoring the land, culture, and language of the Dena’ina people on whose land the museum is built. One of the major projects of the museum is its polar lab, which brings together thought leaders to discuss the present and future of the North and the Arctic.
Arizona: Musical Instrument Museum
> City: Phoenix
> Type: General, Specialized
> If you have time, also visit: The Heard Museum
One of the newer institutions on this list, the Musical Instrument Museum has a global vision, focusing on musical instruments played all over the world. Opened in 2008, the museum has more than 8,000 instruments from 200 countries.
Arkansas: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
> City: Bentonville
> Type: Art, Culture, Library, Park
> If you have time, also visit: The Walmart Museum
Founded by philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton, the museum has as its mission to acknowledge the American spirit in a place that combines art and nature. Pavilions housing galleries are perched on areas around spring-fed ponds. One unique attraction: A 1954-vintage Frank Lloyd Wright house, dismantled at its original site in New Jersey and reassembled on the grounds.
California: The Getty Center
> City: Los Angeles
> Type: Art, Culture
> If you have time, also visit: The Broad
The Getty Center is one of Los Angeles’ cultural jewels. Open everyday except Tuesday, with free admission, it includes works by such art icons as Van Gogh, Monet, and Cezanne. The building itself is an architectural wonder, designed by Richard Meier.
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