You've come to the right place if museums are your thing.  In Fairfax County two of our more popular museums are visited by hundreds of thousands of people a year. George Washington's Mount Vernon, which boasts 23 incredible galleries and interactive exhibits focused on our founding father's story, and the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, where you can witness the incredible presence of the iconic Space Shuttle Discovery and hundreds of other air and space craft that shaped the history of flight. These, in addition to the other world-renowned Smithsonian Museums in DC make this area second to none in exploring our nation's history.

Museums To Visit

Art Museums

The DC area is blessed with many options for those who are seeking out art museums while visiting. Iconic art museums nearby such as the National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery of Art, and the American Art Museum are must sees for anyone coming to the nation's capital region. 

History Museums

Everything from local museums like the Reston Museum and the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center to the amazing National Museum of American History, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture are all examples of the different kinds of history museums you can visit on your trip. No matter what type of history you're interested in learning about, you can find it here.

Living Museums

If you're looking for museums that come alive and immerse you in history look no further than those found in the DC area. George Washington's Mount VernonGeorge Mason's Gunston Hall, and the Lucy Burns Museum are some wonderful options where interpreters and guides highlight the facets of life in America's past.

Interactive Museums

Museums like the International Spy Museum and the Museum of the Bible put you in control of your museum experience with hands on exhibits and endless exploration activities.

Natural History Museums

The beloved National Museum of Natural History showcases the natural wonders of our world and is one of the most popular museums anywhere in America.

Military Museums

George Washington's Mount VernonFort Ward Museum and Historic SiteHistoric Blenheim and the Civil War Interpretive CenterNational Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, and the National Museum of the United States Army are a few examples of the extensive military museum collection we have here in the region. 

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Museum FAQs

  • Northern Virginia, Washington, DC, and the rest of the area are full of free museums to enjoy. All of the Smithsonian Museums are free to the public. Others, such as the National Museum of the U.S. Army require tickets that are free, but you much secure in advance. 

  • Depending on your child's interests, there are lots of options for kids and parents to both enjoy. George Washington's Mount Vernon has great interactive exhibits, lots of space to roam about to encounter farm animals and costumed interpreters, and a host of activities and interactive exhibits to enjoy. The International Spy Museum is always enjoyable for those who want to explore the world of espionage and intrigue. And the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum and it's sister facility the Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center, are always packed with kids looking to explore the history of flight and taking turns riding the flight simulators.

  • The International Spy museum closes at 7pm on weekdays, and 8pm on weekends. Most of the other museums in the area typically close at either 5pm or 5:30pm throughout the year. 

  • The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is a 760,000-square-foot facility. The enormous size of the museum allows it to house some the largest air and space artifacts including Space Shuttle Discovery, an SR-71 Blackbird and numerous other things to do such as an IMAX theatre. 

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