A Day in Washington, D.C.: The N.A.S.M. (& other places)

Washington, D.C. remains at the top of my list of "favorite places I've lived". There is always something to do, people to see, museums to explore, and just about anything else you could imagine. Some of the best summers were spent with a metro pass and countless trips to the National Mall, Smithsonian Museums, and the National Archives as we spent time in some of the United States' most beautifully historic places.

My top three favorite museums to visit on the National Mall are the National Air & Space Museum, the National Museum of American History, and National Museum of American Art.

What you'll find at the N.A.S.M.:

Among my top favorites at the National Mall is the National Air and Space Museum (N.A.S.M.). My fascination with this museum stemmed from marathons of From the Earth to the Moon, The Right Stuff, Apollo 13, and other "true life" movies that my parents had us watch. My mom loves all the stories of the Space Program, and her love was contagious.

If I were more brave, I probably would've dreamed of being an astronaut. I have a problem with heights. Also, I like gravity.

At least once a week we would all board the metro from the line near our house and visit the National Mall. And at least once a week our first stop was the N.A.S.M. In the museum you can see planes (The Spirit of St. Louis), plane models (some of which you can walk into), space maps, astronaut suits, Mercury Program space crafts (and for a short, controversial time in 1994 the Enola Gay). My favorite exhibit, however, is the Lunar Module from the Apollo space program.

The real Lunar Module could never reenter the earth's atmosphere, but this reproduction made me feel as though I was standing with the Grumman team. What you'll find at the National Museum of American History:

Hold your horses, because this museum is probably one of the most fun in the entire Smithsonian family. At the National Museum of American History you can see Oscar the Grouch (in his garbage can, of course), Julia Child's kitchen (her actual kitchen), and Mr. Roger's Sweater. Also in this museum are Dorothy's red slippers and all of the First Ladies' inaugural gowns.

I love this museum for its wide variety of exhibits. Everything from the original Star Spangled Banner to the Greensboro lunch counter. There really is something for everybody at this museum.

What you'll find at the American Art Museum:

Another Smithsonian family member, the American Art Museum, is a must. As an art historian I couldn't write about the National Mall and not put it on my list. There are more than 7,000 artists from every genre, medium, and background imaginable represented at this museum. You can find American classics like Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, and Georgia O'Keefe. Also, it is neighbors with the National Portrait Gallery, so what excuse do you have not to go?

For the art lovers in your life (which should be everybody, just saying), these galleries can't be missed.

There is something that everybody can fall in love with on the National Mall. You could take days, weeks, months exploring every nook and cranny and still not unearth everything it has to offer. I'm so glad I got to spend so much time in the midst of so much history. Can it be any wonder why I chose my major?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go see if I have enough air miles for a trip to Washington, D.C.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think I could ever tire of the Space Museum.

    Also, I'm in love with the Art Museum... last year your dad and I visited. The MASTERPIECES were breathtaking. I can't wait to go back.

    Also, The Sackler.

    Also, Oscar's Trash Can.

    Also, let's go together real soon.

    Much love, Mom