The Most Popular Smithsonian Museum: Examining Visitor Preferences

Choose the Smithsonian Museum you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 26, 2024 06:31
Welcome to StrawPoll, your ultimate destination for discovering the most popular Smithsonian Museums! Our exciting ranking of these iconic institutions is designed to spark your curiosity and inspire awe, as we take you on a virtual tour of history, art, culture, and more. Join thousands of pollers like yourself as they cast their votes, share their opinions, and even suggest a hidden gem that may have slipped past our radar. Whether you're a seasoned traveler, a history buff, or simply a curious soul, our interactive poll promises to engage and enlighten you. So, what are you waiting for? Dive in, explore the wonders of the Smithsonian collection, and make your voice heard! Vote now for your favorite museum or suggest a missing masterpiece in our ever-evolving ranking. Let the countdown to the most popular Smithsonian Museum begin!

What Is the Most Popular Smithsonian Museum?

  1. 1
    46
    votes
    National Air and Space Museum
    David Bjorgen · CC BY-SA 3.0
    This museum is the most visited Smithsonian museum, with over 6 million visitors annually. It features exhibits on the history of aviation and space exploration, including artifacts like the Wright brothers' plane and the Apollo 11 command module.
    The National Air and Space Museum is a world-renowned museum located in Washington, D.C. It is part of the Smithsonian Institution and holds the largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world.
    • Location: Washington, D.C.
    • Type: Museum
    • Collection Size: Over 60,000 objects
    • Exhibits: Aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, rockets, and related artifacts
    • Visitors per Year: Approximately 7 million
  2. 2
    32
    votes

    National Museum of Natural History

    Congress of the United States
    This museum is the second most visited Smithsonian museum, with over 4 million visitors annually. It features exhibits on natural history, including the famous Hope Diamond and the Hall of Human Origins.
    The National Museum of Natural History, located in Washington D.C., is one of the most popular Smithsonian museums. It is a world-class institution dedicated to showcasing the vast diversity of the natural world.
    • Location: Washington D.C.
    • Year established: 1910
    • Size: 1.5 million square feet
    • Exhibit halls: 30
    • Collections: Over 145 million specimens
  3. 3
    29
    votes
    National Museum of American History
    G. Edward Johnson · CC BY-SA 3.0
    This museum is the third most visited Smithsonian museum, with over 3 million visitors annually. It features exhibits on American history, including the Star-Spangled Banner and the First Ladies' Inaugural Gowns.
    The National Museum of American History is a renowned Smithsonian museum located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It showcases the history and culture of the United States through its extensive collection of artifacts and exhibitions. The museum's purpose is to explore and understand the American experience and its impact on the world.
    • Location: On the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
    • Size: The museum covers approximately 750,000 square feet.
    • Exhibits: It houses over 1.8 million objects and artifacts.
    • Collections: The museum has collections in areas such as politics, culture, technology, transportation, and social history.
    • Highlights: Key exhibits include the Star-Spangled Banner, Thomas Jefferson's Bible, Dorothy's Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz, and the First Ladies' Gowns.
  4. 4
    19
    votes
    This zoo is the fourth most visited Smithsonian museum, with over 2 million visitors annually. It is home to over 2,000 animals from 400 different species, including giant pandas and endangered species.
    The National Zoo is a popular Smithsonian museum that is home to a wide variety of animals and serves as a center for conservation and research. It offers visitors a chance to observe and learn about different species of animals from around the world.
    • Location: Washington, D.C.
    • Size: 163 acres
    • Opening Year: 1889
    • Number of Animal Species: approximately 2,700
    • Exhibit Highlights: Giant pandas, elephants, lions, cheetahs, gorillas
  5. 5
    7
    votes
    Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
    Gryffindor · Public domain
    This museum is dedicated to contemporary art and sculpture, featuring works by artists like Jeff Koons and Yayoi Kusama. It is the fifth most visited Smithsonian museum, with over 800,000 visitors annually.
    The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is a modern and contemporary art museum located in Washington, D.C. It is part of the Smithsonian Institution and houses a diverse collection of artworks from the 19th century to the present. The museum's unique circular building and outdoor sculpture garden make it a distinctive landmark in the city.
    • Location: Independence Avenue at 7th Street SW, Washington, D.C.
    • Architectural Style: Modernist
    • Year Opened: 1974
    • Building Shape: Circular
    • Exhibition Space: Approximately 60,000 square feet
    Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in other rankings
  6. 6
    19
    votes
    National Portrait Gallery
    No Swan So Fine · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Congress of the United States
    This museum features portraits of famous Americans, including presidents, artists, and activists. It is the sixth most visited Smithsonian museum, with over 700,000 visitors annually.
    The National Portrait Gallery is a museum located in Washington, D.C. that focuses on showcasing portraits of notable individuals who have made significant contributions to American history and culture. The museum seeks to tell the story of America through the individuals who have shaped it.
    • Location: Washington, D.C.
    • Year Established: 1962
    • Architect: Robert Mills
    • Building Style: Greek Revival
    • Collection Size: over 23,000 portraits
  7. 7
    6
    votes
    National Museum of African American History and Culture
    Fuzheado · CC BY-SA 4.0
    This museum is dedicated to the history and culture of African Americans, featuring exhibits on slavery, segregation, and civil rights. It is the newest Smithsonian museum, opened in 2016, and has quickly become popular with over 3 million visitors annually.
    The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a prominent museum located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It explores the rich and complex history and culture of African Americans in the United States. The museum showcases various exhibitions, artifacts, and multimedia presentations that highlight the contributions, achievements, and struggles of African Americans throughout history.
    • Location: National Mall, Washington, D.C.
    • Inauguration: September 24, 2016
    • Architect: David Adjaye
    • Exhibition Space: More than 36,000 square meters
    • Exhibits: Over 3,500 artifacts
  8. 8
    8
    votes
    National Postal Museum
    Photo by Kmf164, taken on February 18, 2006. · CC BY 2.5

    National Postal Museum

    United States Postal Service
    This museum features exhibits on the history of the postal service and postage stamps. It is the eighth most visited Smithsonian museum, with over 600,000 visitors annually.
    The National Postal Museum is a Smithsonian museum located in Washington, D.C. It showcases the history and impact of the United States Postal Service and the postal industry globally.
    • Location: Washington, D.C.
    • Opening Year: 1993
    • Exhibits: More than 35,000 objects
    • Collection Highlights: Benjamin Franklin's Postmaster Appointment, Inverted Jenny Stamp, Owney the Dog
    • Size: 155,000 square feet
  9. 9
    5
    votes
    These two museums are dedicated to Asian art and culture, featuring works from China, Japan, and Korea. They are jointly known as the Freer-Sackler, and together are the ninth most visited Smithsonian museum, with over 400,000 visitors annually.
    The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery is a museum complex located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It is part of the Smithsonian Institution and is dedicated to Asian art. The Freer Gallery was established in 1923 and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery was added in 1987, creating the present-day museum complex.
    • Location: National Mall, Washington, D.C.
    • Inaugurated: 1923
    • Expansions: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery added in 1987
    • Collection: Asian art
    • Artworks: Over 26,000 objects
  10. 10
    3
    votes
    This museum is dedicated to the history and culture of Native Americans, featuring exhibits on their art, history, and contemporary issues. It is the tenth most visited Smithsonian museum, with over 300,000 visitors annually.
    The National Museum of the American Indian is a museum dedicated to showcasing the history, art, culture, and diversity of the Native peoples of North, Central, and South America. It is a part of the Smithsonian Institution and is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
    • Location: National Mall, Washington, D.C.
    • Opening Year: 2004
    • Building Architect: Douglas Cardinal
    • Exhibition Space: approximately 82,000 square feet
    • Permanent Collection: over 825,000 objects

Missing your favorite Smithsonian Museum?

Graphs
Discussion

Ranking factors for popular Smithsonian Museum

  1. Number of visitors
    The number of visitors a museum attracts is a key measure of its popularity.
  2. Exhibitions
    The quality and uniqueness of the exhibitions can be a deciding factor for visitors.
  3. Location
    Museums located in popular tourist destinations, or in easy-to-reach locations, tend to attract more visitors.
  4. Accessibility
    Museums that are easily accessible to all, including those with disabilities, can be more popular.
  5. Historical significance
    Museums that have a significant contribution to national or world history may be more popular.
  6. Research
    Museums that conduct important research in their field can attract visitors who are interested in staying up to date on the latest developments in the field.
  7. Reputation
    A museum's reputation, based on reviews, word of mouth, and media coverage, can also be a key factor in determining its popularity.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular Smithsonian Museum. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Museum is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 1614 views
  • 174 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Museum once every 24 hours. The rank of each Museum is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Categories

More information on most popular smithsonian museum

The Smithsonian museums are some of the most popular and iconic museums in the world, attracting millions of visitors each year. The Smithsonian Institution is a group of 19 museums and galleries, as well as a zoo, all located in Washington, D.C. The museums cover a wide range of topics, including art, history, science, and culture, with collections that span from ancient artifacts to contemporary art. With so many options to choose from, it's no wonder that visitors often debate which museum is the most popular. In this article, we'll explore the most popular Smithsonian Museum through a StrawPoll survey, and reveal the top picks from our community of poll takers.

Share this article