Examples of Hidden Gem Museums

I love the FDR museum in Hyde Park . I went to high school in Poughkeepsie, so I saw it a few times then (especially the beautiful grounds) then and once with my own kids. A fun field trip was to nearby Vanderbilt Mansion (ornate!!) in the morning… then FDR in the afternoon (simple, but sigh… “this is a place I could comfortably live)”.

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And while you’re in Hyde Park, don’t forget to visit Valkill, Eleanor Roosevelt’s retreat Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service)

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Before you go running to Hyde Park - the FDR museum is closed for the foreseeable future for renovation. Hopefully, when it reopens it will be better than ever. I have been there a few times, my husband is a huge Roosevelt fan and has been there even more time than I have.

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Not a museum … but make a note of it if you ever intend to be in the Hyde Park / Poughkeepsie area, especially if seeking an outdoor/open, free attraction.

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They’ve done a great job with the Walkway. Was a burned out old wreck when I grew up there. My two crew sons get a kick that that’s the stretch of the river where the IRA used to hold their regattas like in “The Boys in the Boat”.

The National Automobile Museum in Reno, NV is fun, especially if you like cars! They have a ton of classic cars that are part of the Harrah (of casino fame) auto collection. Even if you don’t like cars it’s fun to look at the really old ones!

The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix is supposed to be really cool. I haven’t been, but I know a few people who have and they’ve raved about it

The Saratoga Automobile Museum in Saratoga Springs, NY is another great place for car enthusiasts. Saratoga is also home to the wonderful National Dance Museum, as well as the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (Thoroughbred Horses), and of course the historic spas and the Saratoga National Historical Park, site of the Battle of Saratoga. It’s a fabulous area.

My husband reminded me to mention the Kirkland art museum, near the Denver Art Museum. It is temporarily closed (burst water valve repairs) for a few months, but it’s a good place for Coloradans to consider in the future. Our art student niece loved it.

The salon style presentation method is neat

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There is an amazing collection of glass flowers (The Ware Collection) in the Harvard Natural History Museum in Cambridge, MA.

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If you’re ever at Acadia NP/Bar Harbor Maine on a washout rainy day, there is the Seal Cove Auto Museum. Nice museum with an amazing collection. Was owned by a gentlemen who very quietly built up this great collection during his life, then left it for others to enjoy. Focus is on vehicles of the brass era. Also has a nice little exhibit that explains how cars evolved from bicycles, not horse-drawn carriages.

It will be reopening for the season on May 1, with expected COVID protocols.

NOTE: I edited this post–it’s the Seal COVE Auto Museum, not Seal Harbor. Totally different place on the island!!

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Is everything at the Kirkland Museum from CostCo?! :grin:

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Best. Gift. Shop. Ever.

LOL. Vance Kirlkand was a beloved Colorado artist (but I sure did run into a lot of grocery grocery adds when looking for the museum link). The museum is a combo of his artwork, other art and furniture of different eras, and his brick studio that was moved from another neighborhood in Denver. Kirkland’s most famous work were the “dot paintings”
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Thanks I will share that with my D who is in CO and always looking for new art experiences!

Can highly recommend the Museum of the American Revolution, in Philadelphia:

Really cool, interactive, and located in a very fun section of Philly w/tons of restaurants & boutiques!

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MeowWolf in Santa Fe–an interactive art experience museum that both children and adults will enjoy. Exhibits change regularly so every visit will be unique. I understand the group is planning on opening a similar display space in Las Vegas, NV in the near future

The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque
Everything you ever wanted to know about the development of nuclear materials, power and weapons, or the Manhattan project.
Includes 9 acres of historic airplanes, rockets, rockets, cannons and a nuclear sub.

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque
Owned and operated by the 19 Puebloan tribes of New Mexico, the museum is dedicated to the art, culture and history of the Pueblo peoples.
Beautiful handmade artwork for sale, ceremonial dances in the courtyard and a really good restaurant that specializes in Native American cuisine.
https://indianpueblo.org

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Meow Wolf in Santa Fe is cool. There is also one that will be opening in Denver.

Also in New Mexico- Los Alamos History Museum is interesting.
The Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

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We love the Tenement Museum in NYC.

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