Five must-see museums and a few unconventional ones to seek.

Our travel brings us to visit some unique museums all around the country. We know there are many more to see, but here are some of the ones we visited on our summer’s adventures:

Must see:

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is massive. It features eight gigantic halls and covers the start of the aviation with the Wright brothers, to WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Korean War, and today. It is the world’s largest and oldest military aviation museum. We spent two days and wound up seeing three halls only. We had to run through the other five to get a glimpse at their content. They claimed to have over 360 aircraft and aerospace vehicles on display and more than a thousand historical aviation artifacts. We could have spent a week and still not seen it all. It is overwhelming. 

Another must-see museum that takes several days to visit. You’ll go through thousands of historical artifacts, including cars, fashions, photographs, recorded sound, vintage videos, interactive touchscreens, to today’s country stars, songs, and stories. You can see Elvis Presley’s studio, where he recorded his most significant records. Glen Campbell’s guitars played on his nationally broadcast TV show, instruments used by Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Elton John, and more. 

The visit will take you through the start of space exploration to today’s International Space Station living arrangement and experiments. We took two tours of the NASA Johnson Space Center site that is still in operation today. The coolest part of the visit was the walk through the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility, where NASA astronauts train for current missions and scientists and engineers develop the next generation of space exploration vehicles. We also visited the Apollo Mission Control Center. 

Whether you are a fan of Elvis Presley or not, this museum is a must-see. We took the tour of Graceland, where Elvis Presley lived with his family. Interesting fact: Lisa Marie Presley keeps a private apartment on the second floor of her childhood house in Graceland. The Elvis Presley experience highlights the life and career of the King of rock and roll, his roots, influences, and artistry. While going through the exhibits and reading about his incredible life, you can understand why his life ended the way it did. 

For anyone interested in the history of our country, the Gettysburg area is a sight to be seen. Standing on the hills overseeing the battlefield gives you goosebumps. There are several tour options available to visitors. We took a tour bus of the area to understand the incredible history of the battlefield, then drove around at our leisure after the tour. The battle was a turning point in the Civil War, but did you know it was not planned. It happened by mistake. Gettysburg was the Civil War’s bloodiest battle and inspired President Abraham Lincoln’s immortal “Gettysburg Address.” 

Quirky ones:

This museum was surprising and unexpected. There was an entire section on southwest artists: painting, sculptures, and articles of clothing. The museum tells the story as it unfolds across the West. In addition to fine art, you will find firearms, Native-American artifacts, historical cowboy gear, and beautifully kept gardens. 

Located in Galveston, TX, on Pier 19, you will enter the unfamiliar world of offshore drilling. The museum is housed in a retired drilling rig. We enjoyed learning about real operating offshore rigs and oilfield equipment. 

This museum highlights how the events unfolded throughout the years of one of the most significant aliens sitting in our history, known as “The Roswell Incident.” An unidentified flying object crashed on a ranch northwest of Roswell, NM, sometime during the first week of July 1947. 

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