Need a break from everyday life? As much as Pittsburgh is filled with fun things to see and do, sometimes it's fun to plan a weekend getaway. Luckily, Pittsburgh is surrounded by amazing weekend destinations.One great weekend destination is The Smithsonian Institution. Just four hours from home, this trip is easily doable over a long weekend. The various museums and galleries in the Smithsonian collection are a knowledge-lover's paradise, and anyone living on the east side of the country simply must make time to see them. With 19 museums and a zoo, there is truly something for everyone in this vast collection of information.
Start your journey at the visitor center. This is the place to get information, plan your visit, and enjoy a cup of coffee before you begin exploring the surrounding museums. It is open daily from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. for your convenience.
The American History Museum is an amazing journey through time. Incredible artifacts such as the Peace Medals from the Lewis and Clark expedition and the ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz movie reside here. Anyone with an interest in history will love this museum, and some people who believe they dislike history may find themselves changing their opinion.
The Air and Space Museum is the perfect place for flight- and space-lovers of all ages. This museum takes you through a variety of exhibits based on space travel, air travel, and the history of flight in general. It is fascinating and will leave you with a collection of new, awesome aviation facts.
There are several art galleries for the art lovers out there, and each one features a specific type of art. The art museums include the African Art Museum, which features examples of some of the finest art from the African continent. Another great choice is the American Art Museum, which displays some breathtaking works of American art.
The Natural History Museum is another good choice, and probably the best museum of the bunch for kids due to the interactive nature of many of the exhibits. Learn about the origins of humans, ancient animals, the development of cultures, and much more as you explore this incredible museum.
Another great option for the kids is the National Zoo. While it is on the smaller side as far as zoos go, it is well-maintained and has a nice collection of animals and interesting information. Besides, a visit to the zoo is an excellent excuse to get some fresh air and sunshine and let the kids run free for a bit.
If you are looking for an interesting and out-of-the-ordinary museum, the Postal Museum may be just the thing. This fun museum takes a close look at the history of the American postal system and how it came to be. Additionally, it does focus a bit on the art of stamp collecting, so collectors will be especially happy with this gem.
The Smithsonian museums are just a small sampling of all the amazing things to do and see in Washington, D.C. If you wish to venture out into the city, be sure to see the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the National Mall.