Have you ever wanted to go to the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum? Plan your trip to NOLA just right and your museum visit could be free. On September 21, more than 1500 museums (up from last year’s total of 1250) in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. will offer complimentary general admission to all visitors in celebration of Smithsonian magazine's 15th annual Museum Day.
"There are so many great museums and cultural institutions throughout our country that you may not even know about, some of them right in your own backyard,” Amy Wilkins, Smithsonian Media's chief revenue officer, told Travel + Leisure. Museum Day highlights hidden gems across the country and helps people visit those places without cost restrictions (though some of the museums on the list are free to visit at any time).
In order to find a museum that’s participating in Museum Day, use Smithsonian’s online search function. Each state lists how many museums are taking part, and you can even search by type of institution, like Air and Space, Art, Children, History, Science, or Zoos and Gardens. Select a museum from the Smithsonian site and download one ticket per email address (each ticket is good for two people—and you'll need that to get your free admission).
According to Museum Day organizers, 453,000 people downloaded tickets in 2018, so you've got some competition. But if you've been looking for a reason to visit the Museum of the Mountain Man in Pinedale, Wyoming; Allentown, Pennsylvania's America on Wheels Museum; or the California Surf Museum in Oceanside, California, free admission should be motivation enough.
(If you're curious about some of our editors favorite offbeat museums across the U.S., click here and see if any of them are participating.)