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Virginia has more than 100 museums – you can find one in every part of the state!
In Pearisburg, the Andrew Johnston House preserves and explains local history and includes an early-day doctor’s office. Bristol is home to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, and houses a recording of the 1927 Bristol Sessions, which are thought to be some of earliest forms of country music in America.
The Blue Ridge Music Center in Grayson includes a Roots of American Music exhibit, and Dublin’s D. C. Wysor Observatory and Museum is an astronomy and geology center. In Wytheville, the Edith Boling Wilson Birthplace Museum is in a historic home, and the Glencoe Museum in Radford is in a Victorian-era home and has exhibits on the history of southwest Virginia.
The Appomattox Court House National Historical Park has a nationally-significant museum explaining this Civil War battle, while Richmond’s Branch Museum of Architecture and Design is in an early 20th century Tudor home. Canal Basin Square in Scottsville is an outdoor transportation history park.
In Richmond, the Chimborazo Medical Museum is located at Richmond National Battlefield Park, and the Depot Gallery is the student gallery for the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts.
Built in 1873, and the former Fairfax Elementary School, the Fairfax Museum & Visitor Center is set in downtown Fairfax, on Main Street just off Old Lee Highway. Guests of the Best Western hotel in Fairfax frequent the Fairfax Museum & Visitor Center for strategies on what to see and do while in the area - including maps, and suggestions for many of the enticing outdoor Virginia activities. If you're staying in nearby Arlington, McLean, or Falls Church, plan a visit into Fairfax and visit the Fairfax Museum & Visitor Center before you get started. The Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center also offers walking tours of Old Town Fairfax, and within it's doors features exhibits on the history of Fairfax and the surrounding area. Have a ball in Fairfax and the northern Virginia landscape.
A U.S. National Historic Landmark, Gadsby's Tavern Museum is located in Old Town Alexandria, just inland of the Potomac River. Two buildings in one, Gadsby's Tavern Museum was once a thriving tavern (1785), and a busy city hotel (1792). Today, visitors from areas like the Appalachian Mountains, and the Virginia coast, to local cities like Richmond, Fairfax and McLean visit Gadsby's. George Washington, and Andrew Jackson are just two of the notable guests to have visited Gadsby's Tavern. After a day of exploring Virginia's active outdoor activities, head into Alexandria and experience a taste of historic Virginia at Gadsby's Tavern Museum.
A living museum in the Shenandoah Valley, the Luray Valley Museum is located in northern Virginia in the city of Luray. Focusing on Shenandoah Valley culture, the museum covers seven acres. The Luray Valley Museum offers 12 historic and recent structures, plus the Stonyman Mining Company Gem Sluice – a replica mining station ideal for kids. Don’t miss the Hamburg Regular School, or the 1825 Elk Run Dunkard Church – a former stomping ground of Civil War soldiers.
Focusing on Shenandoah Valley culture, the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley – or MSV – is located in northern Virginia in the city of Winchester. MSV is divided into the house, the gardens, and the museum – open year round.
The museum is then divided into four galleries: Shenandoah Valley Gallery, Julian Wood Glass Jr. Gallery, R. Lee Taylor Miniatures Gallery, and Changing Exhibition Gallery. The Glen Burnie Historic House – a Virginia Landmark found on the National Register of Historic Places – and accompanying six-acre gardens are open March to November.
The National Firearms Museum houses a wonderful collection of firearms throughout the fifteen galleries. This central Virginia museum is located in the metro Washington DC area of Fairfax. Stroll through the museum to view the impressive variety of pistols, rifles and assorted firearms.
The National Rifle Association's Headquarters Range, in the lower level of the museum, features a 50-yard indoor range. Schedule an appointment to browse the selection of materials and books in the Museum Library on the second floor. The Museum Cafe is a great place for a break and a tasty treat. While traveling in the Capital region, rest comfortably as a guest of Best Western hotels.
On your next visit to northern Virginia and the city of Sterling, be sure to explore the Udvar-Hazy Space Center. A museum and home to a wealth of retired and classic aircraft, the Udvar-Hazy Space Center is a short drive from Sterling and open year round, minus major holidays.