If you are a rock enthusiast, you have probably visited many geology museums in your life. They are usually fun, open places that are run by other geology enthusiasts and cater to all ages. A lot of the time they even have dinosaur bones and sandpits to dig in. Some people might think that if you have seen one you have seen them all, but that is far from the truth. Each museum showcases the history of the Earth as well as the local area that it is located. If you were wanting to take a summer road trip, here are some of the best Geology Museums in the United States.
The National Museum of Natural History
This Smithsonian is located in Washington DC and is considered one of the best natural history museums in the world. It is home to over 350,000 rock and mineral specimens and has the largest gem collection in the world. The most amazing diamond that they have is the Hope Diamond, a 45-carat diamond that is worth $250 million. This museum sees over one million visitors per year and is one of the best places to visit if you are in the DC area.
The Mineralogical & Geological Museum at Harvard University
While their collection isn’t as large as The Smithsonian, it still has an impressive collection of over 3000 rocks and minerals specimens. They are “committed to the development and preservation of world-class collections of minerals, rocks, ores, meteorites, and gems for research, education and public display.” They even have the oldest university mineral collection in the United States and have an impressive Earth and Planetary exhibition.
The motto “Earth, Energy, Environment” couldn’t be more correct. They have over 600 gemstones and 20 diamonds and over 60,000 items total in their collection, they are constantly updating their displays. This museum was built in 1874 and has the most extensive public collection of minerals in Colorado. It is also home to two Goodwill Moon Rocks collected during the Apollo 17 mission.
Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History
If you are planning on stopping by for this museum, you might want to do it sooner than later because in a year they are going to be closing down for renovations. They offer adult art classes, birthday parties, and ten scientific collections that tell the story of Earth. This stunning museum is dedicated to bringing the past back to life with collections like “Ancient Mesopotamia Speaks” and the “Yale Babylonian Collection.”
University of Alaska- Museum of the North
Winter is coming for the North, but it’s summer right now and it’s the best time to visit this amazing museum. They are heavily focused on community outreach and mentor researchers at many levels. They have a collection of more than 2.2 million artifacts and use these collections to educate and inspire future generations to study the world around them.