Space shuttles, fashion, lighthouses and more: 30 museums along the Greenway

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The Rodin Garden is a must-see at the North Carolina Museum of Art. The Greenway winds through the museum's surrounding park.

Looking for a way to enrich your Greenway journey and learn about the community where you ride? Here are 30 museums within one mile of the route, making them a perfect stop to learn something new during your travels on the Greenway. 

View these museums on a map.


Portland: Portland Museum of Art (7 Congress Square, 0.28 mi from Greenway)

Located in the heart of downtown Portland, this museum houses works by Winslow Homer, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Mary Cassatt and more. You can tour Homer’s studio, where he painted in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The museum hosts a variety of events, many of which are held in the outdoor sculpture garden, including yoga, film showings and live music.

Portland: The Portland Observatory (138 Congress St, 0.32 mi from Greenway)

The Portland Observatory is an old maritime signal tower that alerted workers on the Portland docks to the arrival of ships into the harbor until 1923, when radio took over the task. Now, visitors can tour the tower and learn about the maritime history of Portland.

New Hampshire

Rye: Seacoast Science Center (570 Ocean Boulevard, 0.16 mi from Greenway)

Located in Odiorne Point State Park, the Seacoast Science Center offers a glimpse into marine habitats, both in general as a part of the Earth’s ecosystem, and the specific ecosystem in the nearby Gulf of Maine. The center features a touch tank that allows visitors to encounter creatures such as horseshoe crabs and skates.


Boston: Museum of Fine Arts (465 Huntington Ave, 0.79 mi from Greenway)

The fifth largest museum of any kind in the United States, the Museum of Fine Arts has an extensive collection of art from many places and time periods. Rotating special exhibitions include the work of Jackson Pollack and Toulouse-Lautrec, and the permanent collection includes the work of Gauguin, Degas, Monet, Van Gogh and Cézanne, as well as an extensive collection of Asian art.

Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (25 Evans Way, 0.88 mi from Greenway)

The brainchild of its wealthy namesake,, the Gardner Museum holds a collection of masterpieces, including the work of Titian, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, and Matisse. The paintings and sculptures are displayed in special themed rooms designed by Gardner herself. The museum was the site of a major heist in 1990, and the empty frames still hang in the galleries, representing the hope of recovery of the 13 stolen pieces of art. 

Rhode Island

Providence: Rhode Island School of Design Museum (20 N Main St, 0.06 mi from Greenway)

From artifacts from Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt to a Mark Rothko painting to porcelain pottery, the collection of the RISD Museum is varied. The museum was founded in 1877, and continues to educate both students at the Rhode Island School of Design and the general public on the role of art in society and civic discourse. 


New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery (1111 Chapel Street, 0.22 mi from Greenway)

This university art museum contains art from four continents, ranging from sculptural masks from west Africa to pieces by modern artists like Piet Mondrian and Roy Lichtenstein. The museum also holds an extensive collection of photographs.

Hartford: Mark Twain House & Museum (351 Farmington Ave, 0.35 mi from Greenway)

Noted for works including Tom Sawyer and The Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain is one of the most well-known authors in American history. You can learn more about the author by visiting his 11,500-square-foot home by joining a guided tour.

New York

New York City: American Museum of Natural History (Central Park West & 79th St, 0.74 mi from Greenway)

Though this museum was featured in the Night at the Museum movies, the exhibits don’t actually come to life - but they come close. Large dioramas of the many forms of life on Earth throughout the history of the world are some of this museum’s most famous exhibits. If you want to learn about the world beyond Earth, the planetarium is worth a visit.

New York City: Museum at FIT (227 W 27th St, 0.69 mi from Greenway) This museum is a small gem found on the campus of the Fashion Institute of Technology. The museum has several exhibit spaces that host rotating exhibits on the past, present and future of fashion and textiles. There is no admission charge.

New York City: Whitney Museum of American Art (99 Gansevoort St, 0.05 mi from Greenway)

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney established this institution in 1930, with an emphasis on the work of current American artists. Featured artists include Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Mark Rothko, as well as lesser-known, emerging American artists. They host a variety of events, including tours and teen workshops. 

New York City: Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (12th Avenue & 46th Street, Pier 86, 0.04 mi from Greenway)

Centered around transportation and aviation, this museum features the USS Intrepid, a World War II-era carrier that also served as a NASA recovery vessel in the 1960s. Other highlights include the Space Shuttle Enterprise, the submarine Growler and a British Airways Concorde, among other indoor and outdoor exhibits. 

New Jersey

Princeton: Morven Museum and Garden (55 Stockton St, 0.15 mi from Greenway)

Morven is a mansion that has been home to five New Jersey governors and one signer of the Declaration of Independence, Richard Stockton, and the Lenni-Lenape Native Americans before that. The museum seeks to tell the story of the estate through the lives of the families, enslaved people, servants and domestic workers who lived and worked in Morven throughout its history.

Trenton: Old Barracks Museum (101 Barrack St, 0.03 mi from Greenway)

Originally constructed to house British soldiers during the French and Indian War in the mid eighteenth century, the Old Barracks were last used to house soldiers during the Revolutionary War. Now, the barracks serve as a museum exploring the history of the barracks themselves and the military history of the Trenton area. It serves as a home base for Fifes and Drums of the Old Barracks, who perform period music in period uniforms at events.


Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art (2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, 0.09 mi from Greenway)

See the work of Pablo Picasso, Andrew Wyeth, Diego Rivera and Peter Paul Reubens, in addition to different kinds of architecture, including a Japanese teahouse, a French medieval cloister, a Philadelphia parlor, and a Gilded Age drawing room. The museum holds tours daily, most of which are included in the price of admission. If you’re a fan of the Rocky movies, don’t forget to get a photo running up the iconic steps.


Wilmington: Rockwood Museum (610 Shipley Rd, 0.09 mi from Greenway)

Located in Rockwood Park, the museum is a gothic revival-style mansion built by merchant banker Joseph Shipley between 1851 and 1854. The home is preserved as it was around the time of the turn of the 20th century. The mansion hosts several seasonal events.


Baltimore: Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum (901 W Pratt St, 0.82 mi from Greenway)

Learn about the history of railroads in the United States at this museum, most of which is housed in a historic roundhouse. The museum explores the widespread fascination with railroads and contains a collection of toy trains. You can even purchase a ticket to take a 20-minute ride along the first commercial mile of railroad track laid in the country. 

Annapolis: US Naval Academy Museum (118 Maryland Ave, 0.13 mi from Greenway)

On the grounds of the US Naval Academy, this is the oldest naval museum in the country, containing artifacts and information on the history of seapower in general and the US Navy in particular, in addition to the role of the Naval Academy in training future naval officers.

Washington, D.C. 

Smithsonian Museums (various locations)

The Smithsonian Institution operates 20 museums, buildings, and the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., many of which are located on the National Mall. You can see everything from art from around the world and artifacts from space shuttles, Native American sites, post offices, and movie sets. The newest Smithsonian museum is the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Note that the Arts and Industries Building and the Anacostia Community Museum are currently closed for renovation.

United States Holocaust Museum (100 Raoul Wallenberg Pl SW, 0.25 mi from Greenway)

The U.S. Holocaust Museum is dedicated to educating visitors on the Holocaust, remembering survivors and victims and confronting genocide and antisemitism in our modern world. Special attention is paid to the children of the Holocaust, the American response to the genocide and what can be learned from the Holocaust in the context of modern conflicts in places such as Syria.


Mount Vernon: Mount Vernon (3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, 0.03 mi from Greenway)

Mount Vernon was the home of George Washington, the first president of the United States. Visitors to the estate can tour the mansion and grounds, visit Washington’s tomb, interact with interpreters in eighteenth-century character, and meet animals of similar breed to those kept by Washington. The estate works to memorialize the slaves who lived and worked on there, both through a permanent memorial and a museum exhibit on the slaves of Mount Vernon, which will be on view through September 2020.

Quantico: National Museum of the Marine Corps (18900 Jefferson Davis Hwy, 0.26 mi from Greenway)

This growing museum is dedicated to the history of the Marine Corps. Galleries dedicated to each conflict the Marines have taken part in are complemented by exhibits summarizing the history of the Marines and exploring the process of becoming a Marine. Admission is free.

American Civil War Museum at Historic Tredegar (500 Tredegar St, on the Greenway)

Artifacts, films, and compelling imagery looking at different aspects of the Civil War. Recommended by Silvia A.: "Affordable, close to the Greenway, interesting exhibits, knowledgable staff. Multiple perspectives, not just the Southern version."


North Carolina 

Raleigh: North Carolina Museum of Art (2110 Blue Ridge Rd, 0.13 mi from Greenway)

The North Carolina Museum of Art has a variety of media in its permanent collection, housed in its West Building, and rotating exhibits in the East Building. Highlights include a large collection of sculptures by Auguste Rodin as well as a variety of outdoor installations in the museum's 164-acre park, where the Greenway winds through. Admission to the park and permanent collections is free.

Raleigh: North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (11 W Jones St, 0.28 mi from Greenway)

Easily spotted by the giant globe that protrudes from the side of the building in downtown Raleigh, the museum has a variety of exhibits on many different aspects of science. Highlights include the living observatory containing snakes, butterflies and a sloth; an arthropod zoo; and exhibits on the ecosystems of the state. 

Smithfield: Ava Gardner Museum (325 E Market St, 0.26 mi from Greenway)

Costumes, movie posters, awards and more from Gardner's 50-year career as an A-list actress.  Recommended by Silvia A. "Who knew she was from Smithfield?"

Wilmington: Battleship North Carolina (1 Battleship Rd NE, 0.31 mi from Greenway)

Though she is now peacefully moored on the Cape Fear River, the USS North Carolina served in every major naval campaign in the Pacific theater of World War II after her commissioning in 1941. The ship is preserved to closely resemble how it looked in its World War II days, and visitors can see first-hand how close quarters were in the galley, bunks and staterooms where her sailors lived and worked.

South Carolina 

Charleston: Gibbes Museum of Art (135 Meeting St, 0.29 mi from Greenway)

Founded with a bequest that came just 23 years after the Civil War, the Gibbes Museum’s mission is to tell the complicated and sometimes troubled history of Charleston through art. In addition to their permanent and temporary exhibitions, the museum hosts events such as art workshops and discussions with authors and artists.


Savannah: American Prohibition Museum (209 West St. Julian St, 0.36 mi from Greenway)

A relative newcomer to Savannah, the American Prohibition Museum explores the cultural factors that contributed to the passage of the 18th Amendment and its aftermath, with exhibits exploring the roaring twenties and Savannah’s role in the era. The museum has a fully functioning speakeasy that serves drinks. 


Fort Lauderdale: Bonnet House Museum and Gardens (900 N Birch Rd, 0.08 mi from Greenway)

The former residence of the prominent Bartlett and Birch families, the Bonnet House is a historic home in Fort Lauderdale. It was constructed in 1920, but archeological evidence shows the site had been occupied for up to 2,000 years before the estate existed by the native Tequesta people. Now it serves as an art gallery, displaying the pieces of the two artists who once lived here. The surrounding gardens contain plant life native to south Florida barrier islands.

Miami: Vizcaya Museum & Gardens (3251 S Miami Ave, 0.36 mi from Greenway)

Vizcaya originally served as industrialist James Deering’s winter home in the early 1900s, and in the time since has hosted several international dignitaries. The large Mediterranean-style house now serves as a museum and art gallery, with 34 decorated rooms open to tour along with gardens, which hold an impressive collection of orchids.

Key West: Ernest Hemingway Home (907 Whitehead St, 0.37 mi from Greenway)

One of Key West’s most famous former residents, Ernest Hemingway was known for works including The Sun Also Rises and For Whom the Bell Tolls. The house was built in 1851. Hemingway resided there from 1931-1940, and his wife and sons continued to live there until 1951. Be sure to check out the pool and the herd of 40-50 polydactyl (six-toed) cats. 

Have a favorite museum you like to visit when you’re out on the Greenway that isn’t mentioned here? Tell us about it!

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