A Guide to Visiting the Smithsonian Museum Group

A Guide to Visiting the Smithsonian Museum Group

Exploring arts and culture at the Smithsonian Museum group in Washington DC is a top choice for travelers in the United States, as many museums in the group offer free admission and carry stunning collections. These museums are ideal destinations for field trip groups or private tour groups traveling to Washington DC.


In this guide, our team at DCTrails, a luxury charter bus rental company, provides you with all the necessary information to plan a group trip to the Smithsonian Museum group.


How to Get Around Washington DC


When exploring Washington DC, travelers have many transportation options to choose from, including rideshares and the Washington Metro. However, for those traveling with a group, renting a luxury charter bus is advantageous as it keeps your group together and on schedule.


Why Choose Luxury Charter Bus Rentals in Washington DC


For groups planning to visit the National Mall, home to the Smithsonian museums, renting a private charter bus allows for seamless travel. By easing concerns about dealing with crowded streets and finding parking spots, passengers can rely on a skilled driver to navigate Washington DC’s roads.


In addition, passengers benefit from the amenities provided onboard, such as climate control, spacious seating, WiFi connectivity, entertainment systems, and storage capacity for personal belongings.


DC Charter Bus Rules and Regulations


As there are a large number of group buses operating to, from, and in DC daily, there is a complete motorcoach guide and specific parking regulations to ease charter bus travel within the city.


Parking for motorcoaches in Washington DC is well-coordinated, allowing for ease for bus drivers in finding parking spaces after dropping off passengers at their destinations, particularly near the National Mall and Smithsonian Museums. Available parking options include 8 spots on Madison Drive and 19 spaces on Constitution Avenue.


For further details on parking regulations and guidelines about bus travel in Washington DC, be sure to ask your charter bus rental company.


Tips for Visiting Museums in Washington DC


  • Group Tours and Admission


One of the great parts of many museums in Washington DC is that they offer free admission, and this holds true for the Smithsonian museums as well. Each museum also provides options for private tours tailored for specific group sizes.


  • Bus Loading and Unloading


In Washington DC, there are specific spots designated for bus pick-up and drop-off, and the ones essential for accessing The National Mall and Smithsonian Museums are free. The National Gallery of Art offers four zones located at the 400 block of Madison Drive, NW, the Natural History Museum provides four zones situated at the 900 block of Madison Drive, NW, and the American History Museum has two zones at the 1200 block of Constitution Ave, NW.


  • Security and Personal Belongings


Museums in Washington DC have a high level of security, so it’s important to know what items are permitted during your visit. At the American History Museum and Natural History Museum, visitors are typically required to pass through metal detectors or undergo screening with an electronic wand. Bag inspections are also done manually or via X-ray machines at each museum.


As a general rule, it’s recommended to bring only essential items such as a small bag containing a phone and wallet. Larger items like luggage, laptops, and heavy coats can be securely stored on your charter bus rental. This eliminates the need to worry about storing belongings at the museum or carrying them throughout your visit or tour.


Visiting the National Museum of American History


The well-known Smithsonian Museum of American History offers a memorable experience for countless visitors. Its extensive collection has over three million historical artifacts, with iconic items such as the original 200-year-old flag that inspired Francis Key Scott to write “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz,” and the Apple Macintosh computer introduced in 1984. Yet, the true appeal of the museum is in its beautifully curated exhibitions.


  • Ongoing Exhibitions


“The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden” shows the triumphs, challenges, and trials faced by the individuals who have served as President of the United States throughout history. “The First Ladies,” showcases over two dozen gowns worn by First Ladies during great moments in American history, shedding light on their influential contributions.


“My Computing Device” offers a historical journey into how Americans use, own, and innovate computers and electronic devices.


“The Price of Freedom: Americans at War” is an exhibit hall that portrays the national and global impact of America’s military involvement from the French and Indian Wars through WWI and WWII up to the present day.


Visiting the National Museum of Natural History


The National Museum of Natural History has the largest collection of natural history specimens and artifacts globally and ranks among the most visited museums worldwide. Among its notable attractions are the real dinosaur skeletons showcased in the Hall of Fossils, the renowned 5-pound Hope Diamond with its deep blue color (reportedly once owned by Marie Antoinette), and the impressive 12-ton, 14-foot-tall replica of an African elephant. The museum also has a few permanent exhibitions that truly capture the journey of time:


  • Ongoing Exhibitions


Bone Hall is a permanent display showcasing several vertebrates of animal skeletons, including those of dogs, cats, a massive gray whale, and flying fish.


“Eternal Life in Ancient Egypt” presents an exhibition with three human and sixteen animal mummies unearthed from Egyptian tombs. This explores ancient Egyptian beliefs regarding the afterlife.


Sant Ocean Hall is a vast 23,000-square-foot exhibition that offers an in-depth exploration of marine life, spanning from coastal regions to the ocean depths. Visitors can view over 600 specimens, including deep-sea bubble-gum coral, the jaws of the extinct Megalodon shark, and a preserved squid that is 25 feet in length.


Rent a Luxury Charter Bus to Washington DC with DCTrails!


At DCTrails, we offer a range of luxury charter bus rentals for school field trips, private tours, and much more. If you’re interested in renting a luxury charter bus to explore Washington DC, we have you covered.


Reach out to our team for a quote on charter bus rental today!


Ready To Book Your Private Group Or A Charter Bus? Contact DCTrails!

Looking for a reliable and simple way to book a charter bus service? You have come to the right place. Reach out to us with your requirements or queries and we will walk you through the step-by-step process to help you plan the perfect trip to Washington DC.