Summer is over, but your family can still travel virtually to out-of-town museums by visiting one of the web-based museum portals described below. Each leads to a wide range of museums close by and around the world. Some of the sites feature travel information as well as museums.
While it is easy to search for the larger, most well-known museums, these search sites can help people find hidden museum gems. Becoming familiar with these museum portals gives parents and students an additional bonus — museums are great resources for students to use when they work on school reports and projects. Below are four sites that provide hours of fun, not to mention unlimited information.
MuseumStuff — User can search by topic, geographic location, museum type, and much more. I searched for “Ancient Greece” exhibits in U.S. museums and found 12 to explore. MuseumStuff also links to virtual exhibits and features a link to museum fun and interesting facts at specific locations. I did not see any advertising, though, because the site is related to Discovery Media, the site may have some.
MuseumSpot — Also featuring powerful search options, MuseumSpot has a bit more advertising (in my case Groupon). Special features spotlight specific exhibits, the top 10 museums, and articles about museums and travel — with travel guide links and podcasts. The About page has a quote from a New York Times review, “Whether your taste runs to medieval illuminated manuscripts or to wax figures of George Burns, MuseumSpot.com can help you track down museums full of treasures.”
– The New York Times
Museums USA — As the only museum site with a .org web address, the About page says, “We are providing smaller museums with the opportunity to increase their visibility and reach, while also providing all museums with the opportunity and resources to network with the museum community as a whole.” The timeline features let users search close to home or far afield for museum activities and within a certain time frame (seven days, two weeks, one month, etc.). Google advertisements are visible, but most other ads come from museums. Users can locate many smaller museums on this site.
Guide to Art Museums Worldwide — Click on a link and you arrive at a cool interactive map. Choose a continent the map, click, and – Viola! – you get a list of countries and then on to museums. Canada and the United States go directly to provinces and states. If users back up to the Art Cyclopedia home page a treasure trove of pictures, exhibits, artists, art movements, genres. and much more awaits, as well as art news and the most popular artist searches each month.