Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Do you like to visit small-town museums?

When you’re traveling through small towns, do you like to stop at small-town museums? If so, have you been to any of these 15 best small town museums across the country?

Did you know every other week in our Saturday newsletter we post a unique museum you can visit? Scroll down and see this week’s.

RV Travel
RV Travel
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Mitzi Agnew Giles and Ed Giles
1 year ago

I was raised by a rare type of father, whose personal life was dedicated to the acquisition of knowledge. If there was a grayish historical marker along a road, we would pull over, get out and read. We toured regional food related producers. He’d quiz us later on what the history was and how the natural history of an area affected religion, politics and food. I’m not so much that way anymore, and I really miss it. My children and both husbands were “it’s the destination, to heck with anything else”. I’m getting older now and think I am going to go back to finding out whatever else is out there on the way.

Vanessa Simmons
1 year ago

Best small museum I’ve been to in my RV travels…the WASP museum in Sweetwater TX. I had read a biography about the founder years ago when I was in the Air Force and stumbled on the museum purely by accident. I saw the exit sign as I drove toward the exit for my nightly stop and thought “why is there a museum for that stinging insect”. Then on the counter of the park was a brochure and suddenly the book came back to me. I spent the next morning freezing in their hanger museum looking at the lives these women lived. A new building has been added that is better heated!
Those brave women paved the way for women in aerospace and the military.

Tommy Molnar
1 year ago

We love these museums. The problem as I see it, is that stuff that many of them showcase as ‘antique’ is stuff I remember from my growing up years. You know, stuff your folks had. Boy, does THAT make me feel old – ha.

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Same here, Tommy. But I think we’re in the “vintage” category. Have a great day. 🙂 –Diane

Dick and Sandy near Buffalo, NY
1 year ago

Over many years we have visited a great many museums, big and small. The problem with the small museums is they can’t afford the publicity to advertise and many must charge a fee to keep up with overhead expenses and that keeps some from attending. It is a small price to pay for what is inside as we have been educated at every museum we have been able to visit. There are some that do not permit photographs while others encourage pictures. With the internet you can type in any sort of subject with the word museum after it or any destination with the word museum after it and it will keep you occupied for a long time just choosing. Being from Buffalo, NY we visited every Historical Society and/or Museum in every state with a city or town named Buffalo. Of course most were small. And Buffalo, WY is not named after the American Bison called the Buffalo. Go there and find how it got its name. You can cheat using Google but it is better to go there. Stay safe, Stay well

Del W
1 year ago

History is interesting in all it’s forms. Many small museums have great stories to tell.

MN Anon
1 year ago

I’d like to stop more often, but I’m outvoted.

1 year ago

Small town museums can be great, or of interest only to the locals (high school memorabilia). Often they have to display items of little significance but that were donated by prominent citizens.
One of the best was the New Madrid MO Historical Museum. Most of the first floor is dedicated to the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811/1812. The second floor has the traditional lifestyle items.
As others have mentioned, many are only open a few hours a week. If the volunteer is sick, they may not open as scheduled.

James LaGasse
1 year ago

We enjoy the museums very much but many won’t allow our small dog even when contained in the dog stroller. He is 15 years old and when traveling he totally freaks out if we leave him in the trailer even when we are still on site.

1 year ago
Reply to  James LaGasse

I see that all the time. Pets being take into grocery stores, shops, restaurants and buildings where they should not be. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dog but I do follow the rules.

1 year ago

It’s where you find the bizzare and strange. Like a Ripley’s. And sometimes not for the faint of heart. Rather visit those then the world’s largest basket. It also makes it fun the research what’s being told or examined. Finding if it’s tales, facts or just fibs. Small town museums are awesome.

1 year ago

We see many, all over the country. They are the best source of local history. I once discovered a set of bells, produced in the area of Hawthorne, NV, that were accidentally found buried. Researched by the museum currator and clearly dated from the early 1800s, it turns out the Spanish had a local bell making industry for all their missions, powered by Indian slaves. Long story short, the Indians rebelled (no pun intended), the Spanish ran, burying their inventory in hopes of returning. They did not make it and these bells ended up at the local museum. The neat part to all this is I have one of these bells. Bought in a border town in the 1970s and formally used as an outdoor dinner bell, it is now the centerpiece in my livingroom with a remarkable story. You never know what you will find.

1 year ago

We often find interesting museums, at times by chance. Two favorites in out of the way places were in Savannah, TN and a town in Wisconsin whose name I forget. That one was a history of the town and its efforts in the underground railroad.

1 year ago

I would stop at every one I pass but I am usually over ruled…

1 year ago

Before old age and some health issues ended it, we used to day trip and weekend on our motorcycle a lot and learned a few thing early into it. The best small towns are not on the Interstate, they’re on the smaller two lane highways. The best place to eat in small town America is a local bar. And, many of them have small, volunteer operated museums. Being all volunteer explains the hit and miss hours, but when they are open, the staff is very knowledgeable about local history and eager to share that with visitors. Also, very important, there’s a donation jar that you need to feed. Those lights don’t shine for free.

1 year ago

When we find them, we visit them. All small towns have stories to tell, if you just look and listen.
Blue highways rule.

Bob p
1 year ago

At my age I fear going into museums because I may not come out! Lol

Roy Davis
1 year ago

We like the museums about things that interests us. I have no desire to go to a fashion museum for example. I find local history interesting in small towns however some are “too proud” by the prices charge.

Donald N Wright
1 year ago

I have wondered if there is a guide to museums, large and small, normal and oddball. Problem is they often are open at odd hours or twice a week.

Glen Cowgill
1 year ago

Being from West Virginia and a cousin to Stonewall Jackson, We visit any museum that has anything to do with the civil war. We seek out these small historic places just to see what they have to offer. These small, out of the way, museums often offer some interesting information.

You just don’t know what you are missing until you get out and look.

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