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Author Topic: *Was war, now changed to all cool and interesting* museum information requested  (Read 4171 times)
Paladin
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« on: September 02, 2010, 01:42:43 AM »

We were chatting tonight and the topic turned to a mutual interest and maybe one that others here share, museums and war museums to be specific though we also discussed aviation (all types) and transportation (nearly all types). We were trying to think of where good museums, displays and exhibits are to visit throughout the country to make a list and specifically WWII though including anything up to and including Vietnam.

I'd like to make a list of interesting places to visit which could be difficult since some I've seen are little more than a closet sized room with nothing in it except maybe a mannequin wearing a G.I issue uniform and a radio or something. Oddly we ran across a rather interesting place in Monterey Ca. which is actually an antique mall but has or had some interesting stuff.  I wonder how many might be out there that are really less known outside local circles?
Locally we have Hill AFB aviation museum which has some cool era planes in it including a B-17, P38 etc.  I believe that Ft Bragg has the airborne and special forces museum. There is the national WWII museum in New Orleans and of course various museums including Smithsonian in D.C but does anyone know of other museums around the country worthy of note? Warbird displays etc?  

How about civil war museums? That is I'm sure a whole other thread in it's self though.
Does the Henry Ford museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn have anything?

Help me compile a list please.

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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2010, 03:58:05 AM »

LST 325 is docket at Evansville Ind..Is a active museum;currently on cruise up Ohio to visit other cities as a active display..This kind of  craft was built here during WWII..Usually late summer cruise for 6 weeks...
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2010, 04:13:30 AM »

The NATIONAL AIRFORCE MUSEUM in Dayton, OH. is a absolute must see. I wnet in '07 and liked it so much I went again in '09 and this time visited 3 days instead of 2. I like planes but I'm not a real big avaition nut but this place is so big, that you need at least 2 days if not 3 to see everything. You'll get plenty of walking time(which I like) and you won't go away let down that I can promise. Do a GOOGLE map and you'll get an idea of how big this place really is.
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2010, 04:36:24 AM »

While not a war type museum, the MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY Chicago is my favorite place to visit. I live in Milwaukee and have been going to visit this wonderful museum about once a year for 21 years now and I never get tired of it. They have had a WWII captured sub in there forever and the last few years, they relocated it so it's inside it's own area and yes, you can tour inside the thing. You will love the rest of this museum too since it is layed out in such a way that you won't kow what is around the cornner which is especially true for first time visitors but even old timers like me are in awe when they open up new exhibits from time to time.
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2010, 05:31:36 AM »

There is the National World War II museum in New Orleans.  I found it profoundly moving when we visited a few years ago.  Some displays were pretty intense, and I would probably not bring young people to some of them without thinking about it first.  I was very impressed with a replica Higgins boat, which I thought had a Detroit in it, but a google shows  a Gray.

Brian
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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2010, 05:35:26 AM »

Been a long time since I was there, but I agree the Dayton museum is fantastic!
I've also been to Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry a couple times...once as a child and again in 1992. Good memories both times. Loved the submarine.

Off the top of my head, in the San Diego area you've got:

USS Midway docked at a downtown wharf. There are planes on the deck as well as the ship itself to explore.

North of the Midway you've got the Maritime Museum. The Star of India can be toured, except on the rare day they take it out for a spin. There's a huge steam ferry, which contains museum exhibits aside from its own machinery and woodwork. Also a steam yacht, a pilot boat, and another sailing ship. And the USS Dolphin submarine.

Dozens of museums at Balboa Park. The Air and Space museum is quite large and you can spend hours there. They have an annex at Gillespie Field where you can see restorations and reproductions in progress. Limited hours but free admission at the annex.
The model railroad museum is excellent. The auto museum has about 80 cars. Many other things to see, depending on your interests.

The Zoo is also at Balboa Park...one of the best in the country. They also run the Wild Animal Park an hours drive away, which is just as good. You could spend a day at each of them.

At the tip of Point Loma there's the Cabrillo National Monument. There's a lighthouse to look through and a few exhibits at the visitors center. The views of the ocean and the city are good from up there. If you go at low tide, you can walk out and explore the creatures in the tidepools.

Old Town State Park, where you can see the preserved parts of the original San Diego western era.

Belmont Park on Mission Bay, which has one of the last wooden roller coasters in existence. Yes, you can ride it.

And for those that like theme parks, there's Seaworld, Legoland, and Knott's Soak City.

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« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2010, 05:47:48 AM »

Not really a war museum, more an aviation museum.  http://www.fantasyofflight.com/  They have a HUGE selection of aircraft!  I spent 3 hours and needed more.  I've been to The Henry Ford and the museum does not have much if on the wars.  I have not been into the village in many years.

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« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2010, 06:19:19 AM »

I second the comments on the Air museum at Wright-Patterson, Dayton, OH. An incredible place. 2 days minimum. There's a completely separate display of Presidential airplanes and other that is across the base from the main displays. They have the first prototype of a tilt rotor aircraft, which was very interesting to me as I worked on the V22 development in the 90's.

I also liked the Chicago Science museum.

There are some fine museums in small towns all across America. Most have local lore stashed in them. I have a few favorites that are not really war related that I'll share.

One of my favorites, and one I stop at every time we go to Colorado is located at the rest stop on highway 40 at Ft. Wallace, KS (http://www.ftwallace.com/). They have
an incredible amount of artifacts there from the old Ft. Wallace site which was located nearby. The people who volunteer there are so friendly and knowledgeable. One of the
fellows is a retired self taught archeologist who spent over an hour telling me about some of the fossils in the museum, of which he found many of them. They have some
old cars and wagons, and an old railroad depot and putt-putt car. There's no entrance fee, but donations are welcome.

Another I'm fond of is the Little Snake River Valley Museum in Savery, WY. This museum is located in the building where I attended the first three years of elementary school. If you search real
carefully, you'll even find a relic with my name on it from the first grade! This museum is packed with artifacts from the people of the valley. The cabin that Jim Baker built is located there, along
with several other buildings that have been moved there. They have a satellite location in Baggs, WY that is a house that Butch Cassidy supposedly stayed in, though I'm not sure that
was ever confirmed (though he was a regular visitor to the area before and after he supposedly died in Bolivia).

And finally, there's a nice museum in Encampment, WY, which has a lot of artifacts from the copper era at the turn of the last century. There was a 17 mile tramway from the mine down to the smelter located in Encampment. There is some information there about a secret government facility located there in the 60's and 70's that monitored nuclear fallout.

All of these are locally run by volunteers and all are very well done. They are all worth the time to stop and see if you are looking for something to do.

Oh, and The Pioneer Museum in Minden, NE is an interesting place, but you really need a couple days to see it all in detail. The automobiles alone are incredible. Unfortunately, it's getting
more and more run down, or at least it seemed to be when we were there in Dec, 2006.

And, there's a nice dinosaur museum in Dickinson, ND.
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2010, 07:03:18 AM »

Chattanooga, TN area:

Military History museums:

National Medal of Honor Museum of Military History - http://www.mohm.org/
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The museum was created to educate present and future generations about the extraordinary sacrifices of those who went above and beyond the call of duty to preserve the cause of freedom

Battles for Chattanooga Museum - http://www.battlesforchattanooga.com/open.html
A Civil War museum focused on the battles and bases in the Chattanooga area.

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park - http://www.nps.gov/chch/ & http://www.exploresouthernhistory.com/chickamauga.html
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Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the nation’s first, was created in 1890 to preserve and commemorate these battlefields.



Transportation Museums:

International Towing & Recovery Museum - http://www.internationaltowingmuseum.org/about.htm
Quote
Enjoy restored antique wreckers and equipment, industry related displays of collectible toys, tools, unique equipment, and pictorial histories of manufacturers who pioneered a worldwide industry.


Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum - http://www.tvrail.com/pages/explore/history.php
Exhibits and regional scenic/historic trips aboard vintage steam locomotive train
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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2010, 07:30:57 AM »

McMinnville, Or. Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. Home of The Spruce Goose.
Spokane, Wa. Spokane Sea Services Museum.
Seattle Wa. Boeing Museum of Flight.
...Cable
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« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2010, 07:36:25 AM »

Here are some local to Western PA:

http://fortligonier.org/
This one is especially worth it during Fort Ligonier days, IF you can get within a mile or two.

http://www.carnegiesciencecenter.org/
This one is very very kid-friendly. and actually caters to group tours for schools. And yes, you can visit and really really enjoy yourself if you are a big kid at heart like myself. One guy who worked there when I visited said: "81? 18? What's the difference?" I said I'm Lysdexic (dyslexic) too.",and we just laughed. Obviously it's my favorite. But here's the main link to the museums: http://www.carnegiemuseums.org/

I could go on and on and on, and begin to sound like a braggert or tourist salesman. But I'll just give you a few other tidbits to look up (Google) yourself:

Fallingwater, with a short drive to Fort Necessity- Jumonville Glen( http://www.nps.gov/fone/jumglen.htm ), and Bedford Village.

In my neck of the woods, in addition to Fort Ligonier, we have Bushy-Run Battle field, Westmoreland Museum of Art, Old Hannastown. As you can see, we're geared a lot by French and Indian War History. Those are shorter visits but comforting if you are just looking for an "off" day.  Fred Rogers collection? Don't think so. But I still wear a cardigan in his honor sometimes.  Grin

HTH if you plan on passing through Western Pennsylvania. My E-mail is connected to my profile if you are in the area. I will say this: Car rental can be cheap and easily done in this area, and I don't mean Rent-a Wreck either. So if you come without a Toad, beware, be ready, but don't be worried.

Doug  Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2010, 09:41:19 AM »

Wow, excellent responses and ideas! I had forgotten about the Ohio museum stuff, I had seen it online or something before.


Okay, let's expand if that's alright. I thought of two other types.
How about railroad museums and exhibits and western theme (wild west history, ghost towns, etc..)

I know there is Tombstone, Az, there used to be Ponderosa Ranch at Incline village which though a pseudo tv set was still cool I thought. I've heard that there is a famous western movie set in Kanab, Utah but then I was told it was lame and really nothing to see or do. Anything in Texas? Colorado? Wyoming?

Isn't there a cool rail museum in PA? Seems like there are some railroads in southern Colorado though I've not actually visited, just been told of them. They were on my list for this year before harder times hit.

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« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2010, 09:48:53 AM »

The Illinois Railroad Museum in Union Il. Lots to see there and.....there are a few buses there.
There is a rail museum in Green Bay, WI. that has quite a bit to see.
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« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2010, 09:51:42 AM »

Ponderosa Ranch in Incline Village is closed.

There are literally hundreds of military, aircraft, railroad, mining museums.  Also there are great websites that will tell you where they are.

Couple of my favorites:
George A. Patton museum 30 miles east of Indio, Ca right off Interstate 10.
March AFB in Riverside, Ca
Tankland- 1918 Rosemead Bl, South El Monte, Ca.  Tanks and land based vehicles.  Including a running air raid siren powered by a Chrysler Hemi!
Planes of Fame, Chino, Ca
Pima Air Museum, south of Tucson, Az.

Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2010, 09:55:50 AM »

General Patton Museum on I 10 at Charaico Summit, which is just west of Indio California. In the early 70 we went on a jeep trip out through where General Pattaon trained his men.  It was still pretty much intact then, but doubt it now. The museum has a lot of WW II tanks and outher equipment have not been inside the building.
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« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2010, 10:00:28 AM »

  Sacramento, Ca. Railroad Museum.
  Kent, Wa. Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum
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« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2010, 11:17:30 AM »

Railroads: 
Durango & Silverton, Durango, CO (http://www.durangotrain.com/)
Cumbres & Toltec, Chama, NM (http://www.cumbrestoltec.com/)
Royal Gorge Scenic RR, Canon City, CO (http://www.royalgorgeroute.com/)
Hoping to do all three of these next year.

Rio Grande Scenic RR, Alamosa, CO (http://www.riograndescenicrailroad.com/)  Might have to look at this one. Looks like they have a concert at one end that you can ride the train to.

Pikes Peak Cog Railway, Colorado Springs, CO (nice view from the top if it's not snowing!)
Georgetown Loop RR, Georgetown, CO (45 miles west of Denver)
Colorado Railroad Museum, Golden, CO (http://www.coloradorailroadmuseum.org/)

Wesern lore:

Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody WY
Old Trail Town, Cody, WY
South Pass City, South Pass, WY (http://www.southpasscity.com/default.aspx)
Frontier Prison, Rawlins, WY (http://www.wyomingfrontierprison.org/)
Wyoming Territorial Prison, Laramie, WY (http://www.wyomingterritorialprison.com)


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« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2010, 12:08:25 PM »

My most favorite museum when I was a kid is the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody WY  -   http://www.bbhc.org/home/   

In Columbia, SC , there is a really good museum  - http://crr.sc.gov/visit/   

In Asheville, NC  , there is the Biltmore Estate  -  http://www.biltmore.com/visit/house_gardens/house/default.asp   
I am fascinated with the advanced technology (for the time it was built) included in this private residence - you really do get a feel for how the rich lived . . .
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« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2010, 12:46:45 PM »

There is both Gettysburg and valley forge for the civil war. I spent several days going back to valley forge. They do  reenactment during the summer. Pretty cool
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« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2010, 05:05:56 PM »

Good thread.  Lots of great suggestions here.

You need to broaden your study and go to the WWI museum in Kansas City.  I was always fascinated with WWII and how the dictators came to power.  Well go to Kansas City and see all the history about WWI and you will then understand why WWII happened.  It gives great insight as to why WWI got going and explains the mess that was left after the armistice in Nov 1918.  The time between the wars was just a rest to learn how to really take each other on.  It is a great museum.

David
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« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2010, 06:35:50 PM »

I'll second the WWI museum in KC, I was there yesterday and today.  It's a gem, and you need a solid day to really appreciate everything there.  Even better, on Wednesdays tickets are 2 for 1, and are good for two days. 

Some other places you shouldn't miss:

Pensacola, FL - Naval Air Museum - great museum, lots of rare Naval aircraft, some restored from wrecks plucked from the Great Lakes.  Blue Angels practice behind the museum on Tues and Weds.  Best part is that it is all free!!   http://www.navalaviationmuseum.org/

Scranton, PA - Steamtown NHS - Restored roundhouse, steam excursions, tours of the locomotive restoration shops.  http://www.nps.gov/stea/

Strasburg, PA - Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania  - Lots of historic Pennsylvania rolling stock, plus the Straburg RR is across the street for a steam train ride.  http://www.rrmuseumpa.org

Mobile, AL - Battleship Alabama - The battleship, plus the park has a submarine exhibit, the USS Drum, a hangar full of WWII - Cold War aircraft, and a collection of tanks.   http://www.ussalabama.com

Wilmington, NC - Battleship North Carolina - not as much to see as the Alabama, but there are panels in each space with stories from former crew members - totally engaging reading.  http://www.battleshipnc.com

Washington, DC - Smithsonian - Tough to visit in the bus, but you could spend a week and not see it all.  The Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport is well worth the trip.  http://www.nasm.si.edu/udvarhazy/

St. Louis, MO - Museum of Transportation - Lots of historic locomotives (over 70), including a Union Pacific Big Boy (cab is open for museum guests) and Centennial.   Unfortunately, they seem to have more stock than space, so much of the displays are outside, or closely packed on adjacent tracks.  http://transportmuseumassociation.org/

I'm sure I can think of more, but here's a start  - Steve

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« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2010, 06:56:20 PM »

A great place with a western theme:

Bodie, CA - Late 1800s ghost town, preserved and protected for over 40 years as a California State Park. http://www.bodie.com/
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« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2010, 10:45:00 PM »

Thanks everyone. I got far more than I planned or thought I would. some I knew but forgot about and some I've never heard of.
I made a pdf of this thread and saved it, someday as we get more chances we'll try to refer back to the file and hopefully be able to hit some of them. The biggest thing is just knowing that they exist and the second knowing where. After that it's easier to plan to see some of them.

-Dave 
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« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2010, 03:37:20 AM »

Right in Downtown Greenville, SC

http://www.americanlegion3warmuseum.com/


In Charleston, SC

http://www.hunley.org/

 Ft Moultrie, Patriots Point & ft Sumter, also James Island.

http://www.patriotspoint.org/


http://www.nps.gov/fosu/historyculture/fort_moultrie.htm


 Cherokee, NC     The Indian Village and "Unto these Hills" and museum at the bottom of the hill.

Dillsboro Has trains, Steam engines during the summer, they also do mountain scenic rides, dinner trains, and Whodunit? dinner trains with audience participation.  Trains go to Bryson City where there is a Model Train Museum.




The nature museum in Chas, is pretty cool,  


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« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2010, 05:33:35 AM »

Forney transportation museum in Denver colorado!  A bit of everything including a mountain train , aviation, cars a fabulous personal collection .  John L
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« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2010, 09:57:35 AM »

http://www.navysealmuseum.com/ is a small museum in Fort Pierce, FL dedicated exclusively to the United States Navy SEALs and their predecessors.

http://www.montanaguard.com/museum/ another small museum in Helena, MT that includes First Special Service Force which was made up of 1,400 US and Canadian personnel. It also has the only dog parachute I have seen. The 1968 movie 'Devil's Brigade' was based on this unit.
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« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2010, 10:43:42 AM »

In Kalamazoo, Michigan (just off I-94) is the Kalamazoo AirZoo. http://www.airzoo.org    The website does not do it justice.

Aircraft include a replica of the Wright Brothers plane, a SR-71B Blackbird and many planes in between. For the past year admission has been free. The bulk of the planes are from WWII, including a P-40 Warhawk, B-25, T-28, C-47, SBD-3, FG-1D Corsair, F6F-5 Hellcat, FM-2 Wildcat, At-6 Texan and a CG-4A Glider. Newer planes include a F-14A Tomcat and FA-18A Hornet. They have a great 4D theatre featuring a WWII mission featuring a B-17 ($2.00).

There are also many interactive displays and simulators. There are also many rides for the kids ($2.00 each or $6.95 to $12.95 unlimited rides, depending on height).

The AirZoo features two large buildings and provides free guided tours. It is also the home of the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame.

I have taken my 9 year old granddaughter numerous times and she always wants to go back. She loves the rides and the hands on displays, but she also enjoys the history. I am exhausted when we leave.

John
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« Reply #27 on: September 06, 2010, 05:48:15 AM »


BIG NEWS!!!!!!!!! Shocked



Wheels thru Time Closed for a year and is back open!!

Awesome Motor Cycle Museum!!!  And other things too!


http://www.wheelsthroughtime.comy again to go

Uncle Ned, we try again to go. Grin


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« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2010, 03:52:28 PM »

Someone already mentioned Patriot's Point in Charleston.

Tybee Island, GA has Ft. Pulaski (Civil War) and several WWII attractions as the island was a hospital fort for the war.  There are also alot of Civil War museums/sites around Atlanta.  And Savannah has some INCREDIBLE history and beautiful restorations.

We also like the NASA facility in Huntsville, AL.
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« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2010, 03:26:09 PM »

Gotta go see Airborne museum in Fayettevlle, NC
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« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2010, 09:28:45 AM »

New temporary attraction at Kalamazoo AirZoo-GM Futurliner

The Air Zoo today welcomes a General Motors Futurliner that will be on display through April 1. GM in 1940 built 12 Futurliners, stylized buses used to transport and showcase a GM national tour promoting the advancement of technology. Each featured exhibits highlighting modern science and engineering. Exhibits in the Futurliner on display at the Air Zoo include “Chevrolet Soap Box Derby” and “Opportunity for Youth,” which is about the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild.

“By having a Futurliner on display at the Air Zoo, we hope to continue inspiring youth to follow their dreams and envision the possibilities of the future,” Bob Ellis, Air Zoo president and CEO, said in a news release about the “a different kind of traveling exhibit” for the Portage aviation museum. “The Futurliners were about showing progress, including innovations in aviation.”

http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/09/back_to_the_futurliner_air_zoo.html
http://www.airzoo.org

John
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1977 MC8-Sold
Southwest Michigan
Bill B /bus
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« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2010, 04:52:29 PM »

Some have been hit already, however I will add:
Steamtown, Scranton PA
Auburn Cord Duesenburg Museum Auburn, IN Add the National Truck Museum (next Door)
Automobile Museum Saratoga Springs  NY A collection of Woodys  on the first floor
Historic Bottle Museum  Ballston Spa NY. Hand blown before molds. Neat
Greenfield Village Dearborn MI
WW 2 Submarine Torsk/Chesapeake Lightship etc Baltimore harbor
Mystic Seaport  Mystic CT
Huntsville Space Museum Huntsville AL
Bellingrath Gardens Mobile AL
Natchez MS - go during Tapestry 6 weeks Mar-Apr when the private mansions are opened
Natchez Trace Parkway Stop and see the historical turnout areas.

That should keep you busy for a while.

Bill
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Bill & Lynn
MCI102A3, Series 50 w/HT70
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