American Museums, Zoos and Aquariums

There are a lot of them! Over 17,000 museums in the United States – plus zoos and aquariums! Most are very small collections of local materials telling the story of the city or region.

A small number are huge: the Smithsonian being the largest with a budget over a billion dollars. About half are listed in the Official Museum Directory (

The unifying theme among American museums is that they have things to share and they invite the public to share them. Aside from those characteristics, variety is the dominant theme.

Here are sites that will take you to museum web pages. If you are looking for one type of museum in one geographic area, these sites will guide you there. Note that most of these sites also list job opportunities for museums in their professional community and some list professional courses and workshops.

To find a zoo, go to the website of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

To find a science center, go to the Association of Science-Technology Centers.

(Plug in a state and out pops a listing of the science centers there.)

Children’s Museums throughout the US are listed right here.

The Association of Art Museum Directors. has a nice web site with career information. A good listing of art museums is provided by Art Cyclopedia

The Association of African-American Museums allows you to search for member museums.

The American Public Gardens Association lists gardens and lists job opportunities.

The Council of American Maritime Museums lists their members.

A great site listing more maritime museums that you would imagine is:

Hot stuff: the Fire Museum Network tells where to find fire museums.

Census Finder lists history museums by state and county.

The US Navy is a big fan of museums; they support 15 naval museums.

The army has even more museums.

The National Museum of the Air Force is found here.

A commercialized listing of aviation museums by state is available by clicking here

Another listing is: Of course the Marine Corps has several museums, too. Chief among them is the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

Nearly every state has a state association of museums. Check out the page, which includes links to the associations and their respective job boards.

Sign up for our newsletter!