Citysearch Editorial Review. Tourists and natives alike frequently cite this Smithsonian as one of their favorites because there’s an exhibition for everyone. The museum draws from the more than 126 million items in its collection to display insects, prehistoric skeletons and some of the world’s most famous—and cursed—gems. Less squeamish visitors will enjoy learning about the social life of termites in the Insect Zoo, while others can visit the Hope Diamond and explore rocks from earth and space. The Sant Ocean Hall encourages guests to dive from the surface shimmering with tropical fish to the dark mysteries of the deep ocean. Constantly rotating special exhibitions make every visit feel new, with topics ranging from forensics of early Chesapeake settlers to how to live in the harsh environment of western Alaska. Visit the museum’s website to enjoy panoramic views of the exhibit spaces and pre-plan a visit so the collection doesn’t feel overwhelming.
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