You don’t have to go to Washington, D.C. to partake in the wonders of the Smithsonian museums as NYC offers its own Smithsonian museum-the National Museum of the American Indian. It is at the bottom tip of Manhattan and adjacent to Battery Park with views of the Statue of Liberty. The museum is in the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, which is a stunning neoclassical building. The architecture itself, both on the interior and the exterior is worth a visit; however, the museum has so much more to offer.
When we first walked in, we went to the left to explore the temporary exhibit at the time. During our visit there was a fantastic exhibit on Native American fashion. The exhibit demonstrated modern Native American fashion that incorporated “traditional” elements with high-fashion. The exhibit was absolutely fascinating and demonstrated the diversity of elements that are popular in different tribes. This exhibit space is constantly changing, so remember you can always come back for something new!
Afterwards, we were led into the rest of the museum, which provides an expansive array of Native American history, culture, and artwork. We spent a couple hours in the museum and could have spent more time there looking in-depth at all of the artifacts because the museum provides visitors with that much content. The museum encompasses not only North American tribes, but Central and South American as well. It also offers various tours and events throughout the week to teach visitors about Native American history and culture. We both found the museum to be fascinating and well laid out. At the end we came back to the central room of the custom house and just looked up and enjoyed the exquisite ceiling paintings. This was one of our absolute favorite museums we have visited, and it was free! We definitely recommend both tourists and New Yorkers to visit the National Museum of the American Indian.