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Strangest/Specialty Museums in Washington DC

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L. Ron Hubbard House

The L. Ron Hubbard House, which is also known as the Original Founding Church of Scientology, is perched between embassies on Washington DC's famous Embassy Row. L. Ron Hubbard, the author and founder of Scientology, turned this building into the first Founding Church back in 1955. Today, visitors can learn about this creative individual, and the religion he founded, through exhibits and tours that explore the building.

Washington DC, DC, United States
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Smithsonian Institution

Also known as "America's attic," for its spectacular collection of nearly 154 million artifacts, the Smithsonian Institution is one of the the world's largest museum complexes and research organizations. The administrative office of the esteemed institution is housed in a magnificent red sandstone 'castle', that also houses a visitor information area and research chambers. Within this building is also the final resting place of the Smithsonian Institution's founder, James Smithson, with his tomb being preserved in the crypt in the north entrance. Apart from the main building, the institution features as many as 17 museums and galleries within its sprawling complex that represent exhibits across the myriad fields of science, history, zoology, and art. Some of the most notable Smithsonian landmarks include the Natural History Museum and the African American Museum.

Washington, DC, United States
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Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is located just down the street from the National Air and Space Museum. Visitors stroll up a rising, circular incline and view works by Calder, Rodin, and contemporary sculptors. Special exhibits have included works by such artists as Mircea Cantor, Rivane Neuenschwander, and Morris Louis. This unique building is home to many innovative and unusual exhibits and pieces of art. The museum's collection includes 4,000 paintings and 2,000 sculptures. Do not miss the sunken sculpture garden across Jefferson Drive. Auguste Rodin's Burghers of Calais is a must-see.

Washington DC, DC, United States
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International Spy Museum

The International Spy Museum provides a unique glimpse into the innovative world of espionage and its impact throughout history and present day. The state of the art exhibits includes artifacts and spy stories from all over the world. The museum showcases espionage artifacts from the 21st century to as far back as the Greek empire. Visitors can also be a part of a movie setup and play the part of a spy, by solving puzzles and overcoming obstacles. During your visit to the museum, you'll adopt a cover identity and then lead into the briefing room to learn about the life of a spy. Highly interactive, informative and fun, a visit to this museum is well worth the price.

Washington, DC, United States
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DEA Museum & Visitors Center

Learn about the history of the Drug Enforcement Administration at this unique museum. Besides learning about the DEA, you learn about drug use in the United States through the decades and how it's impacted life and culture. Items on display include a Hell's Angels motorcycle, technology used by the DEA in the past, medicine bottles form the early 20th Century, and much more.

Arlington, VA, United States
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National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

In 1976, Japan presented the United States with 53 bonsai trees to mark the bicentennial celebration of the United States' independence from Great Britain. With this present, the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum was formed. Added to these beautiful bonsai trees were penjing trees that China presented to President Richard Nixon. Today, the museum has grown to house three separate collections of these marvelous plants, many of which have been gifted to the museum over the years. The museum is located inside the US National Arboretum and is free for all who wish to marvel at these artistically sculpted plants.

Washington DC, DC, United States
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