American Museum of Natural History

Museum of Natural History Inside
Museum of Natural History Inside

Few, if any, places in modern America are as well-equipped with museums as New York City. The Metropolitan, The Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art - each take up residence somewhere on the isle of Manhattan. But the Upper West Side is home to another great museum, one which dates back to Civil War times: the American Museum of Natural History. Just off of Central Park West and part of the famed Museum mile (also including the aforementioned Metropolitan), the Museum of Natural History New York is spread across 46 exhibition halls on exquisitely manicured park-like grounds, a remarkable setting for the biological wonders that the museum is famous for.

Museum of Natural History Whale
Museum of Natural History Whale
Museum of Natural History Dinosaur
Museum of Natural History Dinosaur

The American Museum of Natural History is perhaps best known for its life-sized model of a blue whale, filling out at 94 feet long. It remains suspended in the Hall of Ocean Life, forever diving towards depths unknown. The museum features habitat groups from all over the world, both above and below the sea, and includes a world-famous exhibit on the dinosaurs, unmatched by any outside of the Natural History Museum in London. The model of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, composed almost completely of real fossils, is the highlight of the dinosaur models. The same can be said of its Brontosaurus (or Apatosaurus) model, whose body is also real fossils, save the replica skull. Also collected here are other mammals that have long been extinct, like the Brontops and the Mammuthus, their bones the only proof they even existed.

The evolution of man is another significant part of the Museum of Natural History New York. Located in the Hall of Human Origins, it is still the only major exhibit in America to present an in-depth investigation of human evolution. Some of the oldest specimens of homo erectus are here, although the well-known “Peking Man,” dated over 250,000 years ago, is only presented in cast form. The origins of human creativity are also examined here, showing the first examples of artwork in human history, cave drawings of horses from around 30,000 years ago.

The halls of mammals in the American Museum of Natural History are also well-known for their carefully constructed dioramas, scientific recreations of points and places in time from all over the world. Some of these dioramas can get up to 20 feet high, and showcase some of the vanishing wildlife the world-over. From elephant herds to serene gorillas on the highlands, the African wildlife section in another that is not to be missed.

American Museum of Natural History
American Museum of Natural History

The Museum of Natural History New York opens its doors every morning promptly at 10, and stays open until 6 – closed only on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sitting stately on 79th street, the halls are filled with immense treasures that are world-renowned. If you are a history buff, or just want to include a little culture on your next trip to New York City, the American Museum of Natural History is a great place to start.

Compare Travel Sites and Save!

Staten Island New York

Staten Island

Staten Island may be the most remote and least populous of New York City...

GE Building

GE Building

The GE Building touches the Manhattan clouds—a fine example of art deco desig...

Penn Station

Penn Station

Penn Station, or Pennsylvania Station, as it is more officially known, is one...

Latest Topics

NYC travel tips?

My husband and I are heading to NYC this month. I've been to a few travel websites and I am ...

More Forum Posts »