American Museum of Natural History
Central Park W at 79th St, New York, NY 10024
Make sure you leave a whole day (at least one!) to explore the awe-inspiring American Museum of Natural History. One of the largest and well-renowned museums in the world, it includes 45 permanent exhibition halls spanning 27 interconnected buildings, holding 32 million specimens of nearly every flora, fauna and mineral imaginable through the ages. Highlights include the full-size model of a blue whale in the Hall of Ocean life, the Star of India (one of the largest star sapphires in the world) and the incredible planetarium, now included as part of the celebrated Rose Center for Earth and Space. The museum is open between 10 am and 5:45 pm daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.