America's Best Museums - United Hub

America's best museums

By Bob Cooper

There are many reasons to visit New York City, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. But regardless of the reason that brings you to one of these great American cities, here's another one you should consider: Each one has a great museum.

Best new museum

The National Museum of African American History and Culture opened in Washington, D.C. this past September and instantly became America's largest museum devoted to African-American themes. Located on the National Mall, this newly opened museum features 10 floors — five below ground and five above ground — of African-American stories, from early slaves to Barack Obama's presidency, Black Lives Matter and African-American legends of music and sports. Afterward, you can visit other museums on the mall like the Smithsonian museums — America's finest collection of museums, all free of charge.

Best natural history museum

Brachiosaurus skeleton replica outside the Field Museum

Chicago's Field Museum is a Neoclassical-inspired beauty, but the extensive collection of artifacts and curiosities inside are even more beautiful to visitors who adore the natural world. Permanent exhibits include a dinosaur hall (starring the largest T. Rex ever found), mammal dioramas, dozens of ancient Egyptian mummies, a DNA Discovery Center, the Hall of Gems, a 3D movie theater and a fossil prep lab where you can watch paleontologists at work. The museum is located on Chicago's lakefront — Lake Michigan — which allows you to enjoy a lakefront walk before or after your visit.

Best art museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is so well established as America's finest art museum that it's commonly referred to by its nickname — The Met. America's largest art museum also has the most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts from every era of civilization and every part of the world. Egyptian flints from before 75,000 B.C. are displayed as well as paintings by Picasso and Pollock. Housed in a regal Beaux-Arts building, the museum is right across from Central Park, creating the perfect opportunity to spend half the day admiring the art of humanity and the other half admiring the beauty of America's liveliest urban park.

Best children's museum

the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco

The Exploratorium in San Francisco has pioneered hands-on learning since it opened in 1969. Generations of kids arrived by the busload to its original location inside the city's Palace of Fine Arts. Its relocation and expansion in 2013 to Pier 15 on the San Francisco waterfront has upped its game, offering even more to kids and adults as the principles of science and human perception are demonstrated and explained in a fun and tangible way. The new location also lets you stroll a few piers down to Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf to dine and enjoy the bay.

Best space museum

More international visitors come to Houston, commonly referred to as “Space City," to visit Space Center Houston than any other attraction. The 250,000-square-foot museum, a Smithsonian affiliate, doubles as the visitor center for the NASA Johnson Space Center — earning it more props than any other U.S. space museum. The nearly one million people who visit each year — drawn by the city's tribute to manned space travel — get the chance to see hundreds of artifacts, including the world's largest collection of moon rocks. Visitors can also go behind the scenes at the NASA Johnson Space Center to experience a taste of astronaut training and the operations of NASA Mission Control and International Space Station Mission Control.

If you go

Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your museum-themed trip.

United Cargo operates more than 11,000 cargo-only flights in one year

By The Hub team, March 19, 2021

On March 19, 2020, United operated its first flight carrying cargo without passengers on board. While the passenger cabin was empty, its cargo hold was completely full, carrying more than 29,000 pounds of commodities from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

A year later, United Cargo has operated more than 11,000 cargo-only flights carrying more than 570 million pounds of freight. To support the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, United Cargo has also transported more than 113 million pounds of medical and pharmaceutical products on both cargo-only and passenger flights as well as approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccines, providing global communities access to the items they have needed most.

10 tips for spring travel

By The Hub team, February 24, 2021

Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:

1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more

Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.

Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.

United joins UNICEF COVAX initiative

By The Hub team, February 19, 2021

This week, we were honored to become the first U.S. airline to join the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting the vaccine and other critically needed supplies to underserved areas of the globe.

"We are committed to helping the global community in any way we can, and we all must work together to do our part to bring this health and humanitarian crisis to an end," said Director of Cargo Specialty Products Manu Jacobs.

We will leverage our expertise to transport these critical pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments around the world safely, efficiently and expediently. We are proud to partner with the United Nations to support this global effort and provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

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