This region is full of some of the best exhibits and museums in the country, but if you’re looking for something a little more peculiar or off-beat, the DMV has plenty of must-visit destinations. Whether you want to check out one of the largest collections of beer steins or see the evolution of pinball machines, you’ll want to plan a trip these out-of-the-box museums.
What used to be an 18th-century family business is now a beloved museum and national landmark right in the heart of Alexandria. As a functioning apothecary, the business would sell a variety of medicines, cleaning supplies, and other treatments to local patients. Now as a museum, visitors can explore the 20,000-plus objects, including hand-blown glasses, herbal botanicals, and ledgers, as they immerse themselves in pharmaceutical history. 105-107 S. Fairfax St., Alexandria
Whether you know him as the Colossus of Clout or the Great Bambino, everyone can agree that Babe Ruth is one of the greatest baseball players of all time. But you may be surprised to hear the road to Ruth runs through Maryland and not NYC. Plan a day trip to Baltimore to learn about the legendary Yankee’s life before baseball, off the field, and between the lines. 216 Emory St., Baltimore
Sure, a visit to one of DC’s Smithsonian museums is nice, but probably not as memorable as a trip to the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. Immerse yourself in Japanese and Chinese culture and the art of bonsai as you roam the arboretum. 3501 New York Ave. NE, Washington, DC
While Colonial Williamsburg gets all the hype, Ripley’s Odditorium is the place to be if you’re looking to view impossible and out-of-this-world oddities. Spend the day roaming the Odditorium’s 11 themed galleries and over 350 exhibits, which have everything from shrunken heads to an authentic vampire killing kit. 1735 Richmond Rd., Williamsburg
The ultimate arcade experience awaits in Roanoke. With 60 machines running from the 1930s to present day, see how the game of pinball has transitioned from the first models to the attention-grabbing machines we see today. And make sure to get in a few games while you’re at it. 1 Market Sq. SE, Second Floor, Roanoke
At this museum, it’s Oktoberfest all year long. Located in a small town between Lynchburg and Richmond lies Steins Unlimited, a museum with a collection of over 10,000 beer steins. Curated by George Adams, the collection tells the history of German and American beer drinking, going all the way back to the mid-14th century. 616 Swan Rd., Pamplin
With over 400 years of beer in Virginia, there is plenty of history that led to your favorite brews. Pull up a seat at the museum’s Hell Town Saloon to taste the evolution of beer throughout the state. Plus, the museum offers an interactive tour of their brewery and growing collection of artifacts and displays. 16 Chester St., Front Royal
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