The National Museum of Natural History is dedicated to understanding the natural world and our place in it. It is open every day of the year except Christmas Day. Regular museum hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The National Museum of Natural History has become the most visited museum in the world. Established in 1910, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History is home to about 185 professional natural history scientists, the largest group of scientists dedicated to the study of the natural and cultural history in the world. Much of their research is based on the collections that total over 125 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, and human artifacts. The collections provide essential evidence for much of what we know about the world around us, including knowledge about changes in the earth and climate, plants and animals and their evolutionary history, and human origins and culture.
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city was built from scratch, Washington's
regular town plan is easy to grasp. Centered
on Capitol Hill and its governmental
monoliths, the District is divided into four
quadrants - northeast, northwest, southeast
and southwest. Dozens of broad avenues , all
named after states, run diagonally across a
standard grid of streets , meeting up at
monumental traffic circles like Dupont
Circle. North-south streets are numbered,
east-west ones are lettered. There's no J
Street, an intentional slight to early
Supreme Court Justice John Jay, or X, Y or Z
Street. I Street is often written Eye
Street. Be sure to note the relevant
two-letter code in any address (NW, NE, SW,
SE), which shows its quadrant; 1600
Pennsylvania Ave NW is a long way from 1600
Pennsylvania Ave SE.
Once in the
city, stop at the
DC Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center ,
Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania
Ave NW (Mon-Sat 8am-6pm, Sun noon-5pm; tel
202/328-4748), which can help with maps,
tours, bookings and citywide information.
Look for visitor information desks at the
airports and Union Station.
The White House Visitor Information Center
, 1450 Pennsylvania Ave NW (daily
7.30am-4pm; tel 202/208-1631), supplies free
maps and handy guides to museums and
attractions; the most useful is the free
Washington DC Visitors Guide .