Thanksgiving in Washington, DC Day Three: Museum of Natural History, Museum of the American Indian, Hard Rock Cafe

We gave ourselves permission to sleep in on Thanksgiving Day. The Smithsonian Museums were open, but the independently run tour companies and certain sites were not. This is why we pushed ourselves so hard with the Monuments By Moonlight tour the night before.

Museum of Natural History

We made it to the Museum of Natural History about mid-morning. So did half of DC. It was cold and rainy and it feels like all of the city’s tourists had the same idea.

Where do I even begin? The Museum of Natural History uses its exhibits, interactive stations, and videos to tell the story of the story of Earth. No easy feat when you’re talking about billions of years. We spent half a day here and only scratched the surface. Our favorite exhibits were the fossils, the Hope Diamond, and mummified remains of a noble, peasant, and child.

Museum of the American Indian

On our Monuments By Moonlight Tour, Steve mentioned the Museum of the American Indian was one of the most underrated facilities in the Smithsonian Family. So that’s where we headed next. Unlike the Museum of Natural History, there were only a handful of visitors.

The Museum of the American Indian is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere. It is home to one of the world’s largest collections of Native artifacts.

There was an entire section devoted to Pocahontas. I particularly liked the wall that read, “Pocahontas didn’t save John Smith. She saved America.” The exhibit also previews the frieze we would see in the Capitol Rotunda – that of Pocahontas saving John Smith from being clubbed to death.

We left with a greater appreciation of Native culture and also how we can do better not to perpetuate stereotypes.

Hard Rock Cafe

We had our Thanksgiving meal at Hard Rock Cafe. After days of chicken tenders and fries from national museum cafes, a Cobb salad was a welcome sight. Our meal couldn’t be less traditional, but that’s OK: neither are we.

Thankful for our many blessings, we retired early for it would be another early morning with a very full agenda.

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