Henry Ford Museum
The Henry Ford Museum is the biggest museum in the country. With both indoor and outdoor sections, it covers more than 102 acres (40 hectares) in the suburb of Dearborn, about 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) west of downtown Detroit.
It’s easy to spend hours pouring over the priceless artifacts and vehicles collected by Henry Ford since the early 1900s in the 12-acre (five-hectare) main hall. Car lovers will enjoy gems like the Ford Nucleon, an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and all kinds of rare machines. There’s also an entire exhibit dedicated to the Automobile in American Life and Society.
There are also interesting items on exhibit that have nothing to do with cars. See the chair Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in 1865 and a writing desk used by Edgar Allan Poe. Enter the Dymaxion house to see how, in the 1940s, designer R. Buckminster Fuller saw the future of living. Follow the trail of freedom in the U.S. at With Liberty and Justice for All. The exhibit covers everything from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond.
Head over to Made in America to admire the innovations that have changed the nation’s history. Heroes of the Sky tells the story of pioneers in aviation. You’ll see a replica Wright Flyer and vintage airplanes.
Make your way outside to explore the 90-acre (36.5-hectare) Greenfield Village. There are steam trains and Model T cars to ride, as well as more than a hundred historical buildings. Check out a reconstruction of Thomas Edison’s laboratory, the Wright brothers’ relocated shop and buildings from the 17th century.
The Henry Ford Museum also hosts a range of traveling exhibits and special events, so check the website for details. It’s open seven days a week, but Greenfield Village closes in winter. If you travel here by car, you will have to pay a small fee to park in the lot near the museum. Alternatively, take the SMART bus service from downtown.