Visiting Museums Outside My Comfort Zone

After many months of not visiting Museums, I’ve welcomed the chance to visit several throughout the state this summer. Typically, I enjoy visiting art and history museums since the objects and stories represented are of greater interest to me than other subjects. However, this summer, I’ve made a point to check out new museums that I would not normally visit. I’ve been pleasantly surprised during several of these visits to find things that interested and resonated with me. Below, I’ll share a few highlights from recent visits to Museums that were outside my areas of interest and comfort zone.

At the beginning of the summer, I took a weekend trip to Saint Michaels and visited the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. I was taken aback by how big the Museum campus is and how much of it is outside, right along the water. I enjoyed learning about the various industries that have thrived in the region, seeing the extensive collection of boats, and having the opportunity to explore the interior of a lighthouse.

View of lighthouse at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
View of lighthouse at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

In June, I visited a museum a bit closer to home, the Fire Museum of Maryland, located in Lutherville. I had not previously been to a fire museum and was unaware that such a museum existed. I learned that the Fire Museum of Maryland is one of the largest fire museums in the United States.

inside the Museum
Me, inside the Museum

My favorite part of the visit was viewing the collection of antique fire equipment and contrasting the ornate, historical vehicles to those of today. As a special treat, we got to see the trucks moving in action as the Museum was preparing to supply vehicles for an upcoming 4th of July parade.

An example of one of the elaborate displays
An example of one of the elaborate displays

Most recently, I checked out the newly built National Museum of the United States Army in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Like my visit Chesapeake Maritime Museum, I was surprised by how big the Museum was and how many exhibits it had.

Me, outside the Army Museum
Me, outside the Army Museum

The museum tells the story of the 245 years of army history and explores the relationship between the army and society. I particularly enjoyed the temporary exhibit, the Art of Soldiering, which thematically showcased art produced on the front lines that is held in the U.S Army’s Art Collection.

Artwork on display as part of the exhibit
Artwork on display as part of the exhibit

These visits have inspired me to find other museums outside my areas of interest to visit. I’m hoping to explore the National Electronics Museum and the Babe Ruth Museum soon. If you have any recommendations of other local museums I should add to my list, let me know in the comments below.

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