Best Car Museum Pit Stops on Your Road Trip Across America

Andrew Koole
· 4 min read
Road trips are one of the best ways to travel, especially in the U.S.A. Nothing else gives you the freedom to explore as your own set of wheels. Packing your family in for the ride also offers plenty of quality time you don’t necessarily get once you arrive at your destination.
But as anyone who’s trekked across this country can attest, too much time spent in the car can get rather dull. Pit stops are your key to survival, but if lunch is behind you, what do you do? One great option is to take in a car museum.
Museums centered on the automobile are scattered across America.
went digging to find the best options for you and your family, separating them into regions for your convenience.
A car museum is the perfect stop on any road trip.

Western car museums

Car museums can be found in every state from Washington to New Mexico, but some exhibits are a cut above the rest. The highly regarded Lemay America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, just south of
, for example, made the best-of lists from Car and Driver and Road & Track. 
In Nevada, Reno’s National Automobile Museum houses 207 vehicles. Cars from some of your favorite movies are on display at the Hollywood Car Museum in Las Vegas, including the Ford Deluxe from the movie about Bonnie and Clyde starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.
California is home to some of the country’s best car museums, including the California Auto Museum in Sacramento, Blackhawk Museum in Danville, and the snazzy Petersen Automotive Museum in L.A. For some really old cars, check out The Nethercutt Collection in Sylmar.
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Car museums in the South and Midwest

If there’s one state where car museums are a must-stop, it’s Michigan
The state’s history and economy are so intertwined with the automobile that a walk through attractions at the Henry Ford and Gilmore Car Museum can give you a sense of the state’s culture better than most other experiences.
But the Rust Belt isn’t the only place in the center of America where you can feast your eyes on incredible cars. The Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, National Corvette Museum in Kentucky, and Volo Auto Museum in Volo, Illinois will all rock your socks off with their collections.
And for those of you wanting to drool over some motorcycles, the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Leeds, Alabama owns over 1,600 bikes, at least 900 of which are on display at one time.
Car and Driver
says an impressive collection of Lotuses are also on display.

East coast car museums worth the stop

Not a region to get left behind, the East Coast is home to some fantastic car exhibits. At the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia, for example, you can see the last unrestored Shelby Cobra Daytona in the world along with many other amazing cars. 
For car enthusiasts with finer tastes, the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, Massachusetts is home to the country’s oldest car collection. Larz’s wife Isabel Anderson willed their mansion and 32 cars to the town with the stipulation that it become the attraction it is today.
But the real fun gets started, as it always does, in Florida. The Brumos Collection in Jacksonville focuses on racing, especially antique open cockpit racers and competition Porsches from the ‘50s to present. 
In Ocala, Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing is run by one of the sport’s top innovators. Garlit’s exhibit showcases the history of drag racing and is also home to the sport’s International Hall of Fame.

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