One of the best things about traveling is being able to submerge yourself in different cultures, seeing life through a different lens. The best way to understand it, for me, is visiting a museum. It’s usually my first stop anytime I visit a city; country. Not to mention they’re usually inexpensive and a good way to support the community.
Here’s a list of some of my favorites:
National Civil Rights Museum at The Lorraine Motel
Memphis, TN – Temporarily Closed due to Covid
If you’re not familiar with this hotel, this is where the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. took place. That famous picture of the men pointing happened on the balcony of this hotel. However before that fateful day, the hotel was the destination for blacks to escape the Jim Crow south, noted in The Green Book. Now a museum offering artifacts over 5 centuries, telling the stories of American Civil Rights from slavery to 1968. Visitors can also see Room 306 where Dr. King spent his final hours.
Pompey Museum of Slavery Emancipation at Vendue House
George St in Downtown Nassau, Bahamas
The museum follows the impact of slavery in the Bahamas. Named in honor of a courageous slave, Pompey, who led a slave revolt for unfair conditions on his plantation on the island if Exuma. Built sometime before 1769, this house once was a marketplace where they sold slaves and other items. In the early 20th century it was home to the phone and electricity company until becoming a museum in 1992.
The Whitney Plantation
The only museum (plantation) in Louisiana that focuses exclusively on the lives of slaves. This plan once enslaved over 350 people. It’s made up of 2 exhibits: (1) a rotating exhibit learning about the roots of slavery from the Trans Saharan Slave Trade to Emancipation in Louisiana. (2) first hand knowledge of the slaves who worked that very field. It truly is like stepping back in time
Hash, Marihuana, & Hemp Museum
Red Light District, Amsterdam
This is the oldest and most important museum in the world dedicated to cannabis. It was founded in 1987. The collection offers over 9000 pieces from the founders travels around the world. Documenting every aspect of cannabis from cultivation to consumption, from ancient ritual to modern medicine. There’s also a 2nd venue that on the same canal dedicated to the history and wide use of the hemp plant. During the time we visited the rotating exhibit featured the We Are Mary Jane: Women of Cannabis display.
Red Light District, Amsterdam
The world’s 1st and oldest Sex Museum, also known as the “Venus Temple in Amsterdam” is home to an extensive collections erotic artifacts from the 19th century and more ranging from sculptors, paintings, memorabilia, plus more. Before the museum opened in 1985, no other museum existed that showcased the historical and artistic side of one of the most natural and historic things of the world; Sex.
Thought to myself like…
There’s no doubt museums help bridge the connection between tourist and culture. They serve as examples of an informal learning environment, helping to inspire interest in a particular area of study, idea, time period, etc.. It’s impossible to leave without having gained some insight or knowledge.