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10 interesting museums to visit in the US

by Kristina Payne

Taking a vacation doesn’t just have to be about enjoying nature or relaxing on the beach somewhere; it can be about exploring cultures and ideas that you don’t interact with on a daily basis. That’s why taking a vacation to a city you’ve never been to can be a fun and fulfilling trip that can invigorate both body and mind. One way to enjoy these cities and cultures is to visit the museums in these cities. This is a list of 10 interesting museums to visit in the United States. Each one is in a different city, so next time you find yourself in any of these cities, be sure to visit these great museums.

New York Botanical Garden  

The New York Botanical Garden is a national landmark and is the biggest botanical garden in the United States. It has a three-part mission to research plant life, to educate the public about plant life, and to maintain the grounds as one of the top botanical gardens in the world. Located in The Bronx, it has 250 acres of plant life to explore, and 200 scientists studying over 7.8 million plant species. It’s open all year, and should be a fun visit for anybody coming to vacation in New York City.

Grammy Museum at LA Live

Dedicated to the history of recorded music, the Grammy Museum at LA Live is a great place for  an afternoon visit if you’re ever in Los Angeles. It has exhibits for everyone, from Michael Jackson to the history of punk rock. The museum is also dedicated to music education, and sponsors programs that help K-12 teachers explore learning and creativity with music.

Chicago Maritime Museum

Chicago is strategically located on the shore of Lake Michigan and became a hub of lake and river trade and business. The Chicago Maritime Museum is dedicated to preserving the maritime history that’s so important to the city’s identity. This museum is of interest to those who want to learn more about American history.


Located in Houston, TX, DiverseWorks is dedicated to freedom of expression and allowing artists to express their full artistic license in their space. This museum believes that art and expression are the cornerstone of a civil society, and it encourages artists to express themselves and to help the public become engaged with social issues  in the world today. This museum comes with a disclaimer; some of the exhibits may not be suitable for all ages.

Musical Instrument Museum

The Musical Instrument Museum is a music-history museum  dedicated to saving and preserving musical instruments from every country in the world. It has instruments from 200 countries. The oldest is a paigu goblet drum from China. This museum also has an innovative technology program. Each guest receives earphones that interact with each instrument in the gallery, letting you hear how it sounds and watch videos about how it is played. If you’re ever in Phoenix, AZ, be sure to visit this museum and learn about the history of music.

American Philosophical Society Museum

Benjamin Franklin started the American Philosophical Society with other early American thinkers to study the world around them, but the studies they were conducting are closer to what we call science today. This Philadelphia museum is dedicated to preserving American history and science for people to learn how our scientific traditions started.

University of Texas San Antonio Institute of Texan Cultures

This museum tells the stories of the many different people and cultures that come together to make Texas. Texas has always had an independent culture, this museum is an intriguing look into the intricacies of Texan culture.

The Women’s Museum of California

This museum in San Diego, CA, is one of only three museums in the United States dedicated to women’s history. It has exhibits about everything from the suffragettes to the actresses who performed at the Globe Theater. It tells the stories of all women, and encourages an open conversation with women, men, and children about the women’s history in America.

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

The Texas Schoolbook Depository Building in Dallas is a historic site — the place where Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy. The sixth floor of this building has been made into a museum commemorating Kennedy’s assassination and the impact of that event on the nation. It was created because people kept coming to the building to learn more about the assassination.

The Tech Museum of Innovation

San Jose, CA, is the home of Silicon Valley and of this museum — an interactive play place suitable for all ages. Here you can, learn about some of the most innovative technology emerging today. It has exhibits on topics as diverse as robotics and healthcare, and offers insights into  the newest ideas coming out of Silicon Valley.

Kristina Payne is the Social Media Coordinator for Timesharing Today.

Identity-Protection Tips

By Kristina Payne

In this new age of fast-paced technology, keeping track of the best ways to protect your information from thieves and criminals is becoming increasingly difficult.

A lot of online articles will give you quick tips on how to protect your identity while you’re on vacation, but protecting your information isn’t that simple any more.

Most websites, online retailers, and even walk-in stores keep your credit-card information on their corporate servers. Web browsers such as Internet Explorer and Google Chrome have options to save your credit-card information for easier checkout. This seems pretty convenient, until you think about recent news of hacking and website outages all over the internet.

This is scary and seems to be out of hand, with corporations collecting personal information without regulation.  Although major hackings are hard to control and predict, you can take three main steps to help protect some of your information.

  • Never input or post your Social Security number anywhere on the internet. No website should ever ask for that information, and no bank will ever ask for that information over the phone or in an email. If someone asks you for that information, hang up the phone or delete the email right away. If a website asks you that information when you’re checking out after some online shopping, do not make a purchase and leave the website. Your SSN is just as unique as you are. It’s the number-one way a thief can steal your identity.


  • Use gift cards and cash while on vacation. Going to a nice resort for your vacation can be a great time, but do you know how safe that resort is keeping your information? A risk is associated with using your credit card when purchasing and planning that vacation online. Many companies, including like Visa and MasterCard, have gift cards that look and act just like a debit account, to which you can add money as you go. Using one of those while on vacation can help you protect your information as well as stick to a budget. In a foreign country, using cash is always better than anything else.


  • Keep a close eye on your bank account. Sometimes you need to input your credit-card information on a website, or maybe a store that you’ve recently visited reported the theft of some credit-card information. To help protect yourself in such situations, check the amount of money in your bank account daily, and keep a close eye on your credit score. Most banks will deactivate a debit or credit card when you alert them to suspicious activity on your account. Fixing issues with your credit score can be more complicated, but the sooner you find a problem, the sooner you can work toward a solution

To prevent massive damage to your identity and credit, keep track of when and where you use your credit-card accounts and provide personal information. With proper planning and simple precautions, you can enjoy a worry-free vacation.

Kristina Payne is the social-media coordinator for TimeSharing Today.

Viewing The Solar Eclipse

By Kristina Payne

On August 21, 2017, everyone in the continental United States will be able to see the first solar eclipse since 1979. The next one that will encompass the entire U.S. won’t be until 2024.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, blocking the sun’s light and casting a shadow over the earth. It will not be as dark as nighttime because the eclipse emits light just as the sun does.

Looking directly at the eclipse isn’t safe. To view it safely, either buy special solar-viewing glasses, or create a projector for it. To create a projector, poke a small hole in a piece of white cardboard, and hold it over a piece of white paper so it creates a shadow. The hole will mimic the sun and show you the progress of the eclipse.

The total eclipse will be visible in 14 states. Moving from west to east, it will cross Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The rest of the U.S. will be able to see the moon cover most of the sun.

More information on the eclipse is on NASA’s website: Mark your calendar with the time the eclipse will occur in your location.

Kristina Payne is the social-media coordinator for TimeSharing Today.