The US is home to many car lovers. Insights from Statista on the US automotive industry note that the country has the most extended road network worldwide at just under 6.6 million kilometers, so it’s no surprise that over 76% of Americans reported having access to their own car. As such, this has also led to many people supporting a thriving automotive industry — which includes automotive museums where car enthusiasts can pursue their interests. Any car lover would enjoy walking around car displays and taking pictures, but there are many other ways to maximize your car museum trip. Today, we’ll explore how to make the most of every automotive museum tour:
Know the free and discounted days
Other than researching the basics of the car museums you are interested in visiting, it can also help to know the free or discount days for specific car museums. Museums like The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum offered free entry on this year’s Free Museum Day, for example, opening their doors to one of the world’s greatest collections of racing sports cars. Free and discounted days are an excellent opportunity to learn and appreciate the hobby without spending much money. You can even use the spare cash on merchandise or memorabilia. Keep an eye on your favorite car museum calendars and announcements, and remember that even if they’re not offering free entry, they may have discounts you could be eligible for.
Plan a research visit
For those genuinely passionate and nerdy about cars, museum libraries and archives offer a wealth of knowledge and insights into the past, present, and future of automobiles. Maryville University discusses how archives contain firsthand facts, data, and evidence from letters, reports, notes, memos, photographs, audio, web, and video recordings about the past. Car enthusiasts will enjoy film archives detailing the history of automobiles, right from the days of the classic cars. Museums, in particular, do a lot of archive work, and automotive museums are no different. The Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) has a extensive Library & Research Center that goes up to three levels, featuring rotating exhibits, antique cars, as well as an archive of service manuals, shop manuals, and marque-specific books.
Enroll in free courses
Museum visits can feel like a passive experience if you’re only going from display to display and snapping photos. One ideal way to make museum visits more immersive and interactive is by joining workshops and courses. These allow you to have a hands-on experience that transforms your museum visit into a fun and educational one. The Petersen Automotive Museum recently announced its free car design course, making use of their in-house knowledge to teach not only auto design but the history of automobiles as well. Any car lover above the age of 13 years old can sign up for the free instruction, which will stay live until December 17, 2023.
Continue the discussion at home
Lastly, it may take some time before your next trip to an automotive museum. One of the best ways to enrich your day is by extending the discussion and experience beyond the actual museum. Spend time after each museum visit to discuss exciting or impressive displays with your friends or family. The best thing about learning is passing that knowledge on, after all. It would also be the perfect way to show off your pictures from the museum visit as you enhance these with the valuable things you’ve learned.
To summarize our post today, remember that proper research and planning can help you make the most of your next car museum trip. And to end your enlightening day at the museum, remember to use what you’ve learned by discussing anything interesting you came across with friends and loved ones. Like any other hobby, sharing it with those around you can bring so much joy.