Did you know there are more than 350,000 museums in the U.S.? From super niche science museums to strange medical museums, the possibilities for learning or seeing something new are virtually endless. And as the Washington Post discovered, that surprising number of museums is more than all the country's Starbucks and McDonalds combined. There's a lot to see.
Some of the most captivating museums are the ones devoted to the legacies of the world's most influential writers, painters, musicians and sculptors. One museum you should definitely add to your list is the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg. Within this surreal building is the largest collection of the surrealist's work — 96 oil paintings, more than 100 watercolors and drawings as well as thousands of graphics, photographs, sculptures and objet d'arts.
So what other great treasures and legacies can be viewed in museums across the country? Continue below for more American museums devoted to society's greatest artists.
Atalaya Castle — Murrell's Inlet, South Carolina
Atalaya is a 30-room Moorish Revival-style castle built in 1931 as the winter home of sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington and her husband, Archer. Following their deaths, the Atalaya property (and the adjacent Brookgreen Gardens) was transformed into a state park and in 1992, was designated as a National Historic Landmark District where visitors can take guided tours of the impressive estate.
Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum — Austin, Texas
After decades of teaching at the University of Texas, prominent American sculptor Charles Umlauf donated his home, studio and a massive chunk of his artwork to the city of Austin shortly before his death. A portion of his property and art collection were later transformed into the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum.
Margaret Mitchell House — Atlanta, Georgia
Located in the heart of midtown Atlanta, this building was once the site of the Crescent Apartments, the place where Margaret Mitchell lived while she wrote her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "Gone with the Wind." In addition to celebrating the book and the author, the museum also includes an exhibit about the 1939 film based on the book.
Ohr-O'Keefe Museum Of Art — Biloxi, Mississippi
Much like the Dali Museum, the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum Of Art in Biloxi is meant to reflect the eccentricities of its inspiration — in this case, George Ohr, a famous ceramic artist who was also known as the "Mad Potter of Biloxi." The museum campus, which was designed by Frank Gehry, was intended to appear as if it was dancing among the site's ancient live oak trees. (The O'Keefe name, by the way, is a reference to the family that has supported the museum from the beginning.)
Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum — Key West, Florida
Once the residence of one of America's greatest literary minds, this gorgeous estate in Key West was opened to the public after it was established as a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1968. In addition to its historical and architectural significance, the house is also notable for its colony of polydactyl cats — the descendants of felines that were once cared for by Hemingway.
Taliesin West — Scottsdale, Arizona
Built in 1937 to serve as the winter home for celebrated American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his students, Taliesin West is currently the site of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture (again, during the winters) and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1982, the estate is open to the public for tours.
Clyfford Still Museum — Denver, Colorado
Abstract expressionist Clyfford Still possessed a notorious aversion to museums and having his work shown alongside others. Because of this, he kept the vast majority of his work stored away in his studio throughout much of his life. He later wrote in his will that he would leave all of the art in his estate to whichever city would agree to build a museum solely dedicated to his work. After he died in 1980, it took more than two decades before a city was finally chosen to receive the artwork, and in 2011, the Clyfford Still Museum opened in Denver, Colorado.
Mark Twain House and Museum — Hartford, Connecticut
Although many readers might connect him with Hannibal, Missouri, the famed American writer and humorist Mark Twain lived in many places throughout his life. The residence where he wrote some of his most famous works, however, is this extravagant, 25-room Victorian Gothic estate in Hartford, Connecticut. The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962, and it has since opened to the public as a museum.
Elvis Presley Birthplace Museum and Chapel — Tupelo, Mississippi
Although Graceland tends to get all the glory, fans of Elvis Presley shouldn't hesitate to check out the home where the King spent the first few years of his life. In addition to the modest shotgun house where he was born, the historic site includes a museum and the church building where the Presley family worshiped.
Wharton Esherick Studio — Malvern, Pennsylvania
Famous for his distinct craftsman-meets-modernist repertoire of wooden sculptures and furniture, Wharton Esherick's stylistic influence extended far beyond the art world and well into the utilitarian duties of his own domestic life. His studio and the more than 200 works within it (including sculptures, furniture, paintings and prints) were bestowed with National Historic Landmark status in 1993, and the eccentric structure is now open to the public for viewing.
Paradise Garden — Summerville, Georgia
Southern folk artist and Baptist preacher Howard Finster spent the last half of his life creating Paradise Garden, a magnum opus constructed out of any object and material that the charismatic preacher could get his hands on. Although Paradise Garden suffered from years of neglect following the death of Finster in 2001, this folk art masterpiece is well on its way to being restored to its former glory.
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum — Sante Fe, New Mexico
Celebrated as the "Mother of American modernism," Georgia O'Keeffe spent much of her life painting in New Mexico, and in 1995, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum was opened to honor that legacy. In addition to the museum in Sante Fe, O'Keeffe's home and studio in nearby Abiquiú were preserved as a National Historic Landmark in 1998.