The best smaller museums to avoid the crowds

Big things come in small packages

Who doesn't love whiling away the hours in a museum? Losing track of time in hushed halls and imagining all those who created the mesmerizing antiquities and artifacts on display is a great way to spend a lazy afternoon. The only problem, of course, is that you're not the only person with this idea in mind. If you're planning on seeing a popular museum like The Metropolitan Museum of Art or The National Gallery you're pretty much looking at Disney-sized crowds, especially on a dreary or weekend day.

But fear not: with hundreds of museums in the US, and thousands more abroad, there are plenty of smaller, less crowded spots just waiting to be explored.

New York hideaways

The stories these rooms could tell

The Tenement Museum is a testament to those who boldly immigrated to the United States in search of a better life for themselves and their descendants. Unfortunately, living quarters for immigrants in 19th and 20th century New York City weren't exactly luxurious. In fact, most of these people lived in tightly packed buildings known as tenements (often only 25 feet wide and 100 feet long) which were divided up into cramped apartment spaces that often lacked access to natural light and fresh air. The Tenement Museum pays homage to the brave denizens of these overcrowded quarters, featuring guided tours to educate visitors on what life was like as an immigrant in the early days of America. Tours go through seven restored apartments and a German beer saloon located at 97 Orchard Street in the Lower East Side.

The Wall of Tough Jews (real title of the exhibit)

Located in a former speakeasy, the Museum of the American Gangster informs visitors about the dark world of underground crime syndicates. From its insidious influence on politics to myths and carefully crafted lore, gangsters and criminals have had a tremendous hand in shaping New York City culture over many decades. The guided tour is a must, as the knowledgeable employees are walking encyclopedias of historic tidbits of prohibition-era underground world.

Philadelphia hidden gems

It's best not to visit before or after eating

If you're a fan of medical curiosities, the Mutter Museum will keep you amused for hours. Popular exhibits include a plaster cast of Eng and Chang, the famed Siamese twins, Einstein's brain, and 139 skulls from Dr. Joseph Hyrtl's famed collection. Located on a nondescript leafy street in Philadelphia within spitting distance of a Trader Joe's, this medical oddity museum fascinates over 130,000 visitors per year who pore over the primitive instruments once used to drain "excess bodily fluid" to correct humoral balances.

Eternal romance captured

The Rodin Museum is another oft-overlooked treasure. Nestled between the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Free Library, the Logan Square location is a collection of almost 150 bronzes, marbles, and plasters created by the brilliant Auguste Rodin. This formidable assortment is the largest collection of Rodin's work outside Paris, and has been enthralling visitors since 1929. Take in the casting of The Kiss, one of his most well-known works, or goggle at the outrageous bronze doors inspired by Dante's The Divine Comedy. If the weather cooperates, take a peek at The Thinker residing calmly outside in the garden.

London's most overlooked spots

Little cabinet of horrors

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. But when in London, why not carve your own path? Instead of making a beeline straight for the Museum of London or the Tate Modern, spend an afternoon at The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, where you'll be able to admire a haphazard accumulation of artifacts that have no relation to one another–other than the fact that they caught the eye of the founder at one point in his life. Taxidermy two-headed kittens, shrunken heads, celebrity fecal matter (seriously) and other oddities fill this so-called Wunderkabinett. Once you've exhausted yourself examining the collection, head to the World's Most Curious Cocktail Bar, where you can indulge in drinks that are almost too artfully crafted to imbibe.

This was once someone's home!

In the 19th century, celebrated architect Sir John Soane started his collection of artwork and collectibles from around the world. He decreed in his will that the home remain unrestored after his death and that all items were to be housed there indefinitely. Luckily for visitors, his ancestors took his edict to heart, which is why today you can tour the Sir John Soane's Museum. Almost uncomfortably crammed with artwork and antiquities, this beautiful mansion was designed by Sir Soane himself and houses various hidden paintings behind walls (which the guides are all too willing to display to guests). The crown jewel of the museum is an original Egyptian sarcophagus. When viewed on the first Tuesday of the month–when only candles light the museum–you can almost imagine the original occupant, Seti I, resting peacefully inside.

Escape the hoi polloi in Washington, DC

Enjoy an al fresco experience indoors

Bypass the crowds at the National Gallery and explore the fascinating National Portrait Gallery instead. It's most well-known for its America's Presidents Gallery (showcasing depictions of all 44 presidents, including Barack Obama) and hundreds of photographs and daguerreotypes, but the space itself is half the appeal. Enjoy a snack or coffee in the Kogod Courtyard, an enclosed light-filled space replete with verdant trees and tables for weary visitors.


The Spy Museum is the perfect opportunity to indulge your inner espionage artist. Filled with true-life stories and intelligence artifacts, this unique attraction lifts the cloak of intrigue surrounding the profession. Kick off your visit with a new assigned identity (which you'll be tested on later) and start exploring the interactive exhibits to help hone your skills. If you really want to amp up your game, try an overnight stay where you'll experience a live-action anti-terror simulation. Even if you're not a James Bond (or Carrie Mathison) fan, this museum provides for an engaging and imaginative afternoon.

Naturally, this is only a smattering of smaller institutions. The great thing about specialty museums is that no matter how esoteric your interest, there's probably a museum out there exhibiting treasures only a handful of people can appreciate. So the next time you feel like indulging in some post-school education, try a smaller, quirkier museum on for size. You may be surprised at what you find.

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Travel Tips

Best Jobs for People Who Love To Travel

If you want to travel but have a job that is currently holding you back, here are a few of our suggestions for the best jobs for people who love to travel.

For many people, traveling is an amazing experience, but traveling is not always feasible because of responsibilities to work.

One way to get around this roadblock is to get a job that will let you travel and see the world. Here are some of the best jobs for people who love to travel.



A translator is a wonderful job for those who want to travel. It will bring you to many places as you work, so long as those places speak the language you can translate. The great thing about translating is the variety of work you can get by translating for specific clients or just translating for tourists in the area. You can choose what type of scene you wish to work in very easily.


A pilot fits the definition of a job that gets to travel perfectly. Now, whether you are a private pilot or a commercial pilot, you will still get to fly all over the planet. The only major problem with this job is the requirement of flight classes. But once you get your license, you can fly freely around the world while making yourself money to fund your trips.

Travel blogger

Being a travel blogger is a temperamental job but, if done correctly, it will allow you to visit anywhere you want. Writing to fans as you travel the world can be a fun and exciting way to engage with the planet. This job can be difficult to do, though, as you must be able to write consistently and capture your audience with each post.

English teacher

This may not sound like a job that allows you to travel, but schools all around the world are always looking for more people to teach English.

In this career, you would move near the school that you would teach at and live there over the course of your time there. The interesting thing about this job is that it does not necessarily require a teaching degree, depending on the school and country in question. You also get to live in a new country for an extended period.

When it comes to the best jobs for people who love to travel, these are just a few of our suggestions. There are plenty of jobs where you can travel around the world, but these ones are far-reaching and cover a lot of different lifestyles. They might seem like pipe dreams, but hey, you never know!

Seattle, Washington is a rainy, coffee-fueled, coastal town often referred to as the "Emerald City."

Located against the ecological wonderland of Puget Sound, this cosmopolitan, seaside city is a mishmash of arts, culture, history, nature, and, of course, cloudy weather. Thanks to its proximity to nature, its greenery, and its culturally rich, big-city atmosphere, the city is becoming increasingly popular, both for tourists and those looking for a change of scenery.

The Big Stops: Tourist Seattle

If you only have a few days to visit Seattle, you'll probably want to check out the area's most famous attractions.

For nature lovers and summit-chasers, there's the imposing, wildflower-shrouded Mt. Rainier.


Mt. Rainier

For foodies, there's the popular Pike Place Market, a giant patchwork of food-sellers and friendly chaos where you can purchase everything from giant crabs' legs to bottomless amounts of coffee (more on that later).

Pike Place

And finally, there's the iconic Space Needle and the Sky View Observatory, which will give you extraordinary views of the city.


Seattle Arts and Museums

For arts and culture lovers, Seattle has plenty to cut your teeth on. Don't miss the Chihuly Garden and Glass, a collection of extraordinary blown-glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly.


Chihuly Gardens

For art, there's the giant Seattle Art Museum Downtown. Seattle also offers the Museum of Pop Culture, a nonprofit that features all your favorite icons from history, and plenty of other options.

Museum of Pop

For some history, there's the Klondike Gold Rush Museum, which commemorates Seattle's history as a gold rush hub.

There are plenty of quirky attractions—like the giant Fremont Troll, the 18-foot sculpture in the Fremont neighborhood that cuts an imposing figure.


You could also take in the city from a boat—marine enthusiasts might enjoy visiting to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to explore the history of this port city.

Seattle, of course, also has a gritty underground side—you may know the city from its time at the heart of the '90s grunge movement.

It also has a long, storied history that has left more than a few scars. You can literally see its underground through one of its underground tours, which will take you on a walk through the "buried city," the remnants left over from before the Great Fire of 1889.

Seattle Undergroundpinterest

Natural Wonders

Seattle is notorious for its natural wonders. For a close-up view, there's the Seattle Aquarium, a marine experience that showcases the best of what Puget Sound has to offer.

For more exposure to the beauty of Seattle's nature, try the Washington Park Arboretum, a 230-acre showcase of Seattle's wetlands and natural wonders.

Washington Park

You might also pay a visit to the Alki Beach for some time with the ocean waves.


Or consider taking a more exhaustive adventure to Discovery Park, a giant and labyrinthine natural park at the edge of Puget Sound.

Discovery Parktrip

Food and Drink

Food tours are also popular options for those who want to get more intimate with the city's cuisine, and Seattle is often ranked as one of the best cities for foodies.

It's also a great place for coffee-heads. You might also pay a visit to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, AKA Ultimate Starbucks, a tasting room that features a coffee library amongst other treats for coffee addicts.

Sarbucks Reserve

Moving to Seattle

If you're planning on moving to Seattle, locals say there's a few things you should know. First off, it is most definitely overcast the majority of the time, though the rain is rather like a mist. That makes the rare sunny day shine even more, though, locals say, in addition to fostering natural abundance.

The city is generally very congested with traffic, which can be noisy, though it offers great public transportation options, from buses to rail—regardless, you'll want to get an Orca Card for that.

Like every city, Seattle has a number of diverse and charismatic neighborhoods. For example, there's the beachy, more laid-back West Seattle.

West SeattleWest Seattle

There's the vibrant Capitol Hill, a hub of arts, culture, tech bros, and nightlife (during non-COVID times).

There's the historic and artsy Pioneer Square, featuring plenty of museums, shops, galleries, and pubs.

Pioneer Square SeattleExpedia

Fremont is a more bohemian area. Belltown is a trendy waterfront neighborhood that's close to everything.

In general, Seattle residents love the city for its proximity to nature, from beaches to glaciers, and its abundance of arts and cultural attractions. As Kimberly Kinrade said, "Seattle is for people who love culture, but refuse to sacrifice their wild nature to attain it." Residents dislike the steep cost of housing and all things that come from rising prices, including the city's large homeless population.

In general, the city is known as environmentally conscious, liberal, and dog-loving. The people are often referred to as nice but possibly a bit standoffish and cold (the "Seattle Freeze" is when you make plans to hang out and then bail, which is apparently very common). The rain can certainly get depressing, but the proximity to nature helps.

Remember, if you do happen to move: umbrellas are dead giveaways for tourists.

What's your favorite part about Seattle? What did we leave out? Let us know at @thejourniest on Twitter!


Weed World Candies Exist to Prey on Gullible Tourists

Weed is still illegal in New York, but scamming tourists is not.

You wouldn't know it walking around midtown Manhattan, but marijuana is still illegal in New York.

It does seem strange to think that perhaps the most metropolitan city in the US would be lagging behind so many other parts of the country that have legalized possession, production, and sale of cannabis and THC products, but it's true.

New York's decriminalization of marijuana has led many smokers to be more brazen with their public consumption in recent years, and Governor Cuomo recently announced plans for limited legalization for recreational use at the state level. But for the time being the sale of products containing THC is still very much illegal.

buy happiness You sure about that?

Adding to the confusion is a company that has sprung up to prey on tourist's uncertainty. Weed World trucks have multiplied at a staggering rate since they first started appearing in Midtown and the Village a few years ago. Easily a dozen RVs and vans now line the tourist-dense streets of Manhattan, advertising Girl Scout Cookies and Gorilla Glue, clad in marijuana-leaf decals and occupied by employees who are paid either to be stoned out of their minds, or just to pretend they are.

With eyes nearly in slits and an air of relaxation that suggests that customers are temporary interludes from a permanent nap, they will promise you as much as they can get away with while letting their branding do most of the work. They will sell you four lollipops for $20, which would seem like a great deal if not for the fact that they will not deliver on the strong implication that they'll get you high.

They have a Twitter account where they celebrate the supposed availability of weed and claim to "have New York locked down." They'll even sell you vape cartridges that advise you to "get medicated," and which are packed with potent doses of… flavor?

weed world truck

An employee once assured me that their candies do contain THC—maybe they wouldn't be so brazenly dishonest today—and in a drunken state I coughed up $5 to test that claim. There is a faint weedy taste to their candies, and you may find trace amounts of CBD inside, but that's it. It's a scam. There is no THC. Nothing that will give their customers the experience they're selling.

Worse than the trucks is the Weed World Candies storefront that opened in midtown in 2019. Just walking past you would swear that people were passing a massive blunt inside.

The smell is unmistakable and overpowering, except that it's fake. Whatever chemical fragrance they pumped onto the street, it was not connected to anyone smoking weed. Inside, the psychedelic wall art complemented shelves lined with suggestive candies and boxes emblazoned with pot leaf insignia.

Whatever the venue, they are all too happy to sell you overpriced hemp products and CBD creams and chocolates made to look like nugs. And if you're a tourist, or a moron like me, you might believe the scam long enough to give them money, but nothing they sell will get you high.

weed world store Hiroki Kittaka

The owners of Weed World, Judah Izrael and Bilal Muhammad—who prefers to go by "Dro Man" or "Doctor Dro"—will defend their products by claiming that they serve to promote legalization and decriminalization efforts by normalizing the idea of public sale of marijuana. But at no point in the purchasing process is the illusion that their candies will get you high broken. At no point are their customers offered literature explaining the mission of Weed World.

On their website's FAQs page, there is no mention of THC or its absence from their products, but the first question, "How much should I eat?" is answered, "It's all based on your tolerance but there's no limit." Tolerance for what? Sugar? The company—which originated in Alabama and has spread to cities around the country—mostly seems like a very profitable way to sell candy to gullible adults.

weed world wall art Nicole Mallete

The best thing I can say in their defense is that one of their trucks was recently busted by police in Saraland, Alabama, with products that "tested positive for marijuana." Assuming this isn't a screw up or deliberate frame-job by the police, it's possible that some of the Weed World trucks are using their faux activism as a front for selling actual drugs. If so, that would be the most honest thing about this company. Until that's confirmed, ignore these trucks and maybe just ask a friend for a hookup.