National Postal Museum

Description And Comments

Located in the building that served as the Washington city post office from 1914 through 1986, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum is surprisingly delightful. Examining the history of postal service and philately (stamp study and collection) in America doesn’t sound particularly interesting, but it is presented in a fascinating way in a stately, gorgeous building.

Walking in, the first thing you see is the 90-foot high atrium ceiling and the 3 vintage airmail planes suspended from it. From there you’ll learn the history of mail delivery, from the stagecoach, to the train, to the truck. The Postal Museum does a fantastic job of making the exhibits interactive and stimulating, and allow the guest to realize just how important mail service has been to the United States.

The galleries are well designed and logically presented, but involve a fair amount of reading to absorb the full scope of the subject. While simply entering the museum and browsing is certainly worthwhile (after all, it’s free), this may not be the best stop for children. Unless of course they’re budding philatelists.


2 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, D.C.
Capitol Hill
Union Station



Attraction Photos