US & Canada

This year's top titles include The Last Ride of the Pony Express, Elixir, Airplane Mode, and more.

The Best Books of 2023

The Ten Best Books About Travel of 2023

Take a trip without leaving home with these adventurous reads from this year

Dividing the estimated length of 240,000 miles of stone wall by the geographic area of the New England heartland yields about six linear miles of stone per square mile of land.

How Stone Walls Became a Signature Landform of New England

Originally built as barriers between fields and farms, the region’s abandoned farmstead walls have since become the binding threads of its cultural fabric

The Aftel Archive of Curious Scents has been drawing commercial perfumers with a nose for aromas, gardeners, cooks and others since 2017.

This California Museum Is Home to Hundreds of Nature's Scents

Perfumer Mandy Aftel's spellbinding collection of rare essences and artifacts is on display at the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents in Berkeley

The green gas emanating from this small jack-o’-lantern alludes to the spread of Covid-19. Fittingly, the photographer’s subject dons a beaked mask based on the ones worn by physicians treating bubonic plague victims in 17th-century Europe.

Smithsonian Photo Contest Galleries

Treat Yourself to 15 Eerie Images Celebrating Halloween

These highlights from the Smithsonian Photo Contest are sure to scare up some smiles

The annual Woolly Worm Festival is a fiercely popular local event that’s been going on for nearly half a century.

Groundhogs Are Old News. In This Tiny Town, Caterpillars Predict the Weather

Thousands of people flocked to Banner Elk, North Carolina, this year to watch the nation’s biggest woolly worm caterpillar race

John Akomfrah at his London studio, 2016

Artist John Akomfrah Is Having a Moment

The works of the recently knighted filmmaker address contemporary issues in two different Smithsonian museums

Sphere lights up during its grand opening on September 29, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

The Sphere Is Here. Are We Ready for More High-Tech Architecture?

The new Las Vegas performance venue challenges musicians and visual artists to produce content for its demanding format

Seemingly still waters wind through colorful canopies displaying warm autumn hues on a hazy September morning.

Smithsonian Photo Contest Galleries

Fall Into Autumn With These 15 Foliage Photos

These highlights from the Smithsonian Photo Contest celebrate the season

Nam June Paik’s 1995 Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii—a pulsing map of the 50 states lined with 575 feet of multicolored neon tubing, with each state defined by flickering video from 336 televisions and 50 DVD players—is one of the museum’s most popular pieces.

With Renovated Galleries, the Smithsonian Expands Its Approach to Contemporary American Art

The historic hall in the American Art Museum where President Abraham Lincoln held his second inaugural ball welcomes more diverse voices and visions

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is on the grounds of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

How an Ohio Cow Pasture Gave Rise to a Monument to Aviation History

The National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, celebrates 100 years

Isabella Bird ascended the 14,259-foot-tall Longs Peak, now part of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Following British Explorer Isabella Bird's Footsteps Through the Rockies, 150 Years Later

The intrepid Victorian-era author proved that a lady’s life could be in the mountains, and I am forever grateful for that

Minerals from a melting glacier mix with clear water and wind a colorful path through the trees at Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.

Smithsonian Photo Contest Galleries

Explore the Great Outdoors With Photography From U.S. National Parks

Travel the country's beautiful natural wonders from home with these breathtaking highlights from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest

This fall, Guernsey is celebrating the 140th anniversary of Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir's visit in 1883.

Five Places Worth Traveling to This Fall

New museums, a monumental exhibition and a skywatcher’s dream festival beckon in the coming months

Left, a few of the ingredients used to build flavor throughout the mead making process at Charm City Meadworks in Baltimore, including honey, hops, comapeño peppers, oak chips, cinnamon sticks and juniper berries. Right, Lynn Pronobis, head mead maker at Charm City, must carefully oversee every step of the production process.

The Nectar of the Gods Is Coming to a Bar Near You

How mead, one of the world’s oldest alcoholic beverages, could become the drink of the future

In 1963, standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. waves to the largest crowd ever to participate in a civil rights demonstration in Washington, D.C. where he delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech.

To Mark the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington, Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' Speech Goes on Display

The draft on view at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture was produced a few hours before King took to the podium

For many, caramel apples, popcorn, cotton candy and other treats are as much a draw to the fair as the rides and animals.

Smithsonian Photo Contest Galleries

These 15 Photos Capture the Joy of the Fair

It’s fair to say these highlights from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest are worth a trip down the midway

Wendy Red Star (Apsáalooke/Crow), Four Seasons series: Summer, 2006, archival pigment print, edition 27, 23 x 26 inches

These Artists Are Redefining the American West

A new Smithsonian American Art Museum show surveys the work of Black, Asian American, Indigenous, LGBTQ+ and Latinx artists who have lived in the region

The "1898: U.S. Imperial Visions and Revisions" exhibition is on display at the National Portrait Gallery through February 25, 2024.

How the War of 1898 Changed History Forever—in the United States and Beyond

When the nascent naval power invaded Puerto Rico, three artists captured the moment, each explaining its significance in their own way

Built in 1872, the Yaquina Head Lighthouse sits atop a narrow point of land that extends almost a mile into the Pacific Ocean.

View 15 Beautiful Lighthouses That Lead the Way to Serene Scenes

These highlights from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest include cliffside towers and lovely landscapes

Robert Houle. Red is Beautiful, 1970. Acrylic on canvas, 45.5 x 61 cm. Canadian Museum of History.

Making Strong Points Through Vivid Color Has Been Artist Robert Houle's Life Work

The first major retrospective of the Anishinaabe artist in the United States shows how he combines ancestral design and abstract painting

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