For car lovers planning a vacation, it might seem like you’re limited to visiting races and race tracks to feed your passion. While these can make for exciting vacation stops, they’re not the only places out there for car enthusiasts to enjoy. Today we’ll take a look at the best automotive museums and see what sets them apart and why a visit to each should be on your bucket list.
1. Cite de l’Automobile — Mulhouse, France
If you’re a fan of Bugatti, the Cite de l’Automobile in Mulhouse, France should absolutely be on your bucket list. This museum is home to more than 500 different vehicles from 98 different manufacturers and contains the largest collection of Bugatti brand vehicles in the entire world. Swiss brother’s Hans and Fritz Schlumpf started the collection in the 1940s, keeping it secret until a strike in their textile factory sent them back to Switzerland em the collection and the building where it’s kept were sold to the National Automobile Museum Association in 1981.
2. The BMW Welt — Munich, Germany
Whether you’re picking up a European BMW to add to your collection or just happen to the be in the Munich area, the BMW Welt is the place to be if you love German engineering. The BMW Welt contains the main BMW factory — which you can take tours through to see new BMW’s being crafted — the BMW Museum and the BMW Tower. There is so much for car lovers to do here that we couldn’t just limit it to the Museum!
3. America’s Car Museum — Tacoma, Washington
Located in Tacoma, adjacent to iconic Tacoma Dome, America’s Car Museum is home to what was once the largest private car collection in the world. Harold LeMay collected more than 350 cars during his lifetime and when he passed away, the city of Tacoma donated 10 acres of land to house the museum that showcases this amazing collection.
4. The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation — Dearborn, Michigan
You can’t make a list of the world’s greatest car museums without at least mentioning the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan. The nice thing about The Henry Ford is that while it’s named for one of the fathers of the modern automobile, it isn’t just a car museum. It’s home to exhibits that showcase modern and historical innovators, meaning there’s something for everyone. Right now, they even have Thomas Edison’s lab on display, faithfully reconstructed as Edison himself would have kept it.
5. Mahoujin Super Car Museum — Japan
Japan has its fair share of car museums, but instead of heading to the Toyota or Honda showcases, consider a trip to the Mahoujin Super Car Museum in Tochigi. You won’t find any modern cars in this attraction — the newest vehicle in the collection is 19 years old at this point, at 2000 Aston Martin DB7 Vantage. If you’re looking for somewhere to visit outside of Tokyo for the car lover on your list, this is the place!
6. Mercedes-Benz Museum — Stuttgart, Germany
Germany is home to some of the world’s best automotive brands, and each one of them has a museum in their home country. The Mercedes-Benz Museum is one of these, located in Stuttgart, Germany which is also home to the brand’s headquarters. Right now, the museum has more than 1,500 exhibits spread over 16,500 square meters of space. It’s also close to the Unterturkheim engine factory, where you can see Mercedes diesel engines being constructed during their guided tour.
7. The Audi Museum Mobile —Ingolstadt, Germany
One last stop in Germany before we move on. The Museum Mobile in Ingolstadt is dedicated to the history of the Audi brand. There are currently about 50 cars within the museum, as well as 30 motorcycles and other rotating exhibits that showcase the history of Audi and other related brands like DKW, Horch, NSU, and Wanderer.
8. Peterson Automotive Museum — Los Angeles, California
The exterior of the Peterson Automotive Museum is probably one of the most iconic structures on our list. The unique design looks like silver flames envelop the building. It’s home to 25 galleries with more than 100 vehicles on display. For true car lovers, you can pay a little extra to view their vault collection — just leave the little kids at home for that because only those 12 and over are allowed into the vault.
Which One Do You Want to Visit First?
Which one of these iconic car museums do you want to visit first and which ones are on your bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!