Great Museums You’ve Never Heard Of in IndependentTraveler.com

CHF Museum

Museum at the Chemical Heritage Foundation

March 27, 2013 - Philadelphia, PA

By Laura Randall

It's easy to add the Louvre, the Getty and other world-famous museums to any travel itinerary. But smaller, lesser-known collections are often just as deserving of a visit, and the subjects they tackle, from tsunamis to the art and history of salt, often leave you feeling as refreshed and enlightened as any big-ticket destination can.

Click on any image on the left to start the slideshow and discover 12 off-the-beaten-path museums in the U.S. and beyond—all of which deserve a look as much for their unhurried vibes as for their unique and impressive collections.

Museum at the Chemical Heritage Foundation

You wouldn’t think a place devoted to “the chemical and molecular sciences and industries” could manage to be so appealing. But through sleek exhibits juxtaposing artworks and rare books with scientific instruments and common grocery-store items, this small, free museum brings chemistry home for pretty much anyone, not just the science-minded folks who work upstairs at the nonprofit Chemical Heritage Foundation. You’ll learn about bleeding bowls; the history of margarine; chemistry's role in Gore-Tex, nylon and other fashion trends; and the humble origins of Dow Chemical Company. The periodic tables are front and center, of course, in a captivating MTV-like video column. The museum at CHF is in the heart of Philadelphia’s historic district, perfect for rainy day respite or when you need a break from the Independence Mall crowds.

Where: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
On the Web: chemheritage.org

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Distillations

Listen to the latest episodes of CHF’s award-winning science podcast.