Located in the National Mall, the National Museum of American History is a Smithsonian museum that focuses on American history. But not just the things you learn in history class, but also other aspects that gets into living in America, and how it affects daily lives within the US.
There are entrances on both sides of the building, but I think the main one is on the National Mall side. Once you enter, you will see that there is a lot to see, that it would be impossible to see it all within one visit. So don't even try, otherwise you will burn out! I would say, about 2 to 3 hours is good enough. And a good option to take cover from bad weather outside.
The only permanent exhibition that I know for sure, having seen this one in 2 different visits, is the First Ladies exhibit. The most notable of all, as it contains the artifacts and dresses of the First Ladies that they have worn at the inaugurations of the Presidents. So who is a First Lady? The hostess of the White House, usually the wife of the President. A nice exhibition to check out, and seeing the other side of the American Presidency.
Speaking of which, there is "The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden", which just had a bunch of artifacts that once belonged to a US President themselves, or a family member of one.
There are other exhibitions that got into daily lives of regular Americans, like the "Food: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000". This one gets into how food was prepared over the years, and the different occasions for American families. There is a display of Julia Child's kitchen there. Also, there is "America on the Move", on the history of transportation.
These are only a small sample of things to see in this museum. There are a lot more to see! Definitely interesting enough to spend an entire day, if one wants to. Definitely pick up a map, and decide which exhibitions that may interest you the most, and focus on those.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.