Where Does New York Rank for Museum Enthusiasts?

Fact Checked by Pat McLoone


International Museum Day is May 18, and although California might have more museums than New York, and six states have more museums per square mile, you would be hard-pressed to find a more densely packed group of great museums than what you have in Manhattan.

EmpireStakes.com took a break from New York sports betting to analyze our countries rich cultural history in museums.

Using data from the 2018 edition of the Institute of Museum and Library Services Institute of Museum and Library Sciences’ Data Files, BetMassachusetts.com calculated the number of “Museums, Botanical Gardens, Planetariums, and Zoos” per square mile, and ranked them accordingly.

Here are the results compiled by EmpireStakes.com, your source for NY sportsbook promos.

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States with Most Museums per Square Mile

Rank, StateNo. of MuseumsArea (sq. miles)Museums per 10,000 sq. mi.
1. Rhode Island441545284.79
2. Massachusetts22310554211.29
3. Connecticut1065543191.23
4. New Jersey1488722169.69
5. Delaware282489112.50
6. Maryland13812405111.24
7. New York4855455488.90
8. Pennsylvania3224605469.91
9. Ohio2594482557.78
10. Hawaii621093156.72
11. New Hampshire50934953.48
12. Virginia2214277451.67
13. Florida3356575750.90
14. Illinois 2715791346.79
15. California73916369445.15
16. Vermont40961641.60
17. Indiana1463641940.08
18. South Carolina1053202032.79
19. Tennessee1274211430.13
20. Georgia1725942528.94
21. Kentucky1114040727.47
22. Wisconsin1766549626.87
23. Washington1747129724.40
24. Alabama1165242022.13
25. Michigan2129671321.92
26. Iowa1225627221.68
27. Maine 763537921.48
28. West Virginia492423020.22
29. Louisiana1055273819.90
30. Missouri1316970618.79
31. Texas44826859616.68
32. Minnesota1398693515.99
33. Colorado16010409315.37
34. North Carolina20913939114.99
35. Oklahoma926998813.16
36. Mississippi604843112.38
37. Kansas988227811.91
38. Oregon1179837811.89
39. Nebraska807734710.34
40. Utah66848967.77
41. South Dakota55771157.13
42. Idaho56835686.70
43. New Mexico751215906.17
44. Wyoming51978135.21
45. Arkansas701377325.08
46. Montana731470394.96
47. Arizona1272952344.30
48. Nevada451105714.07
49. North Dakota361831081.97
50. Alaska436653840.65

Just Manhattan Alone Is Impressive

At 81st Street and Central Park West, there’s the American Museum of Natural History (with the Hayden Planetarium), featuring the giant dinosaur skeletons as a centerpiece. Across Central Park, on Fifth Avenue, there’s the Metropolitan Museum of Art, featuring one of the world’s greatest collections plus visiting exhibits.

A few blocks north of the Met on Fifth, there’s the Guggenheim Museum, featuring modern art in a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, that is itself art. The Jewish Museum, the first of its kind in the United States, is a few blocks north of the Guggenheim. South, at 79th and Madison, is Frick Madison, featuring works from the early 20th century and by Italian painters from the Renaissance. The Frick Collection, featuring Western European art, is a few blocks away at 70th Street off Fifth Ave.

About a mile south, on 53rd between Fifth and Sixth avenues, is the Museum of Modern Art, with a range of works from Warhol to Van Gogh. Those museums would be enough for any city, but in New York, you’re just getting started.

The Whitney Museum features thousands of works by American artists. There’s also the International Center of Photography, the interactive Museum of Illusions, the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Museum of Design, and the Museum of Sex.

And the cultural experiences don’t end when you leave Manhattan. The Botanical Gardens and the Bronx Zoo bring tourists in droves to the Bronx. And there are dozens of museums upstate, including the Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center in Onchiota, the Harriet Tubman National Historic Park in Auburn, the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, Storm King Art Center off the Thruway in Orange County, the Irish American Heritage Museum in Albany, the National Susan B. Anthony Museum in Rochester, the George Eastman Museum, also in Rochester, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

You could visit a different museum in New York state every day for 15 months, and still have some left to see. The problem would be that many are only open in the summer or certain days, so you might have to stay two years and spend a lot of money on gas and hotels. But, boy, will you be smart.


Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist who’s worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a founding editor of bettorsinsider.com.

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