Carnegie Museum of Natural History

From rare jaguars to geological marvels and ancient fossils, you’ll find it all at this Pittsburgh institution, one of the country’s largest natural history museums.

Examine the world’s most complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex, journey 16,000 feet (4.8 kilometers) below the Earth or wander among a hall of dazzling gems at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Founded in 1896, the museum houses over 22 million specimens, with around 10,000 of these on display at any one time. These are separated into 20 different galleries, which showcase everything from the wildlife of the African, American and Arctic continents, to the geological wonders of the Earth.A highlight for many is the Dinosaurs in Their Time exhibit. This is one of the most comprehensive collections of dinosaurs in the world, with fossils and a number of ancient skeletons on display. The bones of these skeletons are real, a fact which makes the near-complete skeleton of the Tyrannosaurus rex all the more impressive. Children will love the chance to join in a hands-on dig for dinosaur bones. Also unique is the Alcoa Foundation Hall of American Indians. The museum is the only one of its kind to focus on the indigenous American’s relationship with the natural world. Find a full-sized buffalo and a number of audio and visual programs among the highlights, as well as nearly a thousand tools and artifacts. Take a walk around the glistening stones on display in the Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems. There are 1,300 precious stones from all over the world, with a special section dedicated to the use of minerals in art. Explore other wonders of the earth in the Benedum Hall of Geology, which closely examines the make-up of the earth around and below Pittsburgh. The Natural History Museum is part of the Carnegie Museum complex, which includes the Carnegie Museum of Art. The admission fee will gain you entry to both. The Natural History Museum is located in Oakland in the East End of Pittsburgh and opens daily, except for some national holidays. The museum complex has a large user-pay parking facility, located directly behind the museum on Forbes Avenue and South Craig Street. Bus services from downtown also stop nearby.