Where Do You Park for the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History?

If you’re planning a visit to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, you may be wondering where to park. Fortunately, there are several options available, depending on your needs and preferences.

On-Site Parking

The museum itself does not have any on-site parking options for visitors. However, there is limited metered street parking available nearby. Keep in mind that these spaces are in high demand and may be difficult to find, especially during peak hours.

Off-Site Parking

If you prefer to park off-site and walk or take public transportation to the museum, there are several options available:

  • Garage Parking: There are several parking garages located within a few blocks of the museum. These include the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center Garage, the National Place Garage, and the Capital Gallery West Garage.

    Prices vary depending on the location and time of day.

  • Metered Street Parking: In addition to the limited metered street parking near the museum, there are also metered spaces available throughout downtown D.C. Be sure to check posted signs for time limits and other restrictions.
  • Public Transportation: The museum is easily accessible via Metro’s Blue, Orange, and Silver lines. The closest stop is Smithsonian Station.

Tips for Parking at the Museum of Natural History

If you do choose to park off-site and walk or take public transportation to the museum, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid Rush Hour: If possible, try to avoid visiting during rush hour (typically between 7-9am and 4-6pm). This will help you avoid heavy traffic and crowded public transportation.
  • Come Early: If you’re planning to visit on a weekend or holiday, it’s best to arrive early in the morning before crowds start to form.

    This will give you the best chance of finding a parking spot and avoiding long lines at the museum.

  • Use a Parking App: If you’re driving and want to find available parking options nearby, consider using a parking app like ParkWhiz or SpotHero. These apps allow you to reserve and pay for parking in advance, so you don’t have to worry about finding a spot when you arrive.


While there is no on-site parking available at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, there are several off-site options available. Whether you choose to park in a garage, use metered street parking, or take public transportation, be sure to plan ahead and arrive early if possible. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy your visit without worrying about parking logistics.