If you’ve visited the Cook Museum of Natural Science, chances are high that you left having put your hands into the sand table, exploring the cave inside, or chilling with Kale the Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle. Known for being interactive and immersive, and loved locally by kids and adults alike, Cook Museum recently earned another distinctive award: being named the number one new museum in the United States by USA Today!
After having been nominated by a panel of experts at USA Today, Cook Museum was then entered into a round of voting – competing against attractions in larger metropolitan areas like Washington, D.C. and Nashville. The museum earned around 14,000 votes to earn the first place title.
Mike Taylor is the marketing and public relations manager at Cook Museum and said the award is something that all of North Alabama can be proud of and that he’s grateful for all the community support in helping to make it happen.
“It’s really incredible how interested the community has been in all of this. We’ve always preached that this is a museum for all of North Alabama to enjoy and that’s what we want it to be,” Taylor said.
He said not only the support by voting, but all of the positive comments shared on social media has been encouraging to the museum, especially after such a tough year with COVID-19. Taylor says he attributes the support to the unique qualities of the museum.
“I think what makes us different is that we are so community and regionally minded. Inside the museum we cover everything from the galaxy to the center of the Earth and as far as know, we have the state’s only Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle in captivity. It’s just a unique experience,” Taylor said.
Plan Your Visit to the U.S. Today’s #1 New Museum
Address: 133 4th Ave. NE, Decatur (Map)
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Sunday: Noon – 5 p.m.
Admission: Free for members, $15 – $20 for guests, 2 & Under free
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Lauren Lee is a longtime dog mom transitioning to life as a rookie human mom. She is married to her college sweetheart, Josh, and they welcomed their son, Oliver, to the world in June. Lauren is a Jacksonville State University alumni and has been a published writer since she was sixteen. In her free time, Lauren enjoys reading, writing, knitting and hiking with her two dogs.