950 Independence Ave. SW
HOURS: Daily 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; closed Christmas Day
The aboveground and underground galleries of the National Museum of African Art hold treasures from across the vast continent—ancient and modern art from every region, including masks, textiles, baskets, pottery, ritual artifacts, and carved tusks and figurines, some of which date to the 15th century.
If you don’t know anything about African art, stop off at the information desk and ask if they have a copy of the informational tour, which highlights 15 artifacts and helps explain the creativity and methodology behind them.
The museum is linked to the Freer and Sackler Galleries  by an underground tunnel; the space is cool and restful, a perfect place to loiter for a few minutes during an otherwise hectic visit to the National Mall.