Best Museums In The U.S.: Art Institute Of Chicago Takes Top Honors In Trip Advisor Reader Poll

The iconic bronze lions who guard the main entrance of Chicago's Art Institute now have one more reason to be proud.

The Art Institute of Chicago has been voted the top U.S. museum -- and third most popular museum worldwide -- in Trip Advisor's Travelers' Choice Attractions awards, in which readers rank their favorites "based on the quality and quantity of traveler reviews of attractions" featured on the site, according to a statement reported by Crain's.

The 1-million-square-foot museum, which is second in size among U.S. art museums to only the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was lauded in the ranking for housing "beautiful art from all periods" in a building that "itself is art."

Rounding out the top three in the ranking are the Frick Collection in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

(Check out the rest of the top 10 ranked museums below or see the full ranking at TripAdvisor.)

In addition, the Art Institute of Chicago has earned props for its ambitious, Chicago Innovation Award-winning Modern Wing, unique programming -- such as the current "Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity" exhibition and an affiliated T-shirt design contest cosponsored by Threadless -- and its forward-thinking use of technology, such as its new-this-year Tours app.

The museum's Thorne Miniature Rooms are another of the museum's many beloved features.

Top U.S. Museums, According To Poll