Decatur’s Cook Museum wins contest for ‘Best New Museum’


DECATUR, Ala. – The Cook Museum of Natural Science has been selected as the winner of USA Today’s 2021 10 Best Readers’ Choice travel award for Best New Museum.

The museum, located in Decatur, first opened to the public on June 7, 2019, and features more than 60,000 square feet of exhibit galleries, including a saltwater aquarium, interactive sand table, live animals, store, and a Nature’s Table cafe.

Twenty museums across the nation were nominated by a panel of experts, and voted on by readers.

The Cook Museum beat out others in the online vote from Colorado Springs, New York, Washington D.C., and Nashville among others.

“This award means a great deal to our guests, team, community, and region,” said Executive Director Scott Mayo. “To have an unsolicited nomination by USA Today on a national scale as a best new museum, and then to be voted as number one among museums from across the country, is a huge honor that speaks volumes about the experience of our guests, the hard work of our team, and the value we’re able to provide right here in North Alabama.”

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