I Finally Visited The National Museum Of African American History And Culture In D.C. Thanks To The 2017 Prius Prime

September 7, 2017  |  

Ever since the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture opened last September, I, like many people in this country, have been wanting to visit.

african american history museum


I had the chance to go to D.C. last year, but my visit, unfortunately, took place right before the museum opened. From the outside looking in I just knew it was going to be epic, and after finally gaining access to the place around the Labor Day holiday, I can confirm that it is.

I made a getaway of my trip to the museum, taking a few days off during the work week (why always wait for the weekend?) to try and go. With Toyota’s help, and behind the wheel of a pretty futuristic-looking 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (in the snazzy color of “blue magnetism”), I was able to hit the road. I hadn’t been in anything like it. The Prius Prime was a plug-in hybrid that you can charge. I couldn’t do that because I don’t live in an actual house or place where I could drag the plug out to put in a wall, nor was I acquainted with public charging stations in my area and how to use them (you can find them here). However, the charging option, for those capable of using it, helps you save on gas. And while I couldn’t recharge, I did test the car in EV mode, and boy did it help us save some dollars!

Despite driving more than eight hours from Brooklyn, New York to Washington D.C. and back and driving all around the Northeast of D.C. to check out the sights and sounds, I only had to refill the car one time. It was incredible on gas at 26.31 mpg. And with less worries about gas, I could sit back and enjoy the white and black leather seats (which can be heated, as well as the steering wheel, when enduring colder temperatures), the spacious leg room and play around with the massive 11.6-inch HD multimedia display in the middle of the car. The latter was very useful for navigation purposes, and had all the popular apps on it for music. My husband and I jammed out to Afrobeats and oldies using the high-quality JBL speakers.


For the record, we also took full advantage of the surprisingly spacious trunk (we had so much space we decided to do all of our laundry before we left), as well as the wireless smartphone charging port and the many USB cable port options. And because the car was so tiny, I was able to fit in even the tightest of parking spots that required parallel parking thanks to the integrated backup camera.

All in all, it was a smooth ride to and from the city, and to and from the museum. After getting up at the crack of dawn to secure the in demand same-day timed entry tickets to the NMAAHC, my husband and I explored the space for hours. And trust me, whatever your expectations are, what you will see will surpass them.


We were able to learn about Black people going as far back as the 1400s, before slavery, and all the way up to present day. Everything that we’ve done and created as a culture was put on display. They had everything from Nat Turner’s Bible to Chuck Berry’s car. Colin Powell’s uniform to formerly segregated train cars. Michael Jackson’s Motown 25 outfit to statues of Venus and Serena Williams. If Black people made waves in any area, it was lauded and explored in the museum. And while a vast majority of the people crowded in the space were Black, people from all over the world of all different backgrounds came to see how far we’ve come and how much we’ve done. By the time I’d gone through just about all of the floors, I was more than impressed —  I was actually emotional. Look at us! Finally getting some credit out here…
As the first anniversary of the opening of the NMAAHC comes up on the 24th, I hope that more and more people, including yourself, will make your way to D.C. to see it. I’m thankful for the wheels supplied by Toyota (and DriveShop) to be able to see it myself. And I’m also thankful to be a part of a people with such a rich culture and history.
Make sure you learn more about the 2017 Prius Prime, and obtain deets about the NMAAHC and how you can obtain passes to visit here

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