Twenty-one museums and visitor centers around the country put in bids for the spaceships.
The retiring shuttles are going to the Smithsonian Institution for its branch in northern Virginia, the California Science Center in Los Angeles and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.
New York City will get the prototype Enterprise, which was used for test flights in the 1970s and is currently at the Smithsonian Institution.
The announcement Tuesday comes on the 30th anniversary of the first space shuttle flight and the 50th anniversary of man's first journey into space.
The shuttle program is winding down with only two more flights left.