Seattle's Must-See Museums
Collected by Stephanie Perry, AFAR Local Expert
Whether your passion is for art, music, science, history, or aviation, Seattle has museums for you. Sometimes the museum itself is a landmark, like Seattle’s colorful Experience Music Project Museum building, designed by Frank Gehry. Add some educational value to your Seattle vacation when you spend an afternoon at one of these family-friendly destinations. If you plan to visit multiple museums, check out the Seattle CityPass to save on admission.
200 2nd Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
Another one of the buildings created for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the Pacific Science Center has a midcentury-space-age vintage-futuristic look from the outside. But inside, it’s all cutting-edge technology like the IMAX Theatre, laser dome...
508 Maynard Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
At the Seattle Pinball Museum, everything may be behind glass, but nothing is hands-off! The owners have a rotating collection of pinball machines, usually about 30 at a time, ranging from old-timey wooden boxes to modern games with tons of bells...
7277 Perimeter Rd S, Seattle, WA 98108, USA
The Museum of Flight is one of Seattle's unsung treasures. This expansive campus features over 150 air and spacecraft including a Concorde, Air Force One and beginning in 2013, the Space Shuttle Trainer--parts of which are on display as of July...
2901 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121, USA
Here's a bold claim: the Olympic Sculpture Park might just have something for everyone. Located on the waterfront, not far from Pike Place Market, it features great views of Puget Sound (well, on clear days) and the ferries going back and forth....
1413 NE 45th St, Seattle, WA 98105, USA
"Dzunuk'wa" is a totem figure from coastal British Columbia -- one of the Pacific NW Native (or "first nations") artifacts in front of Seattle's Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. The ubiquity of modern social networking colors our view...
325 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
This sheet-metal fever dream of architect Frank Gehry is like a rock ’n’ roll Guggenheim, home to interactive and innovative exhibits that span music, sci-fi and fantasy, animation, video games and other scrambled bits of pop culture. A hands-on...
1300 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Guarded by the Hammering Man sculpture outside, this superb museum collection romps from native tribal art to African masks to carvings from Oceania. Highlights include the 16th-century wood-paneled Italian Room and The Studio, a portrait of...
510 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004, USA
With $30 family entry (two adults and up to four children) or $10 for adults, the Bellevue Art Museum is a great place for families looking to get out of the rain or the hustle and bustle of downtown Bellevue. The exhibits are beautiful and...
1801 Dock St, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA
The Museum of Glass is in Tacoma, about a half-hour away from Seattle, and it's well worth the trip for art glass enthusiasts. The permanent collection includes some Chihuly pieces, work by 20th and 21st-century artists, and a charming collection...
860 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
Better known as MOHAI, this collection dives deep into local history, from the region's maritime history to its tradition of technological innovation. Highlights include Boeing's first commercial plane, the 1856 Petticoat Flag sewn by women during...
1400 E Prospect St, Seattle, WA 98112, USA
Located in a historic Art Deco building inside Volunteer Park, the Asian Art Museum contains a permanent collection of jades and ceramics, sculpture, textiles, and Chinese painting and calligraphy, as well as temporary exhibitions featuring...
319 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
It may not be the smallest U.S. national park (that honor goes to Pennsylvania’s Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial, at 0.02 acres), but the Seattle unit of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is a small hidden gem in Pioneer...
2655 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
The Nordic Heritage Museum is an interesting museum of local history year-round, chronicling the history of Seattle’s Nordic immigrants through art, cultural objects, and replica storefronts and buildings. But for one winter weekend, the annual...
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