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Seattle museums

10 Best Amazing Museum to Explore in Seattle

Seattle’s museums are a premier historical and cultural archive. From the story of the Nordic peoples to cultural icons like Nirvana, there are a variety of subjects on show. Magnificent glass sculptures, dinosaur fossils, and functional old computers are among the collections’ other treasures. With so many different topics covered, the finest museum in Seattle is the one that most interests you.

If you want to explore the city’s museums, a good place to start is the Seattle Center, which is close to downtown. This 74-acre campus is a popular tourist attraction that offers a variety of museums to visit. The Space Needle and other iconic Seattle landmarks are located in the Seattle Center.

Anytime you want to visit a museum in Seattle, give yourself a little more time. One thing that all of the institutions have in common is how detailed every exhibit is. The throngs of people that frequent Seattle museums is another characteristic in common. When available, tickets should be purchased in advance.

Explore the city’s culture to the fullest by using our list of Seattle’s top museums.

Best Museums to Visit in Seattle:

Below are the museums:

1. Seattle Art Museum:

Located one block from Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle lies the Seattle Art Museum, or SAM for short. Since 1933, it has served as the city’s main repository for fine art. In addition, SAM is in charge of the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park and the neighboring Olympic Sculpture Park.

The four floors of galleries at the SAM in downtown provide a brightly illuminated world of contemporary and historical artwork. The first three floors of the museum are punctuated by the enormous permanent collection, but new installations are added on a regular basis.

Among the collection’s noteworthy treasures are works by Native American, African, and ancient Mediterranean artists. A sizable collection of modern and contemporary art is also housed in the museum.

The busiest days for SAM are the weekends, when it is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. If you want to have a more private time to appreciate the artwork, schedule your visit for Wednesday or Thursday morning. This strategy also gives you plenty of time to see the several other downtown attractions that are nearby.

A mile or two north on the waterfront is the Olympic Sculpture Park, which is under SAM’s supervision as well. This free linear park is lined with several huge sculptures and is a favorite spot for an afternoon picnic.

2. Pop culture Museum:

An organization with a strong creative bent, the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) is well-known in the Seattle Center. The 140,000 square foot Frank O. Gehry design skyscraper is notable for its distinct form and texture.

But within the museum are the real MoPOP spectacles. The building is filled with visually striking displays and exhibitions across three stories. The realm of science fiction, the attraction of horror movies, and the growth of Seattle-based grunge rock group Nirvana are just a few of the noteworthy permanent displays that explore these subjects.

Additionally, the museum regularly rotates its exhibitions, so each time you visit, you can see something new. All three of the museum’s levels should take you at least two to three hours to explore, if not more. A number of places provide an immersive experience, such as the Sound Lab on the third floor.

Special events are also frequently held by the museum both within and outside of it. To find out the most recent events, visit the official website. Every day of the week is museum open. The busiest times of the week are usually on the weekends.

3. Chihuly Garden, Seattle:

Glass artist Dale Chihuly, who was born in Tacoma, has a number of well-known installations worldwide. Chihuly’s inventive and imaginative style has made his artworks easily recognizable from London to Japan, Ohio, California, and Florida. Furthermore, some of this well-known artist’s most striking pieces are kept in Seattle.

The Space Needle is not far from Chihuly Garden and Glass, which is located inside the Seattle Center. The museum’s layout leads visitors through eight galleries, each lighted by stunning examples of the medium’s expression. Make time to savor the minute details of each show by spending some time in each gallery.

The focal point of the museum is The Glasshouse. Chihuly’s largest suspended sculpture, a 100-foot ribbon of red, yellow, and orange glass flowers, is housed in this 40-foot-tall conservatory. This gorgeous installation offers a shifting vision from dawn to dark because it captures sunlight in different ways throughout the day.

The Art Plaza and Collections Café have outdoor sitting and food right next to the Glasshouse. Visitors can also see daily live glassblowing demos in this area. Additionally, it leads to the Garden, where Chihuly’s organically inspired artwork melds with the surrounding landscape.

Also Read: Best Park to Visit In Seattle

4. Flight Museum:

The Museum of Flight has an amazing collection of space and aviation artifacts. The museum is located around eight miles from the city’s center in the extreme southern part of the city. It should not be confused with the Boeing Future of Flight Aviation Center, which is a worthwhile trip up north to Everett. The hundreds of aircraft and spacecraft that hang from the Museum of Flight’s ceilings are its most famous feature.

Taking in the collection at the museum might easily occupy a whole day, since there are more than 175 aerial vehicles on display spread across 15 acres. A couple of highlights are the Space Gallery, which has interactive displays about the final frontier, and the tourable Air Force One in the Aviation Pavilion.

The three million cubic foot Great Gallery, which has floor to ceiling windows and 39 planes suspended from the ceiling, is another must-see attraction for tourists.

For any visit, the museum offers a number of optional activities. In addition to “premium experiences,” regular features include virtual flight simulators and tours guided by docents. The cost of ordinary admission does not include experiences that can be added on. It is possible and advised to purchase tickets in advance, particularly on weekends.

5. Burke Museum of Natural History:

The oldest public museum in the state is the Burke Museum, established in 1885. However, this does not negate the fact that the educational landscape has changed over time. Additionally, the museum, which has over 18 million objects in its collection, moved to the University of Washington campus in 2019. A first-rate visiting experience is provided by this new residence.

There are three floors in the museum. Exhibits on paleontology and archaeology, including several large fossils and taxidermied animals, are located on the top floor. Second floor is taken up by biology and the mapping of all living organisms. Additionally, a number of interactive displays and artifacts examining native culture are found on the first floor.

The Burke is unique in that it serves as a fully functional lab and research environment. These workstations offer a unique view into the scientific operations going on behind at least a dozen huge windows, which visitors may see.

The museum admits academics and students for free. Mondays and significant federal holidays closed at The Burke. Every month on the first Thursday, entry is free.

6. Seattle Children’s Museum:

The Seattle Center features two interactive museums designed to pique the interest of younger tourists or those who are younger in heart. The Pacific Science Center and Seattle Children’s Museum are two of the most well-liked family destinations, and they are only a short stroll apart.

With hundreds of interactive experiences available on-site, the Pacific Science Center dives into all kinds of STEM activities. Every visit brings something fresh because the exhibits and special activities are constantly changing throughout the year. A planetarium and a tropical butterfly house are two examples of permanent exhibitions. Adult visitors often kept engaged by the museum’s abundance of experiences and educational opportunities.

For younger family members, the neighboring Seattle Children’s Museum provides a secure space to explore and engage with creative environments. This 18,000 square foot museum intended for younger visitors, up to the age of eight. It’s also suggested for adults who with their kids to participate.

7. Museum of History:

Located on the waterfront near Lake Union’s southernmost point is the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI). The museum proudly showcases the regional history of Seattle and the Puget Sound area through exhibits spread across four storeys.

MOHAI covers a wide range of subjects, from the indigenous Duwamish peoples to the rapidly growing tech sector that has transformed the city. The Great Seattle Fire of 1889 and the arrival of the first white settlers in Seattle among the notable historical occurrences that taught to visitors.

It is a visual delight to stroll through the museum. With their abundance of photos, objects, and easily readable text, the intricate exhibits captivate the viewer’s attention. Interactive elements on a few of the displays allow for a more hands-on learning environment. Additionally, the museum has a few theaters where visitors can take a seat and watch an informative program.

Make time for both inside and outside the museum during your visit. There is a beautiful place to rest on a bench and take in the view of the lake along the Lake Union shoreline. The Center for Wooden Boats, which offers boat rentals and well-liked Sunday public sailboat excursions, another well-liked community asset close to MOHAI.

8. Living Computers:

Located south of Lumen Field and T-Mobile Park is a fascinating and interactive city museum called Living Computers. This creative environment, inspired by technology, presents the history and current state of computing technology. The museum does this by combining exhibits from the past and present.

The largest collection of fully functional old computers housed at the museum. Visitors can view these mainframes and microcomputers in this collection and hear their hums and lights while they work.

Additionally, the museum houses a number of cutting-edge technological innovations. Interactive exhibits address topics such as robotics, augmented reality, and big data. Even a self-driving car test is available for visitors to experience.

Future video game engineers can also interact with the museum’s Gamemakers studio, which another well-liked feature. In a similar vein, a large digital art studio provides a workspace for producing various media.

9. National Nordic Museum:

The history and traditions of Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Iceland honored in the National Nordic Museum. Additionally, the museum links the culture to the United States, particularly the Pacific Northwest, where thousands of immigrants from Scandinavia have made their second home.

The museum is located close to Salmon Bay and Ballard Locks in the southernmost point of the Ballard area. It has a permanent “Nordic Journeys” display on the second floor and constantly changing exhibits on the first floor. This display, which spans multiple rooms, traces the history of the Nordic region from the original Sámi people to the Vikings, reform, World War II, and contemporary inventions.

The Nordic footprint on the Pacific Northwest prominently displayed in the Nordic Journey exhibit. While contributing to the development of Seattle and the surrounding area. Immigrants from Scandinavia discovered a second home with scenery resembling their native country. The more than 80,000 objects in the museum’s collection aid in illuminating every square inch of the show.

The museum also has an outdoor garden with a model Viking ship, a café, and a gift shop for visitors. Tuesdays and Mondays are off for the museum.

10. Seattle Pinball Museum:

Located in Seattle’s International District, southwest of Pioneer Square, lies the Seattle Pinball Museum, a museum dedicated to kinetic art. In addition to having over fifty pinball machines on display, this unique museum allows visitors to play these well-known arcade games for as long as they like for a fee.

While some of the museum’s pinball machines are as old as the 1930s, others have facades that are far more contemporary. Each time a visitor comes into the gallery, there are machines that are constantly rotating in and out of the area.

The museum itself sells vintage sodas. For a fun-filled evening, interested parties can even book out the entire area. The museum is open Thursday through Monday from noon to three o’clock.

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