Top Museums and Visitor Centers in Seattle and Tacoma

Seattle Art Museum in Washington state

TripSavvy / Noah Kreyenhagen

Seattle and Tacoma have some truly world-class museums, covering such subjects as aviation, science, and music. Check out the top picks for art museums in Seattle and Tacoma.

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Seattle Art Museum

Seattle Art Museum in Washington

TripSavvy / Noah Kreyenhagen

Located near Pike Place Market, you can spend an hour or a whole day at this large and varied art museum. Over 100,000 square feet of new space has been added to the Museum, along with a new entrance at the corner of First Avenue and Union Street, a shop, and a restaurant.

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Burke Museum

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
Flickr / CC / Seattle City Council

The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture is located on the University of Washington campus. You'll learn about the plants and animals, both past and present, that call the Northwest home. The Burke museum also has an excellent collection of Native American art and artifacts. Northwest geology and paleontology are also featured at the museum. Special exhibits vary throughout the year.

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Museum of Flight

Museum of Flight
Flickr / CC / James Brooks

Visitors to the Museum of Flight will learn about the accomplishments of the aerospace industry. The museum's exhibits cover commercial, military, and civilian aviation as well as space flight. Guests can see a large number of historic air vehicles, including the first Air Force One, a Blackbird spy plane, a reconstruction of the Wright glider, and a B-29 Superfortress.

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Experience Music Project

Experience Music Project
Experience Music Project ©EMP/SFM

An interactive music museum, EMP's mission is to inform and inspire visitors of all ages about the roots and future of American music. You'll enjoy a wide variety of interactive and multimedia experiences. You'll have the opportunity to view portions of EMP's collection of close to 80,000 artifacts, including stage costumes and instruments from such popular American music icons as Bob Dylan and Kurt Cobain.

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Tacoma Art Museum

Tacoma Art Museum
Angela M. Brown

The Tacoma Art Museum is home to an amazing collection of art of the American West and of Dale Chihuly art glass. Gallery space is devoted to Northwest art as well as traveling exhibitions.

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Museum of Glass: International Center for Contemporary Art

Museum of Glass in Tacoma
Angela M. Brown

Visitors to Tacoma's Museum of Glass can watch artists at work in the hot shop amphitheater, located in the metal-clad cone. Museum exhibitions feature more than glass art. Contemporary paintings, sculpture, ceramics, and installations comprise the majority of the art on view in the museum's gallery.

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Pacific Science Center

The science demonstrations and hands-on fun at the Pacific Science Center will appeal to the whole family. Permanent exhibits cover dinosaurs, insects, technology, and the human body. Special exhibits are featured at the Pacific Science Center throughout the year.

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Washington State History Museum

Washington State History Museum in Tacoma
Angela M. Brown

This Tacoma waterfront museum is home to interactive and high-tech exhibits that make history fun. One of my favorite exhibits addresses Washington's natural history, displaying how the land and mountains of the region were formed over the millennia. While there, you'll learn about the state's Native people, early settlement, industry and resources, and the great Columbia River. Special exhibits vary throughout the year.

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Science Fiction Museum & Hall of Fame

Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame
Flickr / CC / Loren Javier

The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, co-located with the Experience Music Project at Seattle Center, explores different facets of science fiction. Museum visitors will learn about the genre's history, creations, and ideas through compelling exhibits and interactive experiences.

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Museum of History & Industry

Located near Husky Stadium, MOHAI offers collections and exhibits that preserve Seattle's history from its early pioneer beginnings to today.

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