The great thing about museums? They are places where you can have fun while learning new things.
And in Washington State, there is no shortage of amazing museums to visit. From pop culture exhibits, to historically accurate attractions, to art galleries, residents are spoiled for choice. If you’re planning a museum crawl, let this list serve as your itinerary:
Washington State History Museum
1911 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA
The museum itself is a part of Washington’s history as it was opened over a hundred years ago in 1891. It has a strong focus on the history of the Pacific Northwest, with exhibits on women’s suffrage, Native American art, and industrialization. The museum also has several interactive displays that make history more tangible—and memorable—for visitors.
Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture
2316 West First Avenue, Spokane, WA
Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, which says a lot about the quality of its collection. Moreover, it is the largest museum in the Inland Northwest region. It hosts a collection that spans from prehistoric to modern artworks. There are rotating exhibits here so there’s always something new to see. Another highlight is the Campbell House Activity Center, which gives a snapshot of Washington life from the early 1900s.
The Whale Museum
62 First St N, Friday Harbor, WA
This pioneering attraction is often considered as the first museum to highlight the ocean’s most fascinating mammal. Started in 1979, this museum aims to protect whales by educating the public about them. Here you’ll find fascinating exhibits about the various whale species, with a special focus on local whales and orca breeds. You’ll also see knowledge-enriching displays, such as the dangers plastics pose to marine life. If you want to learn more, the museum also offers several education programs such as the acoustics of orca vocalizations.
U.S. Naval Undersea Museum, Keyport, WA
1 Garnett Way, Keyport, WA
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be part of the U.S. Navy, this is the place to visit. You can even step inside a real submarine control room and imagine yourself piloting such a vehicle. It also has an extensive collection of maritime artifacts, including submarines, torpedoes, underwater mines, and diving/salvage equipment. With its strong thrust on the sciences, the museum holds related activities such as Science Saturdays and STEM for Students.
Pioneer Farm Museum, Eatonville, WA
716 Ohop Valley Rd E, Eatonville, WA
Take a trip back to the 1880s in this unique and interactive attraction. Your tour includes a visit to two homestead cabins where you can learn about daily life during this era. These include churning cream, grinding grain, and carding wool. You can also gather eggs, milk the cows, and pet farm animals. Other activities include archery, fishing, and loom weaving. Drop by the Trading Post gift shop for souvenirs that encapsulate the quaint charm of this bygone era.
Pacific Science Center
200 2nd Ave N, Seattle, WA
Did you know that the Pacific Science Center is a remnant of the Century 21 Seattle World’s Fair held in 1962? But a relic it is not, as it has kept reinventing itself to keep up with the times. In its current iteration, it is a fun and engaging testament to the wonders of science. Highlights include a science playground, animatronic dinosaurs, and a giant insect village. Its two IMAX theaters play the latest Hollywood blockbusters and let you appreciate the art and science of movie making. The museum also hosts jaw-dropping laser shows at night, as well as virtual reality experiences.
Museum of Pop Culture
325 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA
Who said museum trips had to be dusty, boring affairs? This unique destination proves that pop culture is indeed art. As such, this deserves as much appreciation and admiration as historical pieces. The first thing you’ll notice is the museum’s flowing, metal-clad facade. What’s inside is just as interesting. Where else can you find exhibits in honor of pop icons such as Prince and Nirvana? Or displays celebrating the genius of science fiction and horror films? There’s even a section where you can explore and play indie games.
There are many more interesting things to do in Washington State. If you’d like to know more about the area and its attractions, let me, Lori Lewandowski, be your guide. I can also provide expert advice on the local real estate market if you’re looking to relocate here. You can reach me at 253-617-5922 or via lorilewandowski(at)gmail(dotted)com.