What Seattle-area museums should I visit?
March 24, 2010 3:40 PM   Subscribe

What Seattle-area museums should I visit?

I've lived in Seattle for several years, but I currently have more free time than I used to, and I'd like to spend some of it visiting museums in the area. I've already visited the ones listed below, but what else should I not miss? (Feel free to suggest things that aren't exactly museums but have a similar appeal!)

* Experience Music Project
* Sci Fi Museum
* Pacific Science Center
* Seattle Art Museum
* Frye Art Museum
* Burke Museum
* Seattle Asian Art Museum
* Museum of Flight
* The center for wooden boats
posted by Blue Jello Elf to Society & Culture (16 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I'd suggest the Volunteer Park Conservatory and the Wing Luke Museum.
posted by Craig at 3:51 PM on March 24, 2010

It's not a museum strictly speaking, but the Seattle Public Library is a really cool place to spend a few hours.
posted by slow graffiti at 3:57 PM on March 24, 2010

The Henry Gallery at UW is quite good sometimes, not others. It trends towards modern art. You can see what's currently on exhibit. It participates in the free first Thursday program, I believe. The Aquarium is decent, but if you're willing to do a Vancouver weekend, the aquarium there is excellent.
posted by proj at 4:05 PM on March 24, 2010

Museum of Communications
Also, the Olympic Sculpture Garden, and seconding the Volunteer Park Conservatory and Wing Luke Museum. It's been a long time since I've been, but I thought the Nordic Heritage Museum was worth a visit.
posted by Good Brain at 4:08 PM on March 24, 2010

If you can make it over to Tacoma, I loved the Museum of Glass.
posted by milestogo at 4:15 PM on March 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

  • the aquarium
  • The Woodland Park Zoo
  • If you're going to Tacoma for the glass museum, you might as well check out the art museum too.

posted by grouse at 4:27 PM on March 24, 2010

Henry Art Gallery, the Frye, SAM, Tacoma Art Museum. MOHAI is good too if you like historical stuff.
posted by matildaben at 5:19 PM on March 24, 2010

Some outdoor suggestions since you've been to so many inside museums:
- Washington Park Arboretum, including the Japanese Garden. Arboretums are basically just living plant museums. They even have curators!
- Discovery Park in Magnolia - the old military buildings are really neat, and it is just about the best place to watch the sunset.
posted by belau at 5:29 PM on March 24, 2010

Flying Heritage Collection up in Everett. The flight days are worth the price of admission, but it is nice when it is not as busy to really get up and close to the planes.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 5:38 PM on March 24, 2010

You like fish? Try the aquarium. It's really a very good one, especially the fish dome and seals.
posted by clockbound at 5:39 PM on March 24, 2010

The Woodland Park Zoo is ranked one of the best zoos in the country, and definitely worth an afternoon.

Hints: The best time to go is right when they open (especially on a cloudy or rainy weekday), it's empty of people and you'll have the zoo mostly to yourself. If you head straight to the giraffe exhibit, they cross the giraffes across the main path at around 9:30am from their stalls to the their paddock. They are so close you can almost touch them.

Pack a lunch, the cafe there is over-priced and not that great. You can rent or bring a little wagon to tow your stuff in if you want to bring a small ice chest or picnic basket.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for all the hidden "easter eggs" in the zoo, like the talking bench, the picnic table that is really a sculpture, the orangutan with only 3 fingers, etc. I used to volunteer there for years and still never saw everything in the zoo.
posted by evilcupcakes at 6:32 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you enjoyed the Museum of Flight, you might also like the new Future of Flight Aviation Center and factory tour up at the Boeing facility in Everett.
posted by TBAcceptor at 6:37 PM on March 24, 2010

nthing the Boeing factory tour.
posted by blue grama at 12:11 AM on March 25, 2010

Response by poster: Wow, a lot of great suggestions. Thanks, everyone!
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 10:34 AM on March 25, 2010

SAM + SAM Sculpture Park. Although check the exhibits at the SAM-- the enjoyable Calder exhibit is closing soon (if it hasn't already) and then there's a month delay followed by the Warhol/Cobain exhibit. The Picasso exhibit this fall/winter should be truly excellent as well.

As for other museums in the city, I was really disappointed with the EMP and Sci-Fi museum. The former is way overpriced for what it is (although I think they've reduced rates recently), and the latter is small but entertaining-- worth it if you already have interest in sci-fi as a subject.
posted by stilly at 3:12 PM on March 25, 2010

Response by poster: In case anyone is still looking at this question, The Stranger's blog just posted a link to a list of all the free days at local museums.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 1:37 PM on April 23, 2010

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