6 Fascinating Museums in Seattle You Need to Visit

Take a day trip around the city and explore some interesting exhibits at these popular museums!

Getting tired of waking up and doing the same routine over and over again? Change it up with a fun trip to a museum! For many people, visiting museums instills a sense of wonder and curiosity that they haven’t experienced for a while. Thankfully, Seattle is home to dozens of fun and interesting museums for you to explore. Check out our top 7 list of must-see museums in Seattle now!

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1. Frye Art Museum

Popular art museum in First Hill that specializes in painting and sculptures

Take a seat and admire the beautiful paintings housed in this historic art gallery. Image courtesy of Yelp

704 Terry Ave | First Hill | fryemuseum.org

Whether you are an avid art lover or you just enjoy looking at a gorgeous painting, you will love the Frye Art Museum. Located in the First Hill neighborhood, Frye focuses on featuring paintings and sculptures from different areas and time periods. However, other special exhibits like the Boren Banner Series and Anastacia-Reneé: (Don’t be Absurd) Alice in Parts feature photography and new media. These exhibits do change, so make sure you check the website for the latest exhibitions before visiting. In addition to its regular talks and tours, Frye also offers special classes and workshops for people who want to practice art and master their skills.

“I really enjoyed my visit to the Frye Art Museum. The museum is located in Seattle's First Hill area. The museum has the art collection of Charles and Emma Frye, who were business leaders and enjoyed collecting art. The admission is always free. They also have free tours. The collection is wonderful. There are also contemporary exhibits.” - Yelp Review

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2. The Museum of Flight

One of the top aviation museums in the world

Photo of The Museum of Flight - Seattle, WA, United States. Main entrance
Along with its extensive collection of planes, The Museum of Flight also features special air shows everyday. Image courtesy of Yelp.

9404 E Marginal Way S | Seattle | museumofflight.org

Since 1965, people of all ages have visited The Museum of Flight and admired its historic plane models. Visitors can view a wide selection of models from WWI and WWII as well as space-related artifacts like the Space Shuttle Trainer. In addition to its fascinating collection of historic aircrafts and space shuttles, The Museum of Flight also hosts an air show everyday. 

Looking for a unique location to host your next event? The Museum of Flight is a popular destination for special occasions like weddings or corporate networking events!

“I've heard this museum was good, but didn't realize how good it was until actually going. The Museum of Flight is incredibly informative and has a bunch of amazing displays as well. From a retired Air Force one, to space suits and rocks from space, to WW1 planes this place has it all. It's also way bigger than I thought it would be spanning an entire block and some space across the street. Also, the food court surprisingly had a pretty tasty burger (a guys gotta eat!).” - Yelp Review

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3. Seattle Art Museum

Exhibits featuring artwork from around the world draw in hundreds of visitors everyday

Guests can spend hours exploring this historic museum. Image courtesy of Yelp

1300 1st Ave | Downtown Seattle | seattleartmuseum.org

Seattle Art Museum, also known as SAM, is conveniently located in Downtown Seattle. In fact, the famous Pike Place Market is located just one block away! Inside, you’ll find hundreds of stunning exhibitions and art collections sourced from places around the world. Their collections include Asian, African, Native American, and contemporary art. 

Right now, the museum is open Friday through Sunday. However, you can also make a virtual visit and explore some online exhibits like “Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle” and “Northwest Modernism: Four Japanese Americans.” 

“The museum offers a wide variety of art and different art forms, from paintings to photographs to ceramics. Be sure to check out their website for upcoming events and special exhibits. When I was there, I got to witness a beautiful photography exhibit by an artist from Africa. Although I don't remember her name, she depicted the beauty of her heritage and Identity through photos of herself. Each photograph shared a message about the struggles she in other women face in Africa, specifically as an LGBTQA+ member and the brutal force, violence, and discrimination that people are still experiencing today.” - Yelp Review

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4. Burke Museum

Museum featuring special exhibits on anthropology, biology, and geology

Learn more about the natural heritage of the Pacific Northwest at Burke Museum. Image courtesy of Yelp.

4300 15th Ave NE | University District | burkemuseum.org

If science is more up your alley, you’ll love the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Over 12 million objects are housed in this historic museum. During your visit, you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about anthropology, biology, and geology in the Pacific Northwest. 70,000 native plants have also been grown in the museum’s new landscape over the past four years. 

Each floor focuses on a different subject. The first floor houses artifacts from contemporary culture while the second features biological artifacts. Special exhibits are also housed on the second floor. On floor three, you can find fascinating fossils and artifacts dug up from years ago. Don’t be surprised if you end up spending hours exploring this fascinating museum.

“UW students get in free, so if you're a student that's definitely something to take advantage of. It's a nice COVID safe place to walk around with friends and escape the rain. The exhibits are nice to look at and it's a pretty sweet child friendly place. Never too crowded in my experience, but they've got arrows on the floor to direct the flow of traffic pretty well, so it's kinda like there's a set path foir you to follow throughout the museum.” - Yelp Review

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5. Chihuly Garden and Glass

Breathtaking museum featuring a glasshouse and garden

Explore gorgeous exhibits like the Macchia Forest at Chihuly Garden and Glass. Image courtesy of Yelp.

305 Harrison St | Lower Queen Anne | chihulygardenandglass.com

Chihuly Garden and Glass features work from famed artist Dale Chihuly. A total of eight galleries, a centerpiece glasshouse, and lush garden are all featured on-site. 

Inside the galleries, you can find some of Dale Chihuly’s most impressives pieces of work. The glasshouse features a 40-foot tall glass and steel structure that fills up 4,500 square feet. Four of Chihuly’s sculptures are also housed in the gorgeous on-site garden. Flowers and trees help accentuate the beautiful sculptures in this expansive garden. 

“It really is breathtaking and I think they added some new items since I went last. I also went in the spring last time so the fall colors in the garden section really highlighted new things to me with the glass. It's so hard to capture in a picture but you still try to help remember the beauty. Plan to spend some time watching the videos. It is incredible to see his process. What an amazing talent! It's expensive but so worth it.” - Yelp Review

6. Asian Art Museum

Popular museum housing gorgeous artwork from Asia

Take a stroll around this popular museum. Image courtesy of Yelp.

1400 E Prospect St | Capitol Hill | seattleartmuseum.org/visit/asian-art-museum

Located in Capitol Hill, the Asian Art Museum features stunning works of art inside a spacious gallery. Pieces of art from Vietnam, Iran, China, Japan, and other countries in Asian have been collected and housed in this recently renovated space for visitors to view and enjoy. From religious artifacts to authentic pieces of clothing, the Asian Art Museum will you a wealth of information about these fascinating places. 

“Amazing museum, celebrating Asian artwork and culture. After a three-year renovation and expansion, this museum has a lot to offer and is a great way to learn more about Asian civilization and history...My boyfriend and I went to the grand reopening of the Seattle Asian Art Museum on a Saturday, as we had tickets for a slotted time, since it was expected to be busy with its grand reopening. We had a fun time, celebrating the museum, as the opening weekend had a full schedule of live entertainment, events and classes that went into the evening.” - Yelp Review

Seattle offers a thriving cultural scene. Whether you want to visit an art gallery or explore a museum, you can spend hours upon hours walking around Seattle’s fascinating cultural centers. What museums do you want to visit next? Let us know in the comments below!

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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.

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