When you think of Seattle, you may conjure up images of Mt. Rainier, Starbucks, and the Seahawks (maybe not in that order.) You’d be right to think of those, but there’s more to the Emerald City than these classic icons. Plenty more!
Take a Look at Some of Seattle’s Museums
Seattle has dozens of exciting museums and landmarks that make an excellent choice for a day trip or even a family vacation to the city. Here’s a look at what you’ll find when you visit some of Seattle’s most iconic and family-friendly museums and landmarks.
Seattle Space Needle
Although not technically a museum, it’s perhaps the most iconic landmark in the entire city and defines the Seattle skyline. This relic from the 1962 World’s Fair is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state and worth adding to your itinerary when visiting museums in the city.
The Loupe – Seattle Space Needle’s Glass Floor
It has the world’s only revolving glass floor. For those brave enough to trust it, you can lie down and take a selfie to prove to the world you did it! (My nine year old had no problem with it.)
360-Degree Viewing Platform
Once you take the elevator to the top, you can walk all the way around the outside of the Space Needle. Sit on the glass bench and lean back against the glass barrier (if you dare!), and get a picture of the sweeping view behind you. (Pro tip: Plan your visit for sunset and you’ll be in for a real treat!)
Chihuly Glass and Garden
Dave Chihuly is a native of the Pacific Northwest, and although his works are featured all over the world, Seattle is one of only eight permanent exhibitions where you’ll find his beautiful creations. Located near the iconic Space Needle, this museum features his stunning glass artwork.
A Feast for the Eyes
The Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum in Seattle is a must-visit for anyone who appreciates art and nature. The museum’s interior is a feast for the eyes, with intricate glass sculptures displayed in a variety of colorful, imaginative settings.
The outdoor garden at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum is equally impressive, featuring whimsical glass sculptures in various colors surrounded by lush greenery. The juxtaposition of the two makes for a striking exhibition.
The Bar at Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum
What’s better than getting to see many of Dale Chihuly’s beautiful creations in person? Getting to see his personal collections, too! The Bar at Chihuly is located right next to the museum and features several of his whimsical and quirky favorites. For example, each table is decorated with a different collection.
Grab a Bite at The Bar
The Bar is perfect for grabbing a bite to eat before or after spending time at the museum. Serving sizes are just right for lunch or a quick meal before you continue on with your day. While you wait, spend a few minutes admiring the decor!
A Drink That Resembles Chihuly Glass? Yes, Please!
This is where The Bar really shines. They specialize in fun cocktails and mocktails, making this the perfect place to enjoy with friends. You don’t have to visit the museum to stop at The Bar, either. If you’re near Seattle Center, that’s reason enough to pop in!
Museum of Pop Culture and Music
You won’t find pop culture exhibits anywhere else in the world quite like you will at The Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle. It pays homage to an assortment of musical genres, including Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Jimi Hendrix, and others. Exhibits showcase popular movies, iconic moments in TV, rock n roll music, science fiction, and much more. You’ll need a few hours to make your way through it all.
Follow the Yellow Brick Road…to MoPOP
See the actual costumes from The Wizard of Oz. The Cowardly Lion is made of real fur and skins. It sold for a whopping $3.1 million dollars at an auction in 2014!
You Never Know Who You’ll Meet
Remember Gort the Humanoid Robot from The Day the Earth Stood Still? Even if you didn’t see the movie, he’s such a classic you’ve probably seen images of him online. He’s just one of many characters used in actual movies you’ll find in this museum.
Museum of Flight
You don’t have to be an aviation enthusiast to appreciate the Museum of Flight. In fact, you could spend hours here and still not discover all there is to see! With more than 175 aircraft (and spacecraft!), tens of thousands of artifacts, millions of rare photographs, and dozens of exhibits, this museum is any history buff’s dream.
Spend Time in the Personal Courage Wing
The Personal Courage Wing is aptly named. You’ll see some of the most primitive aircraft and learn the history of how they were used in WWI as well as some that made history in WWII. You will likely learn a few things about the brave men and women who flew them that you won’t soon forget!
Can You Even Imagine?
You’ll see a replica of the 1903 plane the Wright Brothers flew that started it all. Can you imagine flying in a plane like that?
Take Your Time, It’s Worth It
With so many to look at, it’s easy to overlook details, but take your time and spend a few minutes exploring as many of the aircraft as you can. You may never have another opportunity to get up close and personal with them again!
Seattle Children’s Museum
One of the most popular museums for families with littles is Seattle Children’s Museum. With over 14,000 square feet of space for their imaginations to come alive, it’s no wonder it’s so well loved!
Explore, Play, Build, and Imagine!
Put on a vest and become a construction worker, or change it out for a lab coat and check on your patients in the optometry office. Take your turn on the stage in front of an audience, or whip up a bite to eat in one of the kitchens. The museum takes playtime seriously so kids can have fun doing what they do best – imagining!
Even the Big Kids Like It
The exhibits at the museum are designed for ages 10 and under, but you’ll find older siblings “helping” their younger siblings enjoy their time there. I mean, it’s the least they can do for the family, right? Young or old, we can all be kids at heart.
There is so much to love about the Seattle Aquarium! From the minute you walk in, your experience becomes an interactive journey exploring Washington waters and many of the lifeforms in it.
You’ll See Things From a New Perspective
You’ll have several opportunities to see what goes on in the waters at the aquarium, including this area where the fish swim all around and even above you.
This exhibit is super cool. When was the last time you stood in a ring of jellyfish and got to marvel at them up close and personal? This display makes it possible and is just one of the reasons the Seattle Aquarium is a hit with people of all ages.
Other Seattle Museums
With dozens of museums to visit, you’ll have plenty to choose from. Come for a day or come for a week! Here are a few of the inspiring museums you’ll find in Seattle:
- LeMay-America’s Car Museum
- Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
- Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
- Center for Wooden Boats
- Kids Discovery Museum
- Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park
- Pacific Science Center
- Seattle Art Museum
- Woodland Park Zoo
- Olympic Sculpture Park
- Pacific Bonsai Museum
- And More!
9 Top Things to Do in Leavenworth, Washington
Leavenworth is a perfect weekend getaway from Seattle since it’s only a two-and-a-half-hour drive. If you’re visiting the Pacific Northwest and looking for things to do, put Leavenworth at the top of your list!
15 Most Dangerous U.S. Cities to Travel to in 2023
Before you look at the list, what city comes to mind as the most dangerous place in the U.S? If you thought Chicago or Los Angeles, you may be surprised to find they don’t rank in the top 15 in the country.
9 List-Worthy Things to Do in Bellevue, Washington
Bellevue, Washington, is considered one of the best mid-sized cities in America, and residents and visitors alike will find a delightful variety of things to do in Bellevue.
What Is Pickleball and What’s It Like for a Beginner?
Pickleball—it’s the latest on-trend sport you keep hearing about. Developed in 1978 but recently surging in popularity—it’s one signature away from becoming the official state sport of Washington State. So I tried it—despite being out of shape, a little overweight, and never having watched or played the game—and this is what happened.
This article was produced by Our Woven Journey.
Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.