There are many different kinds of Seattle museums to visit. From your average museums, to the slightly eccentric, to the downright strange, Seattle museums offer an eclectic variety of exhibits with a distinctive local flavor. If you’re looking for a good mix of all the things Seattle’s museums have to offer, here are are a few Seattle museums that you don’t want to miss:
· The Museum of Flight is one Seattle museum you would expect to find only in Seattle. Set in the original “Red (Boeing) Barn” on the southern edge of Boeing Field, the museum houses aircraft developed throughout the company’s history, and also offers an exciting look at the aircraft of the future.
· The Burke Museum on the University of Washington campus offers extensive galleries dedicated to Northwest and Pacific Rim cultural, anthropological and botanical life. For those wishing to pursue serious study of the area’s past, the Burke is a fine place to start.
· As a companion to the Burke, the Museum of History and Industry focuses on the development of culture and industry in Seattle, offering telling documentation of the area’s nature, technology, local iconography and outdoor recreation.
· The Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum is slightly weird in that it encourages you to get into the head of every ten year-old boy who grew up in Seattle between 1950 and 1970. Hydro drivers were like gods in Seattle (unless they were from Detroit – in which case they were bums), and their huge, loud and colorful wooden chariots, powered by WWII fighter plane engines, menaced the shores of Lake Washington during the first week of every August. This annual summer event was literally the only game in town for twenty years.
· The Experience Music Project was first pitched as a Seattle museum dedicated to Seattle-native Jimi Hendrix, but the idea was soon expanded upon to create the eclectic museum it is today. A curious blend of local and national rock lore and science fiction, this museum is a place in which Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder rub elbows with Ursula K. LeGuin and William Gibson in a darkened interior pumping out playlists of early Northwest rockers such as the Sonics and the Wailers. Add to this a careful glance at Frank Gehry’s otherworldly exterior and you’ll be bordering dangerously on sensory overload. In other words, don’t miss the EMP!
· For some of the most unusual museum exhibits Seattle has to offer, including paranormal, UFO and Bigfoot fare, time-travel right over to the Museum of the Mysteries. It’s very new, and very strange.
Of course, Seattle offers much more in the way of fantastic museum fare, but the museums cited above offer defining glimpses of the Northwest’s singularity and Seattle’s major role in establishing its distinctive character. Take a tour, and get a taste of the real Seattle.