Starbucks coffee isn’t the only thing brewing in Seattle. There’s a lot of diversity thrown into the mix thanks to its unique geography. The city’s strategic location along the Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains has consistently placed it at the crossroads of cultures and into the throws of history, making it an enticing place to settle down for generations. Over the years, Seattle has molded and morphed from an industrious Gold Rush town into a prosperous tech haven. Its rich past has been documented and celebrated through an impressive array of museums that run the gamut from military to Native American and even pop culture. While you can get a taste of the city any time you visit, February is an especially enticing time to come as half-price admission is available on more than 40 cultural institutions. Discounts are just one reason to check it out, though. Here are a few more reasons you should add Seattle Museum Month to your travel plans this winter.
Add Some Color into Your Day
Unfortunately, Seattle gets a bad rap for being a drizzly and overcast city. However, its art museums are bursting with so much color and pizazz, the weather will be an afterthought. While most visitors head straight to the modern art wing at the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Museum Month offers the perfect opportunity to explore some of the region’s other art havens, such as the Seattle Asian Art Museum* (the original home of the Seattle Art Museum) and Bellevue Arts Museum. If you prefer experimental pieces or smaller venues, you can also check out the Henry Art Gallery and the Frye Art Museum.
You’ll Learn Why Seattle Loves Glass
Perhaps one of the few things Seattle loves more than coffee is decorative glass. Chihuly Garden and Glass earns our vote as one of the most Instagram-worthy spots in Seattle for its dramatic glass displays that seem to fold upward toward the iconic Space Needle. For even more beautiful installations, the Museum of Glass details the role the Pacific Northwest played in the Studio Glass movement through a series of interactive exhibits and live glassmaking showcases. This February, the museum will host a special exhibit highlighting jewelry design.
Discounts are Great, But Free is Better
Touring Seattle has never been easier thanks to the number of free museums and exhibits available. The kids will love learning the ins and outs of the Gold Rush at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Operated by the National Park Service, the museum’s exhibits, displays, and films are top-notch. But if you ask a local, there’s no place better to stretch your legs, snag views of the water, and get your art fix in than the Olympic Sculpture Park.
Innovation Straight from the Source
The Emerald City is constantly innovating, and there’s a slew of museums to document its trials and tribulations. The Museum of History and Industry is ground-zero for tradition and imagination, while the Flying Heritage Museum is located inside a converted airplane hanger. The Center for Wooden Boats is — fittingly — located on not one but several wooden boats with vessels available for lessons or rentals. The various vehicles at LeMay-America’s Car Museum are more than displays, too. Guests can test out simulators, take sweet photos, and learn about the unique history behind the special cars. Don’t miss the exquisite BMW art cars, automobiles that have been turned into canvas displays.
You Can Totally Geek Out
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has called Seattle home for years, and it was here that he developed his love for computer programming. Future techies can learn the ropes straight from the source at Living Computers: Museum+Labs. The unique space has the largest collection of operating vintage computers on the planet. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center is also open to showcase the couple’s visionary mission of how technology can improve life around the world. For more new frontiers, don’t miss the Star Trek exhibit at MoPOP.
How It Works
Seattle Museum Month is a great excuse to head to the Pacific Northwest. This February you can get half-price admission to more than 40 museums when you book a stay at any participating hotel in downtown Seattle. You can choose from a variety of hotels, including the Alexis Hotel, the Crowne Plaza Hotel, The Edgewater, and the Fairmont Olympic Hotel (just to name a few).
Can’t wait to plan your visit? Click here for a full list of venues participating in Seattle Museum Month.
*The Seattle Asian Art Museum is temporarily closed for renovations with an expected reopening in 2019.