Creative Things To Do In and Around Seattle
While in Seattle you must visit Pike Place Market. Get inspired by the beautiful colors of the fresh fruit and produce and watch the fish mongers throw a salmon. Take time for a ferry ride across the sound, or up to the San Juan Islands to watch the whales.
Ride to the top of the Space Needle to see the beautiful geography — water and mountains. If you have time, drive to one of the many mountains and take a quick hike in the woods. You’ll clear your head and find inspiration for your next project.
Visit the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) in downtown Seattle, only blocks from Pike Place Market. You’ll find global art collections, temporary installations, and special exhibitions from around the world, bridging cultures and centuries.
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The Asian Art Museum is located in Volunteer Park. Housed in a 1933 art Deco building, it is Seattle Art Museum’s original home. The extensive Asian art collection reflects cultural traditions and contemporary issues.
Olympic Sculpture Park is one mile north of the Seattle Art Museum and is near the Seattle waterfront. Nine acres of green space and walks are covered with monumental artworks – take a walk and enjoy the art.
Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) celebrates pop culture as a catalyst for learning, connecting, and creating. Located in the Seattle Center, MoPOP started as Experience Music Project. It has evolved to celebrate the creativity of all pop culture.
Seattle Center was home to the 1962 World’s Fair and is now a destination for arts and entertainment. Visit MoPOP and stroll through the center for special exhibits, enjoy the fountains and entertainment.
Chihuly Garden and Glass is located next to the Space Needle and Seattle Center. It is a long term exhibition with works by glass artist Dale Chihuly. Stroll through the gardens, visit the glass house and browse through the galleries of glass art.
Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) is located on Lake Union, just north of downtown Seattle. The museum collects and preserves artifacts and stories of the Puget Sound region’s diverse history, from forests and mountains, to the rich tech and airline industry roots in the region.
Just steps from MOHAI you’ll find the Center for Wooden Boats, a living museum on Lake Union. Experience wooden boats up close in the galleries of the Wagner Education Center. Then walk outside to see wooden boats in their natural environment.
Seattle is home to Boeing, the major aircraft manufacturer. Visit Boeing field to see new airplanes ready to be delivered to airlines. Then visit the Museum of Flight to learn the history of aviation. Even step inside a space shuttle and imagine traveling into space and looking back at mother earth.
Just south of Boeing field, you’ll find the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center. Its an art gallery and exhibits share the stories and culture of the Duwamish Tribe, the indigenous people of the Seattle area.
Seattle has strong Nordic ties, so it is natural for it to host the National Nordic Museum. The museum shares Nordic culture, values, and ideas with people of all ages and backgrounds. They create connections, generate dialogue, and inspire new perspectives.
The Northwest African American Museum is housed in the historic Colman School building which was built in 1909. The school overlooks a beautiful, sprawling green park, named after rock legend, Jimi Hendrix, in the heart of Seattle’s Central District. The exhibitions present and preserve the connection between the Pacific Northwest and people of African descent, celebrating Black experiences.
Visit Discovery Park in the Magnolia neighborhood just north of downtown Seattle. Visit the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center and browse through their permanent collection of Native art.
Are you a computer geek? Nerd? You’ll want to visit the Living Computer Museum in SODA (South of Downtown Area). Browse through vintage technology, honoring the history of computing with the world’s largest collection of fully restored—and usable—supercomputers, mainframes, minicomputers and microcomputers. Check out what’s next through modern technology exhibits that offer direct experiences with robotics, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, big data, the Internet of Things, video-game making, and digital art.
Just east of Seattle is the Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM). It is one of few museums that grew out of an art fair. Started by a handful of dedicated volunteers, the first fair was held in 1947 and eventually led to the founding of the Museum in 1975. Exclusively dedicated to art, craft, and design since 2005, the Museum has grown to be an important contributor to the region’s cultural vibrancy and a leading institution in its field.
As if you needed a reason to take a ferry ride, you’ll want to visit the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art to discover the art and craft of the Puget Sound region. With a focus on artists and collections from the Puget Sound region, they offer rotating exhibits and educational programs. This museum is always free, thanks to generous donations.
Head south to Tacoma and plan to spend at least a day with all Tacoma has to offer. Start with the Museum of Glass on Tacoma’s waterfront. Browse through the galleries and visit a working glass studio and watch artists at work in the hot shop.
Take time to walk around outside the museum to enjoy the glass art and the waterfront. Make sure to walk across the pedestrian bridge to enjoy more colorful glass art.
Just across the bridge you’ll find the Washington State History Museum. Through traveling exhibits and permanent collections, you’ll explore how Washington State’s people and places have contributed to our culture and community.
A short walk down Pacific Avenue you’ll find the Tacoma Art Museum. It emphasizes art and artists from the Pacific Northwest and the greater western region of the United States.
Tacoma boasts one of the largest car museums in the country. It all started with the personal collection of Harold and Nancy LeMay. Now the American Car Museum has a broad variety of cars from early steam-powered cars to 50’s classics and race cars. The museum isn’t just for car enthusiasts. Anyone who is interested how the automobile has impacted our lives and culture will enjoy this .museum.
Take a short drive along the Tacoma waterfront — a perfect place to stop for lunch and look for seals, sea lions — and sometimes even whales! Look east at majestic Mt. Rainier reigning over the city as you drive to Point Defiance Park. The 760 acre park is on Commencement Bay and Puget Sound. Take walks through the rose gardens, hike through the woods, enjoy the public beaches. Visit Fort Nisqually, a living history museum, to experience life in a coastal fort. Fort Nisqually was the first globally connected settlement on the Puget Sound, established in 1833 by the Hudson’s Bay Company as a fur trading outpost.
Take a drive north of Seattle to La Conner and visit the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum. With rotating exhibits, the museum offers educational programs in all fiber arts. They enrich and inspire, honor cultural traditions, and celebrate the creative spirit. Plan to spend the day browsing through local shops and enjoying the local food scene. In the springtime, make sure to drive through the nearby tulip fields.
As you enjoy the Puget Sound area, make sure to stop at some of our favorite shops. Plan your own shop hop with these fabric shops in and around Seattle.
Browse through these yarn shops in and around Seattle.
Never enough beads. Check out these bead shops in and around Seattle.