Top West Coast Museums You Must Visit

Top West Coast Museums You Must Visit

Museums 2024-03-02

Museums serve as gateways, transporting people to realms of curiosity and providing glimpses into the past, present, and future. Regardless of whether they focus on history, science, art, or culture, these institutions stimulate the imagination, answering queries and inspiring new ones. Regardless of size or age, we have a profound appreciation for exploring museums, regardless of their location. In this article, we highlight 5 of our favorite museums on the West Coast. Let's get to the point!

So what are those best museums to visit on the West Coast?

1. Oregon Museum of Science and Industry – Portland, Oregon

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Explore a 219-foot submarine floating on the Willamette River. It's the USS Blueback, which you may have seen in the movie "The Hunt for Red October" back in 1990. Discover galaxies light years away at a planetarium that illuminates the wonders of the universe. Experience the magic of bringing prehistoric creatures to life in a fully equipped paleontology lab. All these amazing attractions and more await you at OMSI, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. From its humble beginnings as a collection of odd artifacts in 1903, OMSI has transformed into one of the top science museums in the country, offering a friendly and educational experience for both adults and children.

2. Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum – The Dalles, Oregon

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From ancient times to modern times, this stunning museum located at the entrance of the Columbia Gorge showcases a wide range of historical periods. Within its walls, guests can marvel at a life-sized Columbian Mammoth, while the 54-acre grounds surrounding the museum hold traces of human settlement that go back at least 11,000 years. The area also features sections of the famous Lewis and Clark and Oregon Trails, offering visitors a glimpse into the past. In addition, visitors will find hiking trails, native plants, and an exciting raptor discovery program to further enrich their experience.

3. Maryhill Museum of Art – Goldendale, Washington

Source: Google Search

Located in south-central Washington, a small town with a population of 3,500 may not be the most likely place to discover a full-scale replica of Stonehenge. Nevertheless, it stands proudly here. Originally intended as a mansion by businessman Samuel Hill, this spot offers an overlook of the magnificent Columbia River Gorge. Eventually, Hill transformed the structure into a museum, which gained its dedication in 1926 from his close acquaintance, Queen Marie of Romania. While the Stonehenge replica serves as a tribute to the fallen servicemen of Klickitat County during World War I, it's not the sole attraction of this museum. Visitors can explore over 80 masterpieces by renowned French sculptor Auguste Rodin, a captivating collection of 400 meticulously crafted chess sets, an assortment of Orthodox icons, and a sculpture park showcasing extraordinary large-scale works by esteemed artists from the Pacific Northwest region.

4. The Whale Museum – Friday Harbor, Washington

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This museum, known as the "killer" museum, holds the distinction of being the first in the country that specifically celebrates a wild species – the orcas, often known as "killer whales." Its main goal is to encourage people to take care of all types of whales, with a particular emphasis on the orcas from J, K, and L Pods inhabiting the Salish Sea, which is the body of water surrounding the San Juan Islands. Visitors are given the opportunity to symbolically "adopt" an orca, listen to whale communication, and admire the massive skeleton of a whale suspended from the ceiling. Don't forget to also explore the sightings map, which provides the latest information on where whales have been spotted.

5. Museum of Pop Culture – Seattle, Washington

Source: Google Search

Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, established the Experience Music Project in 2000. However, over time, it has evolved into MoPOP, an institution that goes beyond music to embrace all aspects of pop culture. Located beneath the iconic Space Needle in a futuristic building designed by Frank O. Gehry, this museum celebrates various forms of popular culture, ranging from television to tattoos. Within its walls, visitors can marvel at an impressive collection of items, including the legendary guitar played by Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock, Luke Skywalker's lightsaber, and the fedora worn by Indiana Jones in "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

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