Washington State History Museum, Tacoma

4.5
#5 of 11 in Museums in Tacoma
Specialty Museum · Museum
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The Washington State History Museum is a history museum located in downtown Tacoma, Washington, United States. It is operated by the Washington State Historical Society under the official approval of the Washington State Legislature. The museum opened on August 10, 1996, at a building adjacent to historic Union Station that cost $42 million to construct.
The museum maintains three permanent exhibits. One is about the history of Washington state and its relation to the Pacific Northwest, featuring artifacts from women's suffrage, industrialization, Native American tribes and items such as Clovis points. The uppermost floor of the museum contains the History Lab, where visitors can explore and learn about history in a more hands-on fashion with multiple interactive exhibits. The top floor is also home to the state's largest permanent model train layout, which covers 1,700 sq ft (160 m2) and recreates scenes from Tacoma's Union Station (which is located next to the museum) and other regional railroads. The museum hosts an annual Model Train Festival in December.
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Washington State History Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
241 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • What a surprise! Great exhibits on two floors. Budgeted 75 minutes but spent four hours instead. History, revolving exhibits, a great model train setup (296 switches!). Totally awed by the History of....  more
    What a surprise! Great exhibits on two floors. Budgeted 75 minutes but spent four hours instead. History, revolving exhibits, a great model train setup (296 switches!). Totally awed by the History of....  more »
  • I will rate the museum as an average museum very well presented with interesting information about Washington. 
    I will rate the museum as an average museum very well presented with interesting information about Washington.  more »
Google
  • This Place is so interactive and fun. This Museum is great for you kids to learn about history by entertaining features such as a theater station, native culture, to the pioneer times. Please Stop By This Museum it's well worth the trip. I love to come back to visit again and which I will be going to the glass museum next door when I do come back . Also This museum are connect by a Glass bridge Tunnel
  • I'm amazed I've lived in the Seattle area all my life and have never been here. This is a great place to not only see some of Seattle's history but also many other fun exhibits. It is a great place to take kids with lots of interactive displays and plenty of room to run around. The animation space is particularly interesting although I was never clear how that fit into the history of Washington. The museum doesn't go into great depth in any one area but manages to cover a lot of ground with interesting displays. I particularly enjoyed the very large model train exhibit and the "driving" tour of some of eastern Washington's interesting landmarks. Large parking lot next door which might be best as parking is right in the area.

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