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“The very best for what it is”

Washington State History Museum
Ranked #9 of 82 things to do in Tacoma
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: History museum full of informative displays and artifacts on the history of Washington state.
Reviewed 20 April 2014

I recently saw the Northwest Natives exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. While a top notch museum in General, the NYC museum could--and probably does--covet this detailed and superbly laid out exhibition. From the lifestyle and authentic artifacts of the ancient Salish peoples, to the initial interactions between tribes and Captain Grey, then the French fur-trappers, later the Christian missionaries, soldier/explorers and settlers coming over the Oregon Trail, followed by the industrial, nuclear and space ages, this museum is a gem of a resource! Oh, and it's a fun and interesting way to pass the day. 5 minutes' walk to the Art Museum, the University of Washington Tacoma Branch, theatre district and many fine eateries.

Thank DoxieMamaDeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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132 - 136 of 201 reviews

Reviewed 6 January 2014

Always worth the trip from Seattle for an interactive history immersion! We loved the model train and Cooper exhibits, which recently closed. "Cooper" was skillfully curated to give you a detailed insight into air travel at that time, not just the NW Airlines hijacking event. The model train exhibit was displayed in several galleries, featuring a variety of train scales (HO, N etc.) Very authentic depictions of Tacoma and environs, very complex electronics controlling the trains and tracks, and a bonus Lego track room, where kids, parents and grandparents could build their own. Not your brothers' or father's train set! A must see if it returns for another holiday season.
WSHM exhibits offer candid and provocative views of our young state's exciting history, important for all ages.

1  Thank Ce M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2014

This is a very nice museum with lots to explore and plenty of hands on things for kids. We also went during the train expo which was an added bonus.

Thank EdPlateau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 November 2013

Over the Veteran's Day holiday, I visited the Washington State History Museum's exhibit "Cooper", the man who jumped with $200,000 in ransom money from a Northwest Orient Flight from Seattle to Reno on November 23, 1971...It was The most famous unsolved hijacking of the century and opened the door to changes in transportation security that have impacted the way we travel by air to this day.
You have to go before it ends on January 5, 2014. It was the most interesting view of this event I have ever seen. Very thorough, very interesting...I think you will like it.

Thank dr_dmi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 November 2013

This museum is on par with the best of the best. Plan on spending 4 hours. Get a pass to return. Take your time. Feel the history. Enjoy the movie of the amazing Columbia river. Let your children have the time to experience it slowly. One floor at a time. The trains during the holidays are always a hit.

Thank nonie w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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