Washington State History Museum, Tacoma

#5 of 11 in Museums in Tacoma
Specialty Museum · Museum
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 4.5
236 reviews
  • My husband and I came to visit and had a wonderful experience ! The exhibits on the 5th floor rotate through out the year so I can’t wait to come back and see others. Make sure you have at least 4...  more »
  • This multi-floor renovated older building shows well the history of Washington state. Lots of great exhibits but the best for me, a train lover, is the setup of a part of the city back in the day...  more »
  • I love that field trips come to learn here but when I came I was warned about the field trips and what time the kids would leave after my ticket purchase. Which feels to me that the employees are aware it's disruptive enough I could be impacted but chose to take my money first so that they didn't lose a sale. Still an amazing museum, just a frustrating start.
  • I had a lot of fun and brought my wife, daughter and our friend. Lots of cool information and a really cool rotating exhibit the time we went. I did, however, not like the liberal slant to a lot of the things... But the model teain exhibit made me feel better!

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