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Welcome to the Seattle Art Museum picture in Seattle
Benjamin Benschneider / Seattle Art Museum

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  • Museums Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

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This giant museum houses one of America's premier art collections, which ranges from European masterpieces to contemporary sculpture. Although the museum has received some criticism for being small in nature, the collection and variety of exhibits easily make up for its size. Even if you're not the biggest fan of art museums, this one is a must. The Seattle Asian Art Museum and the Olympic Sculpture Park are also part of the complex. Visitors say the museum has a convenient downtown location and features exhibits that are well curated. 

Commonly known as "SAM," the main part of the museum is located in downtown Seattle about a mile and a half south of the Space Needle. SAM is open every day except for Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours until 9 p.m. on Thursdays. 

The museum does charge a pretty hefty admission fee ($19.95 for adults, about $12.95 for kids ages 13 to 17 and those with student IDs), but you can get in for free if you time your visit for the first Thursday of the month. Seniors can also take advantage of First Fridays, where admission is free to those ages 62 and older on the first Friday of the month. For more information on current exhibits, hours and admission prices, visit the Seattle Art Museum website.

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#1 Chihuly Garden and Glass Bursting with artwork spanning the colors of the rainbow, Chihuly Garden and Glass offers visitors a look at creative, glass-blown pieces crafted by renowned Pacific Northwest artist, Dale Chihuly. The ... Read more » Courtesy Chihuly Garden and Glass

#2 Pike Place Market Since 1907, this bustling market near the downtown waterfront has been the go-to place for local produce. Today, you can find almost everything, from local artwork to vinyl records. Plus ... Read more » cdrin / Shutterstock

#3 Pioneer Square If you like history, Pioneer Square should be at the top of your to-do list. This neighborhood was one of the first settlements in the Northwest U.S. (hence the ... Read more » Nicole DiMella / Getty Images

#4 Space Needle If there's one thing that Seattle's known for (aside from coffee and Tom Hanks' insomnia), it's the 605-foot tall Space Needle. Built for the 1962 World's ... Read more » spirit of america / Shutterstock

#5 Seattle Art Museum This giant museum houses one of America's premier art collections, which ranges from European masterpieces to contemporary sculpture. Although the museum has received some criticism for being small in ... Read more » Benjamin Benschneider / Seattle Art Museum

#6 Discovery Park If you're looking to get outdoors without getting out of the city, this is the place. Sprawling across more than 500 acres in northern Seattle, Discovery Park is the ... Read more » Songquan Deng / Getty Images

#7 Seattle Aquarium For a glimpse under the sea, head to the Seattle Aquarium, which sits along the waterfront just a few blocks west of the Seattle Art Museum. It may not be ... Read more » canorus / Flickr

#8 Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (Ballard Locks) These locks – operated by the Army Corps of Engineers – are popular among visitors and locals in Seattle. The locks allow boats to pass between Puget Sound and the Lake Washington ... Read more » amedved / Getty Images

#9 Museum of Flight Seattle is one of the most important cities in the world of aviation and the home base of the Boeing Company, one of the world's leading aircraft manufacturers. You ... Read more » dherrera_96 / Flickr

#10 Olympic Sculpture Park There's no better way to get a healthy dose of culture than to enjoy some fine art, especially when the art is outdoors and free to enjoy. In other ... Read more » whiskeyandtears / Flickr

#11 Mount Si If you don't have time to make the drive to Mount Rainier (about 80 miles southeast of downtown Seattle), Mount Si offers a popular alternative. Sitting about 30 miles ... Read more » laffertyryan / Flickr

Chihuly Garden and Glass picture in Seattle
Pike Place Market picture in Seattle
Pioneer Square picture in Seattle
Space Needle picture in Seattle
Welcome to the Seattle Art Museum picture in Seattle
Discovering Discovery Park picture in Seattle
Seattle Aquarium picture in Seattle
Hiram M. Chittenden (Ballard) Locks picture in Seattle
Seattle's Museum of Flight picture in Seattle
Eagle in the Olympic Sculpture Park picture in Seattle
View from Mount Si picture in Seattle
Chihuly Garden and Glass picture in Seattle
Pike Place Market picture in Seattle
Pioneer Square picture in Seattle
Space Needle picture in Seattle
Welcome to the Seattle Art Museum picture in Seattle
Discovering Discovery Park picture in Seattle
Seattle Aquarium picture in Seattle
Hiram M. Chittenden (Ballard) Locks picture in Seattle
Seattle's Museum of Flight picture in Seattle
Eagle in the Olympic Sculpture Park picture in Seattle
View from Mount Si picture in Seattle

Chihuly Garden and Glass features colorful pieces of glass blown art fashioned by Pacific Northwest native, Dale Chihuly. Courtesy Chihuly Garden and Glass

The Pike Place Market is one of the oldest continually operated public farmers markets in the United States. cdrin / Shutterstock

Pioneer Square is the site of the original Seattle settlement, which was founded in 1852. Nicole DiMella / Getty Images

The iconic Space Needle was built when Seattle hosted the World's Fair in 1962.  spirit of america / Shutterstock

The Seattle Art Museum houses one of the finest art collections in the country. Benjamin Benschneider / Seattle Art Museum

The massive Discovery Park is one of the city's most popular spots for hiking, hitting the beach and enjoying nature.  Songquan Deng / Getty Images

While here, get to know the local water-dwellers at the "Window on Washington Waters" exhibit. canorus / Flickr

The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (often referred to as the Ballard Locks) allow boats to pass between Puget Sound and the Lake Washington canal. amedved / Getty Images

Seattle plays an important role in the world of aviation, acting as home base for the Boeing Company. The Museum of Flight showcases the city's high-flying history. dherrera_96 / Flickr

The Olympic Sculpture Park spans 9 acres and features works by such renowned artists as Alexander Calder. whiskeyandtears / Flickr

A hike to the top of Mount Si makes for some excellent views of Seattle and the surrounding Cascade Mountains. laffertyryan / Flickr

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