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“WOW! So much to see.”

Washington State History Museum
Ranked #9 of 80 things to do in Tacoma
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: History museum full of informative displays and artifacts on the history of Washington state.
Tacoma, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“WOW! So much to see.”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

This is a well designed space in which you can learn a huge amount of Washington State history. The displays change once or twice a year so it's a place where you can come back several times and catch something new each time. I especially enjoy the displays of model railroads they have between Christmas and New Year's day.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank Walt H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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183 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Always a treat!”
Reviewed May 14, 2013 via mobile

Loved the exhibits! Race bikes are neat to see how they evolved. Even got to ride one in a game! My favorite thing here is the trains though! Kids and hubby each loved the different artifacts. They have a "treasure hunt" for the kids. Highly recommend it.

Visited May 2013
Thank mkcheather1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olympia, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
172 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 612 helpful votes
“Interesting History Site”
Reviewed May 8, 2013

Well organized exhibits with interesting facts to help one understand how Washington was put together - a challenging effort for sure. Good site for history buffs, lots of walking, wear comfortable shoes - there's more to see, too, adjacent to the Museum

Visited May 2013
2 Thank SBruce J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
162 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Great exhibits.”
Reviewed April 23, 2013

This gave Californians a great overview of Washington History. The talking exhibits all seemed to work and had short speeches that were worth listening to (usually I walk away after a sentence or two, but these were good). The interactive activities and the model train are great for kids. It isn't a big museum, but we enjoyed our visit. It was great to walk over the bridge of glass afterwards.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank Knansea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Federal Way, Washington
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Washington State History Museum, in Tacoma, Washington”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

It's a lovely, tranquil place to spend a couple hours for history buffs and for kids ages four to 14.

Its Washington Hall of History has many elaborate, realistic walk-through dioramas with life-size figures that talk about their time and place in history.

The 1,800-square-foot model railroad diorama on the top floor shouldn't be missed. Built and maintained by the Puget Sound Model Railroad Engineers Club, it depicts rail lines, historic buildings and landscapes from Tacoma's Point Defiance Park to Stampede Pass Tunnel in the Cascade Mountains. Kids: Push the red button to get several trains moving at once.

Street parking is hard to come by, but there is a pay parking lot adjacent to the museum, and lots more pay parking down behind the museum.

Renaissance Cafe, across the street, is a delightful, friendly, surprising little place to eat breakfast or lunch, and the UW Tacoma Bookstore is just up the street.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Michael M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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