Arts | Family Fun | Outings + Activities

7 Smaller Museums to Explore Around Seattle

Aviation, computers, glass, the Gold Rush, history, paintings, rock music, science fiction, steamers; Our region's numerous museums are treasure troves of research, exploration and art on fascinating subjects. In these last few weeks of summer, why not explore one of the smaller gems around the Sound? Here are seven of our region's lesser-known museums to explore, including Puget Sound Navy Museum, Tacoma Art MuseumBellevue Arts Museum, Flying Heritage CollectionBurke MuseumWing Luke Museum and Edmonds South Snohomish County Historical Museum.

1. Puget Sound Navy Museum, Bremerton


Puget Sound Navy Museum, Parche sail

Built in 1896 as Administration Headquarters for the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, historic Building 50 is now home to the Puget Sound Navy Museum in Bremerton. One of 12 museums across the nation funded and operated by the U.S. Navy, PSNM collects, preserves and interprets the naval heritage of the Pacific Northwest, displaying relics of US Naval history from 1840 to present day.

Treasures: Treasures at the Navy Museum include the wardroom skylight of the Civil War gunboat USS Nipsic; a fire-alarm telegraph circa 1900s; a graphotype “dog-tag” machine; a paper-weight-sized piece of shrapnel extracted from USS Tennessee after Pearl Harbor; a scale model of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis; and the landing gear of a F-14 fighter jet.

Bremerton fountains

The jewel: Perhaps most famous for its untold secrets is the Sturgeon-class submarine USS Parche — the sail of which adorns the museum’s plaza in Bremerton. The Parche currently holds the title as the most decorated ship in U.S. Navy history. But why? That part is classified. Deactivated in 2004, the hull was scrapped, but her sail saved.

Location. 251 First St., Bremerton, a stone's throw from the Bremerton ferry landing. If you're in the Seattle area, considering walking on the ferry and walking to the museum.

Admission and hours: The Puget Sound Navy Museum is always free! Open Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sunday 1–4 p.m.

Pair with: In the summer, do not miss the booming volcano-like fountains at the Bremerton Harborside Fountain Park behind the museum — it’s the perfect place for a picnic! For a quick bite, try a slice at Bostons Pizza Deli (206 Burwell St.).

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