Does Seattle Have a Natural History Museum?

If you’re in Seattle and are curious about the natural history of the Pacific Northwest, you might be wondering if there’s a natural history museum in the area. The answer is yes! Seattle has an excellent natural history museum called the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture

The Burke Museum is located on the University of Washington campus and is one of the oldest museums in Washington State. It was founded in 1899 as a place to study and exhibit natural and cultural collections from around the world.


The Burke Museum has a wide range of collections that cover everything from fossils to textiles. Some of their most popular collections include:

  • Paleontology: This collection includes fossils from all over Washington State, including mammoths, saber-toothed cats, and giant sloths.
  • Entomology: The insect collection at the Burke Museum has over 3 million specimens from all over the world.
  • Anthropology: This collection includes artifacts from indigenous cultures around the world, with a particular focus on Native American cultures from the Pacific Northwest.


The Burke Museum has several permanent exhibits that showcase their collections. Some of these exhibits include:

  • Natural History Gallery: This exhibit explores the natural history of Washington State with displays on geology, plants, animals, and ecology.
  • Pacific Voices: This exhibit showcases artifacts from Native American cultures around the Pacific Rim.
  • T-Rex Live: This exhibit features a life-size model of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and explores what we know about these fascinating creatures.


In addition to their permanent exhibits, the Burke Museum also hosts a variety of events throughout the year. These events include lectures, workshops, and family-friendly activities.


If you’re interested in the natural history of the Pacific Northwest or just want to explore some fascinating collections and exhibits, the Burke Museum is definitely worth a visit. With its extensive collections and engaging exhibits, it’s sure to be a highlight of your time in Seattle.