Seattle Art Museum
Seattle’s premier museum just got a lot fancier, thanks to an $86 million expansion completed in early 2007. The ultrasleek new building now has 35 bright and pristine permanent galleries, including two with free admission that share the first and second floors with a chic restaurant. Special exhibitions are presented along with the permanent collection on the third and fourth floors, and include an eclectic mix of modern art (think Andy Warhol’s Double Elvis and Jackson Pollock’s Sea Change) and cultural surveys of the world grouped by continent. Some unusual highlights: a display of Italian ceramics in a wood-paneled replica of a 17th-century apothecary; a Japanese teahouse in the pan-Asian wing; and a collection of contemporary Australian aboriginal art.
Tip: Download MP3 audio tours off of SAM’s Web site before you visit.
Admission: $13 adults; $10 seniors; free for children under 12; permanent collection free and special exhibits reduced admission on first Thursday of each month. Closed Monday.