When it’s hot outside, you’re looking to go somewhere a little cooler. While many people soak up rays at the beach, a more climate-friendly destination (and one that doesn’t house zika-carrying mosquitos) is Seattle.
With thriving art scenes and a lot of history, Seattle may not be the first waterside destination you think of, but it has a lot to offer. The best part? It has a lot to offer that absolutely F-R-E-E.
This is the absolute largest independent, non-profit air and space museum in the world. From WWII fighter airplanes to Apollo mission mock-ups, every corner you turn will reveal a new and interesting surprise.
Normally the priciest admission is $21 for adults that aren’t seniors, but The Museum of Flight, along with many other Seattle attractions, participates in First Thursdays. That means that the first Thursday of every month, you can get in all the aeronautical history that you want for the price of $0 from 5PM to 9PM.
The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) and all of its properties also have free days. Collections include everything from European, Islamic, Native American, Oceanic, Ancient Mediterranean, African, Ancient American, and, of course, art specific to the Pacific Northwest. SAM itself has free days on the first Thursday of every month, though their special exhibits on those days are only 50% off.
Their other property, the Asian Art Museum, is also free on First Thursdays all day. On the second Thursday of every month, admission is waived to all from 5PM-9PM, and there is a free family day on the first Saturday of every month. Both museums are free to all members of the military between Memorial and Labor Day.
SAM’s last property is the Olympic Sculpture Park, located right on Puget Sound. Open from 30 minutes prior to sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset, this art installation is always free, as are the one-hour public guided tours.
The Seattle Symphony plays in the chic Benaroya Hall, which was specifically designed to meet their acoustic needs. Benaroya Hall is in many ways a modern art museum in itself boasting light art, tile work and sculptures worthy of any high-end collection. The hall can be toured for free on the first Monday of every month. The tour is followed by a 30-minute organ recital by Resident Organist Joseph Adam. The recital isn’t just to show you his mad skills; it’s also to show off the amazing acoustics the hall offers.
While these tours are typically the first Monday of every month, they are not offered each and every month with regularity. Be sure to check the official schedule on their website before putting this on your itinerary.
The Rose Garden at Woodland Park Zoo
The Pacific Northwest is one of the best growing climates for roses in the world. In 1924, the Woodland Park Zoo opened a luscious rose garden to show off all the climate has to offer, making it free to the public. That free-ness continues to this day.
Admission to the zoo itself, however, is not free. Be sure to check promo codes before your trip. You can get general admission as low as $12.95 through the summer.