Previously called the Experience Music Project (EMP), the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) sits in Seattle Center and is one of the coolest museums you'll ever see. It was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2000, which makes it one of the youngest buildings on this list.
The first thing you'll notice about the MoPOP is its unusual exterior. Its facade is constructed of twisted metal panels of various colors. The building was designed by Frank Gehry, who is the architect behind other twisted buildings such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.
The MoPOP is a little different from other museums you might have visited. Its values (stated on its website) include open arms, creative exchange, lightbulb moments, pursuing excellence, and excitement. The moment you step inside, you can tell that it's no ordinary museum.
In the main lobby, there is a massive statue made from hundreds of guitars. Musical instruments are one of the main attractions at the MoPOP. In fact, the architects were apparently inspired by broken guitars when they were designing the building.
One of the most exciting exhibits in the MoPOP is the Sound Lab. Here, you and your friends can jam on drums, guitars, and samplers. You can record your creations and download them for free. Don't know how to play any instruments? Don't worry. There are interactive lessons that can prepare you for stardom.
Other exhibits showcase famous Seattle talents such as Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam. If you're not in the mood for music, there are permanent exhibits on fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Spooky! There's something for everyone. The MoPOP is certainly a must-visit while in Seattle.
Cover photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash