Make a Day of It

Before or after your visit, extend your day in the areas near the museum

We recommend allowing yourself 1 to 3 hours to visit the museum—but your day doesn’t have to end there! Explore some of our favorite sites and activities in the University District and other neighborhoods near the Burke. 

ON-CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS

University of Washington’s handy map can help you navigate to any of the sites below. Access the map online or ask for a copy at the Burke’s admissions desk.

Check Out Contemporary Art at the Henry Art Gallery
The Henry Art Gallery features contemporary art and ideas and is just a 5-minute walk from the Burke. Plus, if you’re visiting the Burke, you can pay just $1 more to see the Henry on the same day. Ask about this deal at Burke admissions. Note that the Henry is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Search for the Henry on the UW map.

Take a Walking Tour of Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Sites
The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, which ran from June to October 1909, was a magical celebration of the natural splendor and wealth of the Pacific Northwest. Not only did it establish Seattle as the Northwest’s pre-eminent metropolis, it also laid the framework for future development of the University of Washington campus. Download the walking guide (PDF).

Enjoy the “Quad”
Framed by beautiful old brick buildings and 80-year-old cherry trees, the Quad is the perfect destination for picnicking, reading, tossing a ball or taking photographs. Be sure to check out the gargoyles on the buildings around the Quad! Search for the Quad on the UW map.

Travel to Hogwarts
OK, you can’t really get to Hogwarts (of Harry Potter fame) from the University campus, but a visit to the reading room at the Suzzallo Library might leave you feeling magically transported. A striking gothic-style building located off Red Square, this library also houses one of theworld’s largest books. Search for Suzzallo on the UW map.

Explore Nature and Gardens Galore!
If it’s nice outside, take a stroll through the University of Washington Botanic Gardens, which includes the Center for Urban Horticulture and the stunning 230-acre Washington Park Arboretum. From the UW Botanic Gardens website you can access garden directions, maps, audio tours and more. Or, from the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, follow along with a Tree Tour and access information about the medicinal garden on campus. Search for gardens on the UW map.

 

Paddle boats Union Bay

Outdoor opportunities abound near the museum, including paddle boating on Union Bay.
Photo: Steve Korn/UW.

Henry Art Gallery cafe

The Henry Art Gallery is just a short walk from the Burke Museum. Its cafe sits below a James Turrell lightspace. 
Photo: Katherine B. Turner/UW

FURTHER AFIELD

Get Out on the Water
On sunny days, you can rent canoes and rowboats at the Waterfront Activities Center on Lake Washington.

Stroll “The Ave”
An eclectic variety of shops is just two blocks away from the museum along University Way, or “The Ave,” as locals call it. Peruse the shops, catch a film, and stop for a café break or a meal at one of the many ethnic restaurants.

See the City from Gasworks Park
Gasworks Park, a must-see Seattle landmark, is just a short drive or bike ride away from the Burke and offers spectacular views of the city. Fly a kite, watch boats or play catch in the fields. Make sure to climb to the top of the hill to see the sundial!

Do the Green Lake Loop
Northwest of the museum you’ll find the urban oasis of Green Lake Park. Green Lake is a freshwater lake surrounded by trees, green spaces and a paved trail that’s favored by walkers and runners. A great place to picnic or let kids run out some energy.  

 

FOOD + DRINK

During your trip to the museum, there’s a bounty of great options for dining, picnicking and snacking.

At the Museum
The Burke Café provides seating and serves an assortment of espresso drinks, coffee and juice, as well as pastries, sandwiches, salads and snacks. The outside patio offers additional seating in the shade or sun. If you’re looking for a spot to eat food you brought with you, several picnic tables are available near a nicely landscaped area on the southeast side of the building. If these tables are full, you can always check out some of the other spots on campus.

Elsewhere on Campus
If it’s raining or the Café is too crowded, the By George Café is a 5- to 10-minute walk south and offers indoor seating and cafeteria-style lunches. The student union building (aka, the HUB) also provides an indoor space and options to purchase food. Search for these spots on the UW map.

In the University District
A wide range of dining options is available just a block away from the Burke on University Way (aka, “the Ave”). From cheap eats to white tablecloths, classic burgers to international favorites, you’re sure to find something that suits your palate. 

Back to Top