Whale Museum – Friday Harbor, Washington - Atlas Obscura
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Whale Museum

Orcas on display and in the water. 


Nestled in the San Juan Islands, the Whale Museum is part natural history museum, part research station. The museum supports and does research on three pods of Orca whales living in the adjacent Salish Sea.

Though Orca whales live around the world, they are particularly concentrated in the coastal waters of North America, from Alaska to Washington. In the Native American traditions of the Pacific Northwest, the Orca, or killer whale, is the ruler and guardian of the sea, for its pure size and strength. In their mythology, the whales live in houses and towns at the bottom of the sea.

At the Whale Museum, the gallery teaches visitors about these amazing mammals, including a genealogy of the orcas in the Salish Sea. It also features a video on Orcas of the Northwest and has a whale phone where you can listen to the songs of different whales.

Visitors must take a ferry to Friday Harbor, but the museum is near the ferry landing.

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