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Lewis Army Museum Reviews
Great Little Museum the bottom floor was open this time around, covers the Pacific Northwest and Ft Lewis. Exhibits are nice covers everything from Lewis and Clark to Present day. The best part of the... more »
This museum tells the story of the US Army in the Pacific northwest. It also has an extensive collection of military equipment. This is a must for military history buffs. more »
The museum just recently reopened after some reconstruction of the inside exhibits. Despite the building being 3 floors and big, the museum only covers the first floor. The displays are nicely done, a... more »
To access base without a sponsor you need a Driver's license, current vehicle registration and current insurance. If you are wanted by the law or on a terrorist watch list expect a significant delay. Go to the main gate visitor center and select "Lewis Museum" they will collect your documents and issue a visitor's pass that will allow you access to North Fort. If you need directions ask at the visitor center it's easy to find.
From the freeway the museum looks like a fine establishment full of historical intrigue, but myself and my boys never got a chance to enter the building, or base. In order to enter the museum you need to read through the museum's website carefully. First and foremost you should consider NOT going if you don't have military ID. If you decide to go you'll need to collect some paper work. You need your Vehicle registration (not the one from 2012 that you forgot to update), proof of insurance ( I get it, I just haven't been in an accident in 25 years or gotten a speeding ticket in 13 years so I've let some vehicle paperwork lapse). Go to the main gate and enter the visitors center. Don't listen to the sign that says stay in the right lane. The right lane will take you to the guard post main entrance where they'll perform a military like cadence to get you turned around. This includes calling senior guard gate personnel in order to initiate a u turn. Your license is collected, orders are issued, (kids start asking why daddy's in trouble), then the move to turn around where major general stops all traffic for this silly civilian to safely go back from whence they came. The guard then hands back my Washington State drivers license which according to the Real ID Act isn't considered ID to the Federal Government so the threat of me running doesn't seem all that justified. See their website. Just saying! Next step is to enter the visitors center. The building is hidden and in the dark between some evergreens. But never the less its there. If you come off I5 you need to take a right hand turn into the visitor center parking lot, or stay in the right lane to experience military efficiency. The visitors center isn't really a visitors center as it is a civilian processing plant, kinda like the dept of licensing, only more depressing. Push the ticket machine on the left and proceed to the booth with your number listed above the booth. The nice lady asks for all the paper work you probably didn't think you need unless your in an accident or being issued a ticket. I'm not saying I shouldn't need proof of insurance or vehicle registration or a valid license. I'm not saying we shouldn't need to get permission to enter a military base, or that Washington State licenes's aren't considered ID. I'm just saying that its only a museum. It might have been fun.
Awesome tanks and armor. Totally worth it for any armor aficionado.
The museum will re-open at the end of August 2017!! It's under construction! Make sure to have a pass, btw.
I have volunteered here for almost a decade and have loved ever moment. The staff are knowledgable, kind and helpful people. They all truly love what they are doing and were they work. I recommend anyone that has a passion for history, the military or wants to be a part of a group committed to its community and post to visit. The Friends of the Museum and the staff work tirelessly to create an experience that all ages and interests will enjoy and leave feeling more knowledgeable. The museum also offers a library, archive, vehicle park, and will help with any research requests. The exhibits are temporarily closed for renovations and brand new exhibits- so check its Facebook page for more information regarding the Grand Reopening. There will also be a public access gate opening so that the civilian public can visit without passes. The vehicle park is still open. It is a treat visiting and being a part of the long history of Fort Lewis- Happy up-coming centennial Ft. Lewis!
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