Whitehorse museums & cultural centres
History and culture have no ceiling, even if they’re under a roof
The Yukon is known for its incredible year-round outdoor activities, but some of our most awe-inspiring attractions are actually hidden indoors. From unforgettable Indigenous stories to remarkable gold rush tales, and prehistoric woolly mammoths to history-setting aeronautics, these Whitehorse museums are definitely worth stopping in for old-time’s sake.
Named Canada’s #1 most under-rated attraction by MSN Travel, you could say the MacBride Museum is kinda like the Ray Liotta of museums—neither get quite the recognition they deserve. As the Yukon’s first museum ever, it houses one of the most comprehensive collections of wildlife exhibits, and artifacts from Indigenous history and the gold rush.
Visitors of MacBride will find themselves immersed in the remarkable stories, colourful characters and groundbreaking events that have shaped the Yukon. With a collection of over 30,000 pieces, it’s a must-see for any tourist—even those who aren’t fans of Field of Dreams or Goodfellas (but you probably shouldn’t admit it).
If history has taught us anything, getting around in the Yukon has never been a walk in the park. Even if you’re walking in a park. From snowshoe weaves to airplanes registered as sternwheelers, the Yukon Transportation Museum has unexpected stories and displays from A to Z that show how ingenuous Yukoners got from A to B.
Whether you like to hear about tricky situations, look at beautiful old engines or listen to shocking tales, there’s something here for everyone. The museum is filled with dioramas that showcase the self-sufficiency of the Klondike Gold Rush, the construction of the Alaska Highway, and innovative engines that conquered unspoiled terrain. And for all you folks who love locomotives, the enormous LeTourneau Logistical Cargo Carrier is one land train you don’t want to miss. But if all of that doesn’t blow your mind, then the world’s largest wind vane will literally blow your socks off. After all, it is a vintage DC-3 aircraft that pivots in the wind outside the museum.
Dedicated to the presentation and preservation of the vast sub-continent called Beringia, the Interpretive Centre provides visitors with a window into Yukon’s unique ice age history. Stand face-to-face with life-like dioramas of a woolly mammoth, scimitar cat, American lion, and giant short-faced bear.
There’s even a Yukon Horse display containing 26,000-year-old-remains. Learn about the First People who crossed the Beringia land bridge, and explore the life-sized replica of the famous Bluefish Caves archaeological site.
Beautifully designed, the striking cedar-clad building of the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre sits on the shores of the Chu Nínkwän (Yukon River). Here, visitors will immerse themselves in the heritage and contemporary way of life of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation.
The Centre features Indigenous art exhibits, cultural workshops, and interactive performances. Hear legendary stories, join a sewing circle or even make a pair of moosehide moccasins—a much better souvenir than a keychain.
Take the two-kilometer-long “Loki” train ride and embark on a mining history lesson.
The museum’s wilderness setting, interpretive walking trails, and picnic pavilion make it a great place to spend an entire afternoon.
The Old Log Church is a place of heart, soul, and passion. Here, you’ll uncover fascinating stories and hidden treasures of Yukon’s early pioneers and missionaries. Learn about early missionary and whaling history, First Nations art and culture, and the legendary “Bishop Who Ate His Boots.”