Seattle, the Emerald City, is one of the biggest cities in the Pacific Northwest and has a popular downtown. In the distance you can see Mount Rainier, one of the most prominent peaks in the United States, when it’s not covered by fog.
Seattle is known for their trendy neighborhoods, the Space Needle, unlimited number of museums and their architecture, making it the perfect spot to take a vacation. Whether you love exploring the good outdoors, chowing down on delicious food, or exploring the local art, Seattle has a little bit of something for everyone.
Take a look at the top 10 things to do when visiting Seattle.
1. Pike Place Market
Located on the waterfront of Elliott Bay, Pike Place Market is a staple for Seattle. Dating back to 1907, Pike Place has been a key location for seasonal produce, local artist, and dozens of fish markets and specialty foods. There are over 200 traders located at Pike Place and spans over nine acres.
You will wind through alleys and stairways as you are wander Pike Place Market and if you want to beat the crowd the best time to go is the early morning. Make sure you go hungry since there will be an abundance of samples you’ll want to try and treats you can’t pass up.
Don’t forget to visit the first Starbucks that ever opened. It’s right across the street from the market and typically has a long line out the door.
2. Chihuly Garden and Glass
This might seem like a museum that you can pass up but trust us, don’t. The museum features work from artist Dale Chihuly who was born in Tacoma. He is known worldwide for his colorful and logic defying glass sculptures that will leave you speechless.
The museum was established in 2012 and is comprised of eight galleries, a stunning garden, and a glasshouse. Some of his work is suspended from the ceiling and other pieces will change appearances throughout the day depending on how the light hits it. While wandering the gallery you will learn about Chihuly’s career and process in making his amazing pieces.
3. Museum of Pop Culture
The Museum of Pop Culture is another museum you cannot miss. Located right down the road from the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum, the Pop Culture museum will make your inner teenager scream and you won’t be able to get enough of the amazing displays they offer.
The museum was established by Microsoft’s co-founder Paul Allen and it features all aspects of pop culture including video games, horror movies, sci-fi and music genres. Currently they offer a Minecraft exhibit that is making children excited to visit museums once again.
The museum features amazing outfits and props from groups like Pearl Jam or Prince, a guitar museum that will make you appreciate music more, and a Fantasy World that will give you a deeper look into your favorite fantasy books and movies.
4. Seattle Space Needle
One of the most known features of Seattle is the Space Needle. Representing Seattle for almost 60 years, it was once the tallest building west of the Mississippi. The Space Needle stands at 150 meters and 184 if you include the spear.
While visiting you can see the Seattle towers, Mount Rainier, the islands on Puget Sound, the Cascade Mountains, and the Olympic Mountains. Make sure you attempt the Space Needle more towards the afternoon if you go during the fogger times, it gives you a better chance of seeing the amazing views without fog. If heights aren’t your thing, skip the second floor of the tower since it recently went under renovations that included floor to ceiling glass panels on a rotation platform.
5. Seattle Great Wheel
From Pike Place Market you can easily spot this stunning Ferris wheel that sits on Pier 57. The Ferris wheel is the tallest of the West Coast and sits over 53 meters. The Ferris wheel will place you in a fully enclosed capsule, so its cozy even in the fog and rain.
The pods don’t swing and on the weekends the Ferris wheel stays open until midnight. If you want to make a romantic trip out of it you can upgrade a VIP pod that offers glass floors, leather seats, champagne, and line-jumping.
6. T-Mobile Park
Just as you enter the city you pass the well-known Safeco Field, now renamed T-Mobile Park. This is home to the Seattle Mariners and seats up to 46,929 people. The park features a retractable roof, natural grass field, and amazing ballpark grub.
The park is known for their retro-modern look and Art Deco-style and if you love a good baseball park, you won’t want to pass this one up, even though the Mariners have never played in the World Series.
7. Starbucks Reserve and Tasting Room
Everyone knows that Starbucks originated in Seattle and opened its first store in Pike Place Market. Located on Capital Hill is a new experience from Starbucks, their reserve and tasting room. This is their flagship location and is described as a craft distillery but mainly for coffee.
If you love Starbucks, your mind will be blown by this experience. The friendly staff will guide you through the experience where you can watch beans being roasted and coffee being hand crafted in front of you. The menu is a little trendier than other Starbucks locations, but you can enjoy a coffee cocktail, whiskey barrel-aged cold-brew and syrups galore here. Don’t forget to grab a flight of coffee, espresso, or cold brew while you’re there.
8. Gum Wall
Located in Post Alley and down a flight of stairs from Pike’s you will find the Gum Wall. The wall was started in the 90s after people leaving the Unexpected Productions improv show would stick their used gum on the wall and decorate it with a coin. Today, people are becoming more creative with their gum and making pieces of art instead.
The wall has been cleared three times in the past, most recently in 2015, since chemicals were damaging the brickwork in the alley. There are estimated to be over a million pieces of gum on the wall and has been recognized as a tourist attraction since 1999.
9. Olympic National Park Tour
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast then this tour is for you. The Olympic National Park is a UNESCO World heritage site and has some of the oldest woodlands in the United States. If you want, you can take a day-long guided excursion through the wilderness in the comfort of a van.
While visiting you can catch a glimpse of bears, deer, and Olympic marmots. On the North side of the park lies Lake Crescent that is known for its vivid blue waters and you’ll be surrounded by thousands of Douglas fir trees.
10. The Pink Door
The Pink Door upfront looks like a delicious Italian restaurant but it’s so much more. Brimming with circus acts, live music, and fun, The Pink Door will be a showstopper of a restaurant to visit, if you can find it. The restaurant is not located on a main street and instead is tucked away in an alley by Pike Place. There is no sign so the only way you know you found it, is by locating the famous light pink door.
Once inside you will be taken to a new world where you can watch aerial performers or cabaret acts. Their food is to die for but getting in can be difficult so make reservations if you can or try your luck with walking in.
Regardless of why you want to go on vacation, Seattle is a great destination to try out. There is always something for you to do and a lot of the attractions are within walking distance from hotels.