The Town or The Emerald City, as the locals love to call Seattle, is renowned for its spectacular scenery, lip-smacking food and unique attractions. Perhaps that is why so many people come to visit Seattle and take in the amazing sights and sounds. The city boasts of a vibrant music and art scene and its parks are to die for!
However, if you are visiting Seattle and have limited time and resources, the following are the best things to do in Seattle and get the most out of your trip.
A visit to Seattle is incomplete without visiting the Pike Place Market. Watching the fishmongers at the entrance throw their fish is a treat by itself. This bustling and historic market has been around since 1907 and attracts locals and visitors alike. It is spellbinding to see a riot of colors. This is the place to come to pick farm-fresh produce, seafood, flowers and cheese.
The main entrance of the Pike Place Market is at Pike Street and First Avenue and the market is open all days of the week. Be sure to take the stairs leading to a maze of small shops under the main level. It is a treasure trove.
The Pike Place Market attracts locals and visitors and you surely will be able to pick a few gifts and souvenirs to take back home.
[Read More: About Pike Place Market]
Photo Credit: NASA HQ PHOTO
There is no dearth of interesting museums in Seattle. These are not mundane and boring museums that people often associate museums with. Take the Museum of History and Industry as an example. It is located in Lake Union Park and is the place to find out more about the region’s maritime history, industry and culture. The waterfront park outside the museum is a wonderful place to see boats skimming the water or float planes taking off.
Close to the Museum is the very interesting Center for Wooden Boats. Here you can see over 100 boats from bygone days, rental boats and a wharf. You can also enjoy free rides on vintage boats on Sundays.
The other museum that is extremely popular is The Seattle Art Museum that showcases masterpieces from European masters, Native American carvings and sculptures and ancient Asian artwork. It also has a gift store, which is stocked with unusual souvenirs, and a restaurant.
The Seattle Asian Art Museum is a tribute to the Asian community in the city. This museum displays artwork of artists from Korea, Japan and India. In addition, you can view pan-Asia art and get an insight into the rich traditions and culture of Asia.
The Museum of Glass itself is an amazing structure from the outside. It is located along the Thea Foss Waterway and the shiny steel cone at the top of the building is the roof and chimney vent of the Hot Shop Amphitheater glass studio of the museum. At the shop you can get demos of glass blowing. In addition, the Museums hosts several exhibitions related to contemporary glass art. Be sure to walk on the elevated pedestrian walkway that connects the Museum to the Washington State History Museum. You will not forget it. This walkway was designed by Dale Chihuly, the world famous glass artist from Tacoma.
The last museum on your list should be The Museum of Flight. This is the place where you can learn about the history of flight and see amazing planes hanging from ceiling. There is an outdoor park where larger planes are exhibited. This truly is a museum for those who love flying or want to become pilots.
[Read More: About Museums of Seattle]
Photo Credit: Andy E. Nystrom
A family vacation definitely means a visit to the zoo. And, the perfect zoo to see jaguars, elephants and snow leopards in their natural habitat is the Woodland Park Zoo. This zoo is unique, as it is more than a zoo. It has a formal rose garden, picnic area, walking paths, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, lawn bowling and even a special area for dogs on leash.
Spread over an area of 65 acres, the Woodland Park Zoo boasts of over 1,000 animals belonging to 290 different species. Even on a rainy day, there are numerous indoor viewing areas and exhibits to keep you out of the deluge. There are numerous food kiosks and cafes to satiate your hunger during your visit to the zoo.
[Read More: About Woodland Park Zoo]
The Space Needle is perhaps the most well-known structure in Seattle. It was constructed for the World Fair in 1962 and stands at an amazing height of 605 feet. It looks like a huge flying saucer elevated on stilts and majestically stands over the Seattle Center. There is an observation deck at 520 feet that offers a bird’s eye view of the surrounding lakes, mountains, bays and other attractions in the city.
Just under the observation deck is the Sky City restaurant that offers a 360-degree view of this amazing and spectacular city. The ride up the elevator is fun, as the operators will be busy telling you fun facts about the Space Needle and also test your knowledge about this iconic structure.
[Read More: About Space Needle – Fun Facts]
The best way to enjoy the beauty of Puget Sound is through a ferry ride. The Washington State Ferry operates 22 ferries and it is a fun and unique experience to drive your vehicle onto the deck of the ferry and head over to the passenger deck to take in the passing islands, mountains and bay.
Don’t miss the fascinating ride from Seattle to Bainbridge Island, where you can enjoy modern amenities with rural ambiance. On a clear day, if you are lucky, you will be able to spot Mount Rainier during this ferry ride.
[Read More: Fun Places to Take a Ferry in Seattle, WA]
Image By evocateur
The spellbinding Olympic Sculpture Park is part of the Seattle Art Museum. It is spread over an area of 9 acres and has transformed the industrial and seaside area into a home for artwork. It is here you can see the six tons of steel painted red and entitled Eagle. This is an artwork from Alexander Calder and looks like an abstract image of a soaring bird. There are several other sculptures to admire.
You also can enjoy a 1.2-mile stroll along the waterfront in the Myrtle Edwards Park, which adjoins the Olympic Sculpture Park.
[Read More: About Olympic Sculpture Park]
Photo Credit: rarvesen
Although Seattle is a bustling and vibrant city, it has retained its natural heritage and beauty. There are several wildlife parks in the vicinity that are worth visiting. One such park is The Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, which was founded in the late 1970s. The Park covers 715 acres of lush land and is home to 200 different native species, including river otters, snowy owls, grizzly bears, cougars, gray wolves, lynxes, bobcats, black bears and bald eagles. If you don’t feel like walking the trails in the wilderness, you can take a tram ride of 50 minutes.
[Read More: Northwest Trek Wildlife Park – Things to Do]
The other awe-inspiring national park in Seattle is The Mount Rainier National Park. The mountain is a glaciated and dormant volcano. It has long fascinated mountaineering groups, but also offers miles of lush hiking trails that meander through forested land and pass cascading waterfalls and serene lakes. During winter, you can enjoy cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
[Read More: Mount Rainier National Park – Things to Do]
Image By paul bica
The Alaskan Way Viaduct separates downtown Seattle from the city’s waterfront. However, this viaduct will soon be replaced by a tunnel. Until that happens, there is a beautiful sidewalk that is worth visiting to check out the wide array of waterfront eateries, shops and wooden piers that pierce the bay like a knife.
You enjoy a delicious plate of fish and chips at the eateries and then head out to Seattle Aquarium to find out about the marine life inhabiting the local waters. The Downtown Waterfront is also home to a giant Ferris wheel, the Seattle Great Wheel. It is 175 feet tall and has enclosed cabins that offer a spectacular view of the city, Olympic Mountains and Elliott Bay.
Do not let the rain put you off from visiting the beautiful and wondrous city of Seattle. Even if it is pouring outside, there are many indoor attractions that offer a respite from the clouds and deluge. Once you visit Seattle, you will keep returning to enjoy more of this fantastic city and its wide array of attractions.
Tagged Downtown Waterfront, Mount Rainier National Park, Museums of Seattle, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Olympic Sculpture Park, Pike Place Market, seattle, seattle things to do, Space Needle, things to do, things to do in seattle, Washington State Ferries, Woodland Park Zoo
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