When you first think about Seattle, the first thing to come to mind is the Space Needle and Pike Place Market. But, there is so much more this great city offers besides these two great atrractions.
Why do I love Seattle? With more than 20 culturally different localities, a vibrant arts locale, world-renowned chefs and quick access to some of the numerous picturesque hiking and boating adventures in the Pacific Northwest, the bustling city of Seattle offers an array of activities to suit all interests.
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50 Must-See Attractions While Visiting Seattle
While there is so much to do in Seattle in just one visit, this post of the 50 must-see attractions will help in planning for your next visit to the emerald city.
1. Space Needle
The Space Needle is an iconic feature beside Seattle’s skyline. It really is one of the best attractions in Seattle if you are a first-timer to the emerald city.
Take the elevator and Soar 520 feet skyward to the observation deck. While you are there, lean into breathtaking views through the floor-to-forever glass on the space needle’s glass benches. Step onto The Loupe, the world’s first and only rotating glass floor.
Grab a drink or a quick bite at the Atmos Cafe/Wine Bar. Located on the upper observation level, Atmos Cafe/Wine Bar features small bites, sandwiches, and burgers, plus locally crafted beer, wine, and coffee.
2. Chihuly Garden and Glass
Situated under the Space Needle, the Chihuly Garden and Glass showcases awe-inspiring glass sculptures created by the world-renowned, hometown artist gorge Chihuly.
The centerpiece is the 40-foot tall Glasshouse, which is home to an expansive 100-foot long sculpture.
3. Pacific Science center
Ignite your curiosity with the new and favorite exhibits and experiences in one of the coolest things to do in Seattle for kids of any ages.
Launch rockets and create electric circuits in Tinker Tank. Immerse yourself in the warm and sunny lush Tropical Butterfly House full of hundreds of beautiful, free-flying tropical butterflies.
Explore questions about the nature of reality with a series of rotating and experimental experiences featuring emerging technology from local scientists, engineers, and artists.
4. The Original Starbucks
While strolling through Pike Place Market, be sure to stop by the 1st & Pike Starbucks store, also known as Seattle’s original Starbucks. You can’t visit the city of coffee without stopping at this Must-See Attraction While Visiting Seattle.
5. Seattle Great Wheel
Take a ride on the breathtaking Seattle Great Wheel on Pier 57 on Elliott Bay in Seattle. Witness the city of Seattle like never before as you climb 175 feet over the water. Take in the panoramic views of the Emerald City from the top of the great Wheel.
6. Fremont Troll
Hiding under Fremont’s gigantic Aurora Bridge, this concrete monster stands guard, Volkswagen Beetle in hand.
Have some additional free time? Stroll around this funky region to discover other oddities, like a rocket ship and a 16-foot bronze sculpture of Vladimir Lenin.
One of the stranger things to do in Seattle, this piece of art was inspired by the folktale billy goats gruff, the massive Fremont Troll hold court under the Fremont Bridge.
7. Gum Wall
One of the Must-See Attractions While Visiting Seattle is just underneath Pike Place Market in Post Alley. The gum wall is purely as eccentric as it sounds it’s one huge brick wall covered entirely in gum.
You know the drill, if you visit, you have to leave your own. Chomp, chomp!
8. Gas Works Park
With expansive perceptions of downtown Seattle across Lake Union, there is no better spot to spend a sunny day than camped on the grassy hill at Gas Works Park.
Grab one of gas plant equipment-turned tables for a picnic or merely work on your tan and evaluate of absolutely nothing.
The site of the former Seattle Gas Light business, the tragic Gasworks Park offers sensational funny feelings back on the city of Seattle.
9. Ride the Monorail Through the Museum of Pop Culture
If you’re looking for the quintessential Seattle experience, look no further than the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP).
Hop on the renowned Seattle Monorail and ride right through the belly of the Frank O. Gehry meant building, then enjoy an afternoon of experimental exhibits blending music, pop culture, and sci-fi.
Cruise through the lively Museum of Pop said to resemble a smashed guitar from above, on the Seattle Monorail.
10. Pioneer Square Shops & Restaurants
Art galleries, coffee shops, and trendy bars fill Pioneer Square’s late-1800s Romanesque Revival buildings.
Tourists explore subterranean streets on the guided Underground Tour and learn about Seattle’s roots at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.
Office workers unwind in secluded Waterfall Garden Park or grab lunch from food trucks at Occidental Square, a plaza with bistro tables and bocce courts.
11. Take a Water Taxi to West Seattle
Cruise across Elliot Bay on a water taxi for a day of shopping and beach-bumming in West Seattle. A few dollars buys a 12-minute cruise, surely enough time to grab a coffee and make plans for the day.
12. Catch Summer Concerts
It wouldn’t be summer in Seattle without a slew of outdoor concerts to fill your calendar. Dance the night away to a mixture of eclectic indie, dreamy synth and experimental electronic.
Check out the incredible lineup of artists at Bumbershoot, the original Seattle music festival.
13. NOAA Sound Garden
Another Of The Must-See Attractions While Visiting Seattle is perched on a hill overlooking Lake Washington. The NOAA Sound Garden comprises of giant pipe-like structures whistle and howl in the wind.
Visiting is free, but be sure to bring your photo ID along to get a day pass, and prepare to hike a half mile to get to the installations.
14. Shopping and Nightlife on Capitol Hill
Looking for fresh threads? With its fashion boutiques, sneaker shops, eco-friendly retailers and stores, there’s no place more lively than the urban playground of Capitol Hill.
When night falls, stop by speakeasy establishments such as Knee High Stocking Co., distilleries such as Sun Liquor and the Unicorn.
15. Seattle Pinball Museum
Transport yourself back to your childhood days of arcades, lights, and pinball at this classic pinball emporium. This amazing museum boasts more than 50 vintage pinball machines that are free to play with admission to the museum.
16. Dick’s Drive-In
Call it version of In-N-Out burger that is famous in the Northwest, and it’s the best deal in town. Seek out a drive-up location and enjoy a timeless meal (seriously, they haven’t changed her menu since ’82). A must eat in Seattle for the individual that loves the burgers and fries.
17. Walk Around Green Lake
One of Seattle’s most beloved parks, Green Lake with its freshly reconstructed path around its perimeter, is perfect for walking, biking or rollerblading. In the summertime, cool of with a dip at the beach, then wander the surrounding region shops.
18. Ride the Ducks
With herculean theories and the chance to check out attractions both on land and in the surrounding waterways, why not explore the city with a Ride the Ducks amphibious tour!
Another of the Must-See Attractions While Visiting Seattle that will shock you when we turn this bus into a boat and drive straight into the lake!
19. Seattle Distillery Tour
Jump on the craft distillery bandwagon and get an inside look at the inner workings of small-batch producers such as Sound Spirits, LeEerpress Copperworks on the Dis3llery Tour.
Sample everything from whiskey to gin to vodka at Copperworks Distilling company.
20. Wings Over Washington
See a side of the Evergreen State with a ride in Wings Over Washington’s “theater” that will transport you on an aerial adventure high above Washington.
5K Cameras and VR make for an immersive and lifelike experience as you soar over the state’s the highest scenic landmarks.
21. Woodland Park Zoo
Woodland Park Zoo’s 92 acres are divided into bioclimatic zones, featuring different natural habitats ranging from humid tropical rainforests and coastal deserts to temperate rain forests like those of the Pacific Northwest.
Discover the amazing animals and experiences that await you when you explore the award-winning exhibits!
22. Grab Brunch
Is it an early lunch? Late breakfast? Who cares as long as pancakes are involved. Grab the best bites in Seattle at Oddfellows on Capitol Hill, The London Plane in Pioneer Square or at Portage Bay Café, with multiple locations around town.
23. Alki Beach
On a perfect sunny day, Alki Beach is Seattle’s version of Santa Monica. Beach volleyball, longboarding, roller skating are activities of choice here, all set to a gorgeous backdrop of downtown across the water.
24. Salty’s on Alki Beach
No trip to Alki Beach is complete without dinner at Salty’s. Located right on the water and some of the freshest seafood around. It’s where you need to eat seafood in Seattle.
This swanky seafood eatery known for its bountiful weekend brunch buffets & sweeping Puget Sound views. It’s the perfect ending to a perfect day!
25. Pike Place Market
Within the nine-acre historic district you’ll discover dozens of farmers, a bustling crafts market, and more than 200 unique owner-operated shops.
There are more than 80 restaurants to tempt you, from take-out counters specializing in donuts to fine dining establishments.
Bring your appetite and enjoy exploring Pike Place Market.
26. Grab Dessert
Looking for a cool-down activity that’s equal parts refreshing and delicious? Head to Molly Moons’ or Full Tilt Ice Cream, chill from the heat with a scoop or two of different, mouth-watering sweet scoops at Molly Moon’s.
27. Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour
The Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour is one of the most-loved, Must-See Attractions While Visiting Seattle. Located just 25 miles north of Seattle, the Boeing Tour is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to view 747, 767, 777, and 787 Dreamliners on the assembly line before they take to the sky.
The Boeing Factory Tour is a visit inside a working assembly plant, which can be noisy and active depending on the day and time. Employees on the Everett site, work 5 days a week, 3 shifts a day.
Any employees on the weekend will be essential services or overtime; so please be aware that activity in the factory on weekends may be minimal.
28. Seattle Children’s Museum
Over 22,000 sq feet of play space designed for kids 10 months to 10 years to enjoy with their families. There are a number of hands-on exhibits for kiddos to explore, and daily educational programs or activities that are FREE with the cost of admission.
29. Waterfall Garden Park
This secluded retreat is a best-kept secret! Waterfall Garden Park provides a quiet oasis in the heart of the city. A 22-foot waterfall in the heart of Pioneer tucked behind Occidental Square Park on 2nd Ave.
It’s the perfect spot to have lunch, read a book or relax to the sound of moving water and forget about the rest of the world for a while.
30. Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour
A Tour of Seattle’s Under Ground is Seattle’s most unusual attraction, a humorous stroll through intriguing subterranean storefronts and sidewalks entombed when the city rebuilt on top of itself after the Great Fire of 1889.
31. Kerry Park
Located at the corner of Second Avenue West and West Highland Drive, Kerry Park offers views that have to been seen in person.
One of the highest desirable viewpoints, Kerry Park aligns the Space Needle nicely beside the downtown skyline, making for a scenic vista day or night.
32. Seattle Art Museum
SAM has been the center for world-class visual arts in the Pacific Northwest since 1933.
Visit SAM to see a museum carved into the city, as much a part of Seattle’s landscape and personality as the coffee, rain, mountains, Pike Place Market, and the Space Needle.
With three distinct locations celebrate the region’s position as a crossroads where east meets west, urban meets natural, local meets global.
The collections, installations, special exhibitions, and programs feature art from around the world and build bridges between cultures and centuries.
33. Root on the Mariners and Sounders
The stomping grounds for the Mariners, T-mobile park (formally Safeco Field) features a retractable roof for the days it might rain. T-mobile park is your source for as many hot dogs, peanuts and crackerjacks you should eat while rooting for our beloved M’s.
Right next to T-mobile park is CenturyLink home of The Seattle Sounders & Seattle Seahawks. The first time I took in a Sounders game, I was shocked by the slew of Rave Green clad fans that were there to cheer on the beloved Sounders. The fan experience is equal to that of a Seattle Seahawks game.
These Must-See Attractions While Visiting Seattle are the best way to take in the Pacific Northwest atmosphere.
Also, both stadiums are conveniently nestled among post-game bar spots such as Pyramid Alehouse and Henry’s Tavern, so you have plenty of options when it comes to celebrating the team win with a nice cold beverage.
34. Olympic Sculpture Park
Find an urban slice of Zen just a few blocks away from Seattle Science Center. The Olympic Sculpture Park features up to the minute art and classic vistas of the waterfront and Belltown.
35. Mt. St. Helens Tour
This beautiful journey takes you into the ravaged heart of Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. View the steaming volcano just miles from the crater, experience ecosystems recovering from the devastation of the 1980 eruption and walk through the park with your naturalist guide to gain hands on understanding of local flora.
Head out on the Eruption Trail where you will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the lava dome, crater, pumice plain and largest landslide recorded in human chronicles.
36. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center
At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center you can explore interactive exhibits and powerful stories highlighting how the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its partners are working to improve the quality of life for billions of people around the globe.
Discover innovations and bold ideas to solve pressing challenges facing our most vulnerable communities locally and globally.
Find out how ordinary people are changing the world—and get inspired to take action. Free and next to Seattle Center.
37. Seattle Aquarium
Seattle Aquarium –Discover playful sea otters, graceful octopuses, luminous moon jellies and more. Be amazed by Window on Washington Waters, a 120,000-gallon exhibit with daily dive shows.
Touch live sea creatures in tide pools. Immerse yourself in the Underwater Dome’s 360-degree view. Take a virtual trip to the tropics in the Pacific Coral Reef exhibit.
38. Argosy Tillicum Excursion
Argosy Tillicum Excursion –Cruise to nearby Blake Island State Park to explore the 475-acre island. Eat a Northwest flavors-inspired meal and experience a Northwest Native American storytelling show. Don’t forget your camera because the peek-a-boo views of Seattle and of Mount Rainier are spectacular!
39. Smith Tower
Enjoy Smith Tower as you’ve never seen it before. Immerse yourself in new exhibits that take you on a journey through the past one hundred years.
Make your way to the top of the tower for an amazing vantage point from the Observatory, including an open-air deck that will give you 360-degree views of Seattle and beyond.
Then take a moment to indulge in Prohibition-inspired craft cocktails and shareable plates with a group of friends or your loved ones. And don’t forget to make a wish in the Wishing Chair. It’s the perfect selfie to post of your visit to Smith Tower.
40. Mt. Rainier Tour
Breathtaking vistas of glacier-carved Mt. Rainier, waterfalls and alpine meadows await on a day trip to this iconic landmark. Pay a visit to Paradise or Sunrise to learn more regarding the mountain, trek through old-growth forests and delight in gorgeous vistas of the surrounding Cascade Range.
41. Lake Union
42. Washington Park Arboretum
The Washington Park Arboretum is a short distance from the hustle and bustle of city life and is surprisingly peaceful. When you visit during the blooming season the scents and colors are amazing.
Talk a walk through this quiet and beautiful park when you need to decompress during your holiday. Parking and much of the park admission was free unless you wanted to visit the Japanese gardens.
43. Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (locally known as the Ballard Locks) is a waterway system that connects the saltwater of the Puget Sound to the fresh water of the Ship Canal, which sits about 20 feet above sea level.
Boats enter the locks, the gates close and the water rises or falls to the level of the destination waterway.
Watching boats pass through the locks, exploring the 7 acres of botanical gardens and looking for fish on the fish ladder is fun and free entertainment that draws locals and tourists alike.
44. The Center for Wooden Boats
The Center for Wooden Boats at South Lake Union is a hub of hands-on learning year-round.
Boat rentals, classes and workshops, field trips, lectures, and opportunities for direct experience on the water and at the docks are just a few of the things you’ll find when you visit.
45. Seattle Waterfront
Walking along the Seattle Waterfront is a perfect way to soak up some Northwest atmosphere. Take in views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains while exploring Olympic Sculpture Park, the Seattle Aquarium, shops, and restaurants like Ivar’s, a local landmark, where you can watch the ferries load and depart while you eat.
46. 5th Avenue Theatre
The 5th Avenue Theatre is a landmark theatre building located in Seattle, Washington. It has hosted a variety of theatre productions and motion pictures since it opened in 1926.
The building and land is owned by the University of Washington and was once part of the original campus. If you have time, why not take in any of the current shows in this great historic theatre when you are there.
47. Central Public Library
You’ve never seen a library quite like this—Seattle Central Library’s architecturally distinct structure boasts enough glass to cover more than five football stadiums. Head to the 10th floor for a light-filled reading room with peekaboo views of Elliott Bay.
48. South Lake Union “Streetcar Line”
The CITY calls it the South Lake Union “Streetcar Line”, but everyone else calls it the South Lake Union Trolley… or SLUT, and it winds through Seattle’s fasting growing neighborhood, the home to Amazon, and by a ton of bars and restaurants that you need to check out.
49. Washington State Ferries
A ride across Puget Sound aboard one of 22 Washington State Ferries vessels is a quintessential Pacific Northwest experience.
Enjoy the breathtaking views from the bow of the boat as you cruise to the nearby communities of Bainbridge Island or Bremerton. This is one of those cases where the journey is as much fun as the destination.
50. Seattle Cinerama
Combining sleek comfort and futuristic decor with breakthrough advances in motion picture technology, Cinerama opened just a year after the World’s Fair came to town.
Over the decades, it became a favorite venue for Seattle moviegoers of all ages, from families to Star Wars buffs who camped out in line for weeks before a premiere.
If there is a film playing at Seattle Cinerama that you have been waiting for, this is a film going experience not to be missed.
These 50 Must-See Attractions While Visiting Seattle is just a taste of what this great city offers. If you only experience just a few from this list while visiting this great city, you will have memories that will stay in your mind for years to come.
If you are thinking about visiting Seattle’s top attractions, handpicked and packaged together at significant savings. Click the attractions or banner ad to learn more about the incredible savings.
- Space Needle
- Seattle Aquarium
- Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour
- Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) OR Woodland Park Zoo
- Chihuly Garden and Glass OR Pacific Science Center
If you are looking for accommodations on the trip, I would suggest Airbnb. Join Airbnb with this link to Accept Trent’s invite to join Airbnb and you’ll get $45 CAD towards your first trip of $95 CAD or more.
Also, Join Uber with this link to $5 off the first ride.
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