20 Spectacular Things to do in Seattle

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Starbucks, Boeing and Microsoft are three of the icons that pop into mind when you mention Seattle. This lovely city in the Pacific Northwest has plenty of attractions to keep you busy. The famous Pike Street Market, underground tours and excellent museums are some of the things that will keep you sleepless Seattle. Here are 20 things to do in Seattle to tick off your bucket list.

Seattle

Things To Do In Seattle

1- See Seattle From The Sky 

The Space Needle is a Seattle monument and one of the most famous landmarks in the USA.

The tower is 184 m tall and the view from the sky is amazing.

You’ll get a bird’s eye of the Cascades and the Olympic mountains while below, the city’s waterways, ports and islands are an enticing contrast.

Seattle is a waterside city (80% of the city is surrounded by water) connected by 112 bridges.

As the home of many Microsoft millionaires, Seattle has more boats per capita than anywhere else in the USA.

The Seattle Space Needle offers digital and mobile experiences for visitors that transport you to different attractions in Seattle offering alternate views and is a cool way to learn more about key sights in town. 

Check out the webcam here

2- Experience Music in Seattle

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Try your hand at making music in the Experience Music Project (EMP) Sound Lab or get swept away with their Artist’s Journey multimedia motion-platform ride.

Located in the Seattle Centre, the EMP is an interactive music museum that brings American popular music and rock ‘n’ roll to life.

There are 80,000 artefacts including stage costumes and instruments from popular American music icons such as Bob Dylan, as well as an extensive collection of Jimi Hendrix memorabilia.

Its most unusual attraction is the Sky Church, a dramatic hall with a video screen that spans an entire wall. This interactive and multimedia nirvana is housed within a controversial and wild freeform building.

The exterior has sections of blue and red painted aluminium and stainless steel with purple, silver, and golden finishes. Seattle’s monorail passes through the structure.

3- Visit Pike Place

Crabs

Pike Place Market is a great spot to wander around for entertainment and to shop.

The waterfront market is pretty touristy but still worth a visit as it’s fun and also where the locals go shopping for fresh food like Dungeness crabs (large crabs with white-tip claws), vegetables and salmon.

The fish sellers at Pike Place Fish shop are extremely entertaining and have managed to turn selling fish into a Broadway production.

They shout and chant in harmony and throw the fish around the store.

4- Drink Coffee

Next to the fish stalls at the market is the original Starbucks store, opened in 1971, retaining its original rustic charm.

It’s an iconic spot to grab a coffee. 

5- Explore the underground

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For a 90-minute tongue-in-cheek, offbeat, entertaining and adventurous way to learn about the city’s colourful past, buy a ticket to Seattle’s underground tour.

Dispensing quirky titbits, the underground tour guides entertain with stories of significant events in Seattle’s history.

During the late 19th century, the streets of Seattle were raised in order to prevent flooding.

As a result, many of Seattle’s old buildings’ bottom levels are beneath the ground.

You’ll be taken through secret passageways and dark dungeons at the city’s original level to discover a whole new world.

The tour guides’ vivid imagination brings Seattle’s past to life with imaginative descriptions and colourful storytelling.

6- Visit Ballard Locks

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Watch the boats at Ballard Locks make the transition through the gateway from the freshwater of Lake Washington and Lake Union to the saltwater of Puget Sound.

Between June and October, the salmon make their annual migration.

Through underwater windows, you’ll see them leaping and jumping out of the water.

Hire a kayak and kayak along Lake Union, where Tom Hanks lived on a houseboat in Sleepless’s movie in Seattle.

Ballard Locks is situated in Seattle’s Scandinavian neighbourhood.

 

7- Explore San Juan Islands

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The ferry to San Juan Islands is a fabulous way to enjoy the water.  

San Juan’s harbour is a charming port with restaurants, shops and galleries.

It’s a great spot to go orca watching although the waters around the islands are also home to other species like Grey and Minke whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, seals, sea lions and otters.

Puget Sound and the Georgia Strait are home to some of the world’s highest concentrations of whales and other sea life.

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8- Explore Pioneer Square

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Walk around Pioneer Square, Seattle’s oldest neighbourhood, now a historic district and home to many of Seattle’s art galleries, restaurants and web development companies.

Spend a few hours at the Elliott Bay Book Company in Pioneer Square where you can join free daily readings and meet well-known authors, who often pop in for special book signings.

After dark, Pioneer Square turns into an entertainment district, with one of the city’s liveliest collections of nightspots.

You’ll find sports bars, jazz bars, hard rock taverns and little romantic eateries.

9- Discover The Seattle Waterfront

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Browse the shops on Seattle’s waterfront.

The Bell Street Pier is delightful to wander around. Or you can board the Victoria Clipper catamaran from Pier 69 for a sightseeing tour of Puget Sound.

The City of Seattle’s central waterfront project is is a $728 million project planned for completion in 2024.

A protected cycling lane and landscaped promenade for pedestrians connects the various sections.

There are public spaces for events, including ice skating in winter and concerts.

10- Seattle Aquarium

Spend the day at the Seattle Aquarium (Piers 59 and 60) and learn the secrets of the sea.

Head to the Window on Washington Waters to see the native marine life of Puget Sound, such as sea anemones and salmon.

You’ll see other denizens of the ocean here are sea stars, giant Pacific octopus and jellies.

The ninth-largest aquarium in the USA offers daily educational talks and is one of the top places to visit in the Puget Sound region.

Check out the aquarium’s virtual programme here.

11- Visit Snoqualmie Falls 

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A day trip to Snoqualmie Falls is a delightful way to explore the natural landscape around Seattle.

Remember ‘Twin Peaks’? The small mountain town (with a dramatic waterfall) is where Twin Peaks was filmed.

Snoqualmie Falls is a spectacular waterfall over 80 metres high (almost 30 metres higher than Niagara Falls!).

The sight of gushing water is mesmerising, and it’s easy to see why the Snoqualmie tribe considered Snoqualmie Falls a spiritual place.

12- Museum of Flight

The Museum of Flight is one of the world’s largest air and space museum, with over 160 aeroplanes and spacecraft.

Galleries include the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park, which pays homage to the soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War, the TA Wilson Great Gallery, the Personal Courage Wing, Red Barn and Space Gallery. 

The Museum of Flight’s Aviation Pavilion is an open-air structure with commercial and military aeroplanes including Boeing 727, 737 and 747, the 787 Dreamliner, Air Force One, Concorde airliner and the B-17, B-29 and B-47 bombers.

The museum also has some pretty cool 360-degree virtual tours for aviation fans to get a closer look inside classic aircraft cockpits.

13- Do A Boutique Brewery Tour

Washington State is home to over 250 craft breweries, and it’s not surprising as more than two-thirds of America’s hops are grown in the Yakima Valley.

Seattle is one of the best cities to go on a brewery tour, and the best neighbourhoods to visit craft breweries are SoDo, Fremont and Ballard.

Most restaurants and bars also have local beer on the menu.

The 2008b Washington State Distillery Law allows smaller distillers to operate with a craft distillery license.

The law allows for on-site tasting, bottle sales and facility tours.

Dozens of new distilleries are now operating and distil absinthe, whiskey, grappa, gin, rum and vodka.

14- Go On A Distillery Tour

There are over 100 distilleries in Washington state run by passionate distillers who create small-batch gin, whiskey, vodka, sake and aquavit.

A guided distillery tour will take you behind-the-scenes for insights into the craft.

If you don’t have time for a distillery tour, make sure to order a craft cocktail at a Seattle bar.

Although prohibition ended over 80 years ago, Seattle is still home to speakeasy-style bars with a 1920s flavour.

Try Bathtub Gin & Co in Belltown for its gin menu and The Upstairs for its charming ambience.

15- Explore The Pacific Science Center

16- Channel Your Creativity At The Refract Glass Festival

17- Visit Art Museums

18- Visit The Seattle Pinball Museum

19- Discover Native American Heritage

20- Visit A Winery

Things to do in Seattle

Things to do in Seattle