What’s new in Seattle


- This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

There seems to be a lot happening in Seattle lately. Aside from several new hotels opening in 2015, here’s a list of new tours, museums, exhibitions and other hotels planned for 2016 and beyond.  

1-Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market with Ferry
Pike Place Market with Ferry Elliott Bay – Photo: Howard Frisk

Pike Place Market is expanding. If you’re visiting in 2016, there will be 47 new stalls, a retail space for artisans as well as 40 low-income housing units for seniors.

2-Museum of Flight

The Museum of Flight’s $22 million Aviation Pavilion is opening on 25 June 2016. The open-air structure will house over 20 commercial and military airplanes (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 of Flight is one of the world’s largest air and space museums. It has over 160 airplanes and spacecraft.

3-Seattle Aquarium Expansion

Seattle Aquarium is expanding and conceptual design has begun on  new exhibits at Piers 59 and 60.

4-Space Needle Launches New Digital Experiences

The Seattle Space Needle is offering new digital and mobile experiences for visitors. The new Space Needle mobile app and digital kiosks (like the 520 Teleporter and touchscreen SkyPad) transports you to different attractions in Seattle offering alternate views and learn more about key sights in town. Download the app at www.spaceneedle.com/app/.

5-Whale Watching in Puget Sound

Orca Whale with Mountain in Background
Orca Whale with Mountain in Background – Photo: San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau

In March 2015, Puget Sound Express began whale watching tours from Edmonds. You’ll see orcas, humpback whales and visit the San Juan Islands aboard a propeller-less hydrofoil.

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

6-Hello Kitty fans rejoice

A large-scale Hello Kitty museum retrospective is on display at Seattle’s EMP Museum from November 14, 2015 to May 15, 2016. More than 600 pieces are on display.

7-Yves Saint Laurent at Seattle Art Museum

The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) presents Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style (Oct. 11 2016 to Jan. 16, 2017) highlighting the designer’s 44-year career.

8-Washington State’s Cider Revolution

Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park
Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park – Photo: John Gussman

Next time you visit Seattle, check out its wineries, breweries and distilleries.  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 distill absinthe, whiskey, grappa, gin, rum and vodka.

9-Eat Seattle Offers New Pike Place Market Tours and Classes

A two-hour tasting tour of Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market takes you on a journey through Pacific Northwest culture. The tour has insights into artisan vendors and tips on where the chefs shop and how they select their seasonal produce.

10-The Carlile Room

The Carlile Room (Ninth Avenue and Pike Street) opened in 2015. The bar, restaurant, pool hall nd sporting goods stores is inspired by singer Brandi Carlile.

11-Pop-Up Restaurants

Pop-Up restaurants are popping up around Seattle. These chef-driven, after-hours pop-up concepts include options from the award-winning Café Juanita (in the former Old Lark space) and a Mexican-Chinese pop-up at Ballard’s Bloom restaurant called Chinese Laundry.

12-New hotels

Mount St. Helens
Mount St. Helens – Photo: Cowlitz County Tourism

Fairmont Olympic began a $25 million renovation of all 450 guest rooms and corridors, soft goods, hard goods and bathrooms in December 2015. .

New hotels planned include Hotel Clare (208 room hotel scheduled for completion in 2018), Stadium Place Project to a 282 room Embassy Suites Hotel. Hyatt House, Hilton Garden and Seattle Marriott Bellevue opened in 2015. W Bellevue is planned for spring 2017.

Discover Seattle

For more things to do in Seattle read this.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here