Seattle is Washington state’s most happening city and there is much to see and do here. The city’s home to some unique buildings, quirky attractions, and panoramic views, both from land and from the water around it. There’s a famous market, interesting museums, a large Ferris wheel, some locks, some parks & some famous stores that attract visitors to the city. Here’s a list of the top 10 things to do in Seattle.
1. Go to the top of Space Needle
Often, the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Seattle is its famous skyline with a futuristic-looking building standing out against the skyscrapers around it. That’s the Space Needle, an observation tower you must go atop when you’re visiting this city.
The Space Needle is over 600ft tall and visitors can buy themselves tickets to go to the observation deck that’s at 520ft. From here you’ll be able to see the city of Seattle, the lakes in and around it, and on a clear day, even Mt. Rainier in the distance.
If you go up the Space Needle after dark, you’ll be treated to 360-degree views of Seattle’s city lights.
2. Walk through Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market is another unmissable landmark of Seattle, and one of the most popular things to do in Seattle. It may not be as tall as the Space Needle but its spread over an area of 9 acres and is one of the oldest & longest operated farmers markets in the country.
Here you’ll find not just farmers selling their produce but also bakeries, flower stores, fish, meat, dairy, crafts, and there are a whole lot of restaurants, too. A fascinating sight here is the flying fish of Pike Place Fish Company. If you go to this fish vendor you’ll see the employees toss fish from one end to the other when they need to pass it.
Pike Place Market is also where Starbucks’ first coffee shop is located.
3. Admire the blown glass art at Chihuly Garden and Glass
For the last few years, those who visit Space Needle have been making it a point to check in at a glass museum that’s just next to the observation tower. Called Chihuly Garden and Glass, this place is an exhibition of blown glass artwork.
Artist Dale Chihuly has sculpted small & large pieces of glass items that are sure to fill you with awe. After you’re done looking at the exhibits in the building, you might want to go see the ones out in the garden & the humongous one in a conservatory.
4. Check out the Gum Wall
One of the quirkiest things to do in Seattle is seeing its Gum Wall. Found near Pike Place Market, just outside the Market Theater is an alley with its walls all covered with used chewing gum.
Since the early 1990’s people have been coming here to these walls and sticking their chewed gum on the walls. Today, it’s a 50 feet stretch of colorful wall filled with gummy contributions from locals & visitors.
5. Visit Seattle’s Waterfront
Another attraction by Pike Market is the Seattle waterfront. There’s a waterfront park here where you can sit and look at Elliott Bay, the ferries in it, Puget Sound, and the mountains in the distance, as well as a part of the city’s skyline.
Seattle’s Pier 57 situated by the park is another tourist attraction. The pier houses a few restaurants & stores, and also Seattle’s Great Wheel. This Ferris wheel is over 175 feet and is quite a ride because you get to see all of Elliott Bay and quite a bit of the city too when you get to the top of the wheel!
6. Relax at Alki Beach
Alki Beach is a sandy stretch in West Seattle that’s the city’s go-to beach area. It’s where Seattle-ites go to hang out, get a tan & catch a sunset. It’s a good place for strolls, biking, skateboarding & walking dogs. Should you need some food while you’re at the beach, there are some restaurants near here.
This beach comes with views of the city and of Elliott Bay. And if you get there early enough you might get to use the fire pits if you’d like to spend a late evening there to enjoy the stars or the city lights.
7. See the Museum of Pop Culture
Among the many unique structures that make up Seattle is the city’s Museum of Pop Culture. It can be recognized by a facade put together with metal shingles and made to symbolize the fluidity of music. Go in and you’ll see a huge indoor structure made of guitars in this museum is dedicated to pop culture.
It exhibits pop culture memorabilia and the areas that the museum deals with span from music & movies to video games, tattoos & science fiction. Museum of Pop Culture also hosts a large number of events from moving exhibitions to conferences, workshops, film screenings & book clubs.
8. Say hello to the Fremont Troll
Under the Aurora Bridge in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood is a concrete troll crushing a car in one of his hands. Taken out of Scandinavian folklore, this 18ft sculpture gets a lot of visitors on a daily basis.
You could also go take a few pictures with him. It’s a free attraction & one of the best things to do in Seattle!
9. Explore Ballard
Ballard is a neighborhood north of Salmon Bay. These days, it’s an area with residences, shops, hotels, restaurants & pubs, but long back it was a Scandinavian fishing community.
Ballard has some park areas, a Nordic Heritage Museum & the famous Ballard Locks where you can see boats enter and leave the canals between Lake Union and Salmon Bay. At the Locks is also a fish ladder where you can watch Salmon swimming through the Locks.
10. See the city from Kerry Park
With its views of downtown Seattle, Seattle Waterfront, Great Wheel & Elliot Bay, Kerry Park is often said to offer some of the best pictures of Seattle.
If you can be there at dusk you can watch the city lights come on, and take some photographs of a lit-up Seattle, its waterfront & even of the ferries in Elliot Bay, making it a great way to end the list of things to do in Seattle.