Looking for things to do in Seattle? Here's where to hop on a ferris wheel, explore a glass garden or eat some tasty food.Less
Seattle’s oldest neighborhood, Pioneer Square boasts some incredible architecture, art galleries, cafés and bookstores. For a bird's-eye view of the city try Smith Tower; built in 1914, this was the tallest building on the West Coast for years, and the views from the 35th floor are still spectacular.
Originally constructed to be part of the 1962 World's Fair, this Seattle landmark is arguably the most iconic. Not only does the attraction provide exceptional panoramic views of downtown, but also of the Puget Sound, the Cascades and Olympic Mountains. Feeling brave? The Space Needle is also home to the world's first revolving glass floor.
Chihuly Garden and Glass showcases the epic work of Northwest glass artist Dale Chihuly with a series of mind- and glass-blowing indoor and outdoor installations. The sculptures range from the elegant to the extravagant, particularly in the garden, where plants and glass pieces tangle in a blaze of colors.
Not only is Pike Place Seattle's most visited landmark (impressive for a market, right?), but it's also a great place for foodies to indulge in tasty grub. Sleuth out the rosy entrance to hidden local favorite the Pink Door for fresh Italian food or taste some of the best clam chowder this side of Boston at Pike Place Chowder.
This nearby island is the antithesis of the skyscraper-stuffed city, with 150 acres of gardens, ponds and meadows to explore in the beautiful Bloedel Reserve. The Bainbridge Island Ferry is also a great way to eyeball a significant amount of Seattle’s highlights swiftly and cheaply. But before you take the 35-minute ride back, stop for a treat at one of the West Coast’s finest ice cream parlors, Mora Iced Creamery.
If you’re a fan of the black stuff, Seattle—the epicenter of the North American coffee scene—is the perfect place to get your hands dirty. Learn everything from beginner latte art to how to brew the perfect espresso in the span of an afternoon at the Seattle Barista Academy, which offers three-hour classes for javaholics.
Born from a popular food truck, Marination Ma Kai serves up mouthwatering Hawaiian-Korean fusion food at an ace location on the glistening waterfront. Board the West Seattle water taxi at Pier 50 and 15 minutes later you’ll arrive at the restaurant. For eats, opt for a pork katsu sandwich with kimchi (beware the spice) or some tofu tacos.
The Seattle Great Wheel is one of the largest of its kind in North America and gondolas are fully enclosed for rain-or-shine rides. From the top of the 175-foot-high wheel you’ll enjoy a grand panorama of the city, the Pacific Ocean and—if you’re lucky—the Olympic Mountains. The wheel itself also lights up at night, providing the Seattle skyline with a little bit of razzle dazzle.
A forested 300-acre peninsula jutting out into Lake Washington, Seward Park is only a 20-minute drive from downtown Seattle, but feels like a completely different world. With beaches, boating, tennis courts and hiking trails, it’s an excellent day-trip option for all ages. Its lush, old-growth forest (some of the trees are more than 250 years old!) is a particularly nice escape from the urban jungle.
Washington prides itself on its wine, and Chateau Ste. Michelle, less than 20 miles from Seattle, is the state’s oldest and most celebrated winery. Ready for a taste? Ste. Michelle produces chardonnay, cabernet, merlot, riesling and other varietals from a turreted French-style mansion surrounded by 105-acres of gorgeous grounds.