Seattle is a buzzing metropolis with an overwhelming amount of things to do. Whether it’s strolling around Gas Works Park or seeing the famous Space Needle, these suggestions from local insiders will help you figure out where to start.Less
Pike Place Market is one of the USA’s longest-running farmer’s markets, having been in operation since 1907. Located on Pike Street, it’s a useful calling point for fresh, local produce. Whether you’re looking for the basics or hunting down gourmet, hard-to-find ingredients for your next dish, the market has got you covered. Pike Place also offers dining options and a craft market where you can pick up musical instruments, longboards, kitchenware and so much more, all handmade by local artisans
MoPOP (Museum of Pop Culture) is a museum not like any other and is a must-visit for anyone interested in music, film, TV or video games. Alongside a huge collection of artefacts and handwritten lyrics from legendary Seattleites Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana, MoPOP houses the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. Extensive exhibitions of props, costumes, posters and first-editions from all of your favorite movies can be found here.
Go below the surface of the modern, tech-savvy city with a tour of the Seattle Underground. Explore the subterranean storefronts and pavements that were subsequently abandoned as the city raised its streets a story above the hazardous mudflats 19th-century Seattle was founded on. The 75-minute tour is across uneven terrain at low light levels, so sensible shoes are a must.
No first-timer’s trip to Seattle would be complete without visiting the city’s most famous landmark. Built in 1962 for the Seattle World’s Fair, the Space Needle is a 605ft (184m) tower with a flying-saucer-shaped observation deck at the top, complete with unparalleled views of the city and Puget Sound. On clear days, you can see Mount Rainier, Washington State’s tallest mountain, and beyond.
Seattle Art Museum encompasses three separate facilities: the Seattle Art Museum in Downtown Seattle, the Asian Art Museum in Capitol Hill and the Olympic Sculpture Park on the waterfront. Both the Seattle Art Museum and Asian Art Museum offer exciting and accessible exhibitions that both art fanatics and those with a more casual interest will enjoy perusing. There are also well-curated, permanent exhibits with a focus on modern and international art.
Pioneer Square is Seattle’s oldest neighborhood where the city’s founders first started to build. Today, with a backdrop of picturesque 19th-century Richardson Romanesque buildings, it’s an iconically trendy Seattle spot. Sample some of the city’s famously good coffee from artisanal coffee shops, browse the neighborhood’s numerous art galleries, grab lunch from a food truck or perhaps book a bocce court in Occidental Square.
Lose yourself for hours among the captivating glass sculpture displays at Chihuly Garden and Glass. Showcasing the work of renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly, the museum presents his work in various settings. As well as eight indoor galleries, visitors can explore an outdoor garden full of sculptures and the 40ft (12m) Glasshouse – the museum’s centerpiece. You might even find that you need more than one visit to see everything.
Part of the Seattle Art Museum, the Olympic Sculpture Park is set over a nine-acre (4ha) space on Seattle’s waterfront. There are pieces by renowned sculptors Alexander Calder and Richard Serra, among others, so it’s the perfect place to come and admire some artwork. Or, even just to take a summer stroll in Downtown Seattle’s largest green space. The park also offers fantastic views of the city, notably the Space Needle, Puget Sound and the surrounding Olympic Mountains.
Seattle Aquarium emphasizes conservation and education. Kids will love learning about our oceans and how to preserve them through the various animals housed here. The seals and sea otters are firm family favorites. You’ll also find tufted puffins, a giant Pacific octopus and a variety of fish species. If your child is a big animal lover, check out the aquarium’s range of public educational programs that run year-round.