Seattle is a city that can change in a blink of an eye, so no traveler should ever think that they know exactly what to do and see there during their visit. After all, the neighborhoods are all different, the numbers of businesses opening up are increasing, and the cultural atmosphere is better than in some of the largest cities in the country. Add in the delectable cuisine that can be found in all the restaurants in the city and visitors will never want to return home.
Things to Do in Seattle
There is no shortage of things to do in the Seattle area, which is why everyone will find that their days can be filled from morning until night. Here are the must-see things to see and do in the city:
Visit Pike Place Market
This infamous market near the waterfront opened back in 1907 and it has long been the go-to destination for produce since that time. However, the market has expanded over the years and now includes everything from vinyl records to fabulous works of art. This area is quite crowded, especially on the weekends, but it is still the destination that everyone must see when they are in the area. The best part about this area is that there are plenty of coffee shops and restaurants nearby when visitors get hungry and thirsty.
Visit the Space Needle
The most recognizable attraction within Seattle is the Space Needle, which is six hundred and five feet tall. This attraction was constructed back in 1962 for the World Fair and many people venture there to stand out on the observation deck, which is five hundred and twenty feet above the ground. Those who do not care about how high they are will want to go higher up towards the needle and dine in the café or have a drink at the wine bar.
Visit the Pacific Science Center
The Pacific Science Center is a dream destination for those who love to be hands-on with all that they do. There are more than two hundred exhibits and they can be found both inside and outdoors at this attraction. In addition to the exhibits, guests can watch a movie in one of the two IMAX theaters, visit the Laser Dome, see the butterflies inside the Butterfly House, and see the stars and other unworldly things at the planetarium.
Take a Stroll Along the Underground Tour
The Underground Tour begins at Pioneer Square and it is a tour that takes visitors through the maze of underground passageways. Those passageways were the main roads within the city until the Great Seattle Fire broke out in 1889. This tour lasts for seventy-five minutes and that entire time is spent walking.
Visit the Seattle Aquarium
Looking out towards the water in Seattle is easy, whether from land or while riding on one of the ferries. However, those who want to see the marine life that lives in that water will find that their experience will be better inside the Seattle Aquarium. This aquarium is not too far from the waterfront and while it does not hold the same appeal as many of the larger aquariums in bigger cities, it offers enough insight to those who take the time to visit. The best exhibit is the Window on Washington Waters, which has marine life swimming around inside the one hundred and twenty thousand gallon tank.
Hike Around Mount Si
Travelers who love to do a little hiking when they are away from home will love the trails that are available over on Mount Si. This mountain is only approximately thirty miles from the center of Seattle, which makes it a much better option for those visitors who do not want to make the drive to Mount Rainier. The trail to the summit is approximately eight miles round trip, and while anyone can tackle this hike, it is often best completed by those who have some hiking experience. Anyone who is venturing out on their first hike may want to stick with the trails within Discovery Park first, as they are shorter and easier to walk along.
Visit Olympic Sculpture Park
Just outside the Seattle Art Museum, everyone will find the Olympic Sculpture Park. The entire nine acres of that park is filled with sculptures by artists that include Roxy Paine, Claes Oldenburg, and Alexander Calder. While the sculptures are amazing, visitors will also want to take the time to appreciate the view over Elliott Bay and that of the Olympic Mountains in the background.
Visit Chihuly Garden and Glass
Dale Chihuly is a renowned glass artist and he finally opened his own exhibit back in 2012, much to the delight of his fans. The Exhibition Hall is divided into eight galleries, as well as three drawing walls, while the Glasshouse is filled with glass-blown flowers. The garden incorporates gorgeous shrubs that have glass-blown pieces scattered in between. While any time of the day is good for a visit, past visitors state that it really looks amazing after the sun has set in the sky.
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Unusual Things to Do in Seattle
As with almost every other city in the world, Seattle is filled with some unusual things to do. While some are borderline intriguing, others will have visitors wanting more. Here are a few favorites:
Visit the Mystery Soda Machine
There are two mysteries involved with this soda machine and they are that no one has any idea who stocks it, and no one knows what will pop out the next time someone inserts seventy-five cents and pushes the button. This mystery soda machine used to be found at the corner of John Street and 10th Avenue East, which is in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, but now it seems to be moving to all sorts of different places. Don’t worry, visitors can check the Mystery Soda Machine’s Facebook page to see where it will be when they are there.
Enjoy a Cup of Coffee at the Seattle Meowtropolitan Cat Café
This cat café is quite popular, so travelers will want to book their reservation well in advance if they want the chance to drink their coffee with a few furry felines. The cats only take ten visitors at a time and the time slots fill quickly. The best part is that there are plenty of cat-themed pastries to go with the coffee.
See the Gun Wall
There is art and then there is the art that can be found on the infamous Gum Wall in the city of Seattle. This wall is near the Post Alley’s Market Theater and patrons began sticking their gum to it back in the 1990s. Towards the end of 2015, workers began the tedious task of removing the gum and pressure washing the wall to make it clean again. However, not even a week later, locals and tourists alike were sticking their gum to the wall to create another gorgeous masterpiece that is still there today.
Visit the Lake View Cemetery
Some cemeteries are worth a visit during vacations and the Lake View Cemetery is one of them. This cemetery was created back in 1872 and it was first known as the Seattle Masonic Cemetery until the name was changed in 1890. There are many famous people buried in this cemetery including Denise Levertov, John W. Nordstrom, and both Brandon and Bruce Lee.
Visit Howe Street Stairs
The longest staircase in the city rises up one hundred and sixty feet and is comprised of three hundred and eighty-eight steps, which are distributed between thirteen flights. The Howe Street Stairs were constructed back in 1911 to connect the neighborhoods and the transport lines. While no one uses the stairs to get to the streetcar lines anymore, they do use them for workouts.
Hotels in Seattle
There are quite a few hotels within the Seattle area, but some of them are more amazing than all the rest. Everyone who travels to this city will what to stay in one of the best, as it will enhance their experience. Here are a couple of our favorites:
The Maxwell Hotel – A Staypineapple Hotel
The Maxwell Hotel is a beautiful hotel that can be found within the heart of the city and is nearby many of the popular attractions like the Space Needle. One of the first things that guests will see upon entering this hotel is the huge mosaic pineapple, but the other mural paintings will capture their attention throughout the rest of their stay as well. The pool and the fitness center are the perfect place to get a quick workout in, either before or after wandering around the city’s streets and seeing the sights.
Inn at the Market
This hotel is the only one that can be found within the Pike Place Market, which is an infamous attraction that is a must-see destination for everyone. Guests will love their rooms, but it will be the ivy-covered courtyard that will garner their attention the most. Guests will love spending their mornings down at the Seattle waterfront, which is not too far from the Inn at the Market’s front door.
The Paramount Hotel
The furnishings may seem simple inside the Paramount Hotel, but guests will find elegance and luxury around every turn. The location of this hotel is quite near many of the popular attractions and the on-site restaurant is perfect for those late evening meals.
Restaurants in Seattle
The cuisine in Seattle will tempt even the pickiest of eaters, which is why everyone will need to try as many of the local haunts as possible. Here are a few favorites of many:
One of the best restaurants in the city can be found in a nondescript bar and butcher shop. While some people may choose the sandwiches piled high with meat, others will find that a charcuterie board will satisfy their cravings. Those who do decide to dine there should order a cocktail to go with their meal and order a pickle plate as well.
Rachel’s Ginger Beer U Village
There is not a huge menu at Rachel’s Ginger Beer U Village, but the spicy fried chicken is enough for everyone. Everyone that grabs some of the chicken will also want to try one of the peppery and fruity ginger beers or a boozy frozen slushy.
Hitchcock might be out on Bainbridge Island, but the ferry ride only adds to the ambiance of a meal eaten there. Every dish is created using seasonal ingredients, as well as local meat and seafood. The best part is that there is a perfect wine option for every meal that is served.
Matt’s in the Market
Those who cannot get enough of Pike Place Market will want to dine at Matt’s in the Market, as it is nearby and offers excellent views of the market’s sign. The seasonal seafood dishes are the best options, especially the grilled king salmon and the halibut.
Do’s and Don’ts in Seattle
- DO try to arrange a trip to this city during Folklife, which is Memorial Day weekend.
- DON’T go hiking at Mount Rainier on a weekend, due to the crowds.
- DO eat at least one meal near Pike Place Market.
- DO take the time to take a spin on the Great Wheel as the sun is setting.
- DON’T attempt to stand in line at the very first Starbucks, it is no longer there!
- DO visit a different coffee shop and order a ridiculously outrageous coffee that the barista will need to think about before making.
- DO take a stroll on the boardwalk at least once.
- DON’T ride the ducks unless it is at the top of a must-do-once-in-a-lifetime list!
Visiting Seattle is like taking a step back in time, while flying into the future, because things are rapidly changing while staying the same. Those who take the time to truly appreciate what this city has to offer will find themselves wanting to extend their vacation a little or begin to plan for their return trip in the future.