Seattle is a Space Needle kind of city that sits in the pocket of the Puget Sound. It’s surrounded by majestic mountains, lush forests, and stunning bodies of water. Think of it as mother nature’s playground, with a side of seriously cool city culture.
It’s vacation time. And you want the ultimate Seattle experience. All the local must-sees, must-dos, and must-eats are in the mix. Luckily, you’ll find treasures at every turn in the Emerald City.
Seattle’s original farmers market is the heart of the city’s food scene – which makes it a must-stop spot for authentic eats. Visit this nine-acre historic district, and you’ll find everything from quick-serve cafes and bakeries to intimate bistros and fine-dining restaurants. You’ll also discover one of the country’s largest and most vibrant crafts market.
Washington’s wine country is waiting for you just 25 miles outside of Seattle. Skip town for the day and visit Snoqualmie Falls, a two-acre park with a spectacular 270-foot waterfall. Then make your way to Woodinville to find family-owned vineyards and tour the acclaimed Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery.
Turn-of-the century lampposts and Romanesque-Revival buildings line the streets of Pioneer Square. Seattle’s “first neighborhood” is rich in history and home to more than a handful of landmark sights. Swing by Occidental Park, tour famed art galleries, and go snap selfies with the 60-foot Tlingit totem pole.
Are you ready for a serious pop-culture explosion? Because that’s exactly what you’ll find at MoPOP. So break out your best throwback tee and go have some fun.
The Seattle Art Museum is the city’s largest museum dating back to the 1930s and housing a varied collection of artwork that spans multiple eras and geographic regions.
Every city has its iconic landmark. And Seattle is no exception. Make your way to the top of the Space Needle and snapchat your way through jaw-dropping views of the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Elliott Bay, Mount Rainier, and the Seattle skyline.
The views are wild at Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. Get up-close-and-personal as you watch the locks in action from a system of swinging walkways. Sneak an underwater peek at how liquid ladders take ships (and salmon) between Lake Washington and the Puget Sound. Pack a picnic and stroll the nearby Carl S. English, Jr. Botanical Gardens.
Wandering Rocks, Eye Benches, and a glass bridge? Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park has them all. This waterfront park beautifully transforms a nine-acre industrial site into an incredible green space filled with vibrant art you won’t want to miss.
What has 80 local eateries, 200 specialty shops, 225 crafty artisans, and the country’s first Starbucks? It’s Pike Place Market. And it’s also known for being a great place to catch fish, literally. The market’s Fishmongers have been famously throwing fish across counters for decades. So stop by to snag some great eats and catch some daily throws.
Make your way Pier 57 on Elliot Bay and get set for more than a spectacular view of Seattle’s waterfront. Get excited for 200 feet of Great Ferris Wheel fun. Board glass-bottomed, fully heated or air-conditioned gondolas that take you on a ride that’s truly illuminating (especially considering wheel itself is covered with over 500,000 LED lights).
McCaw Hall, just a few miles north of downtown, is home to the Pacific Northwest Ballet – one of the country’s largest and most highly regarded ballet companies. The PNB Company is made up of nearly fifty dancers from all over the world and presents more than 100 performances each year.
Stick close to Pike Street and you’ll catch sight of the city’s most colorful gummy backdrop. Seattle’s Gum Wall is exactly what it sounds like: a brick wall covered in used chewing gum. It’s a quirky local landmark. And it’s a top-pick for a silly selfie spot.
Go underground (really) and explore Seattle’s famous interconnected passageways. Take a humorous, family-friendly stroll through the city’s subterranean storefronts and entombed sidewalks. It’s like getting an exclusive, time-capsule style view of the area.
You won’t find it unless you specifically go looking for it — no signs, just a pink door with scrumptious fare, trapeze performances, and burlesque shows. It’s one of the city’s most mysterious and beloved restaurant destinations.
Simple food. Made with love. This Ballard-based neighborhood cafe serves up seriously good breakfast eats – from sizzlin’ egg bakes to savory Benedicts to scrumptious pastries. Fuel up at The Fat Hen then go play in Seattle all day.
Step away from the crowds and settle down for a rooftop lunch. Matt’s in the Market is located right in Seattle’s famed Pike Place, and it’s a must-stop spot that combines some of Seattle’s best ingredients: market-fresh seafood, waterfront views, and unforgettable friendliness.
Pork chops and collard greens. Catfish and cheese grits. Apple pie and ice cream. Treat yourself to a big, beautiful Southern supper at Seattle’s award-winning restaurant, JuneBaby. Dinner is served Wednesday through Sunday with nightly specials that will make your day.
Experience the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest with Ballard Kayak & Paddleboard. Float your way through Seattle’s coves, locks, and sounds while you set sight on sea lions, seals, eagles, salmon, and more.
Discovery Park is 534 acres of natural beauty. The secluded site is located on Magnolia Bluff overlooking Puget Sound, and it’s home to protected tidal beaches, open meadows, dramatic sea cliffs, and lush forest groves. It’s equal parts wildlife sanctuary, outdoor classroom and it’s an open space for you to experience the natural world.
The REI Pinnacle Climbing Tower is an iconic must-do activity in Seattle. Reserve a slot to scale the 65-foot-tall climbing tower inside REI’s flagship store, and you’ll climb your way to epic views of the city’s skyline.
Hop, skip, and jump your way through 92 acres of wildly fun animal exhibits at Woodland Park Zoo. The experience is truly a force of nature that you won’t forget.
Say hello to some seriously cool creatures from the Pacific Ocean. Visit the Seattle Aquarium on the waterfront’s Pier 59, and you can meet sea otters, greet puffer fish, touch sea anemones, and watch sharks swim overhead in an underwater dome.
Talk about a selfie spot. Stop by Chihuly Garden and Glass to see one of the highlights of Seattle’s art scene: stunning glass installations by Dale Chihuly. Visit at dusk and lighted glass exhibits make the outside gardens even more spectacular.