The Best 10 Things to Do in Seattle

In the heart of the Pacific Northwest lies Seattle, a city with the ideal mix of urban culture and natural beauty. Known for its iconic skyline featuring the Space Needle and framed by the Puget Sound and Cascade Mountains, Seattle has a wide range of experiences (and adventures!) that are sure to suit every traveler. Whether you’re a food enthusiast, nature lover, or culture buff, Seattle’s cool neighborhoods and gorgeous landscapes make for an unforgettable vacation. Ahead, check out the top ten things you won’t want to miss.

Visit the Pike Place Market

No visit to Seattle is complete without experiencing the Pike Place Market. Established in 1907, this historic market is filled with everything a foodie could dream of. Watch the fishmongers perform their famous fish-tossing routine, graze on local produce, and check out unique souvenirs.

Go to the Top of the Space Needle

The Space Needle is a symbol of Seattle for a reason. At the top, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the city as well as its surroundings, including Mount Rainier and Elliott Bay. For an extra treat, head to the upper observation level to dine at Atmos Café (they have Pinkabella Cupcakes and Whidbey Island Ice Cream), or check out Atmos Wine Bar for beer, wine, and grab-and-go snacks.

Credit: Nathaniel Willson

Check Out Chihuly Garden and Glass

Into art? Go to the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit, which features work by the well-known glass artist Dale Chihuly. Here, guests will see a collection of Chihuly’s glass sculptures while wandering through colorful galleries. The highlight of the exhibit is the Glasshouse, a 100-foot-long sculpture that’s suspended overhead, featuring a vibrant mix of red, orange, and yellow glass.

Explore Capitol Hill

Known for its mix of culture, nightlife, and greenery, Capitol Hill is a great neighborhood to explore. Stroll along Pike and Pine Streets, where you’ll find trendy boutiques, cozy coffee shops, and a mouthwatering culinary scene featuring everything from gourmet restaurants to quirky food trucks. Capitol Hill is also home to some of Seattle’s best nightlife, with a variety of bars, music venues, and clubs. 

Take a Ride on the Seattle Great Wheel

At Pier 57 on Elliott Bay is the Seattle Great Wheel: a 175-foot-tall Ferris wheel, which just happens to be one of the tallest on the West Coast. Once at the top, enjoy views of the Seattle skyline, Puget Sound, and the Olympic Mountains. 

Spend Time in Discovery Park

As the city’s largest green space, (we’re talking 534 acres), Discovery Park is a dream come true for nature lovers. Located on the shores of Puget Sound, it features over 11 miles of trails that wind through forests and along coastal bluffs. Be sure to check out the West Point Lighthouse, which has great views of the water and Olympic Mountains.

Learn About History on the Seattle Underground Tour

During the Seattle Underground Tour, which happens below Pioneer Square, history buffs can explore the remnants of the original city that was rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1889. The 75-minute guided tour dives into the notorious plumbing problems that led to the creation of these underground spaces, meaning guests are sure to learn a lot.

Credit: Thomas Dambo

Hang Out With Giant Trolls

The Northwest Trolls: Way of the Bird King is a public art project that features six giant hand-built troll sculptures. Created by Danish artist Thomas Dambo, this installation has a series of trolls hidden in various places around Seattle. 

Enjoy the Seattle Japanese Garden

The Seattle Japanese Garden can be found in the Washington Park Arboretum. This garden, which spans 3.5 acres, features winding paths, koi-filled ponds, stone lanterns, and (very) meticulously pruned trees and shrubs. Don’t miss the iconic moon bridge, which is great for photo ops, and the tea house, where guests can enjoy traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. 

Explore Seattle’s Best Coffee Shops

As the birthplace of Starbucks and a major hub for coffee culture, Seattle (naturally) has tons of amazing coffee shops to check out. To kick things off, start at the Pike Place Market at the original Starbucks. Then, venture to the Storyville Coffee Company, which has a nice ambiance and expertly crafted beverages. From there, head to Capitol Hill’s Victrola Coffee Roasters, a local spot known for its artisanal roasting and fun events. Also, check out Elm Coffee Roasters in Pioneer Square, which has delicious pour-over coffee.

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