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Fun Things to do in Seattle


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city guide

Seattle is famous for Starbucks and overall coffee culture, grunge music scene, the Seahawks, the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, headquarters of a lot of the tech industry (including both Amazon and Microsoft), hiking, kayaking, and general outdoors lifestyle (think REI).


Best time to go

The best time to visit Seattle is from September to October. Summer marks the city's high season, meaning room rates rise and availability drops, while cold winter weather can deter even the most avid sightseers.


Fun city facts and activities

    Despite its reputation for rainy days, Seattle is not a place to hole up indoors. There are so many things to do in Seattle that even locals have plenty of opportunities to discover something new. The culture capital of the Pacific Northwest set on the Puget Sound with the stunning Mt. Rainier visible on clear days is packed with everything from renowned museums and beautiful parks to buzzy neighborhoods and popular attractions. Seattle is also a jumping-off point for visiting Washington wineries or exploring the dramatic natural beauty of the region (or even traveling to Vancouver).

    A perfect day in Seattle must start with coffee, of course. Its the land of Starbucks after all, but also a wealth of amazing smaller and independent coffee shops. After that, choose from typical spots like the Space Needle or Pioneer Square, then explore museums, gardens, markets and more. If youre feeling adventurous, get on the water for a boat tour or some kayaking. Youll definitely work up an appetite to dine at the best restaurants in Seattle.
City facts

Neighborhoods to explore

    Queen Anne
    Capitol Hill
    Columbia City

Food Specialties

    Seattle sits on the Puget Sound, so its no wonder theres a bounty of seafood available to the citys many chefs. Plus, this Pacific Northwest city has easy access to fish from Hawaii, Japan and Alaska. On top of that, the city has access to a bounty of regional proteins and produce. The best restaurants in Seattle highlight both local ingredients and influences from the many cultures represented in the city. From fresh seafood to Asian flavors to Indian influences and more, these Seattle restaurants are a must for visitors and locals alike.

    This city isnt all coffee shops and rainy days, the restaurant scene has garnered worldwide attention. Pacific Northwest chefs are rediscovering influences of their cultures and reinterpreting classics. Seattle also has beloved hole-in-the-wall spots that are far from fine dining but definitely worth a try. From sushi to salmon to Filipino faves, put these restaurants on the top of your list of things to do in Seattle. After that? Stop by one of Seattles best bars for a nightcap. You can always walk it all off the next day in one of the city's beautiful parks.

Seattle Offbeat activities

Free or cheap things to do

1. Visit the Fremont Troll See a giant sculpture of a troll underneath the Aurora Bridge in Fremont. This 18-ft tall sculpture was created in 1990 and is a popular Seattle landmark.

2. Take a tour of the historic Smith Tower Located in Pioneer Square, the Smith Tower is the oldest skyscraper in Seattle. Take a guided tour and learn more about the building's history.

3. Shop at Pike Place Market Take a trip to Seattle's famous market and explore the stalls of fresh produce, souvenirs, and more.

4. Visit the Museum of Pop Culture See a variety of artifacts from popular culture and learn more about the world of music, movies, and video games.

5. Tour the Underground Tour Take a journey into Seattle's past by going on an underground tour of the city. Learn about the city's history and architecture.

6. Go to the Seattle Great Wheel Take a ride on

Offbeat activites
Kid friendly

Fun things to do in with kids

Free or cheap things to do

1. Rachel the Piggy Bank
Rachel is a large bronze piggy bank, more commonly referred to as The Pig, and used as a landmark for directions when navigating the market. The quintessential market photo is taken atop her back or beside her. Dont forget to drop a few coins in!

2. Daily Dozen Doughnut
This is a tiny, cash-only doughnut stand that makes mini doughnuts right before your eyes. You can carry away a dozen in a crisp paper bageating them all before the bag gets too greasy is never a problem! Kids can watch the round balls of dough swim in oil, and then get to choose their favorite topping to sprinkle on top. There's no website, but its on the main floor between Rachel the Piggy Bank and 1st Avenue.

3. The Gum Wall
The Market Theater Gum Wall is exactly what it sounds likea wall of gum! Its a 15ft high and 50ft long wall of masticated, colorful gum. Make sure youve chewed on some yourself, to add to the odd (and kinda gross!) beauty that is The Gum Wall. As you can imagine, kids adore this attraction.

4. Pike Place Fish Market aka Flying Fish
There are many amazing fishmongers in the market but none quite as famous or entertaining as this one. Its hard to explain until youve seen it, but watching these experts hurl salmon, clams, and trout at each other from across the room is nothing short of incredible. You absolutely cannot miss this stop!

5. Starbucks Ground Zero
The very first Starbucks was built here; if youre a fan, drop in and check it out. This store is the obvious muse for the ever-popular Pike Place Roast, served in stores across America. If you love coffee (or cake pops!) drop on in.

A lot of the actual retail shops (as opposed to stands) at the market are found down below the street level. There are fewer crowds down there, and its easier to keep track of the kiddos if they run ahead. Some people would argue that the best finds are in the DownUnder, as its called...

6. Lion Heart Bookstore
Filled with pages of adventures, Lion Heart Bookstore has a robust childrens section with a great selection of local book legends like The Wheedle On The Needle, a legend every Seattleite child grows up hearing. The staff is super helpful and this store takes you right back to a time when bookstores felt warm and cozy.

7. Market Magic Shop
Mysteries abound within the walls of Market Magic! This shop sells everything from playing cards to Magic Kits, and youll often catch one of the shopkeepers practicing magic that you can watch. Step outside the shop to have an animatronic Elvis read your fortune.

8. Giant Shoe Museum
Outside of Old Seattle Paperworks, in the DownUnder corridor, is the odd and colorful Giant Shoe Museum. It might be a stretch to call it a museum it is really more like a nod to an old-timey sideshowbut this collection of oddities is lots of fun and a great backdrop for family photos. And yes, it really does have giant shoes!

9. Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
Most commonly referred to as the Ballard Locks for the small city where they are located, the locks were built to connect the freshwater from Lake Washington to the lower, salty water of the Salish Sea (aka the Puget Sound). Boats pass through the locks daily, and families gather to watch this water elevator for boats. If there is a boat lover in your family they will love this excursion! It's extra convenient that the locks share the same grounds as the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden and the Fish Ladder.

10. Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden
The Ballard Locks share a property with the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden which bursts with verdant Seattle sprouts and trees. Its also a well-known spot for children to roll down grassy hills until theyre too dizzy to stand. Pack a picnic and hang out here for some quintessential Seattle vibes.

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City data and FAQ 

Is it Worth visiting Seattle?

Oh yes. We have great scenery, food, booze, and cultural institutions. Lots of festivals and we're only an hour away from skiing in the Cascades. It's not overly friendly, but we're polite. There's lots to do and lots of music. Seattle is certainly worth a visit. I'm a foodie and love to go out to eat; lots of variety. Give it a shot.
Daniel Czaran Lives in Seattle, WA (1951 Present)

Whay is Seattle most know for?

Rain, Boeing, Starbucks, Seahawks, Eddie Bauer, Nordstrom, Microsoft, Amazon. Pike Place Market, The Space Needle, Mt Rainier, Elliott Bay. All that rain does make everything green. The bluest skies are in Seattle :) There are 3 national parks within easy driving distance (Mt Rainier, Olympic, North Cascade) as well as the Pacific Ocean. You can ski, fish, hike or just enjoy great local foods, beer and Washington wines. Thats a short list, a few reasons why I love my city and what Seattle is known for.
De Sea Lives in Seattle, WA
The Worlds Fair in 1962 and the Space Needle was built. Pike Place Market and the flying fish. Jimi Hendrix & Curt Cobain (technically, Aberdeen). Seatle Seahawks, Seattle Sonics, & Seattle Mariners. And Bill Gates.
Colle Carlson Lived in Washington

Are two days enough to visit Seattle?

Seattle is like Yosemite, in that it's big. Two days is ok. You just have to see part of it now, and another part of, next time.
John Long - Lived in Redding, CA

As the largest city in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. With its vibrant culture, stunning scenery, and world-class attractions. Seattle has something to offer everyone. While two days may seem like a short amount of time to visit such a large city, it is possible to see the best of Seattle in just 48 hours. A good place to start is at the iconic Space Needle, which offers sweeping views of the city. Other must-see sights include the Pike Place Market, the Museum of Pop Culture, and Mount Rainier National Park. Of course, no visit to Seattle would be complete without sampling some of the region's renowned coffee. With a little planning, it is possible to pack a lot into a short visit to Seattle.
Steve Sae Lives in Seattle, WA (2000 Present)
2 days is just not enough time. Fremont should be mandatory and going from there to Ballard and checking out the fish ladder and the locks is remain stay in anybody's itinerary that really wants to see what Seattle is about. Also checking out the Arboretum and running the new and heading to Capitol Hill and just people watching, checking out very diverse restaurant town, going to Chinatown taking a variable ride going to the Underground Tour checking out EMP in the Seattle Center are just a few things that I can name off the top of my head that would probably take four days.
Brett Peterson Lived in Seattle, WA

Do you need a car to visit Seattle?

Dont bother parking downtown. Seattle Extremely expense and no hotel has free parking. And the Hotels in the BURBS are finally charging for parking,
Frank Willie
I would say no you can take the tram from the airport to many stops and location s downtown Seattle including Chinatown and the shopping district Westlake Center. From there you can catch additional buses to take you interesting places like Fremont which is home to plethora of restaurants, a 25 foot troll, statues,unique, artwork and boasts itself to be the center of the universe. Or take a bus to Capitol Hill and just people'll see things that you've never seen before.
Brett Peterson Lived in Seattle, WA

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