A visit to Seattle, Washington is probably at the top of many bucket lists, and deservedly so. Seattle, within sight of impressive Mt. Ranier and touching on beautiful Puget Sound, is the perfect location for visitors looking for a central location from which to stage their adventures.
Here are some of our suggestions for things to see and do while visiting Emerald City.
Things to Do
Chihuly Garden and Glass
World-famous glass artist Dale Chihuly proved that imagination knows no limits. This incredible art museum features surreal glass sculptures woven into an outdoor garden and suspended from ceilings. Chihuly designed his glass creations to be viewed in varying light, so the sculptures appear differently depending upon the time of day you visit.
On the shore of Puget Sound you will find Seattle’s largest park, featuring 534 acres to explore. The trails can take you to a lush meadow for a picnic or down to a beach where you can explore tidal pools. One feature of the park is the picturesque 1885 West Point Lighthouse which is still in operation today.
Pike Place Market
Over 100 years old, Seattle’s beloved market features dozens of intriguing stalls and shops. Here you can buy an armful of fresh flowers, sample cheese curds, and watch the fishmongers tossing fish. This is one market where you want to plan out your visit ahead of time. You can download a walking tour guide on the Pike Place Market website.
The Space Needle
Probably the most well-recognized landmark in Seattle is the Space Needle. This observation tower was built for the World’s Fair in 1962. You need to buy a ticket to ride the elevator up to the top, but the 360-degree view is incomparable.
The Museum of Flight
The largest non-profit air and space museum in the world, this is a great place for anyone who loves all things flight-oriented. This museum explores flight beginning with the Wright brothers and ending with the space race. There’s a simulator that allows you to fly over Puget Sound, or you can walk through JFK’s Air Force One plane. This museum features many hands-on activities and interactive experiences.
Located in the Rainier Beach area of South Seattle, this Japanese garden features 20 acres of fountains, pools, waterfalls, koi ponds, and brilliant red bridges. This garden, the vision of Japanese immigrant Fujitaro Kubota, started out in 1927 as 5 acres of swamp purchased by Kubota. Kubota and his family were interned at Camp Minidoka during WWII; upon their release, Kubota returned to Seattle and continued his work on the garden.
On a clear day, be sure to head over to Kerry Park. This small park features one of the best views of Seattle: from Kerry Park, you can see the city skyline (including the Space Needle) positioned in front of Mt. Ranier. This viewpoint is within walking distance of the Space Needle. One tip: consider dropping by the park at sunset for a selfie op that will take your breath away!
An oddity you don’t want to miss is the Freemont Troll. This beloved 18-foot tall troll statue looms underneath the Aurora Avenue Bridge in the Freemont District. If you are in the area, this is a great photo op for the kids as well as those who are young at heart.
Places to Stay
There are so many unique hotels, bed and breakfast inns, and other accommodations in Seattle, it is difficult to pick our favorites. Here are a few hotels that you may want to consider for your temporary home during your trip to Seattle.
The Edgewater Hotel
Located on Elliott Bay, this hotel was built for the World’s Fair in 1962; since then, the Edgewater Hotel has served as the temporary lodging for legends such as The Beatles, Pearl Jam and The Rolling Stones. The Edgewater features iconic Pacific mountain lodge interiors. You can choose to look out over the docks, focus on the city, or calm your senses with a serene garden view. Some amenities you can request include in-room fireplaces and clawfoot bathtubs.
The Palihotel is located in downtown Seattle. Close to Pike Place Market, the whimsical style of the Palihotel is sure to bring a smile to your face. The Palihotel’s eclectic room offerings include connecting rooms, rooms with bunk beds, Smeg fridges, rain showers in the bath, and custom bespoke furnishings. The Palihotel is dog-friendly as well.
Four Seasons Hotel Seattle
The Four Seasons Hotel features the Pacific Northwest style, with beautiful views of Elliott Bay. Be sure to bring your bathing suit, as the infinity pool on the rooftop is not to be missed. Every element of this hotel says ‘luxury’, and some of the ample-sized rooms provide floor-to-ceiling windows, giving you a stunning view of the waterfront.
Beecher’s Handmade Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Beecher’s is known for its handmade cheeses; if you happen upon a Beecher’s location (Pike Place Market as well as the SeaTac Airport), take it from us: you want to try one of their grilled cheese sandwiches. Beecher’s Flagship and Just Jack cheeses are melted together in yummy goodness between two slices of bread toasted in a panini press. Don’t miss it!
Puget Sound’s chilly water produces some amazing local oysters. Available all year round, look for Seattle’s Pacific Northwest oysters to be served at local restaurants and bars. Save yourself a little cash by stopping in during Happy Hour, where you can often find oysters paired with local beer. You definitely don’t want to miss out on Seattle’s oysters!
We hope our suggestions have given you some ideas to add to your Seattle bucket list. Seattle has even more to offer, so plan to spend some quality time in our neck of the woods!