What to do in Seattle: a beginner’s guide

Destinations

When it comes to the best cities in the US to visit, Seattle is a classic. It’s home to some of the best  grunge music ever created, the first ever Starbucks and possibly the best software developer to ever grace our lives, Bill Gates.

You might also know it for its role in movies and TV shows over the years including ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ and ‘Frasier’. And let’s not forget the ever-popular ’50 Shades of Grey’ trilogy, although most of that was filmed in Vancouver, Canada. We know. Our illusions were shattered too. But if you’re looking for a quirky American city to visit, there are plenty of things to do in Seattle so make sure it’s on your list.

things to do in seattle

1. Head to the MoPOP Museum

If you have a single geek bone in your body, head to the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) Museum. Exhibitions on music, film and sci-fi and horror change regularly. Previous exhibitions include the Guitar Gallery, Pearl Jam: Home and Away, and Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic.

2. Explore Washington Park Arboretum

Did you know that Seattle is known as the Emerald City? And no, it has nothing to do with ‘The Wizard of Oz’, although we’d argue that Bill Gates is a bit of a wizard himself! It’s so-called because it’s surrounded by so much greenery. So take a break from pounding the city streets and relax in the 200 acre slice of countryside on the shore of Lake Washington.

3. Get high

When researching things to do in Seattle, top of the list will likely be the Space Needle. No visit to Seattle is complete without it. The futuristic observation tower was built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Century 21 Exposition, to symbolise Space Age aspirations. Head up the tower for iconic views over the city, Puget Sound and Mount Rainier from 520 feet high.

things to do in Seattle

4. Go boating

If the best aerial view of the city is from the Space Needle, the best view from sea level is, well, from the sea. Jump on the ferry to Bainbridge Island for just $8.50 one-way and score incredible vistas. If you’re lucky, you’ll even catch a glimpse of some orcas!

5. Peruse Pike Place

Pike Place Market is another popular attraction on the list of things to do in Seattle, and for good reason. It’s a craft market, a fish market and restaurant hub. Opened in 1907, it’s one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the USA.

6. Go underground

It might seem strange that one of the best ways to see the city is to go under it but trust us on this one; one of the quirkiest Seattle attractions is an underground tour. The city’s streets were once 10 feet lower than they are now. Take a guided walk along the abandoned alleyways, learn the forgotten history of Seattle and see Washington’s largest city in a new light. Or… dark.

Credit: Rennett Stowe/Flickr

7. Be the 12th man

If you’re an NFL fan or a sports fan in general, get yourself to CenturyLink Field to catch Seattle’s team, the Seahawks. Even if you’re not, go anyway. The atmosphere at a Seahawks game is like no other team in the American football league. The whole city backs its team, so much so that the number 12 was retired in the 60s in honour of Seahawks fans. They’re now known as the 12th man (because there are only 11 players on the field).

8. Mt Rainier

Mt Rainier is the most glaciated and topographically prominent mountain in the USA. No we’re not entirely sure what this means either but we think it means it’s tall and snowy. In any case, you can do a road trip and reach it in a day for hiking, camping and skiing, depending on the season.

9. Eat your heart out

Want an excuse to sample Korean pork, crab, clam chowder, cupcakes, salmon, truffles, ice cream, cocktails and wine all in one night? Then a gourmet food tour of the culinary hot spots should be on your list of things to do in Seattle. As if you actually need an excuse though!

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