Seattle Travel Guide

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Best Things To Do in Seattle

If you're a first-time visitor to Seattle, no trip would be complete without stopping by some of the city's most iconic attractions, such as Pike Place Market and the Space Needle. You'll also want to make the most of the city's scenic location by taking a stroll through Olympic Sculpture Park or Discovery Park. For an even more heart-pumping adventure, hop in the car for a daytrip to Mount Si. When overcast skies force you inside, marvel at the glass-blown works at Chihuly Garden and Glass, learn about aviation history (the Museum of Flight) and maritime history (Ballard Locks), or take the underground tour in Pioneer Square.

How we rank Things to Do

Updated April 8, 2019

  • #1
    Things to do in Seattle
    View all Photos
    #1 in Seattle
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Since 1907, this bustling market near the downtown waterfront has been the go-to place for local produce. Today, you can find almost everything, from local artwork to vinyl records. Plus, the flower market is a particular must-see, according to reviewers. Though Pike Place Market is one of the most tourist-heavy attractions

    ...Read More »
  • #2
    Chihuly Garden and Glass
    View all Photos
    #2 in Seattle
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Bursting with artwork spanning the colors of the rainbow, Chihuly Garden and Glass offers visitors a look at creative, glass-blown pieces crafted by renowned Pacific Northwest artist, Dale Chihuly. The permanent exhibition opened in 2012 and has since attracted the admiration of Seattleites and tourists alike. 

    ...Read More »
  • #3
    Space Needle
    View all Photos
    #3 in Seattle
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    If there's one thing Seattle is known for (aside from coffee and Tom Hanks' insomnia), it's the 605-foot tall Space Needle. Built for the 1962 World's Fair, the Space Needle has dominated Seattle's skyline ever since with its unique UFO-like design. The tower's round observation deck (520-feet high) offers spectacular

    ...Read More »
  • #4
    Olympic Sculpture Park
    View all Photos
    #4 in Seattle
    Museums, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    There's no better way to get a healthy dose of culture than to enjoy some fine art, especially when the art is outdoors and free to peruse. In other words, you should plan on visiting the Olympic Sculpture Park, a 9-acre section of the Seattle Art Museum that's filled with works by

    ...Read More »
  • #5
    Museum of Flight
    View all Photos
    #5 in Seattle
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Seattle is one of the most important cities in the world of aviation and home to several facilities belonging to the Boeing Company, one of the world's leading aircraft manufacturers. You can find out more about the city's unique and fascinating history in aviation at one of its best museums,

    ...Read More »
  • #6
    Discovery Park
    View all Photos
    #6 in Seattle
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you're looking to get outdoors without getting out of the city, this is the place. Sprawling across more than 500 acres in northern Seattle, Discovery Park is the city's largest green space. You'll find hiking trails, meadows, beaches and sand dunes abound. One must-see is the West Point Lighthouse,

    ...Read More »
  • #7
    Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (Ballard Locks)
    View all Photos
    #7 in Seattle
    Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    These locks – operated by the Army Corps of Engineers – are popular among visitors and locals in Seattle. The locks allow boats to pass between Puget Sound and the Lake Washington ship canal, offering a live demonstration of Seattle's maritime lifestyle (many have compared the locks to a miniature

    ...Read More »
  • #8
    Seattle Art Museum
    View all Photos
    #8 in Seattle
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Spread across three locations, the Seattle Art Museum houses one of America's premier art collections, displaying everything from European masterpieces to contemporary sculpture. The Seattle Asian Art Museum and the Olympic Sculpture Parkare also part of the complex. The museum receives some mixed views from recent visitors, but most appreciated its

    ...Read More »
  • #9
    Kerry Park
    View all Photos
    #9 in Seattle
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    This small viewpoint park, which offers amazing views of Elliott Bay and the Central City (and occasionally Mount Rainier), is a favorite with photographers. Sunset is a particularly popular time to visit, when the city lights up and theSpace Needleis a beacon in the night. While the park is tiny,

    ...Read More »
  • #10
    Mount Si
    View all Photos
    #10 in Seattle
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you don't have time to make the drive to Mount Rainier (about 80 miles southeast of downtown Seattle), Mount Si offers a popular alternative. Sitting about 30 miles east of the city center, Mount Si offers several opportunities to strap on your hiking boots and hit the trails. According

    ...Read More »
  • #11
    Seattle Aquarium
    View all Photos
    #11 in Seattle
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    For a glimpse under the sea, head to the Seattle Aquarium, which sits along the waterfront just a few blocks west of the Seattle Art Museum. It may not be as impressive as other cities' aquariums, but Seattle's facility offers a wonderful introduction to northwestern sea life. The highlight of your

    ...Read More »
  • #12
    Museum of Pop Culture
    View all Photos
    #12 in Seattle
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Set in the eye-popping complex designed by architect Frank Gehry, the Museum of Pop Culture celebrates rock in a myriad of ways, though the museum is not limited to music only. Exhibits like "Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses" and "Pearl Jam: Home and Away" are excellent and comprehensive looks

    ...Read More »
  • #13
    Pioneer Square
    View all Photos
    #13 in Seattle
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you like history, Pioneer Square should be at the top of your to-do list. This neighborhood was one of the first settlements in the Northwest U.S. (hence the name), and it has maintained much of its Old West identity. Today, you'll find the cobblestone area peppered with art galleries,

    ...Read More »
  • #14
    Pacific Science Center
    View all Photos
    #14 in Seattle
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    With more than 200 indoor and outdoor hands-on exhibits, two IMAX theaters, a Laser Dome, a butterfly house and a planetarium, this science center is a must for families. Everything from dinosaurs to giant robotic insects to a tide pool will excite the kids. The Tropical Butterfly House is an

    ...Read More »
  • Woodland Park Zoo
    View all Photos
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

  • T-Mobile Park
    View all Photos
    Sightseeing, Sports, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Sports, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

  • Alki Beach
    View all Photos
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

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