Seattle Art Museum#8 in Best Things To Do in Seattle
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 Park are also part of the complex. The museum receives some mixed views from recent visitors, but most appreciated its eclectic collection and recommend setting aside a few hours if you need to fill a rainy day. Recent travelers were particularly impressed with the museum's permanent collection of African art and its display of Northwest Coast Native American artists.
Commonly known as "SAM," the main part of the museum is located in downtown Seattle about a mile-and-a-half south of the Space Needle. SAM is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours until 9 p.m. on Thursdays.
The museum does charge a hefty admission fee ($24.95 for adults, $14.95 for kids ages 13 to 17 and those with student IDs), but you can get in for free if you time your visit for the first Thursday of the month. Seniors can also take advantage of First Fridays, where admission is free to those ages 62 and older on the first Friday of the month. Paid parking is available near the museum. You can also take the Link light rail to the University Street Station, which sits within walking distance of the museum. For more information on current exhibits, hours and admission prices, visit the Seattle Art Museum website.
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#1 Pike Place Market
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 in Seattle (plan to run into crowds, especially during the weekend) that's no reason to scratch it off your to-do list. Recent visitors said the abundance of vendors and lively atmosphere make it an experience you shouldn't pass up, no matter how busy it gets.
The streets surrounding Pike Place Market are peppered with restaurants and coffee shops, and there's an information booth just west of the marketplace at First Avenue. If you want a little help navigating the massive market, guided tours and food tours are available from third-party companies. You can find a list on the market's website here.
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