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Things to do in Seattle

Things to do in  Seattle

Welcome to Seattle

Set on the Puget Sound, with Mount Rainier framing the distinctive skyline, Seattle showcases an energetic mix of urban cool with rugged natural beauty. For an overview and incredible views, head to the top of the Space Needle. Back at ground level, browse the bustling stalls of Pike Place Market or brush up contemporary life at the Museum of Pop Culture. The Chihuly Garden and Glass and the Boeing factory provide more indoor diversions. Experience nature with a boat trip to the nearby islands or a day trip to the mountains. And when it rains, duck into one of Seattle’s famous coffee shops.

Top 15 attractions in Seattle

#1
Space Needle

Space Needle

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Seattle’s Space Needle, one of the Pacific Northwest’s most distinctive icons, rises 605 feet (184 meters) above the city. Once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River at the time of its construction—built for the 1962 World’s Fair—the tower features a rotating restaurant and an observation deck at 520 feet (158 meters) with 360-degree panoramic views over Seattle and its surroundings.More
#2
Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market

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Every day from dawn to dusk, Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market buzzes with locals and tourists alike, who come to browse the 150 stalls of fresh seafood, produce, flowers, artisanal products, and local art, as well as see the numerous street performers wandering throughout.More
#3
Seattle Waterfront

Seattle Waterfront

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When a city has an enviable location on a large body of water, like Puget Sound, the waterfront becomes a top attraction. This is definitely true in Seattle, where the nearly 20-block stretch along the water is home to restaurants, hotels, markets, shops, and more than a dozen piers.More
#4
Seattle Center

Seattle Center

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Spread across 74 acres (30 hectares) in the heart of the city, Seattle Center was built for the 1962 World’s Fair and today houses many of the city’s top attractions. This is where you’ll find the Space Needle, International Fountain, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Pacific Science Center, Museum of Pop Culture, and Seattle Children’s Museum.More
#5
Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square

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Pioneer Square, where Seattle’s founders first settled in 1852, is a bustling district in the southwest corner of downtown Seattle. The shop- and nightlife-laden neighborhood takes its name from the small, triangular cobblestone plaza known as Pioneer Square Park, and features a bust of Chief Seattle, an ornate pergola, and a totem pole.More
#6
Lake Washington

Lake Washington

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More than just the second-largest lake in all of Washington State, Lake Washington defines Seattle as a city intimately tied to the water. Residents and visitors alike come to Lake Washington to connect with the natural beauty of the landscape, which includes views of Mt. Rainier and the Cascade Mountains.More
#7
Lake Union

Lake Union

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Just north of downtown Seattle, the glacially carved freshwater Lake Union is ringed with houseboats—including the one made famous by the movieSleepless in Seattle—and home to numerous recreational opportunities. The lake is a true urban gem, contributing to Seattle’s high standard of living.More
#8
Mt. Rainier National Park

Mt. Rainier National Park

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One of the oldest national parks in the United States, Mt. Rainier National Park was established in 1899 to preserve the wilderness surrounding Mount Rainier. Encompassing 369 square miles (956 square kilometers) of old-growth forests, wildflower meadows, glacial scenery, and wildlife, it’s a must-visit for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.More
#9
Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

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Olympic National Park covers a huge swath of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, encompassing rugged coastline, towering mountain ranges, temperate rain forests, and wildflower-filled lowland meadows. Home to some of the biggest stretches of old-growth forest remaining in the US, this misty Pacific Northwest park is the ultimate outdoor escape.More
#10
Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

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Learn about the annual phenomenon of salmon spawning at Seattle’s Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, known locally as the Ballard Locks, where three types of Pacific salmon pass through the fish ladder during the summer months on the way upriver to their spawning grounds.More
#11
Seattle Aquarium

Seattle Aquarium

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The cold, dark waters around Seattle hide an abundance of marine life, from orca whales to giant Pacific octopus to otters and salmon. The Seattle Aquarium helps visitors access this rich underwater world without getting wet. The experience involves touch tanks, daily dive shows, and plenty of exhibits showing off the area’s sea life.More
#12
Kerry Park (Franklin Place)

Kerry Park (Franklin Place)

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For views of downtown Seattle, the Space Needle, and Mount Rainier, the hilltop Kerry Park (Franklin Place) is hard to beat. Popular with photographers, Kerry Park looks out across the city skyline, the leafy streets of the Queen Anne Hill neighborhood, and Puget Sound, where you can spot ferries leaving the Seattle waterfront for the San Juan Islands.More
#13
Myrtle Edwards Park

Myrtle Edwards Park

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A prime Elliot Bay location gives Myrtle Edwards Park gorgeous views of the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound, and Mount Rainier. This shoreline park is walking distance from top downtown attractions, and offers a paved trail for pedestrians and cyclists that spans the 4.8-acre (1.9 ha.) green space.More
#14
Seattle Great Wheel

Seattle Great Wheel

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The Seattle Great Wheel is a can’t-miss icon that speaks to the fun-loving nature of the city’s residents. One of the biggest Ferris wheels in the US, the Seattle Great Wheel features enclosed gondolas that afford spectacular coastal views. It stands above 175 feet (53 meters) and weighs in at more than a quarter of a million pounds.More
#15
Seattle Chinatown-International District

Seattle Chinatown-International District

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Often simply referred to as the ID, the Chinatown-International District is the multiethnic center of Seattle’s Asian community. The neighborhood is also one of the city’s oldest, its rich history highlighted by museums, festivals, and cultural centers. Many visitors come for the food—dim sum, banh mi, sushi, and more.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Seattle

How to Spend 2 Days in Seattle

5 Ways to Get Out on the Water in Seattle

5 Ways to Get Out on the Water in Seattle

Pike Place Fishmonger Tips for Selecting Seafood

Pike Place Fishmonger Tips for Selecting Seafood

Top activities in Seattle

Mt. Rainier Day Trip from Seattle
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Mt. Rainier Day Trip from Seattle

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Seattle Harbor Cruise

Seattle Harbor Cruise

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Pike Place Market Food Tour
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Pike Place Market Food Tour

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Best of Olympic National Park from Seattle: All-Inclusive Small-Group Day Tour
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Chef Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market- 2 Hours
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Mt. Rainier Day Tour from Seattle

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Mt. Rainier Day Tour from Seattle

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Best of Mount Rainier National Park from Seattle: All-Inclusive Small-Group Tour
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City Sightseeing Seattle Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
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4 Hour Seattle City Tour
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4 Hour Seattle City Tour

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Half-Day Guided Tour of Seattle City and Snoqualmie Falls
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4-Hour Seattle City Tour
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Seattle Locks Cruise

Seattle Locks Cruise

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3-Hour Seattle City Tour
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3-Hour Seattle City Tour

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Recent reviews from experiences in Seattle

star-5
Great tour, beautiful views. Terry was the best!
julie_s, May 2022
Half-Day Guided Tour of Seattle City and Snoqualmie Falls
Falls were beautiful.
star-5
NJ military family first time to Seattle
Maria_S, May 2022
4 Hour Seattle City Tour
We came to visit our Navy son.
star-5
Fabulous one hour Seattle history lesson and beautiful views!
Karen_D, May 2022
Seattle Harbor Cruise
We were able to see magnificent views of the city, the harbor and the navy ships up close.
star-5
A wonderful tour of the...
Kim_T, May 2022
Premier 3-Hour Seattle City Tour
It was our first time visiting and we got to see and learn about so many great places, views and hidden gems of this beautiful city.
star-5
Seattle City Tour
Gregory_W, May 2022
Premier 3-Hour Seattle City Tour
We had only one day in Seattle to see as much as we could.
star-5
Fun in Seattle!
Anne_G, Apr 2022
4-Hour Seattle City Tour
We got to see a boat go through the Ballard Lockes from start to finish and even got to witness a creation being made at the Glass Blowing shop.
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Leavenworth side trip
tess, Apr 2022
Leavenworth Tour from Seattle
beautiful scenery with stopover at BigFoot sigthing and Deception Fall…..
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Picture perfect trip to Mt. Rainier!
Tanya_M, Apr 2022
Mt. Rainier Day Trip from Seattle
He made sure we we got to see great picture perfect spots before the weather got bad.
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Highly recommended....
Anthony_C, Apr 2022
20-Minute Greater Seattle Scenic Airplane Tour
You'll get to see Seattle and it's landmarks (famous and lesser-known) from a whole new perspective, and flying in a tiny plane is a blast.
star-5
Nice tour
Ken_F, Apr 2022
Seattle Harbor Cruise
We got to see a different side of Seattle being on the water.
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Great experience
Daniel_C, Apr 2022
20-Minute Narrated Seattle Seaplane Flight from Lake Washington
Having done the Boat tour the day before it was really nice to see Seattle from above!.
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Great guide, variety of experiences
Randall_C, Apr 2022
3-Hour Seattle City Tour
In our case, we were only in Seattle for the day, so this was a great way to see everything and maximize our time.
star-5
Fun, insightful, amazing
Daniella_P, Apr 2022
Snoqualmie Falls and Seattle Winery Tour
We learned so much about the city, the wineries, and to top it all off, got breath taking views of Snoqualmie falls.
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Most memorable birthday
Marc_U, Mar 2022
20-Minute Greater Seattle Scenic Airplane Tour
Most memorable parts were seeing snoqualmie falls, Melinda gates house, Jeff Bezos house, Seattle’s bridges, downtown Seattle & Bellevue.
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City beneath the City
Cathy_K, Mar 2022
Beneath The Streets Underground History Tour
Fascinating lesson in the history of Seattle and great recommendations about current activities and destinations.
star-5
Amazing tour
Daisy_G, Mar 2022
4 Hour Seattle City Tour
He took us all over town got to see many of the different neighbors also went to places we would of not even known of!
star-5
Awesome tour of Seattle and the Majestic and Magical Snoqualmi Falls
Michelle_S, Mar 2022
Half-Day Guided Tour of Seattle City and Snoqualmie Falls
His knowledge about Seattle, Snoqualmi Falls and the surrounding areas, of photography, and great places to eat was SUPERB!
star-5
A cool way to see the city and learn
Anne_O, Feb 2022
Beneath The Streets Underground History Tour
Very punctual - the tour itself was exactly 1 hour and went by so fast since there was so much to see and learn.
star-5
Great day trip out of Seattle!
Jamie_D, May 2022
Snoqualmie Falls and Seattle Winery Tour
Snoqualmie Falls did not disappoint!
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Great adventure
Linda_B, May 2022
Pike Place Market Food Tour
She also gave a few tips on dining and other activities Seattle has to share.

All about Seattle

When to visit

Pack a jacket and umbrella no matter the time of year, as Seattle lives up to its overcast reputation. It takes a little luck, but summer days can fly by without rain, and locals risk the chance by packing outdoor festivals. Summer highlights include big outdoor celebrations such as Seattle International Beerfest and Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival.

People Also Ask

Is it always cold in Seattle?

No. While Seattle is no stranger to chilly weather, it's rare for temperatures to drop below freezing, and summers in the city are generally warm and sunny. However, because Seattle gets a lot of rainfall, especially, between October and April, it often feels colder than it actually is outside.

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How can I spend 2 days in Seattle?

Consider devoting day one of a 2-day trip to Seattle to downtown attractions such as the Central Waterfront, Pike Place Market (home to the first Starbucks store), and the Seattle Art Museum. On day two, head to the Seattle Center, home to the Museum of Pop Culture, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and the famous Space Needle.

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What's Seattle best known for?

Seattle is known for its lush surroundings, and it’s easy to get out into nature without straying far from the city—just be prepared for a bit of rain. The Emerald City is also the birthplace of Starbucks and Amazon, and the grunge music movement of the 1990s has long been associated with the city.

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What do locals do for fun in Seattle?

When it comes to having fun, Seattleites have plenty of options. Football fans can check out Seahawks games, while those more fond of the arts have access to ample museums and concert venues. Seattle is also popular with outdoorsy folks, and its proximity to trails, forests, and waterways makes it easy to get out and explore.

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What should you not miss in Seattle?

Seattle’s most popular attractions include Pike Place Market—the site of the first Starbucks—and the iconic Space Needle. There are also tons of great museums, including the Seattle Art Museum, the Museum of Pop Culture, and the Chihuly Garden and Glass. It’s also worth exploring subterranean Seattle on the famous Underground Tour.

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Is Seattle close to Canada?

Yes, Seattle is only a 2-hour drive from the border with Canada. If you have a car, it's possible to visit Vancouver, British Columbia, as a day trip from the Emerald City. Simply pack up your travel documents and drive north on the Interstate 5 until you reach the border.

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What part of Seattle should I visit?

Seattle has plenty of neighborhoods worth exploring, each with its own unique charm. Downtown is great for history and big-city vibes, while Uptown’s Seattle Center features a large concentration of attractions. Ballard is the place to go for dining and shopping, while up-and-coming SODO is a celebrated for its large concentration of wineries.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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