Whether you want to try the coffee at the original Starbucks or you’d rather play in the Puget Sound under the watchful eye of Mount Rainier, Seattle, Washington, is a great destination. SeaTac International Airport is the closest airport to this Pacific Northwest city. SeaTac, a combination of the words Seattle and Tacoma, is an ideal home base and a short drive away from Seattle if you are looking for budget-friendly hotel accommodations. This area also makes for an excellent place to begin day trips to picturesque Whidbey Island and San Juan Island.
Seattle has attractions for all kinds of visitors. There’s so much to see and do that I thought I’d profile six sights worthy of a closer look.
Seattle Great Wheel and Pier 57
Spend the day at Pier 57, which has shops, food, an arcade, an early 20th-century carousel, and a 175-foot-tall Ferris wheel. Built over the water, the Seattle Great Wheel has 42 glass-enclosed gondolas, each of which holds eight people as the wheel makes three full revolutions. Luxury gondolas are available and feature glass floors, leather bucket seats, and a stereo system. The last ride of the night is at midnight, and this late-night ride is sure to create fun memories of the city lights against the dark, moonlit sky.
Top featured Image via Flickr by sam_churchill
Pike Place Market
Established in 1907, Pike Place Market is open 363 days a year, and it’s closed on Christmas and Thanksgiving. Located in Seattle’s downtown core, the 9-acre cluster of historic buildings is more than just a farmers market. It’s also a vital part of the neighbourhood and includes a senior centre, food bank, childcare centre, preschool, and medical clinic.
Your taste buds and stomach will welcome a full day adventure here. Start the day at 6 a.m. for breakfast, shop for fresh produce and seafood at 7 a.m., and shop the craft market at 10 a.m. Continue winding through the alleys and floors of the market as you make your way through the more than 200 owner-operated stalls. End your day at one, two, or three of the more than 80 restaurants and take-out counters. Many of the restaurants close at 1:30 a.m.
Seattle Central Public Library
Image via Flickr by -JvL-
Travellers don’t go to the Seattle Central Public Library for the over 1 million items in its collection. They visit for the building. The 11-floor building, which is made of concrete, steel, and glass, has sections that hang magically over the street below. The steel mesh exterior is reminiscent of snakeskin and invites visitors inside to explore further. Inside, the colourful escalators, hallways, public art, and interactive exhibits delight the eye and contrast the grey exterior. Architectural tours are available.
A 120,000-gallon exhibit filled with more than 800 species from the surrounding waters is an impressive sight. Add to that another massive 400,000-gallon tank with a 360-degree view of hundreds of fascinating fish, and you have the Seattle Aquarium. Meanwhile, discover some of the captivating wildlife, including birds, sea otters, octopuses, jellyfish, salmon, sharks, and seals, all of which are native to the warm waters of Seattle.
Seattle Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)
Image via Flickr by Ruth and Dave
The contemporary Museum of Pop Culture is as much an architectural masterpiece as it is a musical experience. With a significant historical collection of approximately 140,000 artefacts, the museum invites you to explore critical moments in science fiction, fantasy, music, literature, and television. The building, designed by famed architect Frank O. Gehry, boasts undulating walls and 140,000 square feet of space. It’s a sight to see, so bring your camera!
Seattle Space Needle
Image via Flickr by tiffany98101
With views of the Seattle waterfront, nearby mountain ranges, and the majestic Mount Rainier in the distance, the Seattle Space Needle is a hotspot for locals and visitors alike. It has an observation deck 520 feet above ground level, offering visitors a 360-degree panoramic view of the city and the natural wonders that make Seattle a favourite destination. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m., and you’ll get a great view both day and night!
Have you been to Seattle, Washington? What did you do?