Seattle’s Awesome. Where To Go…What To Do!

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Things To Do In Seattle!

Whatever you do in Seattle, the backdrop is breathtaking scenery. From the water to the mountains, looking out or looking in, Seattle’s charm and beauty will take your breath away. Be careful if you’re a visitor…many tourists come back to stay!

Three of the country’s most spectacular national parks — Mt. Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park, and Olympic National Park — plus Mt. St. Helens National Monument are all within two hours driving time of the city. Hiking, skiing, year-round boating, swimming, and fishing are less than an hour away.

Right here in the city, there are hundreds of sights to see and experience. It’s the simple things that you’ll do in Seattle that will create the moments you’ll remember. That ferry ride from downtown to Bainbridge Island, watching the sun set behind the Olympics as tugs pass through and sailboats head home, shopping for fresh fruit at Pike Place Market, sipping a Starbucks in the city that created it, enjoying a sunset concert on the Pier. These moments, coupled with the city’s vast cultural events, restaurants, shops, clubs, and cafes make Seattle special and memorable.

So, where does one get started in experiencing this incredible city? Most sightseers make the waterfront their first stop. With myriad of restaurants, gift shops, museums, the Waterfront Streetcar and harbor-tours to choose and depart from, it’s a day of activity in itself! A highlight is the Seattle Aquarium with an underwater dome offering a view of Puget Sound sea life, including marine mammals and shore creatures.

Pike Place Market is perhaps Seattle’s most cherished spot. Here locals and visitors buy the freshest fish and produce in town. Nearly a century after its founding, Pike Place Market remains a vital part of Seattle’s economy and is visited by more than nine million people each year. Watch out for the flying fish and bring your camera! Street musicians will keep you entertained, coffee shops will keep you going, and the boutiques and wares of northwest artists will keep you shopping.

But don’t spend all your money in one place! Seattle’s downtown is a thriving one with plenty of fine shops and department stores to further entice your money from your wallet. You’ll also enjoy downtown’s theaters, cinemas, restaurants, cafes, fine hotels, and galleries.

For some of the city’s best art galleries, Pioneer Square is the place. This 20-block historical district is one of Seattle’s most varied areas. Whether you’re looking for fine art paintings or hand-blown glass, Pioneer Square doesn’t disappoint. While you’re in the neighborhood, don’t miss Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour which takes place above ground and (zip up your fleece jacket) below.

No visit to Seattle is complete without a vertical trip to the city’s trademark, the Space Needle. This remarkable monument from the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair is a legacy to that historic event. The monorail, Pacific Science Center, and Opera House share this distinction. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project (EMP) is a don’t miss attraction at the Seattle Center. Designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, the structure is as interesting as the exhibits inside. The latest treasure to grace the grounds of Seattle Center is the 45,000 square foot Dale Chihuly Garden And Glass Museum — the largest museum in the world devoted to glass artist Dale Chihuly.

The International District, often called the “I.D.” and “Chinatown” is home to many people including those of Cambodian, Filipino, and Vietnamese ancestry. Tours of the area are available at the Wing Luke Memorial Museum where you can enjoy changing exhibits of Asian folk art. Great restaurants abound and an attraction all its own is Uwajimaya, the second largest Japanese supermarket on the west coast!

North of the city, along Seaview Avenue, is Shilshole Bay and Marina, and Ballard — the Nordic section of Seattle. This is the area where immigrants from Norway and Sweden settled in the late 1890s and early 1900s. Saltwater fishing trips depart from here to Puget Sound fishing holes. Connecting saltwater Puget Sound to freshwater Lake Washington is the Hiram M. Chittenden Government Locks. Here you can see the salmon return home to spawn via the fish ladder and watch the tugs and pleasure crafts making the transition between the salt and fresh water. Golden Gardens is located at the north end of Seaview and is one of the Sound’s best bathing beaches.

Alki Beach is Seattle’s other favorite beach. This long, narrow, sandy stretch attracts a whole beach culture complete with cruising cars, bonfires, and sunbathers. Located in West Seattle, this area offers some of the best views of the Seattle skyline. Take Alki Avenue around the point and you’ll find Lincoln Park on the south end. This wonderful park has trails, beach, even a saltwater pool with views to Puget Sound.

Seattle is filled with incredible parks. Among the best is the Woodland Park Zoo. This world renowned zoo’s 92 acres features over 300 animal species and 1000 plants species in award-winning naturalistic exhibits. Just down the road is a bit of a people zoo — particularly in good weather! Green Lake is a public lake and park with a three-mile paved bicycle, jogging and skating loop. Used by an estimated 1 million people a year, this is THE place to people watch! (Studies of summer peak use showed an estimated 40,000 visitors a week; 5,000 a day during weekdays and 7,200 a day on weekends.)

The city’s largest park is Discovery Park in Magnolia. This 535-acre oasis features a 2.8-mile loop trail through forest and meadow, with access to two miles of Puget Sound beaches, plus the half-mile interpretive Wolf Tree Nature Trail. West Point is a bird watcher’s paradise with frequent sightings of cormorants, grebes, loons, terns, and other marine birds. Don’t miss the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Education Center for a fine collection of American Indian Art. And for lovers of army memorabilia, visit the Fort Lawton Military Museum.

Bicycle enthusiasts will want to grab their helmets and head for the Burke-Gilman Trail — a 27-mile bike and pedestrian path that follows the route of the former Northern Pacific Railroad and will take you from Ballard to Bothel and beyond! At Bothell Landing it joins the Sammamish River Trail for 10.9 more miles to Marymoor Park. This is the most popular park in the King County Park System with 640 acres of natural beauty, an abundance of amenities and activities that include rock climbing, tennis, model airplane flying, nature tours, and more.

This is just the tip of what’s available to do and see in Seattle and surrounds. You’ll want to include visits to the Seattle Art Museum, the Museum of History and Industry, the Nordic Heritage Museum, the Museum of Flight, and the Frye Museum, just to name a few.

There’s vineyards and breweries, boat rides and train rides, the monorail, seaplanes — so much to see and enjoy! The restaurants are world-class, the music and club scene that put Seattle on the map for Hendrix, grunge, Nirvana and more still thrives. We recommend you visit to plan your itinerary when exploring Seattle or to get current on what’s happening at any given time and date.

If you would like OUR recommendations for places to eat, shop, and play, contact us. We LOVE Seattle and have wonderful suggestions for where to go and what to do to enjoy the best this city has to offer.

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