Emerald City aptly named for its year-round greenery, thanks to our Evergreen Trees. Its the home of Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft, Nintendo, T-Mobile, Expedia, Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, Tully’s, Alaska Airlines, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Just to name a few!Below are some of the “Must-See” attractions of Seattle
The icon of the Seattle skyline that draws thousands of visitors to the city each year. Constructed for the 1962 World Fair at 605 feet, it is one of the most photographed structures in the world. The Space Needle was recently renovated with the worlds only rotating glass floor. You can eat at the top of the restaurant, and get free observation access.
My Thoughts: This is one of those things that you do one time, and that is enough. Having been up to the top more times than I can count (Thanks to all my family). If you opt to eat at the top, know that a salad will cost about $30, but you can go up to the observation deck for free. I am unsure of what the new menu looks like since the renovation. I think its worth walking by and taking your pictures. If you are wanting go up for the view, see my thoughts on the Columbia Tower.
General Admission: Regular $32.50-$37.50 Senior (65+) $27.50-$32.50 Youth (5/12) $24.50-$28.50
The Museum of Pop culture is part of the abstract building next to the Space Needle, formally known as the Experience Music Project. Seattle is know for coffee and music, mostly grunge and rock. This museum is encompasses contemporary pop culture, created by the late Paul Allen. Here you will find exhibits dedicated to Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Jimi Hendrix. You will also be able to explore movie exhibits, and other important pop culture icons. My thoughts: Go! It is a bit pricey, but we spend most of the day and were enjoying exploring it. At the time of our tour, they had a horror movie exhibit. The original terminator was on display, Spock’s shirt, and so much more. This was probably my favorite museum we have. My second favorite being MOHAI.
Chihuley glass is also found in Seattle Center, just below the Space Needle. It is an exhibit by famed glass maker Dale Chihuley. Here you will find extravagant, creative, and awe inspiring glass sculptures
My Thoughts: Go! I had never heard of him until I went for work. It is a beautiful place. What he can do with glass is pretty incredible.
Artists at Play
Artists at play is a park in Seattle Center, below the Space Needle. This is a wonderful place for children to let off some steam and give parents a moment to relax. It was created by artists, and most of the activities are ADA accessible. B loves it here. Be advised that Seattle Center (The Space Needle, Chihuley Glass, MoPop, Pacific Science Center) is not super close to Pike Place Market. It is walk-able, maybe 20 minutes, but not for everyone so plan accordingly.
Pike Place Market
No visit is complete without a visit to Pike Place Market. According to Pikeplacemarket.org, they opened for business on August 17th. 1907. With new construction of the arcades that currently reside in Pike Place, it flourished through the 30’s. Pike Place was home to mostly Italian and Japanese American farmers, artists, and politicians. In the 40’s Pike Places livelihood began to flounder with the tragic interment if Japanese- Americans. In the 1970’s, Pike Place and the surrounding buildings were saved from demolition with the passage of a bill to preserve the area. Today, it remains a market locals use to purchase locals food, artists sell and display their work, you can see various musicians perform on the street, and if your lucky you may get to see Superman.
My Thoughts: This is a must do. You can spend the whole day walking around the market, visiting the shops, sampling fruit, and taking in the surroundings. Take your time here, and wear comfy shoes!
Well…Technically this is the second location. The first location was off Western Ave. The “First Starbucks” location is in Pike Place Market across the street. Your adventure will begin with an about an hour long wait outside to get in. Once you are inside, you can order, and stand in yet another crowd to get your drink. You will see that there are not many seats available. This is because the original idea of Starbucks was a place to purchase freshly roasted beans, not to chat and sip coffee.
My Thoughts: Its over rated. The line is so long, they don’t serve anything you cant get from the other Starbucks in the area. You can buy some coffee mugs, and other memorabilia there that you cant find in a regular Starbucks, though. You can also buy a brown apron, identical to the ones the baristas wear for only $100! If you truly just want coffee, I suggest trying some other brands that also come out of Seattle: Seattle’s Best, Tulley’s.
The Can Can is an all ages show (matinee only), and adult shows in the evening. It is a small production cabaret performance with some satire, humor, and lots of dancing. It is a small intimate venue serving food and cocktails.Parking: Thursday-Saturday evening(s) the the Market provides paid valet parking at the main entrance of the Market at 1st and Pike. There is also plenty of free street parking all around the Pike Place Market as well as additional paid lots off of 2nd Avenue and Western.
My thoughts: Go! It was fun. I took my 17 year old niece while she was in town and she really enjoyed it. There is a ton of audience interaction, the prices are fair, and we left in a great mood.
You can access the waterfront by a 10 minute walk on the back side of Pike Place market. You can see the Great Wheel, Eat at The Crab Pot, go to the arcade, Ye Olde Curiosity Shope, Seattle Aquarium, Argosy tours, walk by the waterfront fire station and try to spot seals.
If you intend on doing many of these items, conciser getting the City Pass. You can save money by purchasing a pass and can see several of these attractions for a discount. At the time of this posting it is $89 per adult for a city pass and you can visit 5 attractions with it. The above three are included.
You might be surprised to know that the Space Needle is not the tallest building in Seattle. In fact, it does even not offer the best views of Seattle at all. If you want a true 360 view of Seattle, visit the Columbia Towers SkyView Observatory. Columbia Tower is the tallest building in Seattle, at 933 feet. On their 73rd floor they have an entire floor dedicated to the views. They also have placards around to give you more information on what you are looking at. If your lucky, on a clear day you can see Mt Rainier in the background!General Admission Prices
My thoughts: If your looking for a more laid-back experience, want to read information at your own pace, sit and sip coffee or a cocktail, head to Columbia Tower. Much like the Space Needle, once you’ve checked this off your list, no need to do it again.
A sculpture under the Fremont Bridge created by local artist, inspired by Norwegian folklore. The city had an art competition, which this sculpture won. It clutches a Volkswagen Beetle that it could have swiped from the bridge above! There is no parking here, only street residential parking. If you go plan to circle a few time until you find a good spot.
My thoughts: Meh. It is something unique. If you are pressed for time, go see something else. If you are here for a while and want to see quirks of the area, this is it!
Have you ever wonder where all the iconic pictures of the Seattle skyline are taken? Kerry Park is where! Fun Fact: In the sitcom Frazier, the view from his apartment is the view you can get from this park.
My opinion: Go! If you are lucky, on a clear day you can see Mt. Rainier looming in the background. Stick around at sunset and you will see this magical city light up for breathtaking views of the city and Elliot Bay. Do be aware that there are no parking lots here and only have street parking which can be hard to get.
Kurt Cobain Memorial
Nirvana gave the 1990s this unprecedented feeling of camaraderie and acceptance. They revolutionized alternative music. You can find much more about Nirvana in their exhibit at MoPop. This unofficial Kurt Cobain memorial is next to the home he took his life in. It is a somber place, which many people come and hang out. You can see lots of messages written on the bench. No parking here. You must go down the street to the small parking lot and walk up the hill to get here.
Jimi Hendrix Memorial
This memorial is NOT “in Seattle”, but rather Renton. It is located in Greenwood Memorial Park. This elaborate memorial is dedicated to the iconic guitarist. Hendrix’ grave site was one in a normal space, but the traffic to his grave was disturbing the families who were buried next to him. So this memorial was built. You can see many fans gathered, some praying, some playing music, and some taking in the scenery.
Once you enter the cemetery head right, there is no way you can miss it.
My Opinion: If you are a fan, and if you have extra time to really see other nooks a crannies of the area, Go! Like I said, it is about 25-30 minutes from downtown. So if I were on a schedule I would pass.
Located in Lake View Cemetery, you will find Bruce and his Son Brandon Lee’s grave. It is probably the most difficult headstone to find. There are no flags, no directions, no signage…it is after-all a cemetery. Below are the directions to see it:
Walk into the cemetery entrance on your left. Walk straight up the hill. Cut through the grass. Do not stick to the path.
When you are at the top of the hill you will be standing on a path/road. You will see a very large stone cross in front of you and a flagpole.
Turn around and look at Lake Washington.
Directly in front of you is a coral colored gravestone and a black gravestone. These are Bruce Lee and his son Brandon Lee.
If you have a questions on anything on this site, or something not listed, feel free to contact me. I am happy to help out and give advice!