Seattle, located in the North West part of the United States, is one of the coolest and most innovative cities on the Planet. Many famous enterprises call this city their home, including: Starbucks, Boeing, Amazon, Expedia and Nordstrom, as well as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and let’s not forget ‘Seattle’s Best Coffee’.
This impeccably clean, charming town is also famous for its amazing food, constant rainy, cloudy days, and its proximity to the other great cities – Portland (Oregon) and Vancouver (Canada).
But don’t worry there’s plenty of sunshine days in Seattle – that is, if you are coming in the right season! The best months to visit Seattle are mid-April to mid-October. So if you are planning on running away for a few days to The Emerald City, see below for some useful tips on how you can spend some unforgettable time in this beautiful part of the World.
10 Things to Do and See in Seattle:
Famous Space Needle
1. Visit the famous Space Needle – the views from the top are breathtaking. This famous landmark does not really need any introduction, but if it’s your first visit to Seattle, going up to the famous observation deck is a must. Travel tip: visit it just before the sunset hour for the most magical overviews (and the best pictures) of the city. To purchase your tickets online or for the opening hours, go to: http://www.spaceneedle.com/home/
The amazing Pike Market
2. Take a stroll through the Pike Market – the most iconic landmark of Seattle, established in 1907. It is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, at 6am before dawn. I would recommend to visit this place in the morning, or during the lunch-time, because if you do come here in the late afternoon, you won’t find too many great choices left (they will be all sold-out). This wonderful market sells everything from food, flowers to crafts and hand-made souvenirs. You can also go to: http://www.pikeplacemarket.org
3. And while you are strolling through the Pike Market, make sure to stop by the very first, original Starbucks cafe located at 1912 Pike Place Market. Starbucks, with its headquarters located in Seattle, is celebrating its 45th year anniversary in 2016, and is now operating more than 20,000 locations across the globe.
4. Next, head down to the waterfront and take a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel, from where you can take amazing snaps of the downtown’s skyline, Mount Rainier (on a clear day) and the Elliott Bay. The wheel, standing 175 feet tall, was open only recently – 4 years ago, in 2012. The tickets sell for $13 ($8.50 for children ages 4-11), and the entire ride takes about 12 minutes.
The beautiful and serene – Olympic Sculpture Park
5. Another great part of Seattle is the Olympic SculpturePark and the Myrtle Edwards Park located very close to each other. This public area is perfect for a leisurely Sunday morning stroll, weather permitting. The Olympic Sculpture Park offers interesting outdoor installations – some permanent, some built only temporary by visiting artists. The Myrtle Edwards Park offers amazing views of the waterfront and the outlying islands.
6. Another thing that you absolutely cannot miss in Seattle is a ride on the one stop, two cars Seattle Monorail. You can board the train at Westlake Center Mall on the 5th Ave and Pine Street, or Seattle Center at the Space Needle and the EMP Museum.
The thrilling ride lasts around two minutes and it takes you over the ground, between the Seattle skyscrapers. Trust me, when you try it once, you will not want to get off the train. Also, for the best views try to sit in front of the train, next to the driver. P.S. Word has it that even Elvis Presley took a ride on the Monorail when it opened during the Seattle’s World Fair in 1962. If you want to read more about the Monorail – visit the official website, at: http://www.seattlemonorail.com
7. When you come to Seattle (or San Francisco for that matter), you cannot miss tasting some of the amazing local seafood (of course, if you are not allergic to it). Seattle offers some of the best seafood dishes in the World, whether it is a clam chowder soup or a pack of oysters, make sure to grab a bite during your sightseeing journey. For a list of the best restaurants in Seattle, follow this link.
One of the stops on the trolley – offering a scenic viewpoint of Seattle
8. To get the best, first-time overview of the city, I would highly recommend taking a local hop-on, hop-off trolley tour. The tour takes you all over the city and conveniently stops at all the major stops where you can get off and explore at your own pace. Please note, this tour is only operating during the late May to end of September. Visit: http://www.emeraldcitytrolley.com for more information, or to buy your tickets in advance.
9. From all the major museums in Seattle, Museum of Art is definitely the most well-known. So if you only have time to visit one museum on your weekend getaway, do pay a visit to this beautiful place. The museum, offering outstanding exhibitions year round, is located right in the heart of Seattle, at 1300 First Avenue, and is open Sunday through Monday (closed on Tuesdays). For more information on the current exhibits or the opening hours, go to: http://www.seattleartmuseum.org.
10. And lastly, if your schedule allows it, pay a visit to the unforgettable Boeing Factory on a morning tour from Seattle. The tour, to the so-called “Museum of Flight”, offers an exclusive sneak-peak into the famous factory, lasts around 5 hours (including the time for the road), and will take you back to Seattle in no time.
The Boeing tour provides an overview walk of the factory where the famous planes are being assembled and put together from a million pieces into one large bird.
The guided tour explains the history of the company, tells you how the planes are build, shows you the different stages of the plane assembly process, from the start to the finish line.
You will also see a number of different planes in its various building stages.
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Please feel free to share your Seattle tips or adventures in the comments below, or even submit your own weekend itinerary here.