Yes, Seattle’s natural outdoor features are truly epic, but sometimes you just want to get inside and breathe in that purified HVAC air. Here are some super things to do without all that pesky sunshine.
Open year-round, this is Seattle’s most iconic attraction — and it’s filled with tasty treats. There’s so much to love about Pike Place Market. Aisles of gleaming fruits and vegetables, tables overflowing with fresh floral bouquets, and booth after booth selling all manner of locally made jewelry, clothing and gifts. It’s also a great place to enjoy many fantastic eateries serving prepared dishes. When you’re not sure what kind of food you’re in the mood to eat, just head to Pike Place Market and sample a little of everything or hop on one of several market tours that focus on food, history, or a little of both. There’s also the whole fish-throwing thing, too.
Both an architectural masterwork and a functional library, the Seattle Central Public Library stands as a testimonial to Seattle’s progressive, informed nature. Nearly 10,000 panes of glass fused with over 4,500 tons of steel make this sustainable building a standout for locals and tourists alike. But don’t just admire it from the outside; for wide interior vistas and eye-popping spaces, you’ll want to treat yourself to a self-guided cell phone tour of the building’s highlights by dialing 206.686.8564. Maybe even check out a book!
The Seattle area is home to an excellent collection of art, history, maritime, and special interest museums. Here are just a handful of our favorites:
Once the tallest building west of the Mississippi, the Smith Tower has offered Seattle’s best views to the public for over 100 years. Elevator operators whisk visitors in an old-fashioned copper and brass elevator car to the 35th floor where you’ll step into the past as you enter the historic Observatory.
When you arrive for your tour, you’ll be able to browse the new Smith Tower Provisions general store, and indulge at Smith Tower Temperance café and bar. Enjoy ‘The Legends of Smith Tower’ self-guided tour, or make your way ‘Straight Up’ to the Observatory. From every angle you’ll see the best of Seattle, including the Space Needle, Great Wheel, Columbia Center, sports stadiums, Pioneer Square, Chinatown-International District, as well as our natural surroundings, including Mount Rainier, the Cascade Mountains, the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound.
The Seattle Aquarium features a stunning 40-foot, 55,000-lb. viewing window that looks into a 120,000-gallon aquarium filled with salmon, colorful rockfish, vibrant sea anemones, and other native Washington marine life. Three times a day, divers take to the waters wearing specialized masks that allow them to interact with and answer questions from the audience. Other exhibits include two touching tide pools filled with sea anemones and sunflower sea star, a pacific coral reef exhibit, marine mammals and an underwater dome, the aquarium’s largest exhibit. The aquarium is located on Seattle’s waterfront at Pier 59.
The Seattle Waterfront’s newest attraction, the Seattle Great Wheel sits 175 feet above Pier 57 and extending nearly 40 feet over Elliott Bay. A view from the top offers sweeping panoramas of the city skyline as well as Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains beyond. Each of the gondolas is fully enclosed and climate controlled to allow for year-round riding, regardless of the weather.
Seattle’s lively theater scene is second to none, and with so many different sorts of theaters to choose from, you’ll find everything from bold, new premieres to inventive interpretations of the classics. Here’s a short list of just a few of our favorites:
Most definitely a bucket list item for many, the Space Needle is certainly Seattle’s most iconic structure. Journey skyward for amazing views, fine dining and an experience you’ll never forget. At a height of 605 feet, the Space Needle boasts fabulous 360 degree views that include Mt. Rainier, Puget Sound, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, the beautiful city of Seattle and beyond.
Long acclaimed for its outstanding Balanchine repertoire, Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) is equally noted for its contemporary edge and regularly electrifies audiences with new works. Widely recognized as one of the country’s premiere regional dance companies, PNB delights audiences under the artistic leadership of Peter Boal, a well-regarded former dancer with a distinguished 22-year career with the New York City Ballet. The sheer brilliance of the choreographers and dancers will leave you captivated.