There are various attractions which will blow your mind and make you think twice about the small town. Here are some of the things to do while in a magnificent city.
Things to do when in Seattle
1. Visit Woodland Park Zoo
The zoo is usually the right place to begin your tour when in a lovely city. This is a family destination, and there is something for everyone regardless of age. It covers 92 acres, which are a sign that you have a lot to do while in the park. It houses 1,098 animals and 300 species.
There is the tropical rainforest that exhibits the colored poison dart frog. This is a fascinating exhibition that sent chills down my spine. The frog is charming that one can be tempted to hold it. And that is not advisable to do so. The African Savannah showcases a pair of female hippos and also a bird watching. You can opt to spend time at the penguin, elephant, or giraffe habitats.
When visiting the park, you will not have to worry about where to get a meal as there are food courts. If you prefer carrying from home, then there is a picnic area where you can set up and have a peaceful dinner in the park. The zoo is well maintained and clean, so it is safe for you and your family.
2. Spend time at Washington Park Arboretum
It was established in 1934 and covered 230 acres. The park is maintained by the University of Washington and the city. The arboretum is the place to head to with your family to relax and unwind. Being located along Lake Washington is an added advantage for those who love water sports. You can engage in kayaking and canoeing at the lake.
For hikers, the arboretum is perfect for this as it has trails that will make you sweat. You can stroll in the park and enjoy the sound of birds in the trees. A ghost ramp is also a place that you should visit and admire the lake. It is a quiet surrounding that will enable you to reflect and relax as well. There is a picnic area as well, for you to relax and enjoy nature.
3. Tour Kerry park
If you want a full view of the beautiful town, the park is the place to be. The view from the top of Queen Anne Hill is spectacular. Albert Kerry and his wife Catherine donated it to the city. It was an act of unselfishness as they wanted the locals to experience the same view. And spend the day taking pictures and relaxing with your family and friends.
The park allows your canine friend to be part of this memorable moment. I took an evening walk in the park with my four-legged friend, and he loved it. Romping around the park while am enjoying the sunset.
4. Visit the Green Lake Park
The park is the ideal family vacation spot that is a must-visit. It has a freshwater lake and covers 259 acres. There are trails where you can jogger, walk, or even cycle. For those who are not afraid of getting wet, there is a canoe and boat rowing that you can indulge in. And if you are a beginner, there are training class being offered to ensure you learn the art.
Apart from the lake, there is a playing field, for the kids, and they can play score and baseball. For golfers, there is a golf course where you can interact with other people while playing. This is a chilling spot for you and the kids if you want to get away from the city.
5. Golden Gardens Park
It is located in Ballard on Puget Sound. The waterfront park is one of the fantastic places to spend your weekend or holiday. The breathtaking view of Olympic Mountain from the Park is something you wouldn’t want to miss out on. The forest provides a perfect hiking trail. Hiking is the forest is something that I enjoy. The woodland cover gives you shade. Therefore, the sun would not be a problem for you.
The coastline is also one of the places to take your family and relax. The breeze at the beach is smoothening, and the warm sand at the beach is good for the feet to sink in. The fun does not end because of darkness as there is a beach campfire at night. If you are a night person, then the beach is the ideal getaway.
There is also a playground for the kids to enjoy themselves and play various sports. This will help them meet and interact with new people. If you love fishing, then the Pier is the place to head to with your gear.
I understand the stress that comes with trying to locate a dog-friendly park. Well, it is the answer to your problems as the park has an off-leash area where he or she can run around. Here you can play with him, but I would suggest that you carry extra toys for him to play with.
6. Kubota Garden
Kubota started the beautiful garden in 1987. He developed the garden, and it has valleys, waterfalls, ponds, streams, rocky outcrops, and even hills. It covers 20 acres and contains a variety of trees and plants that gives it the Pacific Northwest climate.
You can enjoy strolling in the garden and breathing the fresh air, specifically a walk at the Kubota Terrace. There is also the Heart Bridge where you can walk and enjoy the tranquillity. Other attractions in the garden that will leave you amazed include the Necklace Pond, Mountainside, and Tom Kubota garden. A trip to the garden will relax your nerves and mind as well.
7. Alki Beach
You can never go wrong when at the beach. The cool breeze from the sea and the sound of the waves are rejuvenating. You can sunbathe or even take a dig at the waters to cool off. The sand is also good for the kids to play with.
I prefer visiting the beach in the evening and watch the sunset while enjoying a glass of wine. There are fire pits and campfire so, you would not worry about the cold in the evening when at the beach. For couples, an evening at the beach will be perfect for you while enjoying the light from the stars. You can stroll along the beach and interact with various people. The fire pits are on the terms first come first serve. So if you plan to head down to the beach in the evening, ensure you get there earlier.
8. Museum of Pop Culture
It was founded in 2000 by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Frank Gehry designed the structure. It houses a sky church and several galleries like the sound lab and on onstage. The museum showcases science fiction literature, horror cinema, the art of fantasy and video games.
The guitar sculpture is something that I found to be creative and is a must-see when in the museum. Though I am not an art lover, this particular sculpture caught my attention. It consists of 30 computers and 500 musical instruments. There is also a display of hand-written lyrics, artifacts and original photograph of the famous Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana.
The kids will enjoy being in the museum, and on the plus side, there are also programs that they can sign up for. These programs include the Teen Artist workshop, Write Out of This World, The Hip- hop Artist Residency, among others. The museum is full of activities that will inspire them to recognize and even sharpen their talents.
9. Frye Art Museum
It is situated in First Hill and was opened in 1952 and was designed by Paul Thiry. The art being showcased was donated to the city by the famous Charles Frye and his wife, Emma. They gave over 230 painting to the facility. Their only condition regarding the donation was that the artist paints should be illuminated by natural light. This is what makes the museum different from the rest. The natural light gives the paintings life.
The collection is made up of work on paper, prints, sculptures, and even painting. If you are in love with art or want to be inspired by art, you will visit the museum. It is the ideal place for you. The paints being displayed are from famous artists such as Eugene Boudin, William–Adolphe Bouguereau, and Edward Hopper.
10. Wing Luke Museum
This is a historical, cultural and artistic museum, and it was founded in 1967. It was named after Wing Luke who was the first Asian American elected to office. Before the museum focused on the Asian culture, but later it reflected the various cultures in the town.
The collection is made up of oral histories, artifacts, photographs, books, and documents. If you are a history lover, then you would not want to miss out on this. It is also the right place for the kids to come to and have fun as well as learn about the different cultures.
The museum highlights the role of the Asian American in skateboarding and surfing culture. It also showcases how the first communities that came to the town lived and their cultural practices. A tour is done about the famous Bruce Lee and his movie “Hotel on the corner bitter and sweet.” If you did watch this movie, then the tour will be what you are looking forward to.
The museum organizes for events that usually happen at different times of the year. They include the summer camp for the kids, Lunar New Year festival, and the Jam Fest summer street part series. I took part in the Lunar fest, and it was an outstanding experience to see all the cultures at sharing their beliefs and practices.
I look forward to catching the jam fest. I do not know about you, but I would suggest you make plans to take part in either of the events.
11. The museum of flight
For you who are fascinated about aircraft and always want to examine its features, this is a chance to do so. The museum is like a hanger that showcases various planes that gave the humans flight. From the air balloons to the first rickety airplanes and the modern airplanes that dominate the air today.
The display includes the original red barn where the famous William Boeing had his first commercial manufacturing plant. The airpark unit showcases the various types of planes that have ever been manufactured. There are also artifacts that are a must-see while in the facility, they are rocket schematic and space suits.
There is a chance for you to enter a cockpit to fly and even land an aircraft. This is done in a simulator that gives you the real flight experience. The simulators include the SR-71A Blackbird and the F/A -18L Hornet fighter. The Kids Flight Zone has a plane and landing strips where the kids can enjoy themselves as well.
The collection is made up of aircraft from World War I and World War II models. For history crusaders, you can come up with your versions of how the war was. And even picture yourselves in the plane flying up the sky.
12. Seattle Art Museum
It is also known as SAM and is divided into three major branches. This includes Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle Asian Art Museum, and Downtown Seattle.
Olympic Sculpture Park: It is situated along the Seattle downtown waterfront. It was opened in 2007 and covered 9 acres. The open-air museum is home to some of the famous sculptures that have ever been made. The artists whose collections are showcased at the park include Louise Bourgeois, Claes Oldenburg, and Alexander Calder. The park gives you a spectacular view of the mountains and ferries. And it is also an ideal place to bring the kids to stroll and experience various forms of art.
Seattle Asian Art Museum: this facility is located in Volunteer Park. It displays different arts that helps one to understand the Asian culture. It also shows art from various parts of the world. For art lovers, this is the ideal place to feast your eyes.
Downtown Seattle: It is the leading facility out of the three museums. It is centrally located and when in town it will be the first and most comfortable place to visit. It has a more extensive art gallery that will take you time to explore and examine. I would recommend you take 2-3 hours to be able to see these unique arts.
13. Stadium tours
The town contains two world-class stadia that is a must-visit. They include the T-Mobile and Centurylink Field stadiums. The tours offered present you with a chance to explore the facilities. This will help you in learning a bit of history about the stadia and their architectural designs.
T-Mobile stadium: The tour will involve taking you around the press room, visitors’ clubhouse, private suites, the field, and both teams’ dugouts. Centurylink Field stadium also offers you a tour to various places in the stadium. The difference is the famous 12th man Flag pole that you wouldn’t want to leave without taking a picture of it. The tours give you an experience of how busy the facility is during the season.
14. The Space Needle
It is an observatory tower, and that was built in Seattle Center. The building is 605 feet high and 132 feet wide. It was designed to withstand winds up to 320 km/h and even earthquake of up to 9.0 magnitudes. This is guarantees that you are safe in the building. Therefore you can reach the top and enjoy the view of the city without any worries if you are a first-timer.
It will take you roughly 43 seconds to reach the observation deck using the elevator. At the top, you will be given the history of the building by a guide. The 360 view of the town is breathtaking. You are treated with a view of Mt. Rainier, Cascades, Olympics, Puget Sound, to name a few.
I enjoyed the view of the sunset from the top, and only pictures can explain this fantastic scenery. There is a gift shop down below where you can buy items shaped like the building. This will help you in remembering your visit to the iconic building. I have a salt shaker that reminds me of the Space Needle.
15. Sky view observatory
The Columbia Center is the fourth tallest building in the whole of West Coast. Oh, Wow, that was the expression I had when I got to the 73rd floor. It is priceless, and you will have to witness this by yourself, especially at night.
The building is 902 feet tall and gives you a 360-degree view of the city. You will have a clear picture of the Cascade Mountains, Mt. Baker, the Space Needle, Bellevue, and Mt. Rainier. The panoramic view will leave you astonished; trust me when I say this. I can attest to it that I lost track of time while at the top.
The building is made up of 48 elevators, six escalators, 8,800 windows, and 2,100 hydronic heat pumps. It was designed by Martin Selig and was completed in 1985.
16. The Seattle Aquarium
The Aquarium was opened in 1977, and it’s situated in Pier 59 on Elliott Bay. I would recommend that you bring your kids for the holidays or weekends. The Aquarium showcases the coastal birds and their habitats. The diving birds include the common murres and tufted puffins.
It also displays marine mammals. There is a Giant Pacific Octopus which it weighs nearly 35 pounds and its 14 feet long. The fascinating bit about the creature is that it changes color. There are also other tanks where the kids will be able to see starfish, sea cucumbers and urchins. This will give them a chance to learn about marine life and the ecosystem.
17. The Seattle Great Wheel
It is one of the tallest Ferris wheels on the West Coast. It stands at a height of 175 feet. The giant wheel is located at Elliot Bay. It is the only Ferris wheel to have been built over water and has a 42 climate controlled Gondolas. Each unit is expected to carry up to eight passengers.
Well, age is not a factor for you to go on a Ferris ride. The experience on the wheel is thrilling, and it is something I look forward to. There are VIP Gondolas which will guarantee your privacy and comfort. This will only cost you $50, and it’s accompanied with leather seats and a bottle of champagne wine.
You can use the giant wheel regardless of the weather and even at night since it has a glass roof and door. The park is opened up to midnight during the weekends. You and your family will enjoy a day at the great wheel and also bond. For couples, I would recommend the VIP package to ensure you have quality time together.
18. Olympic National park tour
The park contains some of the oldest woodlands in the country. It is an ideal place for you and the family. You can start your journey by exploring the Hurricane Ridge. It is found south of Port Angeles and gives you a fantastic view of the Olympic Mountains.
For hikes, you can head up to the Hurricane Hill. The view on top is something you will have to experience, and it’s the reward for your struggle. The mountain will require you to have the right and comfortable shoe. Plus carry bottles of water and ensure you tag along with your cameras.
The Hoh Rain forest is also a place to explore while in the park. Walking through the woods and just breathing the fresh air and listening to the sound of the birds is therapeutic.
There are the Ruby and Rialto beaches where you can enjoy the sunset and relax on the sand. Marymere Falls is breathtaking, and it is 90 feet tall. The sound of water roaring down the fall is thrilling. It is one of the places I love visiting to relax and unwind when in the park.
19. Seattle Underground tour
The tour will take you underground to the passageways that were used in the mid- 19th century. After the streets were established the hall were abandoned and have become one of the most tourist attractions. There is not much to see, but it is a trip down the history lane. You will notice the unique architectural designs used to build the tunnels.
Some of the movies such as “The Night Strangler” and “The Night Walker” used this place as one of the scenes. If you are a fan of these movies, then you wouldn’t miss out on this tour. During the wet season, you will require an umbrella or a raincoat to remain dry. Only children who have attained the age of 7 are allowed to participate in the tour.
20. Take full day walk at Mount Rainier
Escape the buzz of the city and head to the dormant volcanic mountain. It is 4,392 meters tall, making it the highest peak in the United States. There is a guided tour offered to take you through the park.
You will be able to see the waterfall and stroll through the forest or even set a picnic in the woods. This should be done when the guide is around and not on your own. Plus maps are required to enable you to navigate through the forest. You may as well take a hike on the Nisqually Vista Trail and unwind in the process.
The trails are of different types that you can select from to challenge yourself. A walk along with the wildflowers and trekking to silver falls will be ideal for you and the family.
21. Chihuly Garden and Glass
It was established in 2012 and displayed eight galleries. The structure was designed by Chihuly, and he suspended the ceiling to a 30 meter. The roof has been colored in different shades such as amber, red, orange, and yellow. This illuminates the museum in different colors during the day.
The facility has been segmented into three major parts, which includes the glass house, the garden, and the interior exhibits. The garden showcases various plants such as fuchsias, camellias, and daylilies.
The museum has a lot to offer, and it will take you time to cover. I would recommend that you start your tour early. And ensure you have your cameras.
22. Ballard Locks
The Locks dated back to 1917 and were constructed by the U.S Army Corps of Engineers. It allows water to travel to the Puget Sound and Lake Washington Ship Canal. The locks reshaped the topography of the city by lowering the levels of Lake Union and Lake Washington.
This caused a chain reaction in which a new waterfront land was created, the flow of the rivers were reversed leaving part of Pier dry. This made it become a significant tourist attraction in the region since they would want to see how humans have altered nature.
There is also a fish ladder used by salmon to swim to the freshwater lake or streams to spawn. In the present day, the fish migrates to the sea. You can view the salmon using the underwater windows during the spawning season. The kid will have fun at the Lock as they will learn the history behind the fantastic structure.
23. Visit the Pacific Center
Minoru Yamasaki designed the center. He created the build for a world fair in 1962 but was later converted to a science center. The primary mission for the institution is to discover the experiment and think critically about situations. This will offer you and the kids a chance to learn more about science.
There is an insect exhibition area where you will learn the fascinating features of insects. This includes their ability to carry air bubble when they dive underwater. And even understand how they can take a weight that is twice theirs. Another intriguing factor is about tropical butterflies that have their house warm all through the year.
After long hours of trying to understand how science works, you can head to the IMAX theatre and relax while watching your favorite movies. If not careful, you might lose track of time while at the center. But it is the holidays so enjoy every bit of it without any regrets.
Seattle is one of the places that one can opt for to visit during the holidays or even the weekend. And after my visit to several sites in the town, I can to realize it was worth the time and money. There is simply something for everyone, regardless of age. You will enjoy every bit of the tour the moment you set foot in the town. Though it might seem small, it has a lot to offer. It is also made up of different cultures, which makes it a unique environment for you and the family. This automatically provides you with an experience of a lifetime and ensures you relax your mind and bond with family and friends.