Seattle is a buzzing modern metropolis with an overwhelming amount of things to do. Whether it’s strolling around Gas Works Park or Pioneer Square; or seeing the famous Space Needle, these suggestions from Culture Trip’s local insiders will help you figure out where to start.
MoPOP (Museum of Pop Culture) is a museum not like any other and is a must-visit for anyone interested in music, film, TV or video games. Alongside a huge collection of artefacts and handwritten lyrics from legendary Seattleites Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana, MoPOP houses the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. Extensive exhibitions of props, costumes, posters and first-editions from all of your favorite movies can be found here. Exhibitions change regularly so it doesn’t matter if you have been before. Examples of previous exhibits include Minecraft, Seattle grunge legends Pearl Jam, Disney costumes and a gallery dedicated to tattoo art. Recommended by local insider Grace Coleman
Urban renewal and excellent views of Lake Union and Seattle’s famous skyline are the order of the day at Gas Works Park, a public park occupying the site of the former Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant. Some of the old plant structures remain for you to explore and the busy green space has become a popular spot for picnickers, kite flyers, joggers and sunbathers. Recommended by local insider Grace Coleman
Go below the surface of the modern, tech-savvy city with a tour of the Seattle Underground. Explore the subterranean storefronts and pavements that were subsequently abandoned as the city raised its streets a story above the hazardous mudflats 19th-century Seattle was founded on. The 75-minute tour is across uneven terrain at low light levels, so sensible shoes are a must. Recommended by local insider Grace Coleman
No first-timer’s trip to Seattle would be complete without visiting the city’s most famous landmark. Built in 1962 for the Seattle World’s Fair, the Space Needle is a 605ft (184m) tower with a flying-saucer-shaped observation deck at the top, complete with unparalleled views of the city and Puget Sound. On clear days, you can see Mount Rainier, Washington State’s tallest mountain, and beyond. Recommended by local insider Grace Coleman
Pioneer Square is Seattle’s oldest neighborhood where the city’s founders first started to build. Today, with a backdrop of picturesque 19th-century Richardson Romanesque buildings, it’s an iconically trendy Seattle spot. Sample some of the city’s famously good coffee from artisanal coffee shops, browse the neighborhood’s numerous art galleries, grab lunch from a food truck or perhaps book a bocce court in Occidental Square. Recommended by local insider Eric Coleman
Lose yourself for hours among the captivating glass sculpture displays at Chihuly Garden and Glass. Showcasing the work of renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly, the museum presents his work in various settings. As well as eight indoor galleries, visitors can explore an outdoor garden full of sculptures and the 40ft (12m) Glasshouse – the museum’s centerpiece. You might even find that you need more than one visit to see everything. Recommended by local insider Eric Coleman
Seattle Aquarium emphasizes conservation and education. Kids will love learning about our oceans and how to preserve them through the various animals housed here. The seals and sea otters are firm family favorites. You’ll also find tufted puffins, a giant Pacific octopus and a variety of fish species. If your child is a big animal lover, check out the aquarium’s range of public educational programs that run year-round. Recommended by local insider Eric Coleman