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20 Must-Visit Attractions in Seattle

Fremont Troll | © Mobilus In Mobili/Flickr
Fremont Troll | © Mobilus In Mobili/Flickr
Picture of Jacklyn Grambush
Updated: 21 August 2017
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Set in the glistening Pacific Northwest, Seattle doesn’t have to work hard to attract visitors. Still, the city has developed more than enough reason to put itself “on the map”. In 2015, 38.1 million people visited the Emerald City. For those who plan to follow in their footsteps, here are the top 20 attractions other than the Fremont Troll that you won’t want to miss. Check out options like the CityPASS for deals!

Seattle Center

Originally built for the 1962 World Fair, the Seattle Center is now a 74-acre campus pivotal to Seattle’s education, entertainment, and tourism. Visit the Space Needle, Pacific Science Center, Museum of Pop Culture, Chihuly Garden & Glass, and Seattle Monorail. Seriously, see them all – you won’t be disappointed.

Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA, USA +1 206 684 7200

Waterfront Park

Located where the name suggests, this park is composed of Pier 57 (location of the Seattle Great Wheel) through Pier 59 (location of the Seattle Aquarium) along Elliott Bay.

Waterfront Park, 1401 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA, USA +1 206 684 4075

Dusk at Pier 57. There are nights I just love my city! #seattle #travelphotography #travel #dusk #seattlewaterfront

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Pike Place Market

Farmers' Market, Market, Vegetarian, Healthy
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Over 100 years old, Pike Place Market is one of the oldest continuing operating public farmers’ markets in the nation. Community-minded, the market supports farmers, artisans, and small businesses. As you wander the booths, don’t forget to check out the famous fish throwing!
More Info
Mon:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Museum of Flight

Museum
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The Caproni Ca.20
The Caproni Ca.20 is considered the world’s first fighter plane | Courtesy of The Museum of Flight
With over 175 aircraft and spacecraft, “the Museum of Flight exists to acquire, preserve and exhibit historically significant air and space artifacts”. Check out the largest independent, non-profit air and space museum in the world for integral artifacts that chronicle the evolution of flight.
More Info
Sun:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Mon:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

The 100-year-old Ballard Locks are an impressive engineering mechanism that separate the fresh water of Lake Washington from the salt water of Puget Sound. Time your trip accordingly if you want to see the integrated salmon ladders populated.

Ballard/Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, 3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA, USA +1 206 780 2500

Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Check out the Seattle Art Museum, Asian Art Museum (closed during renovation until 2019), and Olympic Sculpture Park. Though located in different places around Seattle, they are all part of SAM.

Lake Union Park

Lake Union Park offers astonishing views, the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), and the Center for Wooden Boats.

Lake Union Park, 860 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA, USA +1 206 684 4075

Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour

Explore this museum with the unique opportunity to watch 747, 777, and 787 Dreamliner airplanes being assembled. You can even visit the Strato Deck on top of the building for incredible views of Paine Field.

Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour, 8415 Paine Field Blvd, Mukilteo, WA, USA +1 800 464 1476

Washington State Ferries

It’s not actually the ferries themselves that are a must-see, but rather the view you can only get from the water. Surrounded by two mountain ranges and a spectacular city skyline, you may even catch a glimpse of an orca!

Washington Park Arboretum

Park
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The Washington Park Arboretum looks particularly impressive during the fall
The Washington Park Arboretum looks particularly impressive during the fall | © Jaime Pharr / Alamy Stock Photo
Explore the 230 acres of exceptional flora of the arboretum managed by both the University of Washington Botanic Gardens and the City of Seattle. Nearby, the separate Japanese Garden is also highly recommended.
More Info
Sun:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Mon:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square‘s claim to fame is as Seattle’s “first” neighborhood, where the city founders settled in 1852. Check out this still-bustling area and stop by the Klondike Gold Rush – Seattle Unit to learn about Seattle’s role in the Gold Rush.

Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA, USA

Seattle Public Central Library

Whether or not you’re interested in the books inside the library (there are over 1 million to choose from), it’s worth just driving by to take a look at the unusual architecture.

Seattle Public Central Library, 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA, USA +1 206 386 4636

Discovery Park

Park
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At 534 acres, Discovery Parkis Seattle’s largest city park. Including beaches and phenomenal views, the park resides as a sanctuary for animals and as an important, tranquil green space for Seattleites.
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Sun:
4:00 am - 11:30 pm
Mon:
4:00 am - 11:30 pm
Tue:
4:00 am - 11:30 pm
Wed:
4:00 am - 11:30 pm
Thu:
4:00 am - 11:30 pm
Fri:
4:00 am - 11:30 pm
Sat:
4:00 am - 11:30 pm

Smith Tower

Building
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The Smith Tower was built in 1914
The Smith Tower was built in 1914 | © Robert Bird / Alamy Stock Photo
As the first skyscraper in Seattle (and once the tallest building west of the Mississippi), Smith Tower was built in 1914 and is packed with history. Visit the observatory and learn about its rum-running days.
More Info
Sun:
10:00 am - 11:00 pm
Mon:
10:00 am - 11:00 pm
Tue:
10:00 am - 11:00 pm
Wed:
10:00 am - 11:00 pm
Thu:
10:00 am - 12:00 am
Fri:
10:00 am - 12:00 am
Sat:
10:00 am - 12:00 am

Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour

The city rebuilt on top of itself after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, leaving a series of interconnected tunnels under the hustle and bustle of today’s Seattle. For a unique view of history, don’t miss the famously comedic Underground Tour.

Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour, 614 1st Ave, Seattle, WA, USA +1 206 682 4646

Benaroya Hall

On the younger side of Seattle, Benaroya Hall opened in 1998 to house the Seattle Symphony. Enjoy a Dale Chihuly display on your way in to an unforgettable experience.

Benaroya Hall, 200 University St, Seattle, WA, USA +1 206 215 4800

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