Beyond the Needle: Seattle's Best Kept Secrets

Seattle skyline from Pier 66
Seattle skyline from Pier 66 | © Inge Johnsson / Alamy Stock Photo
Sarah Lantz

Forget the underground tour, Fremont troll, and the gum wall. Leave the crowds of the Pike Place Market far behind and set out to discover these Seattle sweet spots.

At the Pinball Museum

1. Seattle Pinball Museum

Museum, Bookstore, School

Open since August 2010, the Seattle Pinball Museum relies heavily on the passion of local collectors for old school games. Its vision wis to share vintage pinballs machines as an interactive form of kinetic art, and they’ve got over fifty classic games, including Atari’s 1979 ‘Asteroids,’ Bally’s 1979 ‘Space Invaders,’ and, of course, Namco’s 1980 ‘Pacman.’
Seattle Pinball Museum, 508 Maynard Ave S Seattle, WA USA

2. Kinokuniya Bookstore

Bookstore, Park, Store

© WikiCommons
If the internet was a bookstore, this is pretty much what it would look like. Located next to Uwajimaya, the International District’s largest Asian specialty grocery store, Kinokuniya Bookstore sells everything from plushy Totoros and Pusheen the cats to sassy socks decorated with quips like ‘Running late again.’ They’ve also got a huge selection of manga in English, as well as hard to find Japanese and Chinese books.

3. Gasworks Park


Gas Works Park, Seattle.
© Jason Finn / Alamy Stock Photo
If you’re looking for a beautiful view of the Seattle skyline, one of the best places to go is Gasworks Park, located on the Burke-Gilman Bike Trail between the U-District and Fremont. It looks across South Lake Union directly at the high-rises of downtown Seattle and the Space Needle. On a summer’s day you’ll see sailboats and kayaks on the water, and at night you’ll get some of the most beautiful views of Seattle lit up. Drum circles, dance groups, and martial arts clubs often practice at the park, and you can watch them perform.

4. Theo’s Chocolate Factory


The first Organic Fair Trade fair for life bean-to-bar Chocolate Factory in North America, Theo’s Chocolate Factory offers one hour tours that include sampling their chocolates. It’s located in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, just north of downtown. You’ll get to watch the process of how the cocoa beans that arrive in their factory become melt-in-your-mouth bars of chocolate, and they also touch on the social and environmental issues of sourcing cocoa beans in their tour.

5. Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream


Probably the best place to get ice cream in Seattle, Molly Moon’s sources over 90 percent of its ingredients from local farms. It also gets many ingredients from local companies like Stumptown Coffee and Theo’s Chocolates, who emphasize sustainable and ethical sourcing practices for their products. You’ll find many unique flavors, like ‘Balsamic Strawberry,’ ‘Honey Lavender,’ ‘Earl Grey.’ and their signature ‘Salted Caramel.’ They also offer seasonal flavors, such as ‘Watermelon Sorbet’ and ‘Ginger.’
Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream, 1622 1/2 N 45th St Seattle, WA +1 206-547-5105

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