If you’re looking for a gorgeous view of Seattle from the sky and a fancy spot to eat, try the Space Needle. You can go up 520 feet to the 360 view observation deck and look over Elliott Bay, gaze out at Mount Rainer, and see the city from the sky. It’s around 25 dollars, but you get a discount if you pair the visit with a trip to the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. Or consider dining at SkyCity, a rotating restaurant at the top you can go to for brunch, lunch, or dinner. They serve a variety of tasty Northwest seafood dishes, like Dungeness crab legs and King Salmon.
Price: Fine dining
Hours: Observation deck: Mon-Sun 8 am-12 am, SkyCity: Mon-Thurs 11 am-2:45 pm, 5 pm-9:30 pm, Fri-Sun 9:30 am-2:45 pm, 5 pm-9:45 pm
Watch out for: Package deals, like a visit to the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum.
Address & phone number: 400 Broad St Seattle, WA USA +1 206-905-2100
Pacific Science Center
The Pacific Science Center, which includes an IMAX theater, planetarium, and butterfly house, is an excellent place to take the whole family for an afternoon. They have a dinosaur exhibit that’s fairly popular with kids, as well as a Puget Sound tide pool exhibit that allows for hands on interaction. Kids will get to touch living marine animals and learn about tides, currents, and Washington State’s ecologically diverse and large estuary. Finally, the butterfly house and planetarium are both worth a visit. Learn about insects, walk amongst butterflies in their steamy habitat house inside the center, stare up at the stars, and learn about the universe in a single day.
Hours: Mon-Sun 10 am-6 pm
Watch out for: IMAX theater, where they usually show awesome science documentaries as well as movies.
Address & phone number: Seattle Center 200 2nd Ave N Seattle, WA USA +1 206-443-2001
The music heart of Seattle, this is where Northwest FolkLife and Bumbershoot take place yearly in the spring and fall, respectively. Seattle Center also hosts a variety of cultural festivals, including the Cherry Blossom Festival & Japanese Cultural festival. Inside the Center, they’ve got a variety of Seattle restaurants with food served fast and usually to-go, so you can sit outside or in their cafeteria, where there are sometimes musicians and artists performing on their stage. They’ve also got a killer International Fountain, where kids and adults love to run through the sprays that shoot up to 120 feet from the dome. There’s an ice skating indoors in the winter and Winterfest, if you miss out on the summer and spring festivals.
Hours: Mon-Sun 7 am-9 pm
Address & phone number: 305 Harrison St Seattle, WA USA +1 206-684-7200
A beautiful view of Elliott Bay, downtown, and sometimes Mount Rainer, Kerry Park is a way to catch some picturesque sunsets in Queen Anne without feeling like a tourist. It’s a 1.26 acre park given by Mr. and Mrs. Albert Sperry Kerry, Sr. in 1927, ‘so that so that all who stop here may enjoy this view.’ This park is in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You. It also stars the sculpture Changing form by Doris Totten Chase.
Hours: Open 24 hours
Watch out for: Scenic Seattle views
Address & phone number: 211 W Highland Dr Seattle, WA USA +1 206-684-4075
Chihuly Garden and Glass
Devoted to the work of Dale Chihuly, this garden and museum is a beautiful place to get away from the bustle of downtown Seattle and enjoy some quite moments with light, glass, and plants. With eight galleries and three Drawing Walls, Chihuly Garden and Glass is an oasis of art in grungy and industrial Seattle. The Glasshouse is spectacular—a 40-foot glass and steel structure covering 4,500 feet of naturally lit space. Depending on the time of day, the glasswork changes. The garden is also lovely, with plants and flowers surrounding the various sculptures.
Hours: Mon-Sun 8 am-10 pm
Watch out for: The Glasshouse
Address & phone number: 305 Harrison St Seattle, WA USA +1 206-753-4940
Experience Music Project Museum
Located right next to the Seattle Center, home of Seattle’s most popular music festivals, the Experience Music Project Museum is in the most wackiest and colorful building you’ll find in Seattle. Inside, you’ll find Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana memorabilia as well as odes to the science fiction genre, with artifacts from television shows and films.
Hours: Mon-Sun 10 am-7 pm
Watch out for: Temporary Exhibits
Address & phone number: 325 5th Ave N Seattle, WA USA +1 206-770-2700
Once the home of the Seattle Sonics, and the current home of the Seattle Storm and the Rat City Rollergirls, KeyArena’s a great place to catch a basketball game or a roller derby event. They also host concerts, like alt-J and Florence + The Machine. KeyArena was built in 1962 for the World Fair. Notables past performances at KeyArena include the Beatles in 1964 and Elvis Presley in 1970.
Watch out for: Concerts
Address & phone number: Seattle Center 305 Harrison St Seattle, WA USA +1 206-684-7200
A small .78 acre park, Marshall Park is a quirky, small park to sit for a little while and maybe eat lunch in. It offers a pretty view of Puget Sound. The sidewalk is sprinkled with unsigned work by Northwest artists like Guy Anderson and Margaret Tomkins. It’s fun to try and guess the artists for each work.
Hours: Mon-Sun 4 am-11:30 pm
Watch out for: Northwest artists’ art
Address & phone number: 1191 7th Ave W Seattle, WA USA +1 206-684-4075
Home of the Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Ballet, McCaw Hall is just by Seattle Center. It’s a great place to see the fine arts in Seattle, from music to dance. With over 100 performances a year by Pacific Northwest Ballet and a stunning performance of Richard Wagner’s The Ring Cycle given every few years by the Seattle Opera that draws international audiences, McCaw Hall is another music mecca in Queen Anne.
Watch out for: The Ring Cycle
Address & phone number: 321 Mercer St Seattle, WA USA +1 206-733-9725
Seattle Reperatory Theatre
A popular regional theater in Seattle, it hosts a variety of plays from classics like Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge to modern plays. You can go to previews of plays that happen before the shows start to run; you can come to a pre-show chat about a production before the preview as well. There are also post-play discussions on select performances you can go to as well.
Watch out for: Previews of shows/dress rehearsals before the performances
Address & phone number: Seattle Center 155 Mercer St Seattle, WA USA +1 206-443-2222
By Sarah Lantz