There are plenty of attractions to visit in Seattle, the Pacific Northwest’s sprawling metropolis. The Emerald City is home to some of the best forests and parks in the United States, while its coffee shops and breweries are legendary.
Located close to the Space Needle, the Pacific Science Center offers a range of educational experiences for young and old. This place has something for everyone, so it’s perfect for families. Membership includes feature-film IMAX discounts and numerous free movie experiences. The staff is knowledgeable, and the programs related to geology of the Pacific Northwest are interactive and informative. The place is spread out over several buildings, so it is wise for visitors to wear comfortable walking shoes and get a map of the layout.
In 1998, the city voted to improve all 22 branches of the Seattle Public Library. The location of the Central Library stayed the same, but it was completely redeveloped by architectural visionaries Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus. Adhering to the principle that “form follows function,” the architects created an accessible design that depicts and encourages the celebration of literature, with a thought-provoking, cutting-edge aesthetic. Working closely with the public as well as the library’s board and staff, Koolhaas and Prince-Ramus revamped the entire library building, adding space and improved function to an innovative, contemporary design. The library now houses over one million books as well as a comprehensive digital archive.
As the birthplace of Starbucks, Seattle is home to some of the brand’s most special coffee shops. One of these is the Starbucks Reserve Roastery. Located on Capitol Hill, just nine blocks from the original Starbucks, visitors are invited to “experience coffee from the unroasted bean to [their] cup of coffee.” This place is a must-visit for coffee aficionados and fans of the chain.
With 76 floors, the Columbia Tower stands as Seattle’s tallest building. And luckily for tourists, located on the 73rd floor is the acclaimed Sky View Observatory, the tallest observatory in the entire Pacific Northwest. Enjoy views of the Olympic and Cascade ranges, Mount Rainier, the San Juan Islands and, of course, Seattle. Before leaving, make a pit stop on the 40th floor, where coffee enthusiasts will find a Starbucks with incredible views of the Emerald City.
Established in 1954, Dick’s Drive-In is a Seattle fast-food staple. The menu, which features favorites like cheeseburgers, fries and shakes, has essentially remained untouched since the restaurant’s opening all those years ago. The local chain is still a family-run establishment, operating in popular neighborhoods like Lower Queen Anne, Capitol Hill and Wallingford. That on top of its cash-only, stripped-down menu makes for an original burger-eating experience.
Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood is a night-time hotspot with bars and restaurants lining every major street. One of its best-kept secrets is the Needle and Thread speakeasy, located in the popular Tavern Law cocktail lounge. Situated at the back of the venue is an old bank vault door that opens into an intimate 25-seat bar. Expert bartenders prepare the prohibition-inspired drinks as they see fit. Just give them a mood, and they’ll work their magic.