Skyline of Seattle Washington

The Ultimate 20 Things To Do In Seattle Washington That You Cannot Miss

From must-see attraction sites, great outdoor activities and parks to cultural and history sites, Seattle WA is one of a kind city!

The Best of 20 Things to Do In Seattle Washington – Must-Visit Sites

Welcome to Seattle, the Emerald City! This bustling metropolis on the west coast is known for its stunning natural beauty, thriving arts scene, and eclectic mix of cultures.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a long-time resident, there’s always something new and exciting to discover in this vibrant city.

With so many options available, it can be overwhelming trying to decide how to spend your time here. But fear not – we’ve compiled a list of the top 20 things to do in Seattle that are guaranteed to make your trip unforgettable.

From iconic landmarks like the Space Needle to hidden gems like local farmer’s markets, there’s something for everyone on this list.

So grab your coffee (Seattle is famous for it!) and get ready for an adventure in one of America’s most dynamic cities.

Key Takeaways

  • Seattle is a bustling metropolis with a mix of cultures and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States.
  • The top 20 things to do in Seattle include iconic landmarks like the Space Needle and hidden gems like local farmer’s markets.
  • Outdoor activities and parks in Seattle offer something for everyone, including kayaking and paddle boarding opportunities, birdwatching, and guided walking tours.
  • Seattle has world-class museums and galleries, such as the Seattle Art Museum, MOHAI, and the Museum of Flight, as well as unique experiences like the Underground Tour of Pioneer Square and whale watching tours.

Overview of Things to Do in Seattle Washington

There are many places to visit in the Washington State, such as Spokane, Tacoma and Bellevue, just to name three. These cities have something unique to offer.

However, you’re in for a treat as we take you on a journey to explore the top 20 things to do in Seattle, WA! This bustling city has so much to offer, from iconic landmarks to hidden gems.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a long-time resident, there’s always something new and exciting to discover in Seattle.

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, Seattle boasts an impressive array of attractions that cater to all interests.

From exploring the great outdoors at Mount Rainier National Park to indulging your taste buds with fresh seafood at Pike Place Market, there’s no shortage of things to do in this vibrant city.

So sit back, relax, and get ready as we guide you through the top 20 must-see attractions in Seattle, Washington!

Must-See Attractions in Seattle

If you’re planning a trip to Seattle, don’t miss out on these must-see attractions!

Take in the stunning views of the city from the top of the iconic Space Needle.

Get lost in the bustling energy and delicious smells at Pike Place Market.

Marvel at the intricate glass sculptures at Chihuly Garden and Glass.

Explore music history at MoPOP, and get up close with marine life at Seattle Aquarium.

1. Space Needle

Space Needle Tower, Seattle
Space Needle Tower, Seattle, WA

Visiting the Space Needle is a must-do experience for anyone wanting to capture the essence of Seattle’s skyline. This iconic attraction stands tall at 605 feet and offers panoramic views of the city that are simply breathtaking.

Located in the heart of Seattle Center, the Space Needle is one of the top attractions in Seattle that draws millions of tourists every year. If you’re up for an adventure, take a ride in one of the elevators that’ll get you to the top in just under 45 seconds!

Once you’re there, soak up the views from every angle on its observation deck or dine at its revolving restaurant – SkyCity. The Space Needle has been a symbol of innovation since it was built back in 1962 and continues to be an engineering marvel today.

Don’t miss out on this unforgettable experience when exploring Seattle!

2. Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA

When at Pike Place Market, don’t miss out on the opportunity to watch the famous fish toss and indulge in some of the best seafood Seattle has to offer.

This bustling marketplace is located in the heart of downtown Seattle on the waterfront, making it a must-visit destination when strolling around the city.

With over 100 years of history, Pike Place Market has become a beloved landmark for both locals and tourists alike.

Whether you’re looking for fresh produce, artisanal crafts, or just some good old-fashioned people-watching, Pike Place Market has something for everyone.

Wander through the narrow alleys and take in all the sights and sounds of this vibrant marketplace.

From street performers to local artists selling their wares, there’s always something fun happening at Pike Place Market.

So be sure to add it to your list of top 25 things to do in Seattle!

3. Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chihuly Garden and Glass
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum.

You can’t miss the stunning Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit, located in the heart of Seattle. This iconic museum is a must-see for anyone visiting the city.

As soon as you enter, you’ll be greeted by an explosion of color and creativity that will take your breath away.

Here are three things you won’t want to miss at Chihuly Garden and Glass:

  • The outdoor garden: Step outside and immerse yourself in the beauty of Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures set against a backdrop of lush greenery. It’s truly a feast for the senses.
  • The museum tour: Take a guided tour through the galleries to learn about Chihuly’s artistic process and see some of his most famous works up close.
  • Combo tickets: If you’re looking to make a day out of it, grab a combo ticket with another major Seattle attraction like the Museum of Pop Culture or Seattle Center. You won’t regret spending time exploring Pioneer Square before heading over here!

4. Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)

The Museum of Pop Culture, or MoPOP, is a fascinating destination that showcases the intersection of music, pop culture, and technology. Located in Seattle, Washington State, this museum boasts a vast collection of artifacts and exhibits that highlight the evolution of pop culture from the 1950s to present day.

Whether you’re a fan of rock and roll, sci-fi movies, or video games, there’s something for everyone at MoPOP.

One of the highlights of MoPOP is the Sound Lab exhibit where visitors can play various musical instruments like guitar, drums, and keyboards. You can even record your own song in one of their soundproof recording booths.

The museum also features rotating exhibits on popular TV shows like The Walking Dead and Star Trek, as well as interactive displays on science fiction movies like Blade Runner and Alien.

With so much to see and do at MoPOP, it’s no wonder why it’s become one of the top things to do in Seattle for both tourists and locals alike!

5. Seattle Aquarium

Now that you’ve explored the Museum of Pop Culture, it’s time to dive deep into the underwater world at the Seattle Aquarium. Located on Pier 59 in downtown Seattle, this is a must-visit tourist attraction when visiting Seattle.

As soon as you step inside, you’ll be captivated by the vibrant colors of Puget Sound’s marine life. From playful sea otters to majestic octopuses and colorful schools of fish, there’s so much to see and explore here.

You can even touch some of the creatures in tide pools or watch divers feed the animals during scheduled feeding times.

Don’t miss out on visiting Window on Washington Waters exhibit where you can get up close with salmon swimming upstream!

Here are three highlights for your visit:

  • Visit ‘Life on the Edge’ exhibit to learn how different types of marine organisms survive along rocky shorelines.
  • Catch a glimpse of giant Pacific octopuses living in their habitat at ‘Octopus Cove’.
  • Watch harbor seals swim gracefully through water during ‘Seals & Sea Lions’ show.

The Seattle Aquarium is one of those things to see in Seattle that will leave a lasting impression no matter your age or interests. So head down to Pier 59 and discover all that this amazing aquarium has to offer!

Outdoor Activities and Parks

If you’re looking to spend some time outdoors in Seattle, you won’t be disappointed.

From beautiful parks to stunning viewpoints, there’s something for everyone.

You can’t miss Kerry Park for its picturesque views of the city skyline, or Discovery Park for its miles of hiking trails and beach access.

And if you’re looking for a more laid-back experience, Green Lake Park is perfect for picnics and paddle boating.

Don’t forget to check out Gas Works Park and Washington Park Arboretum as well both offer unique experiences in different parts of the city.

6. Kerry Park

Located in Queen Anne, Kerry Park offers stunning panoramic views of Seattle’s skyline and the iconic Space Needle. It is one of the essential things to do when visiting Seattle if you want to capture breathtaking photos and enjoy the beauty of this vibrant city.

The park sits atop a hill, making it an ideal spot for taking in sweeping views of downtown Seattle, Mount Rainier, and Elliot Bay. Kerry Park is not just a place for sightseeing; it also offers green spaces for relaxation and recreation.

The park features well-manicured lawns, benches where you can sit while enjoying a picnic or reading your favorite book. There are also walking paths that lead visitors through the lush gardens filled with plants native to the Pacific Northwest.

Whether you’re a local or a tourist, Kerry Park should be on top of your list as it provides unparalleled views of the Seattle skyline that will leave you in awe.

7. Discovery Park

As you wander through Discovery Park, you’ll feel like you’ve escaped the hustle and bustle of the city and entered a serene, natural oasis. This 534-acre park is one of Seattle’s largest green spaces and offers stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound.

Here are three reasons why Discovery Park is worth a visit:

  1. Walking tours: The park offers guided walking tours that allow visitors to explore its diverse ecosystem, which includes forests, meadows, and beaches. These tours are led by knowledgeable guides who share interesting facts about the flora, fauna, and history of the area.
  2. Birdwatching: With over 270 species of birds recorded in the park, it’s no wonder that Discovery Park is a popular destination for birdwatchers. The park’s varied habitats attract a wide range of birdlife throughout the year.
  3. Pacific Northwest beauty: From rugged coastline to dense forested areas to open fields with wildflowers blooming in springtime; Discovery Park showcases some of what makes Washington State so special! Whether you’re looking for a short hike or just want to enjoy some beautiful scenery on your next trip out West – this place should definitely be on your list!

8. Green Lake Park

Get ready to soak up some sunshine and enjoy a relaxing day at Green Lake Park! This beautiful park is one of Seattle’s most popular destinations for locals and visitors alike.

With its stunning views of the lake, lush greenery, and abundant wildlife, you’ll find plenty of ways to unwind here. Take a stroll around the lake or rent a kayak to explore its calm waters.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, head over to nearby Lake Union for some paddleboarding or kayaking with a view of the city skyline.

Don’t miss out on visiting the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum while in Seattle as well as Washington Park Arboretum where you can learn about plants native to this region.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful afternoon picnic spot or an active day outdoors, Green Lake Park has something for everyone on your Seattle trip!

9. Gas Works Park

You’ll be amazed by the spectacular views of Seattle’s skyline from Gas Works Park, a former gasification plant turned public park.

This park is one of the most popular and unique Seattle attractions that you can visit during your day trip to downtown Seattle.

Not only will you enjoy breathtaking views of the city, but you’ll also have fun exploring the industrial remnants of the old gas works site.

Gas Works Park offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as picnicking, kite flying, and playing frisbee with friends. The park is also home to a play area for kids and a fenced off-leash dog park that makes it perfect for pet lovers.

With its beautiful scenery and fascinating history, Gas Works Park is definitely a fun and unique spot to explore when visiting Seattle.

10. Washington Park Arboretum

Now that you’ve experienced the industrial charm of Gas Works Park, it’s time to explore the natural beauty of Seattle.

One spot you definitely don’t want to miss is the Washington Park Arboretum. Located just a few miles east of downtown, this 230-acre park is home to more than 20,000 trees and shrubs from around the world.

As you wander through its winding paths and gardens, you’ll learn about Seattle’s history as a hub for botanical research and conservation. You’ll also get breathtaking views of Lake Washington and Mount Rainier that are sure to leave an impression on you.

Whether you’re a nature buff or just looking for a peaceful escape from the city, visiting Washington Park Arboretum should be at the top of your list of things to do in Seattle.

Cultural and Historical Sites

If you’re interested in exploring Seattle’s rich cultural and historical heritage, there are several must-see sites that you won’t want to miss.

Pioneer Square, for example, is the city’s oldest neighborhood and is home to a wealth of Victorian architecture, art galleries, and boutique shops.

The Seattle Art Museum boasts an extensive collection of Native American and Asian art, while the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) offers fascinating exhibits on the region’s history from prehistoric times to present day.

Don’t forget to check out the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (Ballard Locks), which provide a vital link between Lake Washington and Puget Sound, as well as Fremont Public Sculptures – a quirky outdoor art exhibit featuring dozens of whimsical sculptures scattered throughout the neighborhood.

11. Pioneer Square

Explore Pioneer Square, where you can delve into Seattle’s history and architecture while enjoying the vibrant art scene. This historic neighborhood is one of the oldest in Seattle, dating back to the 1800s. It was originally called ‘Skid Road’ because logs were skidded down Yesler Way to Henry Yesler’s sawmill at the waterfront.

Today, Pioneer Square is home to a variety of boutique shops, restaurants, and galleries. Take a stroll through Occidental Park and admire the Tlingit totem pole or head underground for a tour of Underground Seattle.

The city was rebuilt on top of itself after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, so there are many hidden tunnels and passageways beneath your feet.

If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Seattle, be sure to visit the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Pioneer Square is just a short drive from downtown Seattle but feels like a world away.

The district offers an eclectic mix of Victorian Romanesque Revival architecture juxtaposed with modern buildings that house tech startups and co-working spaces.

Whether you’re looking for an afternoon outing or an evening adventure, Pioneer Square has something for everyone.

Stop by Zeitgeist Coffee for a latte before browsing through vintage vinyl records at Easy Street Records & Café or catching live music at The Central Saloon – it’s been operating since 1892! Whatever your interests may be, make sure Pioneer Square is on your list when visiting Seattle.

12. Seattle Art Museum

You’ll love the Seattle Art Museum, which features a diverse collection of art from around the world. Located in downtown Seattle, this museum is a must-visit if you’re exploring the city.

The exhibits are thoughtfully curated and showcase a range of art styles and mediums.

During your visit to Seattle, make sure to add the Seattle Art Museum to your list of best things to do. From ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, there’s something for everyone at this museum.

After exploring the galleries, take a stroll along the nearby waterfront or grab some food in one of the many restaurants in the area.

The Seattle Art Museum is truly a gem in this vibrant city!

13. Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI)

Now that you’ve explored the Seattle Art Museum, it’s time to head over to another must-visit museum in Seattle – the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI).

Located on Lake Union, MOHAI is a fascinating space that showcases the rich history and culture of Seattle. This isn’t your typical museum experience – MOHAI offers interactive exhibits that allow visitors to engage with the past and present of this vibrant city.

Here are four things you won’t want to miss during your visit to MOHAI:

  • Explore the maritime exhibit, which highlights Seattle’s role as a major port city.
  • Take a stroll through ‘True Northwest,’ an exhibit showcasing what makes Seattle unique.
  • Check out some vintage automobiles in ‘Faster: 100 Years of Boeing and Beyond.’
  • Don’t forget to make time for ‘Bezos Center for Innovation,’ where you can learn about some of Seattle’s most innovative thinkers.

Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for something fun to do in Seattle, MOHAI is definitely worth adding to your list of things to do.

With its engaging exhibits and beautiful location on Lake Union, this museum will give you a new appreciation for all that this amazing city has accomplished throughout its rich past.

14. Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (Ballard Locks)

If you’re in the mood for a unique outdoor experience, head over to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, also known as Ballard Locks.

Located on the Seattle waterfront, this popular attraction offers visitors a chance to watch boats navigate through the locks and even spot some salmon swimming upstream. It’s definitely one of the best ways to experience what Seattle has to offer.

Aside from watching boats pass through and seeing fish swim upstream, there are other activities you can do at Ballard Locks.

Take a stroll along the botanical garden or have a picnic with friends and family while enjoying scenic views of Lake Washington.

And if you have time, visit the Woodland Park Zoo which is just a few minutes away from here. With all these attractions in one place, you’ll never run out of things to do at Hiram M. Chittenden Locks!

15. Fremont Public Sculptures

Explore Fremont’s quirky side with its collection of public sculptures, one of the top things to do in Seattle. This neighborhood is known for its fun and funky vibe, and these sculptures add to the area’s charm.

The most famous sculpture here is undoubtedly the Fremont Troll, a giant troll statue located under the Aurora Bridge. It’s a must-visit spot for those looking for something unique and unforgettable.

But there are many other sculptures worth checking out in Fremont as well. For example, you’ll find a Lenin statue here that was brought over from Slovakia in 1995.

There’s also a rocket ship sculpture, an interurban railcar sculpture, and even a statue of Vladimir Nabokov (who lived briefly in Seattle).

Whether you’re an art lover or just looking for some fun photo opportunities, exploring Fremont’s public sculptures is definitely worth your time when visiting Seattle.

Unique Experiences and Day Trips

If you’re looking for unique experiences and day trips in Seattle, there are plenty of options to choose from. Take a trip to Woodinville Wine Country and sample some of the best wines from local wineries.

Or visit The Museum of Flight, where you can explore the history of aviation and even board a real Boeing 747 jumbo jet. Want something more adventurous? Go whale watching or take an underground tour of Pioneer Square.

And don’t forget to hop on a water taxi to Alki Beach Park for stunning views of the city skyline and a relaxing day at the beach.

16. Woodinville Wine Country

Indulge in the tantalizing flavors of Woodinville Wine Country, just a short drive away from Seattle.

Here you’ll find world-renowned wineries and lush vineyards that make for an unforgettable visit.

Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or simply enjoy sipping on a glass of red or white, there’s something for everyone in this charming wine country.

Make sure to plan your visit ahead of time so that you can fully experience all that Woodinville has to offer.

From tastings at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery to touring the beautiful gardens at Columbia Winery, there are plenty of things to do and see in this picturesque town.

After a day spent wandering through vineyards and sampling delicious wines, head back to Seattle’s bustling Emerald City and take in the stunning views from the top of the iconic Seattle Great Wheel a perfect end to your Pacific Northwest adventure!

17. The Museum of Flight

Now that you’ve explored the scenic Woodinville Wine Country, it’s time to switch gears and experience the thrill of aviation at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

This popular attraction is a must-visit for anyone looking to dive into the history and science behind flight.

Located just south of downtown Seattle, the Museum of Flight boasts an impressive collection of aircrafts, ranging from early planes like the Wright Flyer to modern jets like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Visitors can also explore interactive exhibits that showcase various aspects of aviation, including space travel and military aviation.

With so much to see and learn, it’s no wonder this museum is considered one of the top 25 things to do in Seattle.

So whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about how we’ve been able to conquer the skies, make sure to add this exciting destination to your itinerary!

18. Whale Watching

Exploring the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, you cannot miss the opportunity to witness the majesty of Orcas and Humpbacks in their natural habitat by going whale watching. Seattle offers several options for whale watching tours, including San Juan Island and nearby waters.

These tours give visitors a chance to see these magnificent creatures up close while also enjoying stunning views of Mount Rainier and Lake Washington.

If you’re planning to visit Seattle, make sure to add whale watching to your itinerary! This experience is sure to be memorable, whether you’re traveling with family or friends. So hop on a boat and get ready for an adventure unlike any other one that will leave you in awe of nature’s beauty.

19. Underground Tour of Pioneer Square

Don’t miss out on the fascinating Underground Tour of Pioneer Square in Seattle, one of the top 25 things to do in the city. This tour takes you back in time to explore the hidden underground passages that were once at street level before the Great Seattle Fire of 1889.

Led by knowledgeable guides, you’ll learn about Seattle’s history and see remnants of its past such as storefronts and sidewalks from more than a century ago.

Here are three reasons why this tour is a must-do when visiting Seattle:

  1. It’s a unique way to experience Pioneer Square and learn about the city’s history.
  2. The underground passages offer a glimpse into what life was like in early Seattle.
  3. The stories shared by the guides are both engaging and informative, providing an entertaining educational experience for all ages.

So add this tour to your list of things to do while in Seattle, and uncover some of the city’s hidden treasures with the Underground Tour of Pioneer Square!

20. Water Taxi to Alki Beach Park

Hop on the water taxi to Alki Beach Park and enjoy the stunning views of Seattle’s skyline from a different perspective. This ride isn’t only scenic, but it’s also convenient as it takes you directly to West Seattle, where Alki Beach Park is located.

Once you arrive at the park, there are plenty of activities to do for a full day at Alki Beach. Start your day off by exploring the beach and enjoying the views of Puget Sound. If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a bike or kayak to explore even further.

Take a break from outdoor activities and visit some nearby attractions such as the Seattle Pinball Museum or the Seattle Public Library in the area. Whatever your interests may be, spending a day at Alki Beach Park in West Seattle is definitely worth checking off your list of things to do while visiting Seattle.


Overall, you’ll find that Seattle is a city full of unique experiences and must-see attractions that are sure to leave you wanting more.

From the iconic Space Needle to the lively Pike Place Market, there’s always something fun to do and exciting to see in this vibrant metropolis.

Whether you’re a foodie looking for delicious cuisine or an outdoor enthusiast seeking adventure, Seattle has it all.

So what are you waiting for? Plan your next visit to Seattle and discover its many treasures for yourself.

With so many things to do and places to explore, there’s never been a better time to experience all that this incredible city has to offer.

From stunning vistas of the Pacific Northwest landscape to world-class museums and galleries, Seattle truly has something for everyone.

Don’t miss out on all the fun – book your trip today and start exploring!

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