10 Things You Must See and Do in Seattle
The Space Needle
Seattle Center, 400 Broad St.; 206.905.2100;
A 41-second elevator ride takes you up 520 feet to the observation deck of the Space Needle, built for the 1962 World’s Fair. Enjoy a meal at SkyCity, the restaurant at the top that revolves 360° while you dine.
Pike Place Market
Between First Ave. and Western, from Pike to Virginia streets
Born in 1907, Seattle’s Pike Place Market is the granddaddy of farmers’ markets. Today, it’s a major tourist attraction with 200 businesses operating year-round, 190 craftspeople and 120 farmer booths – plus street performers and musicians. Flowers by the bucketful, flying fish, fresh pastries and fruit, handmade cheeses, local honey, wine, an assortment of restaurants, import goods, antiques, collectibles and lots of surprises are around every corner.
Traveling by ferry is a state of mind as much as a means of transportation to some of the Puget Sound’s most historic and scenic sites. Views of the Olympic and Cascade mountains, the Seattle cityscape and the green shorelines will draw you out onto the deck to feel the salt breeze on your face. The state ferry system takes passengers and their vehicles from Seattle and nearby departure points to Vashon Island, the Kitsap Peninsula, the San Juan Islands and Canada. For privately operated ferries, see the Sightseeing & Tours (page 35) and Visitors Services/Travel & Transportation (page 120) listings in this guide.
Meet Alki, the sea otter pup born at the Aquarium. Walk under the water in a glass dome as bluntnose sixgill sharks and other Elliott Bay creatures swim all around you. Touch a sea anemone. Learn about the lives of salmon at the world’s first aquarium-based salmon ladder. Marvel at the impossibly bright-colored coral reef fish. And don’t forget to wave to the giant Pacific octopus.
The Seattle Waterfront
Piers 52 to 70 on Alaskan Way
A bustling collection of attractions, restaurants and shopping, as well as starting points for ferries, cruise ships, the Victoria Clipper and Argosy boat tours are located here. Feed the seagulls at the statue of Ivar Haglund in front of Ivar’s Acres of Clams, stroll by the fountains on the wooden piers of Waterfront Park, admire the view or shop for souvenirs.
Woodland Park Zoo
South Gate: 750 N. 50th St
See more than 1,000 animals of 300 different species, from elephants and gorillas to piranhas and penguins, in naturalistic exhibits at the Woodland Park Zoo. Drop by at scheduled feeding times and talk with the people who care for the animals.
Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour
608 First Ave.
After the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, the city was rebuilt over the top of the ruins. This guided tour takes visitors through the hidden subterranean passages that once were the main roadways and storefronts of old downtown Seattle and tells stories of the frontier people who lived and worked there.
The Seattle Public Library
1000 Fourth Ave.
Designed by world-renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, the award-winning glass and steel structure of the new Central Library makes the building seem a little off-kilter and translucent – allowing passersby on the street to look in.
A short, narrated cruise takes you to an island village, where you’ll feast on salmon cooked in the authentic Native American way. A stage show of traditional dances and stories entertains and teaches you about the people who lived in the Northwest first.
Ride the Ducks of Seattle
516 Broad St, Seattle
Tour Seattle by land and water on a WWII amphibious landing craft. This 90-minute adventure tour will have you “quacking up” through the streets of Seattle. You’ll see the major sights of the Emerald City on land before you head out to the funky Fremont neighborhood where you’ll splash into Lake Union.