So, you just decided to settle down in Seattle. If you love being green, drinking coffee, enjoying nature, and eating fresh food, Seattle is your hot spot. The city isn’t just famous for being the dramatic, medical city in Grey’s Anatomy or the city of romance in Sleepless in Seattle. There’s a lot of things you need to see, explore and do when you move to Seattle. Here’s a few must-sees when you’ve made your journey to the amazing city.
The Pike Place Market resides in the heart of Seattle’s downtown and comprised of hundreds of farmers, craftspeople, and small businesses. When walking in, you are greeted by Rachel the Piggy Bank, a life-size bronze piggy bank under the Market clock and sign. She’s a favorite for photo-ops. You can shop from dozens of local farmers that bring their freshest produce or you can shop from an array of fresh and smoked salmon and other fish, like Alaskan halibut, swordfish, and tuna. You can buy specialty foods like truffle oil, cheeses, baked goods and even imported products from France, Spain, Africa and beyond. If you want it, the Pike Place Market has it.
There are also several restaurants and coffee shops within the market, like Alibi Room, which features brick oven pizzas. Others include Pike Place Bar & Grill, Athenian Inn, a seafood restaurant, Michou, a world-class deli, and Storyville Coffee Company. Also, don’t forget to check out the famous Gum Wall, a brick wall covered in used chewing gum, in Post Alley under Pike Place Market. Stick your gum to the wall to mark you were there!
2. Visit The Oldest Starbucks
The Original Starbucks, established in 1971, is right at the heart of the Pike Place Market. The store has kept its original look over time and is a hot tourist attraction. Visiting the original site is a fun experience because it feels like you’re stepping into a time machine. It’s old and quaint but the coffee is just as good. Stop by, grab a latte and also some “original Starbucks” swag, like mugs or a t-shirt.
In Seattle, mountains surround everyone, whether they spend time hiking up them, skiing down them, or driving through them. The city has over 5,540 acres of parkland so you have many nature spots to choose from. A cool trail to begin with is at Burroughs Mountain in the Mount Rainier Area. It’s a 9-mile trail round trip hike and offers one of the most dramatic views of Washington’s largest volcano. Besides the floral displays in early summer, the wildlife seen on this summit is a treat. Goats wander the hillsides, and chipmunks, marmots and pikas skitter on the rocks.
Another trail to try is at Mount Pilchuck in the North Cascades. Easily one of the most rewarding hikes in the area, its short 2.7-mile trail, and 2,300 feet ascent gives you panoramic views of Mount Baker, Mount Rainier and the Olympic Mountains from the shelter lookout on a summit that tops around 5,300 feet. You should also hike to Lake 22, also in the North Cascades. It’s a 5.4-mile trail, round trip, and combines the best of mountain rainforests, old-growth, wetlands, and mountain views. If you do one thing on this list, it has be a hike.
4. Space Needle
The most iconic building on Seattle’s Skyline, the Space Needle, is worth a visit. At 520 feet on the observation deck, nothing blocks you from a complete 360-degree panorama of the city. From downtown Seattle, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Elliott Bay and surrounding islands, you can see it all atop the Space Needle. Don’t forget to grab a bite of Pacific Northwest cuisine on the rotating SkyCity restaurant in the Space Needle. No matter where you sit, you have an unobscured view.
5. Ride the Ducks
Tour Seattle by land and sea on a WWII amphibious landing craft? I say, definitely yes! You can choose to Ride the Ducks in various locations, like departing from Seattle Center at 5th Avenue and Broad Street or departing from 4th Avenue and Pine Street at Westlake Center. On this 90-minute quacky adventure, you’ll cruise the Seattle Waterfront to see the Seattle Aquarium, the Great Wheel, the drive through Seattle’s historical district and various other locations in Seattle. The comical tour guides will make you laugh until you fall while viewing amazing sites.
Ivar’s Seafood Bar is the go-to destination for award winning fish ‘n chips and clam chowder. Ivar’s features fast casual seafood dining for dine-in or take out, including freshly prepared grilled seafood entrees and salads, as well as traditional favorites, such as clams ‘n chips and the Full Boat family feast. It uses wild Alaskan deep-water halibut, salmon and Pacific True cod caught straight from local, Northwest vessels. Something smells fishy? It’s the delicious Ivar’s Fish Bar.
Every Memorial Day weekend for the past 40 years, the Northwest Folklife Festival has created opportunities to celebrate musical, dance, and artistic traditions at Seattle Center. There are over 7,000 performers, participatory dances, workshops, crafts, food, and more. This year, the 45th Northwest Folklife Festival will be held May 27-30. Stop by for a whole day of fun activities.
8. Ride the Ferry
Washington state has the largest fleet of ferries in the United States, with 24 vessels. It runs 10 routes, serving 20 terminals, located around the Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. A favorite route for sightseeing is from Seattle to Bremerton. It’s about an hour ride and you get a beautiful view of the skyline. Everyone loves a jolly ferry ride.
9. Fremont Troll
If you’ve seen the 1999 teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You, you’ll remember this guy’s cameo. The troll is a mixed media sculpture located on N. 36th Street at Troll Avenue N., under the north end of the George Washington Memorial Bridge. This massive troll clutches an actual Volkswagen Beetle and has one good eye, a hubcap. Climb onto his shoulders and pose with the 18-foot tall troll and you’ll have one unique photo.
10. Most Importantly, Get Coffee!
Seattle is the center of coffee roasting. It is nearly impossible to walk a single block in a commercial area in Seattle without passing at least one coffee shop. People in Seattle consume more coffee than in any other American city! You can get coffee at a local sidewalk stand, parking lot, tiny coffee house, big coffee house, drive-through, and even via delivery. Some favorite spots are Starbucks, Tully’s Coffee, Caffé Vita Coffee Roasting Company, Espresso Vivace, Café Allegro, Voxx, Gourmet Latte, and so many more. Get your espresso on!
Hopefully by reading this article, you realized what an amazing city Seattle is and you’ll want to run away here (I know I do). How can anyone hate coffee-lovers?! No matter where you end up in Seattle, adventures will find you along the way.