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Things to do in Seattle

Things to do in  Seattle

Welcome to Seattle

Set on the Puget Sound, with Mount Rainier framing the distinctive skyline, Seattle showcases an energetic mix of urban cool with rugged natural beauty. For an overview and incredible views, head to the top of the Space Needle. Back at ground level, browse the bustling stalls of Pike Place Market or brush up contemporary life at the Museum of Pop Culture. The Chihuly Garden and Glass and the Boeing factory provide more indoor diversions. Experience nature with a boat trip to the nearby islands or a day trip to the mountains. And when it rains, duck into one of Seattle’s famous coffee shops.

Top 10 attractions in Seattle

#1
Space Needle

Space Needle

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Seattle’s Space Needle, one of the Pacific Northwest’s most distinctive icons, rises 605 feet (184 meters) above the city. Once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River at the time of its construction—built for the 1962 World’s Fair—the tower features a rotating restaurant and an observation deck at 520 feet (158 meters) with 360-degree panoramic views over Seattle and its surroundings.More
#2
Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

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Olympic National Park covers a huge swath of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, encompassing rugged coastline, towering mountain ranges, temperate rain forests, and wildflower-filled lowland meadows. Home to some of the biggest stretches of old-growth forest remaining in the US, this misty Pacific Northwest park is the ultimate outdoor escape.More
#3
Mt. Rainier National Park

Mt. Rainier National Park

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One of the oldest national parks in the United States, Mt. Rainier National Park was established in 1899 to preserve the wilderness surrounding Mount Rainier. Encompassing 369 square miles (956 square kilometers) of old-growth forests, wildflower meadows, glacial scenery, and wildlife, it’s a must-visit for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.More
#4
Seattle Great Wheel

Seattle Great Wheel

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The Seattle Great Wheel is a can’t-miss icon that speaks to the fun-loving nature of the city’s residents. One of the biggest Ferris wheels in the US, the Seattle Great Wheel features enclosed gondolas that afford spectacular coastal views. It stands above 175 feet (53 meters) and weighs in at more than a quarter of a million pounds.More
#5
Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market

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Every day from dawn to dusk, Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market buzzes with locals and tourists alike, who come to browse the 150 stalls of fresh seafood, produce, flowers, artisanal products, and local art, as well as see the numerous street performers wandering throughout.More
#6
Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chihuly Garden and Glass

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Glass artist Dale Chihuly, famous for his whimsical sculptures, was born in Tacoma but has left his mark on Seattle. Fans can revel in his colorful creations at the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum at Seattle Center. The facility includes a 100-foot (30-meter) glass sculpture, theater, and Chihuly retrospective, plus an outdoor garden.More
#7
Seattle Aquarium

Seattle Aquarium

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The cold, dark waters around Seattle hide an abundance of marine life, from orca whales to giant Pacific octopus to otters and salmon. The Seattle Aquarium helps visitors access this rich underwater world without getting wet. The experience involves touch tanks, daily dive shows, and plenty of exhibits showing off the area’s sea life.More
#8
Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls

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Fans of Twin Peaks will recognize Washington state’s iconic Snoqualmie Falls, an epic cataract that drops 270 feet (82 meters) in one single, massive rush. Travelers can hike down to the base of the falls, take in the views from the side of the falls, or walk a winding boardwalk along Snoqualmie River for a look from the bottom.More
#9
Mt. St. Helens

Mt. St. Helens

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Mount St. Helens’ infamous eruption on the morning of May 18, 1980, punched a 1,300-foot (396-meter) hole in the volcano and sent fire and ash raining down the mountainside. Visitors today can view the mountain’s crater, spot wildlife, see the country’s youngest glacier, and witness the surrounding forest’s recovery.More
#10
Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Factory

Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Factory

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At the Future of Flight Aviation Center, visitors can learn about the history and the future of aviation design. The Boeing factory tour—the only public tour of its kind in North America—lets you witness jet assembly, learn about the history of Boeing’s planes, and test your own aircraft designs at the educational Future of Flight Aviation Center museum.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Seattle

How to Spend 2 Days in Seattle

5 Ways to Get Out on the Water in Seattle

5 Ways to Get Out on the Water in Seattle

Pike Place Fishmonger Tips for Selecting Seafood

Pike Place Fishmonger Tips for Selecting Seafood

Top activities in Seattle

Mt. Rainier Day Trip from Seattle

Mt. Rainier Day Trip from Seattle

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Seattle Harbor Cruise

Seattle Harbor Cruise

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Best of Olympic National Park from Seattle: All-Inclusive Small-Group Day Tour
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Exclusive: Early-Access Food Tour of Pike Place Market
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Best of Mount Rainier National Park from Seattle: All-Inclusive Small-Group Tour
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Woodinville Wine & Snoqualmie Falls: All-Inclusive Small-Group Tour from Seattle
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4-Hour Seattle City Tour
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4-Hour Seattle City Tour

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Recent reviews from experiences in Seattle

star-5
Awesome tour of Seattle and the Majestic and Magical Snoqualmi Falls
Michelle_S, Mar 2022
Half-Day Guided Tour of Seattle City and Snoqualmie Falls
His knowledge about Seattle, Snoqualmi Falls and the surrounding areas, of photography, and great places to eat was SUPERB!
star-5
A cool way to see the city and learn
Anne_O, Feb 2022
Beneath The Streets Underground History Tour
Very punctual - the tour itself was exactly 1 hour and went by so fast since there was so much to see and learn.
star-4
Thumbs up tour!
Shannon_O, Feb 2022
Premier 3-Hour Seattle City Tour
Nice way to see Seattle as a first time visitor.
star-5
Do it!
Krystal_D, Feb 2022
Premier 3-Hour Seattle City Tour
This was a perfect way to see Seattle.
star-5
Must do tour
Erika_V, Jan 2022
Half-Day Guided Tour of Seattle City and Snoqualmie Falls
Experience was amazing, we got to see a lot of Seattle on our first trip thanks to this tour.
star-5
I had so much fun and got...
MartinDanielsen, Jan 2022
Seattle Harbor Cruise
I had so much fun and got to see Seattle from the boat and what a wonderful view.
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Daniel did a great job driving and describing the scenery. He took excellent care of us.
WA_B, Nov 2021
Leavenworth Tour from Seattle
The water falls were spectacular and Leavenworth has very interesting architecture.
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Gorgeous Hike
Tiffany_C, Nov 2021
Hike the Gorgeous Trails in Washington
High reward for such a short hike (under 4 miles) and got to see everything I was hoping to see.
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Good times and surprises
bevnarburgh, Oct 2021
Roll the Dice Tour: Throw caution to the wind, dealer's choice tour!
So much fun to see Seattle through the eyes of a passionate local.
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See the city from underground
Anonymous, Oct 2021
Beneath The Streets Underground History Tour
Very interesting history of Seattle and fun to see the city from beneath the streets!
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Great Market Overview
barbara_a, Oct 2021
Pike Place Market Food Tour
Chip was really knowledgeable on every aspect, as well as a good reference for other things to do in Seattle.
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Amazing trip!
Manuela_G, Jan 2022
Half-Day Guided Tour of Seattle City and Snoqualmie Falls
Terry told us a lot about the falls and Seattle!
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National Park Marvel!
Marsha_N, Oct 2021
Mt. Rainier Day Tour from Seattle
And we saw snow at other points as well, several waterfalls, wildflowers.
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Perfect view
JOSHUA_B, Oct 2021
20-Minute Narrated Seattle Seaplane Flight from Lake Washington
It was such a great ride and wonderful way to see Seattle.
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Great tour outside of Seattle
Dean_S, Oct 2021
Snoqualmie Falls and Seattle Winery Tour
The wine tasting was great as were the falls.
star-5
Great tour, great price!
Camille_M, Oct 2021
Seattle Harbor Cruise
Great way to see the city of Seattle!
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Great guide. Great recommendations. Amazing tour.
Brian_F, Dec 2021
Premier 3-Hour Seattle City Tour
Thankfully we had clear views and he made sure we got to see the whole town.
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Fantastic Day Tour
Monica_B, Sep 2021
Snoqualmie Falls and Seattle Winery Tour
The waterfall is beautiful and we had ample time for pictures.
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Excellent city tour
Nancy_R, Sep 2021
3 - 4 Hour Seattle City Tour
Recommend this tour for anyone wanting to see and get a good feel for Seattle.
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Beyond our Expectations!
Randy_S, Feb 2022
Pike Place Market Food Tour
We would definitely recommend the tour to visitors and residents alike.

All about Seattle

When to visit

Pack a jacket and umbrella no matter the time of year, as Seattle lives up to its overcast reputation. It takes a little luck, but summer days can fly by without rain, and locals risk the chance by packing outdoor festivals. Summer highlights include big outdoor celebrations such as Seattle International Beerfest and Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival.

People Also Ask

Is it always cold in Seattle?

No. While Seattle is no stranger to chilly weather, it's rare for temperatures to drop below freezing, and summers in the city are generally warm and sunny. However, because Seattle gets a lot of rainfall, especially, between October and April, it often feels colder than it actually is outside.

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How can I spend 2 days in Seattle?

Consider devoting day one of a 2-day trip to Seattle to downtown attractions such as the Central Waterfront, Pike Place Market (home to the first Starbucks store), and the Seattle Art Museum. On day two, head to the Seattle Center, home to the Museum of Pop Culture, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and the famous Space Needle.

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What's Seattle best known for?

Seattle is known for its lush surroundings, and it’s easy to get out into nature without straying far from the city—just be prepared for a bit of rain. The Emerald City is also the birthplace of Starbucks and Amazon, and the grunge music movement of the 1990s has long been associated with the city.

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What do locals do for fun in Seattle?

When it comes to having fun, Seattleites have plenty of options. Football fans can check out Seahawks games, while those more fond of the arts have access to ample museums and concert venues. Seattle is also popular with outdoorsy folks, and its proximity to trails, forests, and waterways makes it easy to get out and explore.

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What should you not miss in Seattle?

Seattle’s most popular attractions include Pike Place Market—the site of the first Starbucks—and the iconic Space Needle. There are also tons of great museums, including the Seattle Art Museum, the Museum of Pop Culture, and the Chihuly Garden and Glass. It’s also worth exploring subterranean Seattle on the famous Underground Tour.

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Is Seattle close to Canada?

Yes, Seattle is only a 2-hour drive from the border with Canada. If you have a car, it's possible to visit Vancouver, British Columbia, as a day trip from the Emerald City. Simply pack up your travel documents and drive north on the Interstate 5 until you reach the border.

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What part of Seattle should I visit?

Seattle has plenty of neighborhoods worth exploring, each with its own unique charm. Downtown is great for history and big-city vibes, while Uptown’s Seattle Center features a large concentration of attractions. Ballard is the place to go for dining and shopping, while up-and-coming SODO is a celebrated for its large concentration of wineries.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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