According to ACRONYMMONSTER.COM, Seattle is the largest city in the state of Washington in the American Northwest. Because the city is so incredibly far from the Netherlands, it is sometimes forgotten. A shame, because the “Emerald City” is a very nice and progressive city where there is something for everyone to experience.
10 things to do in Seattle
Many ‘real’ American things originated in this city: Starbucks®, Nirvana, Microsoft, Grey’s Anatomy… In addition, the surroundings of the city are really beautiful, with its full forests and volcanoes. In short: on to Seattle!
1.Seattle Public Library
If you like reading and books, you should definitely take a look at the library. You may not be able to borrow anything, but it is certainly worth it for the enormous collection and the beautiful building. Inside, the entire building is completely ‘open’: all areas are connected to each other. Nice detail: the library was designed by the Dutchman Rem Koolhaas. From the building you have a good view of the mountains and the Pacific Ocean in the distance. There are regular events in the library, such as book signings of various authors. These events are usually free to attend.
2. Starbucks® at Pike Place Market
Seattle is home to Starbucks®, the world famous coffee shop. The very first Starbucks® still exists: you can find it at 1912 Pike Place. You will undoubtedly recognize the tent by the huge queue that stands there (every day!). In the Starbucks® itself you will find a few references to the history of this world-famous coffee brand. For example, the original flavor rack is still there and all walls, floors and counters have remained the same. A true Starbucks fan can therefore not miss a visit to 1912 Pike Place; be sure to bring your camera. Don’t be put off by the long queue: the baristas work so fast that you hardly notice them.
3. Mount Rainier (from Space Needle)
Fancy a day of outdoor fun? Mount Rainier National Park is about an hour and a half west of Seattle. Mount Rainier is one of the tallest volcanoes in Washington State and is the main attraction of the park. You can also enjoy walking, cycling or driving around and enjoy the beautiful views. It is also possible to camp in the park, but you need a permit for that. Prefer to stay in the city? In the summer months you can see clear Mount Rainier from the Space Needle. Keep in mind a long waiting time. This one is totally worth it, because the view of the volcano is great!
Real fans have known it for a long time: Seattle is the birthplace of grunge rock. The city is well represented with world famous bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. Not your style? Seattle regularly hosts various music festivals. Also nice: the Experience Music Project (EMP Museum). This is an interactive museum about the history of music in Seattle, with a special focus on Jimi Hendrix; a Seattle native. You can also make music yourself.
5. Pioneer Square
Seattle’s first neighborhood, Pioneer Square, is definitely worth a visit. After all, it is the oldest district in the city and therefore has the most history. Pioneers began to settle here in the late nineteenth century. This was partly thanks to the Klondike Gold Rush in Yukon (Canada): traces of this can be found in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park; which is also located in the area. It is now a bustling and cozy neighborhood, full of boutiques, art galleries and cafes. At Smith Tower Observatory, which was long the tallest building in the west, you have a beautiful 360° view of the city. During the day you can enjoy a fresh coffee in one of the restaurants and in the evening you can take your feet off the floor in one of the many bars.
6. Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market is truly a household name in the city: it is one of the oldest markets in America. This market was opened in 1930; original only for fish. It was a tradition that the sellers first threw the fish in the air before packing the fish. Today it is a huge farmer’s market, with all kinds of other products, such as fruit and vegetables. There are even stalls for delicacies and handicrafts. But there is much more to see here: there are also shops and restaurants. The market is open every day from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Note: some stalls close at 15:00.
7. Space Needle
Not to be missed in the Seattle skyline: the Space Needle. This pointed tower was built in 1962 for the World Fair (the theme was “The Age of Space”, hence the name). The tower is 184 meters high and accessible to the public. If you have the chance, you should definitely go for it. The observation deck was completely renovated in 2018. You can now enjoy a 360° panoramic view of Seattle on two floors. Be careful with fear of heights: some parts of the deck consist of a glass floor! Admission to the tower costs approximately $35 for adults and children ages 13 and up, and $26 for children ages 5 to 12.
The Boeing Factory is located about 40 kilometers north of Seattle, in the town of Everett. In the Future of Flight Aviation Center you can learn all about the Boeing and its production. This center is located in the Red Barn, the original 1909 factory. There are more than 50 aircraft from the history of aviation on display here, including several World War I and II fighter planes and the original Wright Brothers plane. You can also join a tour from the center. This tour takes you to the factory where the Boeings are built. This is very impressive and very interesting, so definitely worth doing! Please note: this tour is very popular, so book your spot in advance to make sure you can join.
9. Film industry
Does the Seattle skyline look familiar? That could be right! Several well-known series, including Grey’s Anatomy and Frasier, are set here. Or maybe you know the city from the romantic comedy Sleepless in Seattle, with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. But many local and independent films are also shot in the city.
A fun way to enjoy the beauty of Seattle is from the water. Opposite the city, in the Puget Sound, is Elliott Bay. The largest marina on the American west coast is also located in this bay. Regular boat tours depart from here, which include sailing through the bay (and therefore through the Puget Sound), along the Olympic Mountains and along the skyline of Seattle. Do you like to be active? It is also possible to rent a kayak and discover the water yourself. Would you rather stay ashore? The marina is a nice place to be. It is wonderfully quiet, the surroundings are beautiful and there are two restaurants.
Seattle frequently asked questions
What are the top attractions in Seattle?
No doubt the Space Needle, Pike Market Place and Pioneer Square. You really shouldn’t miss these tourist attractions!
What are the best outdoor activities in Seattle?
Hikers and cyclists can take a trip to Mount Rainier National Park. For those who prefer to be on the water, a boat trip can be taken from Elliott Bay.
What are the best day trips in Seattle?
Very nice (also for children): a trip to the Boeing factory. A fun way to learn more about airplanes. Or: 50 kilometers away are the mountain tops after which the Twin Peaks series is named. Very popular among diehard fans of the series.
What are the top things to do for kids in Seattle?
The Space Needle is also great fun for children; or the Pike Place Market. Right in the center is also the Seattle Aquarium, which is also very fun and educational for children.