Seattle's Top 20
Collected by Ann Shields, AFAR Staff
Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
One of Seattle's most postcard-friendly areas, Pioneer Square is a beautiful, historical neighborhood with plenty to do. The galleries come alive for First Thursday art walks, not to mention the delicious lunch spots, quirky boutiques, and vibrant...
400 Broad St, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
This "U.F.O. saucer on a stick" is an atomic age baby, dating back to the 1962 World's Fair. If you're lucky enough to catch the city's iconic symbol on a sunny day, take the 41-second elevator ride to the observation deck and behold the sweeping...
1300 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Guarded by the Hammering Man sculpture outside, this superb museum collection romps from native tribal art to African masks to carvings from Oceania. Highlights include the 16th-century wood-paneled Italian Room and The Studio, a portrait of...
85 Pike St #500, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Walk, cycle or people-watch along the shores of Elliott Bay, a downtown stretch known for its circusy flair and spectacular vistas. You can ride the Great Wheel or visit the beloved Seattle Aquarium, home to wolf eels, sea otters, and the world's...
370 Thomas St, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
It may not be the smallest U.S. national park, but the Seattle unit of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is still tiny, occupying just a single building in Pioneer Square. Interactive exhibits and a series of journals, personal...
1301 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Built in 2012, the 53.3-meter Seattle Great Wheel is the newest, and most romantic, addition to Seattle’s waterfront skyline. (As you might imagine, the first midair marriage proposal happened almost immediately.) Rain or shine, you can take a...
325 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
This sheet-metal fever dream of architect Frank Gehry is like a rock ’n’ roll Guggenheim, home to interactive and innovative exhibits that span music, sci-fi and fantasy, animation, video games and other scrambled bits of pop culture. A hands-on...
1521 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
The Elliott Bay Book Company is the Seattle bookstore and, thankfully, survived its move from Pioneer Square to Capitol Hill with soul and towering cedar bookcases intact. Elliott Bay lost a significant chunk of square footage during the move...
211 W Highland Dr, Seattle, WA 98119, USA
Kerry Park is a sliver of lawn halfway up the hill leading into the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle. The park is noted for its excellent view over the city, featuring the famous Space Needle in the foreground. Walk into any shop in town and...
Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry is a must-see for history enthusiasts. The permanent collection includes an interactive historical narrative of Seattle, an exhibit on maritime Seattle and the Bezos Center for Innovation, which celebrates...
3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
The waters of Lake Washington, Lake Union and Salmon Bay are connected to the tidal waters of the Puget Sound via the Washington Ship Canal and the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. Vessels are constantly moving back and forth between the city’s...
1124 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Get close to your coffee at the almost 1,400-square-meter Starbucks Roastery in Capitol Hill. Here, Starbucks Reserve limited-edition coffees are created from the rarest and most unique beans. Watch coffee beans being roasted (all the coffee...
5408 22nd Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
Venue combines work studio spaces for some artists and designers with a consignment boutique for even more. You’ll find local art, notecards, hand-thrown ceramics, photography, jewelry, bags and small gift items from over 40 Seattle artists. With...
305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
I didn't expect to like the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit, because it seemed like yet another overpriced Seattle attraction. But I was pleasantly surprised by this colorful, photography-friendly collection of the one-eyed glass artist's work....
The Future of Flight Aviation Center in Everett, WA, is a cutting-edge facility with 2,600 square meters of interactive aviation exhibits. See the latest breakthroughs in in-flight entertainment, design your very own aircraft using high-tech...
5500 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo is fun for visitors of all ages, but particularly exciting for kids. The grounds are large, so wear walking shoes and plan on at least a half-day to see everything. There are cafes and restaurants inside the zoo, but...
Located on the shores of Lake Washington, the 230-acre Washington Park Arboretum features a large botanical garden, a Japanese garden, a fragrance garden, as well as walking and biking trails. Rent a kayak for a paddle around the lake, where you’...
1407 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Seattle’s waterfront is a paradise for walkers, cyclists and anyone who wants to relax at a sidewalk café and do a little people-watching. Enjoy a drink or coffee and watch cruise ships and local ferries come and go. If you're lucky, you might...
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