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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 15 things to do 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
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
#3
Seattle Waterfront

Seattle Waterfront

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When a city has an enviable location on a large body of water, like Puget Sound, the waterfront becomes a top attraction. This is definitely true in Seattle, where the nearly 20-block stretch along the water is home to restaurants, hotels, markets, shops, and more than a dozen piers.More
#4
Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square

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Pioneer Square, where Seattle’s founders first settled in 1852, is a bustling district in the southwest corner of downtown Seattle. The shop- and nightlife-laden neighborhood takes its name from the small, triangular cobblestone plaza known as Pioneer Square Park, and features a bust of Chief Seattle, an ornate pergola, and a totem pole.More
#5
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
#6
Seattle Center

Seattle Center

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Spread across 74 acres (30 hectares) in the heart of the city, Seattle Center was built for the 1962 World’s Fair and today houses many of the city’s top attractions. This is where you’ll find the Space Needle, International Fountain, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Pacific Science Center, Museum of Pop Culture, and Seattle Children’s Museum.More
#7
Lake Union

Lake Union

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Just north of downtown Seattle, the glacially carved freshwater Lake Union is ringed with houseboats—including the one made famous by the movieSleepless in Seattle—and home to numerous recreational opportunities. The lake is a true urban gem, contributing to Seattle’s high standard of living.More
#8
Lake Washington

Lake Washington

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More than just the second-largest lake in all of Washington State, Lake Washington defines Seattle as a city intimately tied to the water. Residents and visitors alike come to Lake Washington to connect with the natural beauty of the landscape, which includes views of Mt. Rainier and the Cascade Mountains.More
#9
Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

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Learn about the annual phenomenon of salmon spawning at Seattle’s Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, known locally as the Ballard Locks, where three types of Pacific salmon pass through the fish ladder during the summer months on the way upriver to their spawning grounds.More
#10
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
#11
Myrtle Edwards Park

Myrtle Edwards Park

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A prime Elliot Bay location gives Myrtle Edwards Park gorgeous views of the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound, and Mount Rainier. This shoreline park is walking distance from top downtown attractions, and offers a paved trail for pedestrians and cyclists that spans the 4.8-acre (1.9 ha.) green space.More
#12
Kerry Park (Franklin Place)

Kerry Park (Franklin Place)

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For views of downtown Seattle, the Space Needle, and Mount Rainier, the hilltop Kerry Park (Franklin Place) is hard to beat. Popular with photographers, Kerry Park looks out across the city skyline, the leafy streets of the Queen Anne Hill neighborhood, and Puget Sound, where you can spot ferries leaving the Seattle waterfront for the San Juan Islands.More
#13
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
#14
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
#15
Seattle Chinatown-International District

Seattle Chinatown-International District

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Often simply referred to as the ID, the Chinatown-International District is the multiethnic center of Seattle’s Asian community. The neighborhood is also one of the city’s oldest, its rich history highlighted by museums, festivals, and cultural centers. Many visitors come for the food—dim sum, banh mi, sushi, and more.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
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Mt. Rainier Day Trip from Seattle

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Seattle Harbor Cruise

Seattle Harbor Cruise

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Premier 3-Hour Seattle City Tour

Premier 3-Hour Seattle City Tour

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Chef Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market- 2 Hours
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Best of Olympic National Park from Seattle: All-Inclusive Small-Group Day Tour
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Pike Place Market Food Tour
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Pike Place Market Food Tour

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Mt. Rainier Day Tour from Seattle
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Seattle Locks Cruise

Seattle Locks Cruise

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4 Hour Seattle City Tour

4 Hour Seattle City Tour

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Half-Day Guided Tour of Seattle City and Snoqualmie Falls
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3-Hour Seattle City Tour
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3-Hour Seattle City Tour

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4-Hour Seattle City Tour

4-Hour Seattle City Tour

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Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Seattle

star-5
Loved the scenery and...
Marilyn_M, Aug 2022
Snoqualmie Falls and Seattle Winery Tour
Loved the scenery and finding out more about Seattle and Snoqualmie Falls.
star-5
Great experience - an...
Edgar_G, Aug 2022
Seattle Harbor Cruise
Great experience - an awesome way to introduce the Seattle to visitors.
star-5
Great tour
Robin, Aug 2022
Beneath The Streets Underground History Tour
It was super interesting to see Seattle from underground the streets .
star-5
Best excursion in Seattle with an AMAZING Capitan!
Dani_B, Aug 2022
Private Sailing Adventure on the Puget Sound
It is a wonderful way to see Seattle from a different and beautiful setting.
star-5
Earl was very friendly,...
Lindsey_D, Aug 2022
4 Hour Seattle City Tour
Got to see a lot of different areas of Seattle.
star-5
Lovely half morning in the Forest
Toni_H, Aug 2022
Forest Hike to Gorgeous Twin and Snoqualmie Falls
Great hike to twin falls, little pitstop for snacks and then a stop off at snowqualmie village and fall on the way back to seattle Susan knows her stuff and pointed out various trees and things of interest along the way
star-4
Beautiful View!
Karriann_J, Jul 2022
Seattle Harbor Cruise
It was amazing to see all of what we were experiencing in the city but from far away!
star-5
Seattle highlights on limited time
Kelle_R, Jul 2022
4 Hour Seattle City Tour
A wonderful way to see Seattle when your time is limited.
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Great Seattle Overview
thedownsfamily03, Jul 2022
Premier 3-Hour Seattle City Tour
We saw the major parts of Seattle and he recommended more places to visit.
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Historical lesson
Kenny_H, Jul 2022
Beneath The Streets Underground History Tour
Would love to see more of the “underground” than was permitted.
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Ideal tour if you are on short visit
Maheswari_S, Jul 2022
Premier 3-Hour Seattle City Tour
Was on a short trip to Seattle, this tour is a hassle free way to see the main places with a local expert.
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Rainier day trip
Daniel_F, Jul 2022
Mt. Rainier Day Trip from Seattle
Wonderful stops to see waterfalls and views of mount rainier.
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Stunning waterfalls
Ian_H, Jun 2022
Half-Day Guided Tour of Seattle City and Snoqualmie Falls
Snoqualmie falls.
star-5
Definitely worth the money & time!
Denise_V, Jun 2022
4-Hour Seattle City Tour
We were able to see many sites that Seattle had to offer.
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Great Tour!
Jay_S, Jun 2022
Half-Day Guided Tour of Seattle City and Snoqualmie Falls
Even though there was a misty rain, the waterfall was beautiful and the lochs were fascinating.
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Family friendly tour
Adhi_U, Jun 2022
Visit Snoqualmie Falls and Hike to Twin Falls
We went to Snoqualmie waterfall and two different viewpoints in Seattle.
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100% the best way to see Seattle!
kyra_p, Jun 2022
20-Minute Narrated Seattle Seaplane Flight from Lake Washington
100% the best way to see Seattle!
star-5
Great excursion
Sara_M, Jul 2022
Seattle Harbor Cruise
Good length of time for families with kids and to see Seattle from the water side.
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Outstanding
Christine_F, Jun 2022
20-Minute Narrated Seattle Seaplane Flight from Lake Washington
What an incredible way to see Seattle!
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This is the best way to go!
Laurel_A, Jun 2022
Mt. Rainier Day Trip from Seattle
Great driver who safely drove us around the park to see the hotspots!
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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.

Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
PDT (UTC -8)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English

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
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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