Updated: Feb 26, 2021
We are know Seattle to be the Emerald City, the jewel of the Pacific Northwest, and a multifaceted city but what gave it it’s distinctive name? Is it because it is the jewel of the Pacific NorthWest and that there are so many interesting things to do in Seattle and the surrounding area besides the popular attractions? We know that Seattle to be the origin of Starbucks and home to a large tech industry, including being the home of the founders of technology giants Microsoft and Amazon, however did we know that there are other things to explore besides technology? I have been to Seattle many times in the last couple of years, many times for shopping and exploring.The list below highlights my top recommendations whether you have a day or a couple of days to explore this wonderful city. One of my favourite pastimes is driving past the border from Vancouver to Seattle for a day trip for a couple nights, stopping at the Outlet Mall and all-you-can eat buffet near the casino near Everett. There are so many wonderful things to explore in Seattle besides shopping and dining however, and in the following I will list some of Seattle’s top attractions.
1. Space Needle - The Space Needle is one of the top attractions that represents the heart and face of Seattle as it put Seattle on the world stage when in opened in 1962 for the World’s Fair. It offers panoramic view of Puget Sound, the Cascade Mountains and Olympic Mountains and is a must see if this is your first time in Seattle. Located in downtown, it is a famous landmark of the city of Seattle that can be seen from miles away on the interstate. When it first opened, it was regarded as one of the highest buildings in the United States.
2.Chihuly Garden and Glass
The Garden and exhibition shows the work of local Northwest glass artist Dale Chihuly who uses colourful and logic defying glass sculpture to showcase artwork to the world. Inspired by the way that glass worked in Venice, Chihuly continued to work with glass to represent it as fine art. The art museum is a representation of Seattle’s creative energy to the world and the dynamic chasing art landscape that is constantly evolving. Instagrammers will love the exhibition offering exciting tones of colour and artwork for their feed, especially the signature flower exhibition near the garden that showcases the versatility of Chihuly's work.
3. Pike Place Market
This Market is famous for exhibiting Seattle’s top seafood and local delicacies including clam chowder and live lobster and fish species and is home to Seattle’s first authentic Starbucks. This over 100 years market is also home to some of the most freshest produce stalls and seafood in the Seattle area and is a great place to take a stroll and go sightseeing, especially in the summer, when you can also visit the nearby bubblegum wall, which is famous for its instagram tags. Be aware however, the downtown area is home to a lot of homeless populations and various types of people, so watch your belongings closely.
3. Great Wheel
Located on Pier 57, this 175 foot Ferris wheel takes you to see the grand panorama of the city and was built recently in 2012. Located near Pier 57, there is also a harbourside and several seafood restaurants that overlook the harbour. It is a short walk from other downtown attractions including Pike Place Market. This is a great attraction if you are bringing friends to explore Seattle for the first time and want to see a panorama of the entire city from high up.
5. Museums - Top Pick - The Museum of Flight
Seattle has many Museums that cater to all types of people including the Seattle Art Museum and Museum of Pop Culture, however the real museum that represents the heart of Seattle you need to go to is the Museum of Flight, located in Tukwila, the largest independent air and space museum in the world. It is primarily famous because it was near here that the headquarters of Boeing, one of the largest airplane manufacturers, opened in 1909. At this museum, you will be able to see aircraft carriers of various centuries and states and learn about the history of aviation from the best in the world, all inside a museum that covers both indoor and outdoor portions. There is also an outlet mall close to the Museum of Flight near Tukwila, so it is a nice getaway after your time at the museum.
Many people many not know that some of the best wine in the United States is grown here in Washington State, with wineries located near the Columbia River Gorge, and key wine growing regions near Walla Walla, Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley and more. Although having more rain than their California wine counterparts, the wine of Washington state is still comparable and noteworthy. Many people may not know that Washington state is the second largest wine producing state in the United State and has been innovative and entrepreneurial in terms of experimental wine for decades.
2. Nature and Hiking
The famous Mt. Rainier is located in Washington State and this active volcano stands 14,411 feet tall and is the highest mountain in the cascades. Mt Rainier has 25 named glaciers and is great place for hiking and skiing, along with Mount St. Helens. Surrounding the city of Seattle, there are also various spots to get acquainted with nature, including Rattlesnake Ledge and Mt.Pilchuck. Many of these hikes will offer panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains, Puget Sound and Mt. Rainier.
3. Mount Olympus Getaway & Washington State Ferries
There are also many island getaways from Seattle, including the famous Mount Olympus National Park, which requires taking a short ferry from either Seattle, Port Townsend or other ferry areas operated by Washington State Ferries. At 7,980 feet, Mount Olympus is the tallest and most prominent mountain in the Olympic Mountains section of western Washington State and offers a rich historic and geological history. Explore this national park if you have time for a day or two to explore outside of city. I loved exploring the various trails and learning more about the rich biological and diverse history of this diverse region.
Chelsea Reviews: 4/5
Seattle is a nice Pacific Northwest city that is known for it’s coffee culture, the rain, and the innovation of the technology and entrepreneurship. Come here also for the diverse culture and art of the native peoples, history through its various museums, and understanding the geography of this great city. The mountains along with the Pacific Ocean will inspire you and rejuvenate you along with the fresh breeze of the Pacific Northwest. I always love coming here because of the hikes, the wildlife, the wine and of course the Pacific Northwest food and delicacy. One of my favourite West Coast getaways, Seattle should always be on your list for a relaxing getaway into the heart of the Pacific NorthWest.