6 Insider Tips For Visiting Seattle
Seattle is one of the most amazing cities in the world. If you can avoid the raindrops that seem to always threaten the city, then you will find an amazing variety of culture and entertainment on display. Everyone tends to hit the big sites like Pike’s Place Market, the Space Needle, and the Pioneer Square when they come into town. These sites are worth a visit, but there are a number of insider places that residents visit regularly that you’ll want to see as well.
If you’re visiting Seattle, then consider these fun out of the ordinary options.
#1. Explore the Pacific Science Center and Chihuly Garden
Designed as part of the complex for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Pacific Science Center is right next door to the Space Needle so you can accomplish two stops at once. Many of the interactive exhibits are geared toward the kids, and there are a few highlights everyone will enjoy. Make time to take in a show at their fully equipped planetarium, linger in their butterfly house, and take in a movie at the huge IMAX theater with a flat screen instead of the classic bubble wrap around screens of so many IMAX locations.
While you’re there, take some time to visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass collection. Some of the pieces are sprinkled throughout Seattle Center, but try to get there before 11am to “walk with the gardener” for a truly unique experience.
#2. Catch a Show at The Crocodile
There are many amazing venues in Seattle that support the music scene, but none are quite like The Crocodile. It’s been hosting shows in the city since 1991 and it isn’t just for independent music either. If you purchase tickets in advance, you can often get into a show for less than $20. The venue is conveniently located downtown.
#3. Catch a Ferry
Although taking a ferry will technically take you out of Seattle for a while, it’s worth the trip. Washington State runs the ferry system and it is cheaper to go out for a ride on Puget Sound using this method than taking a private tour from the Waterfront. The main terminal is just down the way from the Seattle Aquarium and you’ll want to go to Bremerton. The ride is about 60 minutes, the cost is less than $10, and on a clear day you’ll get some amazing pictures of Mt. Rainier and the city skyline.
There’s a good chance you’ll have some time to wait before getting on the boat. Take the opportunity to enjoy the sites from the Great Wheel, which rises to a height of 175 feet. The VIP gondola is worth the splurge because it seats just 4 and the bucket seats are incredibly comfy.
#4. An Afternoon Locked Up
The Ballard Locks are one of the best park locations in Seattle. Technically called the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, the name variation comes from the neighborhood that is north of the park. It’s free to enter the park and the locks see a lot of boat traffic head through every day. If you hit the Ballard Locks near crab fishing season, you can even sometimes see boats like the Northwestern and the Wizard going through from the TV show Deadliest Catch.
#5. Food That Screams Seattle
There are many great places to eat in Seattle. You could spend a full year experiencing something new every day and still have restaurants to try. Nothing, however, beats Humble Pie, which can be found down on Raiinier Avenue. The owner is a LEED-certified architect and everything has been created out of recycled materials. Most of the menu is organic and GMO free as well. You’ll even be able to grab Seattle microbrews with your preferred slice of pizza.
#6. The Best Coffee in Seattle – no, not Starbucks!
Starbucks is a Seattle local and you’ll often find them packed to the brim throughout the city, but this chain doesn’t give you the authentic experience of Seattle coffee. A visit to Seattle Coffee Works, however, will make you want to linger all day long. Cross 1st Avenue after you tour the market and head up Pike Street about half a block. Choose the Espresso Bar or the Slow Bar based on your coffee preference and have a great time.
You can go beyond the ordinary with a visit to Seattle. Use these insider tips to enjoy this city, rain or shine, and you will want to keep coming back for some more.
About the Author: Mihaela is a full time blogger, an experienced traveler and a city lover. She likes exploring nature, but cannot get away from the city life and its specific type of entertainment for too long. One of her favorite cities is Seattle, and she’s sharing her knowledge of the Emerald City at Seattle4Fun.