Best Tourist Attractions in Seattle
The birth place of grunge music also happens to be one of the most beautiful cities in America.
It’s full of good food, good wine, beautiful scenery and views, and fun tourist attractions. It’s also reasonably priced, and easy to get around – making it the perfect city for tourists.
My visit to Seattle with my mother and sister started off as completely functional: we were there to get me a wedding dress and my sister a bridesmaid’s dress, and anything we could fit in would just be some extra fun.
With my shopping efficiency and my mother and sister’s shared focus, we spent a few hours at Wai Ching bridal in Seattle and were all done, which left the majority of our time in Seattle for fun! Here’s some of our favourite things we did:
The EMP Museum
You can’t go to Seattle and miss out on the EMP Museum. An homage to not only the town’s musical heritage, but also to all popular culture, this museum has something to appeal to everyone. Whether you’re into Hendrix or Nirvana, Dr.Who or Buffy, the icons and relics in this museum are first class for anyone who is a fan of music and/or pop culture.
Here’s our blog post on the EMP Museum.
Seattle’s seedy underbelly extends far beyond its grunge music days. This walking tour of Seattle’s underground passages, walkways and basements takes you on a sordid historical flashback to Seattle’s days in the mid 19th century of a town built around the working class and sex industry workers. This is a fascinating insight into the city that Seattle used to be, and into the changes that the city has been through over the years.
The tour we did was The Seattle Underground Tour.
These markets are the best I’ve been to in the world. Yep, I say that even after having lived in Chiang Mai for six months. Beautiful fresh produce, entertaining buskers, and set on the gorgeous harbourfront of Seattle. It also has the world’s first Starbucks, but that’s not a particular point of interest for Australians, or for coffee connoiserus. 😉
We spent a few lazy mornings and afternoons walking through the markets looking at the cheese making, the buskers, the tulips, and eating and drinking good food.
There are several islands you can visit by Ferry from Seattle, but Bainbridge Island has the reputation as being the most beautiful. Located in the Puget Sound off Seattle’s coastline, Bainbridge Island has been voted by CNN Money as the second best place to live in the United States.
This pretty little island has just over 23,000 people living on it, and it has a wonderfully bohemian feel to it. Interestingly, members of both Nirvana and Soundgarden have lived on the island!
Eating and Drinking
Seattle was my mother’s first introduction to serious American hospitality and staff working for their tips. Service was amazing everywhere we went, and my sister and I had to have a quiet word to our mother about being so chatty with the waiters – we weren’t sure we could afford tips over 20% to justify how much extra food and drink they were lavishing on us!
Some of the stand out restaurants we visited were Wild Ginger (hello to Brent I think his name was, — it’s been a while! He was truly lovely and made our visit a wonderful one) and Purple Café and Wine Bar (Mum had the Dungeness crab cakes, my sister and I shared quinoa and arugula salad, and the warm barley and spring veggies. everything was to die for). These two were great restaurants and worth a special visit to.
The purpose of our visit was specifically shopping. Not only did we get my wedding dress and my sister’s bridesmaid’s dress here at Wai Ching, we also managed to spend a nice spot of money in Diva Dollz, a gorgeous retro dress store down near Pioneer Square.
Overall, we love the diversity of the fashion stores in Seattle, too. There was classy, funky, urban, bohemian, and retro and vintage clothes in all sizes, costs, and age ranges.
We stayed at the Kimpton Hotel in Seattle, which had an “otter cam” at its front desk – a LCD screen with a live feed of the otters down at Seattle Aquarium. How could we not visit after watching the cuteness from our hotel foyer?
The otters are the beat part of the Seattle aquarium. These little cuties float about holding hands occasionally, tumbling their own hands around if solo, and being frisky and playful with balls and toys.
The Space Needle
This is the only item on this list I haven’t personally experienced. My mother and my sister are petrified of heights, so sadly the tower was not going to be an experience for us on this trip!
The Space Needle in Seattle is the city’s observation tower, over by the EMP, the Seattle Centre, and the Science Centre. At 605 feet, it shows some of the most spectacular views of “the Emerald City”. It’s definitely on my list for next time I visit with North Nomad in tow!
Have you been to Seattle? What’s your favourite touristy thing to do in Seattle?