I'm delighted to welcome guest poster, Denise Ashur from The Navy Blonde, to share her picks for the best things to do in Seattle, Washington.
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When you think of Seattle, your thoughts might jump to one of the many movies and tv shows that take place in the city, like Sleepless in Seattle or Grey’s Anatomy. While we all love a little drama, the city itself is full of action - if you know where to go.
Having both lived in Seattle and visited it as a tourist, I finally compiled a list of places that you absolutely should visit in the city - and one that you should skip.
1. The Space Needle
Let’s start by stating the obvious: everyone should visit Seattle’s most famous landmark, the Space Needle. It’s not only towering and a major icon, it also offers an incredible view of the city and Puget Sound.
That being said, Seattle is known for its rainy and overcast weather, meaning you might want to check the forecast before planning a day trip.
When visiting the iconic high-rise, you also must buy tickets ahead of time. I say must, because you actually need to schedule the specific day and hour of your visit, since the observatory deck only holds a limited number of people. Tickets are fairly expensive, running around $35 at the time of this posting, and you can purchase them from the Space Needle website.
Despite the price and the unpredictable weather, the Space Needle is an absolute gem. The Space Needle is to Seattle what the Empire State Building is to New York - a major tourist attraction that offers unparalleled views of the city. But unlike in New York, you don’t have to wait in line for hours to access the view, all you need is a little bit of pre-planning.
2. The Chihuly Garden and Glass
Although I lived in Seattle for several months, the Chihuly Garden was actually pretty unknown to me until I began searching for other tourist attractions besides the Space Needle. Speaking of which, the Chihuly Garden is located incredibly close to the Space Needle, and makes for a great two-in-one package. The exhibition is filled with the works of glass artist Dale Chihuly, who is internationally renowned but originally from Tacoma, a town not far from Seattle.
Regular tickets are around $26 dollars, and they’re worth every single penny. As someone who admittedly is not the most art savvy, I was in awe of the pieces on display, which are all made of glass.
There are numerous indoor works, as well as the outdoor glass garden, which is equally incredible and makes the experience feel a lot less like a museum, and a lot more like a stroll in the park.
3. The Seattle Great Wheel
When you think of ferris wheels, your mind likely goes first to attractions like the London Eye, the famous ferris wheel in London, but it turns out Seattle has its own wheel that does not disappoint.
Located on the waterfront of the Puget Sound, the Seattle Great Wheel is a ferris wheel that gives you great views of both the water and the city skyline, making it one of my personal favorites. Tickets are quite cheap, running around $9 for children and $14 for adults. You can also fit up to 8 people in a gondola, making it a great activity for families or groups of friends.
Apart from the wheel itself, there is also a small shopping center next to the ride, as well as binoculars along the waterfront where you can look for marine life or just check out the horizon.
4. The Seattle Public Library
You might not find the Seattle Public Library on many tourist lists, but it is definitely worth visiting if you enjoy books or incredible architecture. Being a public institution, the library is open for all - although you will have to be rather quiet in certain sections. The building itself is massive, and there are several floors where you can walk around and have access to both great views and books. There are entire sections of the library that are all-red, as well as geometric panels that run along some of the windows. In short, it’s a great place to stop on a rainy day, especially if you need a short break and somewhere to warm up.
5. Pike’s Place Market
Another traditional Seattle favorite, Pike’s Place Market is a mostly indoor market filled with restaurants, small shops and most notably - fish vendors. The entire market smells like fish, partly due to the infamous fish-throwing shop workers, who can be seen throwing the day’s new catch from the boxes they were delivered in, to the workers in the store.
Unless you’re coming to eat, there aren’t that many things to do at the market, apart from walk around and enjoy the atmosphere. It is also located across the street from the original Starbucks, so coffee lovers can grab a drink and say they’ve followed their addiction back to its origins.
And the One You Should Skip….
The Gum Wall
Also across the street from Pike’s Place Market, the gum wall rounds up our list as the one place you should potentially skip on your trip to Seattle. For those of you who don’t know, the gum wall is literally a wall that thousands (maybe millions) of people have stuck used pieces of gum onto. While it does make for a cool site, it is also disgusting, and it’s also located in an alleyway that is often filled with trash and other unpleasant smells. While we clearly stopped by to get this photo, it is really only worth visiting for a photo and overall really grossed us out. For those of you with children, also be warned that it’s very unhygienic - you may want to keep an eye on the little ones if you choose to visit, or you may wind up with a child who has someone else’s gum in their mouth.
That wraps it up for my top list of tourist sites in Seattle, I hope it helped you discover a few new places you would like to visit! For those of you who have been to Seattle, do you agree with the list, or have your own set of favorites? Please comment and let me know!
Denise is a blogger and entrepreneur who runs @thenavyblonde on Instagram and www.thenavyblonde.com. Before she began blogging, Denise was an international tv news anchor and worked for major media outlets, creating and editing viral multi-media for audiences all over the world. Having traveled to dozens of countries, she currently resides in Portland, OR and is passionate about style, travel, and helping others live their best life.
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