As a Seattle native, I’ve been around the city once or twice. Just kidding! I’ve been around many times – far more than I can count. I have had my fair share of Seattle tourism and have found the best places to take guests when they come to visit. If you’re ever in the Seattle area, make sure to check out some of these places! And if you have never been to Seattle, hopefully this will be an inspiration for you to come visit my beautiful city!
1. The Space Needle
Okay, so this one is pretty obvious. The Space Needle is an iconic Seattle landmark and is probably a tourist’s #1 destination. The Space Needle was built for the World’s Fair in 1962 and since then, has drawn millions of people to Seattle. You can choose to take the elevator up to the observation deck or have lunch/dinner at the top of the needle! Both have extraordinary views and will make a memorable experience. Also, if you are ever in town for New Years, make sure to visit the Space Needle for their amazing fire works show!
2. The Underground
Did you know Seattle was once a city completely underground? Seattle’s very own Underground Tour begins at the “heart” of Seattle, Pioneer Square. Here, you get to go underneath the current city to visit the remnants of the original Seattle below. After the Seattle great fire and massive plumbing issues, the citizens of Seattle moved underground! You can still see the rooms where people used to live and even an old bakery. Also, if you are ever walking in downtown Seattle and see purple squares on the ground (they look almost transparent), that’s what old Seattle-lites used as a light source when living in the underground!
3. Pike Place Market
Okay, so this is another obvious one. Pike Place Market is full of life and Seattle culture. In fact, it was built upon a Native American burial ground (rumor has it that some of the Native’s “haunt” the market). At the market you can see the famous Pike Place pig, watch pig fly, and support local farmers/artists from the Seattle area. I would recommend getting the roaster corn – so yummy! Also, if you decide to go deeper into the market, you will find the famous Seattle gum wall and a very cool magic shop. There is lots to explore at the market so take your time!
4. The Seattle Waterfront
The Seattle Waterfront is an iconic, and fun, place to visit while in Seattle. You can go to the Aquarium and see the cute otters or ride on top of the Seattle Great Wheel and take a look over the entire Puget Sound. There is also a classic arcade with a carousel and a family-friendly restaurant called The Crab Pot. I absolutely love going to The Crab Pot with my family because it’s just so fun. You order how much seafood you would like (usually by the pound), put on a bib, and get to crackin’. They dump the food right on the table!
5. The Ballard Locks
When I was a kid, my grandmother used to take me to the Ballard Locks all the time. I got to see giant boats go by and the water raise up and down. I also got to see the salmon swim upstream! As a kid, this was so exciting. As an adult, I appreciate going to the Locks even more. I now enjoy the surrounding garden and all the beautiful flowers in it and I actually read the facts about salmon as I watch them swim by. If you’re ever taking a trip to the Ballard Locks, stop by Red Mill Burgers for a bite to eat afterwards! Red Mill Burgers is a classic Seattle burger stop and it’s right across the street.
6. Dick’s Burgers
Seattle wouldn’t be Seattle without its famous Dick’s Burgers. This is a classic staple of Seattle food and culture and you can only get it here! They are an old fashion drive-thru style restaurant and it’s definitely a restaurant you’d want to try. Personally, I like getting the Dick’s Deluxe with fries and a strawberry milkshake (their milkshakes are really good). Whether you are in Seattle Center, the University District, or Ballard, you can grab some Dick’s and be on your way.
7. Seattle’s International District
For as long as I can remember, I have been going to Seattle’s International District at least once a week. There are so many good restaurants and sights to explore just in this Seattle neighborhood. If you are looking to shop for some classic Asian snacks or knick-knacks, visit Uwajimaya or Daiso Japan. For lunch or dinner, I would recommend: Phnom Penh Noodle House, Jade Garden, Boiling Point, Hard Wok Cafe, GoPoke, Purple Dot Cafe, Honey Court, and Harbor City. If you’re still hungry for desert, visit Bambu or A Piece of Cake Bakery. Lastly, Seattle’s International District has a variety of boba cafes to choose from including: Oasis Tea Zone, Gossip, Ambrosia Cafe, and Jazen Tea.
8. The University of Washington
While you’re here, make sure you stop by Seattle’s University District and walk around the University of Washington’s beautiful campus. You can visit Drumheller Fountain (pictured above) or the cherry blossom trees in the Quad (they bloom in the spring – so pretty)! The UW also has a Harry Potter Reading Room located in Suzallo Library and it looks like it came straight out of Hogwarts. Even if you have no interest of attending school at the UW, this is still a must-see attraction.