Seattle may be a familiar city name, but what do you associate it with? The Space Needle? In the vicinity of the city in Twilight? If you’re like me, that would be about it. I had the opportunity to visit family in Seattle recently and learned so much about the city that I didn’t know before, including the fact that it’s built into mountainsides and much of my time was spent walking up and down hills! If you get a chance to visit Seattle, here are some of the sights and attractions you should check out.
Pike Place Market
This Farmers Market has been thriving on the Elliott Bay Waterfront in Seattle since 1907. It features numerous fresh food and drink stands, restaurants, and local crafts and artwork. It features four fish markets with an array of fresh fish and seafood that can be packaged up to go or even shipped to your home. Another popular stop at the market is the location of the original Starbucks, which has been standing in that location since the 1970s. The market can be a bit crowded during peak tourist season, but is definitely worth the visit.
Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room
If you’re a coffee fan, you won’t want to miss taking a trip to the Roastery. The Roastery offers exclusive reserve coffees, sourced from around the world. You can take purchase bags of coffee beans of various roasts for yourself along with a huge variety of coffee related merchandise. Or you can order drinks and treats and take a seat in the beautiful roastery building itself, watching coffee beans get processed and enjoying the atmosphere. You can even book a coffee tasting experience for a group of friends—although it can get a bit pricey!
Museum of Pop Culture
Located right next to the famous Seattle Space Needle, the Museum of Pop Culture is a fun museum experience for pop culture addicts of all ages. It features interesting, fun, and informative exhibits on films, TV shows, and musical artists. There’s a Star Trek floor, a floor for science fiction and action, a huge fantasy exhibit, and a jaw dropping horror exhibit. There’s a music lab where visitors can explore instruments and music computer programs, as well a section with indie video games. There are special exhibits that switch out every few months. I had the privilege of seeing a tribute to David Bowie and the guitars and costumes of Jimi Hendrix, as well as a huge and Muppet filled Jim Henson exhibit. It’s a museum worth spending hours wandering around.
Seattle Underground Tour
This unique tour highlights some of the strange history of Seattle in an interesting and comedic way. Visitors travel in groups with guides through the streets and underground buildings and tunnels that are all over Seattle, providing quirky facts and amusing but historically accurate commentary. Why do these underground buildings and tunnels exist?? That’s what you will just have to find out! There are also haunted tours offered at night if you want something a little bit spookier.
Seattle of course, is a city built in by and between mountains. The most imposing and impressive is Mount Rainier which, at 14, 411 feet, is a climb for professionals and experienced climbers only. But if you want some hiking and mountain adventures anyway, there are several options. Little Si and Mount Si are easily accessible and therefore very popular day hikes, at five and eight miles round trip respectively. Mt Pilchuk is also 5.4 miles roundtrip but much steeper and therefore more difficult, but features truly impressive views if you are up to it. The hike to Summerland in Mt Rainier National Park is a full day hike, 8.4 miles round trip, which is popular and full of beautiful trees and wildflowers. If you want a challenging hike with great natural views, The Enchantments Traverse hike is 18 miles one way. For the more active traveller, these are a wonderful option for a nice day.