One of Seattle's most famous landmarks, Pike Place Market is the oldest continuously working public market in the United States and one of the world's top 50 most visited attractions. Pike Place opened in 1907 as the city's first public market, expanding to keep up with its growing popularity as a convenient option for both shoppers and merchants. The market remains a veritable cornucopia of culinary and artisanal options, its crowded aisles and bustling halls thronged with customers jostled between vendors of fresh produce and gourmet eats, alongside fishmongers and craftsmen. The street level is dominated by the food and produce stalls, while the lower levels house a fantastic variety of shops including antique dealers, head shops, florists, and local artisans. A whirlwind of sights, sounds and aromas, Pike Place Market is nothing short of paradise for foodies and connoisseurs of unique wares.
Chihuly Garden Glass amazes visitors with displays of colour and fine artistry. With the iconic Space Needle serving as its backdrop, this unique exhibit – conceived by artist Dale Chihuly – features glass sculptures that have to be seen to be believed. The splendour of lush gardens showcasing Chihuly's signature glass creations is a truly serene experience. Easily accessible via the Seattle Monorail, there is no excuse for not experiencing this incomparable display of nature and glass.
Explore the history of flight from the Wright Brothers to space travel. Collections at Museum of Flight include commercial, military and civilian crafts. See a 1929 Boeing 80A-1, the sole survivor of its type. The 1926 Swallow was used as the nation's first contracted airmail service starting in April 1926. For those interested in more modern aircraft, there are the dynamic M-21 Blackbird, the fastest and highest-flying aircraft ever built, and the VC-137B Air Force One, which flew President Dwight D. Eisenhower on a historic visit to meet with Germany's Chancellor Konrad Adenauer in 1959. Take a walk through the “Red Barn,” a museum in its own right, where the Boeing Company manufactured its first aircraft. There is also a library with an extensive selection of aviation information, as well as a museum store and a cafe on the premises.
Located in Downtown Seattle, Benaroya Hall is a large 189,750 square foot (17,628 square meters) performing arts complex that takes up an entire city block. Located inside are the two performance halls, the Taper Auditorium and the Nordstrom Recital Hall, which each feature state-of-the-art sound and lighting technology. This giant complex provides ample public space and entertainment throughout the year through its various events such as lectures, musicals, festivals and more. A true highlight is the concerts put on by the Seattle Symphony, which call Benaroya Hall, home. For more information regarding venue rentals or upcoming events, visit the website.
Sitting on Capitol Hill with Volunteer Park's large grassy knoll at its entrance and a neighborhood known for its unique culture surrounding it, the Asian Art Museum is not to be missed. Have lunch in the park overlooking downtown Seattle, and then wander into the museum to be immediately engulfed in some of the world's most precious Asian art. Browse through over 23,000 objects that include African, Asian, European, Oceanic, Aboriginal, among other international art. From one of the top five US Japanese & Korean Art collections to ancient Greek and Roman artifacts, visitors are able to absorb prominent multi-cultural art. Call ahead for visiting hours.
Seattle's most famous landmark, the Space Needle's futuristic design rises over 600 feet (182.88 meters) tall. The tower was originally built for the 1962 World Expo in Seattle, and was designed with cutting-edge know how by award-winning engineer John K. Minasian, known for his work at Cape Canaveral, home of the U.S. Space Program. From the top, the Space Needle provides 360-degree views of downtown Seattle, Mount Rainier, Elliott Bay, and the Cascade and Olympic mountains. Besides the Skydeck restaurant, the Space Needle also features a gift shop and observation deck.
This downtown location is the hub for all of the Seattle Public Library branches, and it circulates more than a million books annually. It has a large computer area and a 200-seat auditorium where literary programs, workshops and events for kids are held (all free of charge). Other services include an area to assist deaf, deaf-blind and hard-of-hearing patrons, a genealogy desk for those researching family history, and a writer's room to encourage new writers.
Set inside the Seattle Public Library, Microsoft Auditorium is the main space within the book repository for a wide variety if events. Besides meetings, it is also used for plays, recitals and concerts regularly. It is also the largest venue within the library to host any event.
One of the most elite private clubs in the city, The Rainier Club is also one of the oldest. Named for Peter Rainier, a British admiral, the club faced a number of relocations before settling down at its present location, a Jacobean-style building completed in 1904. Today, the club includes a restaurant, event spaces, guest suites, health club and more.
Surrounded by the likes of the 76-story Columbia Tower, the classical dome of this former church can seem lost in the cityscape. But the venue remains a lovely, calm setting for concerts and literary events throughout the week. Take note of the beautiful stained glass windows that adorn the walls here.