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.
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.
Located on the south slope of Queen Anne Hill, Kerry Park is a popular park in Seattle that is renowned for providing the beautiful panoramic views of the city. With Mount Rainier as a picturesque backdrop, this park is popular with locals and tourists alike. At night, the view of the city from the park is breathtaking and dream-like which makes it perfect for pictures.
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.
The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, locally known as the Ballard Locks, is a unique and historic location in Seattle. Completed in 1917, this landmark connects the waters of Lake Washington, Lake Union and the Puget Sound. Watching the boats navigate the locks is interesting enough, but the location also hosts an unusual fish ladder that connects salt and freshwater for the local migrating Pacific Salmon. The grounds feature a visitors centre as well as the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Gardens.
When it was built in 1914, this 42-story downtown tower was the tallest building west of the Mississippi. In 1962, the 605-foot Space Needle outreached it, and for many years afterwards, the Seattle skyline was bracketed by these two spires. Today Smith Tower, with its many windows and ornate pyramid top, is still a beloved Seattle edifice. Anybody can waltz in to take an old-fashioned ride in one of the eight brass-caged, manually operated elevators. The 35th floor observation deck has lovely views.
The Seattle Art Museum is internationally recognized for its excellent collection of Asian, African and Native American art and for its fine collection of modern art produced by Pacific Northwest artists. The permanent collection includes 21,000 pieces and while it doesn't have huge collections of European art, it does have plentiful local art and wonderful visiting exhibits. The museum is centrally located downtown near the waterfront and Pike Place Market.
Here, where the streets of downtown's business district angle down around Elliott Bay to the south, are the flatlands where Seattle was first built. Nightclubs, art galleries, tourist shops, design firms and restaurants dominate Pioneer Square. The area's First Thursday art walk draws huge crowds to the studios, galleries and street performers, and the nightclubs keep the neighbourhood buzzing with activity till wee hours of the morn'. The kitschy Underground Tour explaining Seattle's early history is a perennial tourist favorite, as is the more sober Klondike Gold Rush Museum, which details the Yukon gold fever that made Seattle richer. Yesler Way, which slices the neighbourhood in half, has a footnote in history as the original "skid row". There are also several small parks in the area, including the quiet Waterfall Park, the shady cobblestones of Occidental Park, and the totem-pole decorated triangle at First and Yesler, Pioneer Place Park. The neighbourhood also marks the popular shopping destination of the city, famous for all kinds of knickknacks such as tapestries, rare artworks, books and what-nots!
Want the best view of Seattle's colourful and glittering skyline? Then take a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel, which is situated on the pier off Alaskan Way. The 15-minute ride inside its climate-controlled gondolas will take you to a maximum height of 175 feet (53 meters), where you can capture splendid views of downtown and the picture-perfect moments with your family on a camera. Each gondola has a maximum capacity for eight people, and the wheel is open for tourists 365 days of the year. Considered to be one of the tallest ferries wheels on the West Coast, the Seattle Great Wheel makes for a perfect family joy ride.