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 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.
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.
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.
Located on the 73rd floor of the Columbia Center, the Sky View Observatory provides unobstructed views of Mount Rainier, the city, Elliot Bay, the Space Needle, Olympic Mountains, Bellevue and more. Popular among tourists and locals alike, this landmark is the tallest public observatory west of the Mississippi, reaching nearly 1,000 feet (304 meters) . Visitors pay a small fee to ride the elevator up and experience the breath-taking view. Visit in the evenings to take advantage of the spectacular sunset, but be sure to get there an hour before closing when the last tickets are sold for the night.
This building doesn't have the tourist cache of the Space Needle, but it is higher by almost 100 meters and cheaper to enter by several dollars. The 941-foot building, Columbia Center (Bank of America Tower), is the second tallest west of the Mississippi. Take in spectacular views of the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges, Puget Sound and area lakes, plus educational views of the freeway system and the downtown area. Take one elevator to the 40th floor, another to the 73rd floor.
Like the Plymouth Congregational Church, this is a modern downtown church eager to bring in the casual visitor. The rectangle-shaped box of a building usually sports a yellow and purple banner on its downtown-facing side, inviting all to stop in. If you do come by, you might be surprised to learn that this 1960s concrete thing is home to one of Seattle's oldest congregations, founded 130 years ago. The calm, welcoming building is open daily during the week to visitors.