Things to Do in Seattle

Seattle

Seattle may not be a popular choice among Americans on their domestic travels, the city certainly is a hit among Canadians who would like to escape from the chilly weather even for just a few days. Here are some great things to do around The Emerald City.

Take a tour

Different tour companies offer different itineraries of the best Seattle has to offer to tourists. Some of the highlights include touring in Boeing Assembly Plant, an hour of riding an amphibious World War II-era vehicle, getting to see the set locations of the movie "Sleepless in Seattle," and stopping over a local winery for some wine tasting.

Visit museums

There are a lot of museums in Seattle, each offering a unique experience. The Seattle Art Museum has assorted art exhibits and holds events ranging from poetry reading to even DJ clubbing. The Seattle Asian Art Museum offers ancient and modern artworks from the Orient.

If you are into aircrafts and spacecrafts, the Museum of Flight is for you. The Pacific Science Center has an IMAX theater and laser shows, while the Experience Music Project has many rock-and-roll inspired interactive exhibits. Most museums in Seattle offer free admission at least once a month.

Take the most expensive elevator ride

The Space Needle is Seattle’s most recognizable structure and has an observation deck placed 520 feet above sea level. The great thing about getting to the deck is that you get to see the view of the city as the elevator raises you up at 14 feet per second.

The admission cost for the elevator ride to the observation deck ranges from US$8 for children 4 to 8 years old (children age 3 and under get to ride free) to US$16 for adults up to 64 years old. Discounts are provided to seniors and active military personnel, provided that you bring your ID.

Dine in at a revolving restaurant

On top of Space Needle is a revolving restaurant called Sky City, which completely revolves around every 45 minutes. If you are planning to dine in, the elevator ride is free. The restaurant is surprisingly good given its touristy setting, with reasonably priced meals.

See the city from the top, at a much lower price

The locals would actually advise you that there is a cheaper way to view Seattle from a bird’s eye view: through an observation deck in Bank of America Tower, which is the tallest building in Seattle. Getting to the deck costs only US$5, and the view is arguably better than what is offered in the Space Needle. In addition, this building is not a popular tourist attraction, so expect a short or even no line to get to the top.

Check out fish ladders

Seattle is situated along the coastline and is part of a migration path for certain types of fish such as salmon. To accommodate the migration despite several structures blocking the canals and rivers such as locks, they have constructed fish ladders around the structures so the fish would still be able to climb upstream until they reach their spawning spots. If you are lucky, you might see some huge salmon coming and going along a fish ladder.

Visit a zoo

The Woodland Park Zoo has a spacious and habitat-identical enclosure for their animals, providing the visitors an insight on the animals’ behavior in the wild.

It also features a Raptor Show, a show-and-tell presentation of predator birds, as well as watching keepers feed some of the zoo’s famous residents such as endangered Humboldt penguins and the piranhas.

Stroll along the beach park

Seattle has several parks and open spaces located along its beach coastline as well as around its lakes. Activities vary from kite-flying, boat watching, rollerblading, as well as playing sports such as soccer, volleyball, and basketball on outdoor courts.

Go mountain biking

Some parks in Seattle have paved and unpaved paths dedicated to bikes. Try riding "The Tapeworm" in Philip Arnold Park in Renton.

Rent a boat

Numerous establishments around its lakes offer rentals for boats and kayaks. The Center for Wooden Boats, for instance, offers antique boat rentals that you can either row or sail. While on the water, watch ducks, swans, geese, some migratory birds, and different boats minding their own business.

Cheer on

Seattle has five professional sports teams. The Seattle Sounders is its pro-soccer team, which plays at the QWest Field during spring and summer. Meanwhile the QWest Field accommodates the Seattle Seahawks, the city’s pro-American football team, as they play during winter. The city is also home of the Thunderbirds (pro-hockey team), the Mariners (pro-baseball), and the Supersonics (pro-basketball).

Go shopping

There are several stores in Seattle where you can get your fill for shopping. The Seattle Premium Outlets in Tulalip is an upscale center featuring designer brands, while the Factory Stores at North Bend has popular brands at impressive savings.

Get connected

Free Wi-Fi can be found at all Seattle public libraries, and is available to users with Wi-Fi enabled laptops and wireless devices. There is also Wi-Fi coverage in four downtown parks-Occidental, Freeway, Westlake, and Victor Steinbrueck-as well as the City Hall lobby area. Even some Metro and Sound commuter buses offer free Wi-Fi.

If you don’t have a laptop, there are various Internet cafes located around the city, especially in the University District and the Downtown neighborhoods. Also, many coffee shops offer free and paid wireless access.

Be safe

Seattle is a fairly safe city. Expect little or no problems walking out and about at night, although avoid Rainier Valley, Central District, University District, and Seattle Center during those times. Also it is best to caution yourself against leaving valuables inside cars, as auto theft is a common crime in the city.

 
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