Things to do in Seattle

Downtown Seattle’s core is like a mix of cultures- combining everything that makes the city work. Boutique shops and flagship department stores mix it up with government and finance offices. Buildings constructed during the Gold Rush are right next door to 21st century architecture.

The tallest skyscraper in the Northwest (the 76-story Bank of America tower) rises out of downtown Seattle, as does a parking structure that looks like a sinking ship. Lavish restaurants and sidewalk espresso carts provide treats, while a treasure-trove of cultural choices provide enlightenment and entertainment.

On average, it rains in Seattle at least 50% of the time, with the heaviest rain periods between January and May and between October and December. June, July and August are our dryest and warmest months.

Seattle panorama

Attractions in Seattle

The Space Needle
Seattle Center, 400 Broad St.; 206.905.2100;
A 41-second elevator ride takes you up 520 feet to the observation deck of the Space Needle, built for the 1962 World’s Fair. Enjoy a meal at SkyCity, the restaurant at the top that revolves 360° while you dine.

Pike Place Market
Between First Ave. and Western, from Pike to Virginia streets
Born in 1907, Seattle’s Pike Place Market is the granddaddy of farmers’ markets. Today, it’s a major tourist attraction with 200 businesses operating year-round, 190 craftspeople and 120 farmer booths – plus street performers and musicians. Flowers by the bucketful, flying fish, fresh pastries and fruit, handmade cheeses, local honey, wine, an assortment of restaurants, import goods, antiques, collectibles and lots of surprises are around every corner.

Traveling by ferry is a state of mind as much as a means of transportation to some of the Puget Sound’s most historic and scenic sites. Views of the Olympic and Cascade mountains, the Seattle cityscape and the green shorelines will draw you out onto the deck to feel the salt breeze on your face. The state ferry system takes passengers and their vehicles from Seattle and nearby departure points to Vashon Island, the Kitsap Peninsula, the San Juan Islands and Canada.

Seattle Aquarium
Pier 59
Meet Alki, the sea otter pup born at the Aquarium. Walk under the water in a glass dome as bluntnose sixgill sharks and other Elliott Bay creatures swim all around you. Touch a sea anemone. Learn about the lives of salmon at the world’s first aquarium-based salmon ladder. Marvel at the impossibly bright-colored coral reef fish. And don’t forget to wave to the giant Pacific octopus.

The Seattle Waterfront
Piers 52 to 70 on Alaskan Way
A bustling collection of attractions, restaurants and shopping, as well as starting points for ferries, cruise ships, the Victoria Clipper and Argosy boat tours are located here. Feed the seagulls at the statue of Ivar Haglund in front of Ivar’s Acres of Clams, stroll by the fountains on the wooden piers of Waterfront Park, admire the view or shop for souvenirs.

Woodland Park Zoo
South Gate: 750 N. 50th St
See more than 1,000 animals of 300 different species, from elephants and gorillas to piranhas and penguins, in naturalistic exhibits at the Woodland Park Zoo. Drop by at scheduled feeding times and talk with the people who care for the animals.

Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour
608 First Ave.
After the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, the city was rebuilt over the top of the ruins. This guided tour takes visitors through the hidden subterranean passages that once were the main roadways and storefronts of old downtown Seattle and tells stories of the frontier people who lived and worked there.

The Seattle Public Library
1000 Fourth Ave.
Designed by world-renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, the award-winning glass and steel structure of the new Central Library makes the building seem a little off-kilter and translucent – allowing passersby on the street to look in.

Tillicum Village
Blake Island
A short, narrated cruise takes you to an island village, where you’ll feast on salmon cooked in the authentic Native American way. A stage show of traditional dances and stories entertains and teaches you about the people who lived in the Northwest first.

Ride the Ducks of Seattle
516 Broad St, Seattle
206.441.DUCK (3825)
Tour Seattle by land and water on a WWII amphibious landing craft. This 90-minute adventure tour will have you “quacking up” through the streets of Seattle. You’ll see the major sights of the Emerald City on land before you head out to the funky Fremont neighborhood where you’ll splash into Lake Union.

ACME Bowling Billiards and Events
Open everyday, various hours. Full service restaurant, lounge, non smoking bowling, billiards and private rooms. Multiple plasma televisions for your viewing pleasure.
100 Andover Park W
Tukwila, WA  98188

Argosy Cruises
Harbor, Lakes and Locks cruises featuring history and facts, scenery and Seattle’s famous places. Royal Argosy brunch, lunch and dinner cruises. Group rates.
1101 Alaskan Way Ste 201
Pier 55
Seattle, WA  98101
(206) 623-1445

Art Wolfe Inc
Photography workshops, art and photography gallery open Tuesday through Friday. Camera Confidence photography class held weekly July through September, $69/person.
1944 1st Ave South
Seattle, WA  98134
(206) 332-0093

Chimpanzee & Human Communication Institute – Chimposiums
The Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute at CWU in Ellensburg presents public “Chimposiums,” – one-hour workshops featuring signing chimpanzees – Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons March through November. Reservations suggested.
400 E University Way
Central Washington University
Ellensburg, WA  98926-7573
(509) 963-2244

Dining in Seattle

106 Pine – Fresh Finds. Local Wines
Northwest wines, market-fresh small plates and retail gifts baskets featuring local foods and wines.
106 Pine Street
Seattle, WA  98101
(206) 443-1106

13 Coins Restaurants
A Seattle institution where generations have dined in its high backed booths since 1967. Exhibition kitchen, live music in the Night Owl Lounge, daily happy hour 4 to 6 pm and 10 pm to last call. Open 24 hours, free parking.
125 Boren Ave N
Seattle, WA  98109
(206) 682-2513

Andaluca Restaurant & Bar
Warm, upbeat atmosphere featuring fresh seasonal Northwest foods combined with Mediterranean flavors and techniques. All major credit cards. Reservations recommended.
407 Olive Way
Seattle, WA  98101
(206) 382-6999

ART Restaurant and Lounge
ART Restaurant and Lounge celebrates authentic Pacific Northwest cuisine with unique global influences.
99 Union Street
Seattle, WA  98101
(206) 749-7070

Assaggio Ristorante
Pamper your soul with the sensual pleasures of fine Italian wines and cuisine while you marvel at the Michelangelo-inspired artwork. Major credit cards.
2010 Fourth Ave
Seattle, WA  98121
(206) 441-1399

Bambuza Vietnamese Bistro
Fresh, healthy cuisine. Soups, salad, wok, grill. Lunch, dinner. Full bar. Banquets, catering available.
820 Pike St
Seattle, WA  98101
(206) 219-5555

Steak, chicken, seafood and sushi. Enjoy watching your chef right at your table! Sushi bar and cocktail lounge. Lunch M-F. Dinner daily.
1200 Fifth Ave
IBM Bldg Plaza
Seattle, WA  98101
(206) 682-4686

Blue C Sushi
Whether it’s sit down, build your own, or grab-and-go we’re ready to satisfy your sushi craving.
1510 7th Ave
Seattle, WA  98101
(206) 467-4022

Nearly 100% organic. Hand crafted cocktails, new and old world wines; open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Weekend brunch & daily happy hour.
1010 First Ave
Seattle, WA  98104
(206) 357-9000

Brasserie Margaux Restaurant & Bar
It’s fresh, it’s fun, it’s definitely Northwest. Margaux’s innovative menu tempts you for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
401 Lenora St
Seattle, WA  98121
(206) 777-1990

The Brooklyn Seafood, Steak & Oyster House
Featuring Seattle’s best oyster bar, stunning fresh seafood preparations and USDA prime grade steaks. Evening valet parking.
1212 Second Avenue
Across from Seattle Art Museum & Benaroya Hall
Seattle, WA  98101
(206) 224-7000

Bruno’s Mexican-Italian Restaurant
Traditional Italian ambiance featuring Mexican and Italian favorites in downtown Seattle for 34 years. Full bar. Mon-Fri 11am-8pm; Sat 11:30am-7:30pm. Family friendly.
1417 3rd Ave
Between Pike & Union
Seattle, WA  98101
(206) 622-3180

Buca di Beppo
Italian fare served in a upbeat and fun atmosphere. Giant platters meant for sharing. Dinner M-F at 4pm; Sat-Sun open at 11am. Reservations accepted.
701 Ninth Ave N
Seattle, WA  98109
(206) BIG-A-BUT

Shopping in Seattle

Alvin Goldfarb, Jeweler
305 Bellevue Way NE
Bellevue, WA  98004
(206) 264-9393

Banana Republic
Specialty. Clothing, shoes and accessories for women. Located in Seattle’s greatest landmark restoration, the Coliseum Theater Building (circa 1916).
500 Pike St
Seattle, WA  98101
(206) 622-2303

Ben Bridge Jeweler
Jewelers & Fine Gifts. Fine jewelry and watches since 1912. Expert watch and jewelry repair. Mon-Sat 9:30am-7pm; Sun 12pm-5pm.
4th & Pike
Seattle, WA  98101
(206) 628-6800

Brocklind’s Formal Wear & Costumes
Apparel. Men’s formal wear sales and rentals, costume sales and rentals, women’s formal wear sales. Locally owned and operated since 1906.
500 E Pike
Seattle, WA  98122
(206) 325-8700

Jewelers & Fine Gifts. One of the world’s leading luxury goods merchants for more than 150 years. Open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm. Major credit cards.
600 Pine St Ste 145
Pacific Place
Seattle, WA  98101
(206) 389-6505

Chocolate Box
Specialty. Home of Tour de Chocolat, featuring NW chocolates and desserts, steps from Pike Place Market.
108 Pine St
Seattle, WA  98101
(206) 443-3900

City Centre
Associations, Shopping Complexes & Malls. Ann Taylor, Fifth Avenue Optical, American Eagle, Palomino, and more. Mon-Sat 10-6; Sun 12-5.
1420 Fifth Ave Ste 400
Seattle, WA  98101
(206) 624-8800

Columbia Sportswear
Apparel. Welcome to the Greater Outdoors. Find a complete range of premium outdoor products and learn about Columbia’s innovative technologies.
290 Pine St
Seattle, WA  98101
(206) 443-7639

Costco Wholesale
Wholesale shopping warehouse. Membership required.
4401 4th Ave S
Seattle, WA  98134-2311
(206) 403-2000

Fran’s Chocolates
Gifts & Souvenirs. Creating handmade artisan confections daily. Available at our retail locations and by mail order. Open Monday-Saturday 9:30am-7pm; Sunday 10am-5pm.
1325 1st Avenue
Seattle, WA  98122
(206) 682-0168

Hatzoff Productions
Gifts & Souvenirs. Order the new edition Seattle DVD-$19.95 + tax.
PO Box 9465
Seattle, WA  98109
(800) 458-5335

Getting Around Seattle

Seattle Center Monorail
Operating 9am to 11pm, it’s the quickest and most futuristic way to get around downton Seattle – The Monorail departs every 10 minutes from the station at Seattle Center, (across from the Space Needle) and from Westlake Center Mall, at Fifth and Pine Street. Each trip takes two minutes to cover the 1 mile route. Each train can carry up to 200 passengers per trip. The Monorail provides two-train service during special events and activities, with departures every five minutes or less.

Round-trip fares are $4.00 for adults, $1.50 for youth ages 5-12, $2.00 for senior 65+, disabled, and persons with Medicare cards. One-way fares are 1/2 of the round-trip price. Children 4 and under ride free.

3 trains daily between Seattle and Tacoma as well as Portland, OR and Vancouver, BC. For more information call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

Sounder Commuter Rail
Offers commuter rail service between Tacoma and downtown Seattle with stops in Puyallup, Sumner, Auburn, Kent, and Tukwila. Sounder now also offers service from Everett and downtown Seattle with stops in Edmonds. For more information call (888) 889-6368.

Tacoma’s Free Light Rail
Through Downtown Tacoma to Amtrak Station. For more information call (888) 889-6368.