The grey skies of Seattle as a destination place for a family vacation may never cross your mind. Instead you may be dreaming of Disneyland, the beaches of Hawaii, or the lure of New York.
Just a hop, skip, and a jump away (29 miles, to be exact) lies the fun city of Seattle! Here, you won’t find the happiest place on earth. Employees won’t be singing their favorite tune with grins from ear to ear and the beaches may be a little chilly. We aren’t uptight about what we wear and employees will more than likely be showing their personality through their clothing choices rather than a crisp collar. We may just be a little hippyish in our natural beauty and organic ways! It’s common to misplace our sunglasses from year to year but when the sun shines, we soak up the rays!
The Seattle Center is home to many of Seattle’s famous destinations!
The Space Needle was built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. At 605 feet, the Space Needle provides a stunning 360 degree view of Mt. Rainier, Puget Sound, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, and the active city of Seattle! Check out the view yourself on the Space Needle’s Panocam!
Take an elevator ride to the observation deck and check out the gift shop when you ride back down!
Nothing says Seattle more than the Space Needle!
Fun Fact: The Space Needle inspired the aesthetic for the Jetsons’ condominium!
Experience Music Project Museum
The Experience Music Project building is a sight to behold and a conversation among many. Some call it a marvel and others think it is downright ugly.
It has been said that the building’s inspiration was a smashed guitar, in honor of Seattle’s Jimi Hendrix and his rebellious style.
Inside the museum you will discover the Sound Lab where you can try out many different instruments, Sky Church which houses the largest indoor LED screen in the world, as well as a music collection with many artifacts of music produced in the Northwest!
Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction and Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film are also part of the EMP. I’m not interested in horror but The Monster Shadow Wall and Scream Machine are two of my personal favorites!
Chihuly Garden and Glass
A collection of Dale Chihuly work is on display at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibition Hall, Glasshouse, and Garden. You may get a little peak of the garden at the base of the Space Needle!
The International Fountain was built for the World’s Fair and remains a centerpiece at the Seattle Center! Take a break on a hot day and feel the mist or go right up to the fountain and get soaked! The choice is yours! Sitting on the rim of the fountain bowl is an excellent place for a snack or to eat lunch, weather permitting.
Pacific Science Center
The Pacific Science Center is always a fun experience featuring interactive science exhibits, IMAX theaters, laser light shows, and a Butterfly House! I have to say the butterfly house is pretty awesome and the laser light shows, WOW! Imagine sitting or laying on the floor and watching a laser light show to an awesome song. Now imagine going on a field trip with your child’s class and watching the laser show! Yep! It has always been a favorite!
Ride The Ducks of Seattle
Not too far from the Seattle Center, and practically across the street, you will find Ride The Ducks of Seattle! The Ducks are an excellent way to see sights and tour Seattle while being entertained by a fabulously funny Captain!
View sights from a Duck and learn more about the EMP at A Day in Seattle!
Seattle Center Monorail
The Monorail is an excellent way to travel from Seattle Center to downtown Seattle! It has just two stops: Seattle Center and Westlake Center Mall and is a simple two minute ride worth taking!
After exploring all Seattle Center has to offer, the Monorail will get you within walking distance to Pike Place Market and the waterfront!
Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market is a year-round farmers market where you’ll find bakeries, produce stands, specialty food stores, crafts, food, and possibly flying fish! You’ll want to take a picture by the iconic Pike Place Market sign!
If you are a coffee fanatic, you will want to know the oldest Starbucks is located in the market. It is quite the tourist attraction and usually has a long line of coffee connoisseurs waiting to taste the goodness.
Fun Fact: The current Original Starbucks is actually the second location for the store. The first Starbucks was located a few blocks away at 2000 Western Avenue from 1971 – 1976 before it moved to 1912 Pike Place.
Just around the corner you will find:
The Gum Wall
The Gum Wall is self explanatory, gross, disgusting, and cool all at the same time! Chewed gum lines the brick walls of an alley way some in wads, some spelling names, oh, the possibilities are endless! It’s worth a look as you meander down to the waterfront!
The Seattle Great Wheel
The Seattle Great Wheel offers stunning views and an exceptional experience as it is the largest observation wheel on the west coast and extends nearly 40 feet beyond the end of the pier over Elliott Bay!
If the loud excitement of the Ducks of Seattle aren’t your speed, you may want to tour the Seattle waterfront via an Argosy Cruise! You will hear a live narration as you cruise the waterfront taking in the beautiful scenery!
Ferries are a mainstay of Seattle and an experience everyone should have at least once! Drive right onto the ferry and explore a nearby island!
Hurricane Ridge – Olympic National Park
Better yet, take the Bainbridge Island ferry from downtown Seattle and head out to Hurricane Ridge on the Olympic Peninsula! This will be at least a three hour trip so it would be advantageous to book a room near Olympic National Park!
Mount Rainier is a sight to be seen! We get excited here in the Pacific Northwest when the grey skies clear and the mountain is ‘out’ in all it’s glory! It can be viewed from many places but, if you want to get up close and personal, head to Paradise and take a summer hike! You’ll discover waterfalls, wildlife, wild flowers, and, if the skies are clear, the mountain itself!
From city to water to mountains, the Seattle area holds many opportunities to explore! Put on your hiking shoes and get ready to climb the hills of Seattle or the trails of Mount Rainier! They are waiting for you to enjoy!
Jayleen is a self-proclaimed, research specialist for Teen Years Industries, a Household Chief Financial Officer, and Logistics Coordinator who creates fun printables and outlandish ideas to inspire domestic engineers everywhere to make every day full of sunshine and happiness! Find her at Sunshine and Rainy Days for ideas, inspiration, and FUN!