If watching the hugely popular TV “Frasier” has made you curious to visit Seattle, there are an abundance of destination sites to make The Emerald City a fun and fabulous place to explore on a holiday adventure. Here are our top 5 suggested things to do and experience in Seattle that are available on a year-round basis:
The Boeing Tour ranks among the city’s most popular tourist destinations, offering those fascinated by flight and airplane travel a chance to see how such airplanes as the 747 and 777 models are actually constructed. Visitors get to see the step by step process by which large commercial airplanes are constructed, including the assembly process, the painting and decorating, and test flying. Plenty of walking and climbing, as well as travel by bus, but aviation enthusiasts will feel like they’re on cloud 9! Visitors are delighted to discover that more often than not, the plane that carried them to Seattle was actually constructed at this Boeing factory.
The Seattle Aquarium gives visitors an idea of just what sort of fascinating creatures inhabit Puget Sound and the waters of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Located right on the waterfront, the Aquarium features daily feedings of sea otters and harbour seals, salmon swimming upstream via a special indoor ladder and a giant octopus, one of the aquariums most popular inhabitants. Especially popular with kids are the interactive exhibits which allow them to do neat stuff like feel a real starfish or shake hands with an octopus. The IMAX Theatre next door offers ever-changing film features.
Pike’s Place Market is open year-round and is celebrated as the birthplace of Starbucks Coffee. The 9-acre site, founded in 1917, is truly a mecca for foodies from around the world who spend hours browsing its fresh produce and crafts stalls and enjoying the eclectic mix of restaurants and cafes here after shopping for everything from handicrafts and antiques to books and gourmet specialty foods. Place a penny for lunch into the gigantic bronze piggy bank named Rachel, one of many unique photo sites at the Marketplace.
The Pioneer Square Historic District is where you’ll find Seattle Underground Tours, which give a lively and good humoured tour chock full of information, trivia and gossip about the historic abandoned architecture located 36 feet underground that developed after the Great Fire of 1889 when the city raised the original street level. The tour originated at an 1890s public house called Doc Maynard’s and continues down the stairs and into Seattle’s hidden history. Some of the places explored are said to be haunted, which takes on added meaning at Halloween season. This tour is great for history buffs and to give any visitor an appreciation for how this community has grown and developed since the 19th century.
The Space Needle, located just north of the downtown area, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012. A quick 40 second elevator ride to the top provides the visitor with a wonderful birdseye view from 605 feet in the sky. Its observation deck offers an unobstructed view of such landmarks as Mount Rainier and Puget Sound with free use of binoculars to get an up close and personal peek at more than 50 different sights located throughout the area. The SkyCafe is perfect for grabbing a quick snack, with the SkyCity Restaurant offering a revolving 360-view while you dine.
By Julie Bowman