Top 5 Things to do in Seattle: The Emerald City

by Jules on October 9, 2012

Seattle is a fascinating city with a HUGE music legacy, a great outdoor adventure scene and plenty to see and do. Most famous as the home of the Space Needle and headquarters of Starbucks Coffee and Microsoft, Seattle is also recognizable on the small screen from legendary TV series Frasier and Grey’s Anatomy.

For those of a certain age and musical taste, Seattle probably stands out most as the birthplace of grunge music; think Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains… and many more. Forget the frequent rain and explore The Emerald City by hiking Mount Rainier by day and dancing the night away at one of the many music venues!

The Space Needle

The iconic Space Needle tower is one of the most popular tourist spots in Seattle which is in Washington State on the west coast of the US. It was originally built for the 1962 world’s fair. Thousands of people come every day to enjoy the view from the observation deck. Once free, it now costs 19 USD for a regular pass to take the elevator up to the top. Seniors and children are slightly cheaper. Of course the best time to go is on a clear day, but the weather in the Seattle area does not always cooperate – check the forecast and reconsider your visit is rain is predicted. There is a rotating restaurant at the top and it’s a good idea to make reservations. The reviews are very good and most people feel it is worth eating a meal in this well-loved landmark. Public transportation is good in the area and it is possible to get to this tourist attraction from anywhere in town.

Seattle Museums

There are many museums in Seattle and art, history and maritime museums are popular with locals and visitors alike. Because this is home to the Boeing headquarters, there are some great old planes and other things that pertain to aviation. There are both public and private collections and they can be seen in many different museums. There are several top notch art museums such as the downtown Seattle Art Museum, the Seattle Asian Art Museum in central with Japanese and Chinese displays and the Frye Art Museum which is a private collection of some 232 paintings from German artists.

Explore the Pacific Science Center based on the Space Needle site which is an interesting interactive science museum great for all the family. Visit the Rock and Roll Museum at the Experience Music Project (pictured above) which has a dedicated Jimi Hendrix display – Hendrix was born in Seattle in 1942.

Because Seattle is a magnet for people interested in the arts, there is always a new and exciting art show going on somewhere in the city. Many of them are free and certainly worth checking out.


The architecture in Seattle is amazing and as important to see. The central library in Seattle was built in 2004. The design is five stacked boxes and it always makes people take a second look when they have a chance to drive by. Many people enjoy taking photos once inside because of the great light the unique windows let in. Smith tower is a 24 story building that was at one time the tallest building west of the Mississippi. It held that title for several years. It can be recognized by its pointed top. It houses one penthouse apartment and that is it’s only residence. Today people still like to go up to observation deck and enjoy the one of a kind view.

Seattle Film, Movie and Music Heritage

With its strong musical roots, it’s no surprise that Seattle comes to life at night with music events ranging from rock, pop, jazz, country and everything in between. Seattle is of course famous the world over for its grunge music scene from the 1990s which gave us Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Screaming Trees, Green River and so many more. Many famous musicians were born in Seattle including Chris Cornell, Kenny G and Jimi Hendrix.

Other notable people born in Seattle include the founders of Microsoft Bill Gates and Paul Allen. The city has also been the setting for many bid-budget films including Sleepless in Seattle, The Fabulous Baker Boys and An Officer and a Gentleman. More recently Seattle is probably best known for TV series Frasier, Grey’s Anatomy and Reaper.

The nightlife in Seattle is incredibly vibrant and many visitors come here just to enjoy that. There are one of a kind restaurants, bars and theaters in the downtown area and with the great public transportation system; there is no need to bring the car. Of course, no one can come to Seattle without enjoying a cup of coffee. The local residents love their coffee and coffee houses and stands dot the whole community. Not so surprising really as Starbucks was founded here at Pike Place Market in 1971.

The people in Seattle are friendly and they love their state. With all the rainy weather, they often enjoy indoor activities rather than outdoor things. But they are used to the rain and umbrellas can be seen all over and most people don’t let the weather stop them from enjoying this amazing area.

Adventure and Outdoor Activities

The Seattle and surrounding landscape is incredibly pretty with lush evergreen trees and mountains mixed with water areas, it is a one of a kind sight. The Pacific Ocean is especially beautiful in this part of the country and the step shorelines, trees and rocky beaches make this one of the most beautiful sights in the Pacific Northwest. Mount Rainier stands tall and majestic looking over the city and travelers can spend a day hiking and climbing the trails around Rainier. For most people it is love at first sight when they arrive in Seattle.

Hiking is popular in the Mount Rainier National Park. There are all kinds of trails and every level hiker will find somewhere they can enjoy. In the winter snowshoeing is a great option and the kids will love some time to try sledding. There are some great areas to explore in this winter wonderland. Cross country and downhill skiing are also possible on Mount Rainier. This is an adventure enthusiast’s paradise.

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