There are so many fun things to do in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest! There’s a healthy mix of iconic attractions like Pike Place Market and the Space Needle, as well as hidden gems that you might not have heard of before visiting, but should definitely see on any trip to Seattle.
Wondering where to stay in Seattle? There are plenty of great hotels in downtown Seattle like the Fairmont Olympic hotel next to the Seattle Art Museum.
And if you’re looking for an Airbnb, check out my Best Airbnbs in Seattle guide! Be sure to look into the Seattle Center Monorail to make traveling through downtown Seattle a lot easier.
Pssst, heading to Seattle? Don’t miss these travel guides to help you plan your trip!
15 Fun Things to Do in Seattle
You definitely have to hit up Pike Place Market during a trip to Seattle! It’s iconic, and it’s worth strolling through the stalls and seeing all the fresh fish getting tossed around.
If you’re staying at an Airbnb or at a friend’s place with a kitchen, you can pick up some fish here for dinner. There are also tons of great spots to stop in for a bite, including Beecher’s Cheese and Matt’s in the Market.
The Space Needle was recently remodeled, and it’s gorgeous. The views are incredible, and on a clear day, you can see Mt. Ranier in the distance behind Seattle’s skyline.
I highly recommend timing your visit so that you arrive just before sunset, so you can enjoy the views with daylight, the sunsetting, and then as nighttime falls.
You can enjoy the Loupe Lounge that sits at the top of the Space Needle with glass floors and amazing views. Although, you do have to be 21 and over to enjoy the food and drinks. If you’re looking for date ideas in Seattle, this should be on your list!
TBH, the rotating floor made me feel pretty nauseous, and I couldn’t wait to get through the line for the elevator to get back down.
You can book online to save time as the line for tickets can get very long, and your tickets will be for a certain time period, so there’s a chance you could wait in line for tickets and not be able to go up the needle for another hour or so after getting them. Avoid all that mess by booking online, or buy a combo Chihuly + Space Needle ticket to save $$ (I talk about this more below…).
The Chihuly Garden may not be as widely known as the Space Needle, but it is absolutely not to be missed. It’s an art and sculpture museum that features Dale Chihuly’s amazing work.
Be sure to bring headphones, because they have a free audio tour that you can download on your phone. It’s located right next to the Space Needle, so you can definitely hit both up in one afternoon.
You can even buy a Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass Combination Ticket, which will save you around $10, depending on the time of day you’d be visiting.
This museum is dedicated to contemporary pop culture and features exhibits that cover fantasy, horror films, video games, and sci-fi.
The museum itself was designed by Frank Gehry and is really interesting to check out from the outside as well.
5. The Gum Wall
Quirky or gross? Maybe both, but you decide. The gum wall is located on Post Alley underneath Pike Place Market, and it’s become a local landmark.
I think the funniest/saddest thing about this landmark is that it’s located next to the Market Theatre, and when patrons first started sticking gum on its brick wall in the ’90s, theater workers kept trying to scrape the gum away until they eventually gave up years later when market officials deemed the wall a tourist attraction.
The Olympic Sculpture Park is beautiful for a stroll along the water, with fun, pops of color in the form of contemporary sculptures. My cousin got married here!
Take a ride on this giant Ferris Wheel at Pier 57 on Elliott Bay. It sits right at the waterfront at 175 feet tall, giving you beautiful views of the city, water, and mountains—nothing beats Washington State ferries.
8. Kerry Park
Kerry Park is a small park on the south side of Queen Anne with an epic view of Seattle. Perfect for getting that postcard shot of Seattle with The Space Needle, city skyline, and Mt. Ranier!
Remember 10 Things I Hate About You? Yeah, me neither, I’m not that old…Anyways, there’s a scene in front of the Fremont Troll and since then, it’s been a popular spot to come and snap a photo.
He sits underneath the Aurora Bridge (get it, because he’s a TROLL), and you can pretty much climb on top of it or whatever you want to get the perfect photo with him.
If you like coffee, you have to check out the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle. It’s HUGE, and just a tad overwhelming when you first step in.
There’s a bar with coffee cocktails and a separate coffee bar area for a huge menu of coffee flight tastings and other super fancy coffee drinks.
If you loved this tour, I also highly recommend checking out a food tour.
See Seattle from the viewpoint of the water, and book a private sailboat adventure! If you have a group of ~6 people you can get the costs for a private charter to be pretty reasonable.
Learn some sailing tips, or just sit back and relax while enjoying views of the majestic Olympic Mountains.
Since Omied is an architect, we visit the public library every time we’re in Seattle.
Even though I don’t have quite the same appreciation for it as he does, it is a really pretty building and if you’re into photography, its interesting angles lend themselves to amazing photos.
If I lived in Seattle I would definitely come here to work because there’s tons of seating and a lot of lovely, natural light.
13. Amazon Spheres
These three spheres are part of Amazon HQ, serving as a fancy employee lounge and workspace. They’re basically like any other normal glass dome workspace, except for with 40,000 different kinds of plants inside.
While the spheres are mostly for Amazon employees, they are open to the public two Saturdays out of the month, and you’ll need to book at least a month in advance.
Be sure to stop and get coffee and doughnuts at General Porpoise inside!
14. Alki Beach
If you happen to be visiting Seattle during its brief summer, 1., count yourself lucky and 2., head to Alki Beach for an afternoon.
You’ll find volleyball nets, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and a handful of restaurants (I recommend Marination Ma Kai) and cafe options there. The beach also has grills and firepits available.
See what’s on at the SAM. The Seattle Art Museum hosts different exhibits and art installations throughout the year. This is where I saw Yayoi Kusama in 2017 and it was pretty awesome.
If you love museums, you’re also going to love the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience and the Seattle Pinball Museum. While you’re in the area also make sure to explore Pioneer Square.
Writing this list of fun things to do in Seattle is making me want to plan another trip back there! Anything else I should add for my next trip?
I almost forgot, if you love exploring the outdoors I highly recommend spending some time at Golden Gardens Park, South Lake Union Park, Gas Works Park, and Green Lake Park. If you want to drive a little further, I also recommend spending some time at Olympic National Park or Mount Rainier.
You can tag me @wtfab on Instagram to show me where you ended up visiting or if you have any questions!
Planning a trip to Seattle? Be sure to read my other Seattle posts here.
15 Fun Things to Do in Seattle
Fun Restaurants in Seattle
Four Seasons Seattle Review
Best Airbnbs in Seattle
Four Seasons Seattle Review
Yayoi Kusama, Seattle
Chihuly Glass and Garden, Seattle
The Best Rooftop Bars in Seattle
You definitely should not miss the Space Needle, Pikes Place Market, Chihuly Garden, and the Seattle Art Museum.
The best time to visit Seattle is from September to October when the weather will be perfect and you’ll beat the summer crowds.
It is recommended to spend at least 3 to 4 days in Seattle to really get a feel for the city.
Elise Armitage is an entrepreneur and founder of What The Fab, a travel + lifestyle blog based in California. At the beginning of 2019, Elise left her corporate job at Google to chase her dreams: being an entrepreneur and helping women find fabulous in the everyday. Since then, she’s launched her SEO course Six-Figure SEO, where she teaches bloggers how to create a passive revenue stream from their website using SEO. Featured in publications like Forbes, Elle, HerMoney, and Real Simple, Elise is a firm believer that you can be of both substance and style.