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15 Best Things To Do In Seattle For A Fun Quick Trip

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Seattle WA is a place full of surprises every time you come back. Thanks to a wide array of outdoor pursuits, educational activities, and a galore of entertaining spots, you can spend a week there exploring and never get bored. If you’re wondering what’s there to keep you occupied in this 83.9 square mile of land, here’s a checklist for you. 

Conquering the oldest markets in town, visiting the first Starbucks in the world, watching how Boeing 747 is made, and surveying the far-flung mountains in a hot air balloon are just a few to be named.

1. Visit the Museum Of Pop Culture

Known as MoPOP for short, this gigantic, quirky museum brings all aspects of pop culture into one place. You can easily spend hours here as the interior comprises so many different areas to see and learn. From horror to fiction, from fantasy to music, you name it.

The 140,000-square-foot museum is covered in a quirky architecture designed by Frank O. Gehry, with an impressive play of textures and colors to convey the energy and fluidity of music into life.

The low-ceiling hall blends dark tones and enchanting background music together to make your visit even more interesting to enjoy. Get on a hunt to see if there are any costumes or props from your favorite movies displayed on the site. At the end of your walk, have a look at the Hall of Fame as well as a Guitar Gallery and Sound Lab where you can try your hands at making music.

Hours: Open 10:00am–5:00pm (Open daily except Wednesdays)
Admission tickets: $25.50 – $27.50

Address: 325 5th Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98109

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2. Be Amazed at Chihuly Garden And Glass

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Seattle is no short of quirky and awe-inspiring sights to look at, and Chihuly Garden And Glass is one of them. Inarguably one of the best places to see in Seattle, this massive, open-concept museum is broken down into four areas. There are eight indoor galleries and three Drawing Walls that take you closer to the mesmerizing, colorful collection of Dale Chihuly’s significant series of works.

On the outside, Chihuly’s 100-foot-long sculpture in a color palette of reds, oranges, yellows, and amber made of many individual elements is put up for show inside a sun-filled space of 4,500 square feet.

To take a sneak peek behind the scenes of Chihuly’s glass-blowing process, head into the theater where his footage and interviews give you an insight to learn much more about the painstaking procedures turning sand into marvelous pieces of art.

Hours: From 9:30am (check out the visit page on the website for the most up to date hours).

RegularAges 13-64$32
King County ResidentsAges 13-64$27
SeniorAges 65+$27
YouthAges 5-12$19
Child4 and UnderFree
*Prices are subject to change

Address: 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109

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3. Get Real Close to Exotic Animals at Woodland Park Zoo

On any given sunny day, Woodland Park Zoo is filled with families and kids. This medium-sized zoo is a place where you wanna spend hours learning, eating, drinking, and simply winding down in a quiet world full of green spaces.

It houses over 900 animals from 250 species. From African Savanna to Assam Rhino Reserve, from the Living Northwest Trail to Tropical RainForest – those are just a few to be named. Amongst all, Molbak’s Butterfly Garden is our absolute favorite.

They have picnic areas for you to use with plenty of viewing areas. There’s a beautiful flower garden to chill out, a fun carousel for the kids, and a picnic spot to pack your lunch along. Despite being a small zoo, it never feels like a crowded place.

And when Redfin asked us what one Seattle attraction we recommend everyone should check out, the zoo was our pick. Take a look at their list of things to do in Seattle here.

Hours: 9:30 a.m – 4:00 p.m (Sept – Apr); 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m (May – Sept)

The zoo is open daily except for Christmas Day, December 25.

Admission tickets:

Adult (13-64)$18.25
Child (3-12)$12.50
Senior (65+)$16.25
*Prices are subject to change

Address: 5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103

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4. Go Coffee-Hopping To The Best Cafes In Town

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Do you know that Seattleite consume more coffee than any other American city? If you pursue the same big love for this aromatic cup of Joe just like they do, call Seattle home!

Seattle is dubbed as the coffee kingdom of the west, with a crazy number of local and independent coffee shops popping up at almost every corner, not including the first Starbucks in the world just across the street from Pike Place Market.

If you’re new in town and not sure where to go, check out these 12 best coffee shops in Seattle and be inspired. From the smooth finish cold brew that Sound And Fog has to offer to the creamy oat milk mocha to wash down after lunch at Milstead & Co, you name it.

5. Check Out All The Food Spots 

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While Seattle has a big coffee culture, its bustling food scene is powerful enough to not be ignored. Each of Seattle’s neighborhoods – like Capitol Hill, Ballard, West Seattle, or Fremont – has a fair share of quaint restaurants and signature cuisine to delight your taste buds. No matter what you crave that day, from authentic Hawaiian poke for seafood lovers to some big and crazy delicious bagels, Seattle has everything it takes to be your next favorite food paradise.

If you’re coming with your loved ones, seeking a stellar restaurant with a view should be your priority. Check out this curated collection of 11 restaurants with a view, choose your favorite one and make a call to reserve your table ahead of time.

Or you can go straight to seeking out the best restaurants in Seattle. Whichever works for you!

6. Hang out and Eat at Pike Place Market

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Making headlines as a top destination in Seattle, Pike Place market has a lot more to offer than just a tourist attraction. This pillar trading hub has been around since the turn of the 20th century, hosting a gigantic array of really good food and drinks, as well as hordes of farmers’ treats from the region.

This public market is adjacent to Starbucks Pike Place, the first ever Starbucks to be opened in the world. It started in 1907 with eight farmers and has quickly grown into a cornerstone of town, housing over 500 stalls, restaurants, bars, and vendors. Today, you will join thousands of visitors a day looking for the freshest produce and light bites. From freshly caught salmon to healthy vegetarian food and juicy fruits, you name it.

Those who crave some creamy, hearty mac ‘n’ cheese can check out Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. Homemade Greek yogurt from Elleno’s is not far away while the seafood bisque and the New England clam chowder at Pike Place Chowder will guarantee you a second visit.

Address: 85 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101

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7. Snap Some Shots at the Fremont Troll Sculpture

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Seattle is no short of quirky and artsy installations. But if there’s one spot you’ve gotta see upon your first visit to Seattle, that should be the Fremont Troll. Made by a group of four artists and volunteers led by sculptor Steve Badanes, the grumpy creature has served as a backdrop for movie sets, weddings, prom photos, and music videos.

Born out of an art competition in 1989, the Fremont Troll depicts a beast eating cars and wanderers underneath the north end of the George Washington Memorial Bridge in the Fremont neighborhood.

Inspired by the Norwegian fairy tale Three Billy Goats Gruff, the sculpture is made out of cement to renovate the shabby area where everything from needles to mattresses was dumped into the landfill.

Address: N 36th St, Seattle, WA 98103, United States

8. Escape into the Amazon Spheres

A bold and big idea was brought to life from a small talk back in Halloween 2011 when John Schoettler, the vice president of global real estate and facilities at Amazon brought Jeff to the Denny Triangle. At the time, Denny Triangle was in desperate need of a transformation. Therefore, they visioned to turn this shabby corner filled with old hotels and parking lots into a working campus of the future.

Today, Amazon Spheres is more than just a place where visitors frequent with cameras snapping away pictures for the ‘Gram. It plays the role as an ultramodern working space for 40,000 employees working at Amazon’s headquarters. 

Other than that, the sphere also plays host to 40,000 individual plants from more than 50 countries and almost every continent.

At the moment, public visit is only allowed every other Saturday with bookings opened 15 days in advance so make sure to keep a close eye on the website.

Hours: 10:00am–6:00pm 
Admission tickets: to be informed on the website.

Address: 2111 7th Avenue; Seattle, Washington

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9. Soak Up The View From Kerry Park

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On any given sunny day, Kerry Park is crammed with families, couples, and photographers trying to capture the spectacular vista of the jungle forest and the far-flung Mt. Rainier. With the clouds blanketing above, the Space Needle, Elliott Bay, the Olympics, and Mt. Rainier becomes even more dramatic to look at, serving as a fabulous backdrop to feast your eyes and cleanse your mind.

Kerry Park is perched on top of Queen Anne Hill. The best time to hit the park is before the sun is out when the entire horizon is splashed with a vivid canvas. If you’re looking for some good eats to treat your hungry stomach, stop by one of the nearby restaurants in Upper Queen Anne.

Address: 211 W Highland Dr, Seattle, WA 98119

10 Tour The Seattle Underground City

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Who cares about the rain when you can tour around Seattle completely underground? Step back in time to roam forgotten subterranean passages with a local companion whose untold stories surely get you hooked.

Complete a loop of the city in an hour, setting out from Cherry Street further to Union Square and soak up its marvelous, timeless 19th-century design that stands the test of time. From there, take a sneak peek into the oldest corners of the city and trace back the roots of Seattle in its earliest days.

Today, you can choose from multiple themed tours that reveal the hidden sides of Seattle no one told you before. The Red Light District tour is one of those. It brings you closer to the crazy world of Seattle’s grimy underbelly where prostitution, gambling, vice, and drinking took the crown.

See tour details here.

11. Visit the Boeing Future of Flight and Boeing Everett Tour

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25 miles north of Seattle, Boeing Future of Flight takes you behind the scenes to a hidden world where the largest aircraft on the planet are built. The factory is part of the Snohomish County Airport in Mukilteo where the public visit is welcomed every Thursday from 9:30 am to 5 pm.

To tour the Boeing Everett factory, you will sign up with the Boeing Backstage Pass, an hour-long hosted theater experience bringing you closer to the history of the Boeing empire and its founder, Bill Boeing. Other than that, you can get an up-close look at the planes and how they are assembled from start to finish.

The entire process takes place at a commercial assembly plant where you contemplate the construction from the walkway perched above. At the moment, the Boeing factory is home to the 747, 767, and 777 program production lines.

Address: 3220 100th St SW, Everett, WA 98204

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12. Soar Above Mount Rainier In A Hot Air Balloon

Photo credits: Seattle Ballooning

Soar above high skies and become one with the majestic nature Seattle has to offer. The hot air balloon ride is available either at sunrise or sunset. So pick the time that fits your schedule and be prepared to marvel at the sun casting its pink glow across the snow-capped peaks.

Riding a hot air balloon takes you as far as Puget Sound, Mount Rainier, Cascade Mountains, and the lush green forests of the Emerald City. It’s a spectacular way to survey Seattle and its surrounding area without beating the foot traffic.

As you rise higher from the ground, the dense jungles start to pad out and you slowly glide through the tips of the pine trees as you float up.

The sunrise flight can start as early as 4:45 am while the sunset tour sets out by 6 pm. If you can’t guarantee to get out of bed at the crack of dawn, sign up for the sunset tour and admire the northern sky when it’s a little calmer.

Seattle BallooningWebsite | Instagram

13. Chill Out At Alki Beach

25 minutes from the city core, Alki Beach is the locals’ secret to steering clear of the chaotic boulevards in Seattle for a few hours. This authentic beach town vibe comes alive when summer is around the corner.

It’s your typical beach full of life with common water sports and other outdoor activities taking place. Volleyball games conquer the sand every day while ardent surfers brace the waves and cyclists traverse down the biking lanes from morning till night. You can get here from Pier 50 of the Seattle Waterfront on a water taxi before exploring the Alki Avenue SW to enjoy beachfront views.

Alternatively, rent a bike near Luna Park and cycle west to Stone Honoring Chief Seattle. Whenever your legs are tired, don’t forget to stop by Duke’s Chowder House and recharge with some good treats or quench the thirst at Homefront Smoothies & Ice Cream.

Address: 2665 Alki Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116, United States

14. Get Aboard with Seattle Harbor Cruise

Photo credits: Argosy Cruises

You can choose from a handful of cruises, ferries, and ships docked at eight different piers along the Seattle Waterfront. Each cruise offers a unique itinerary that sets sail to the Salish Sea including whale-watching cruises.

The trips range from an hour to overnight, taking you to the most marvelous parts of Seattle wilderness. Even better, you can opt for a dining cruise, sipping on some liquor and washing down with live oysters.

To dig into the native history of Seattle, book with Salish Sea Tours and set sail on a native-owned, native-designed catamaran docked at Pier 57.

15. Survey Seattle From A Seaplane

Riding the hot air balloon is not the only way to marvel at Seattle from above. Sign up for a seaplane tour if you like to see the top of Seattle at a higher speed and check out the unforgettable aerial views of the exceptional environs of the Northwest within a few minutes.

Unlike a regular helicopter tour, the Seattle seaplane tour takes off and lands on the water before gliding through the tips of the majestic Olympic, Cascade mountain ranges, and marvelous Mt. Rainier. On the way home, the seaplane says goodbye to the iconic Space Needle, the University of Washington, Lake Union, and Lake Washington once again. These tours run all day so pick the time you like. You can start as early as 8 am or as late as 5 pm.

Looking for more ideas to round up your Seattle bucket list? Let us give you a hand on the best places to stay and restaurants to dine at.