The Emerald City is a vibrant and diverse metropolis nestled in the stunning Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Known for its lush greenery, mountain views and thriving culture – this destination offers a plethora of unique experiences for every type of traveler. While Seattle has its iconic landmarks like the Space Needle and Pike Place Market, there are also many hidden gems waiting to be discovered. In this travel guide, we will be unveiling the city’s best-kept secrets and outlining no less than 11 unique things to do in Seattle that will help you have a memorable trip.
11 Unique Things To Do in Seattle
1. Experience the Bohemian Fremont Neighborhood
Wandering around the Fremont neighborhood, where creativity rules the streets, is definitely one of the most unique things to do in Seattle. This enclave is a haven for free spirits and art fans alike. Stroll through the colorful thoroughfares, adorned with whimsical sculptures and eccentric murals. Embrace the energy as you explore funky boutiques, vintage shops, bohemian cafes and hip bars. Don’t miss the legendary Fremont Troll, lurking beneath the Aurora Bridge, or the Fremont Sunday Market. With its offbeat charm, Fremont is a hidden gem you won’t want to miss!
2. Check Out the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum
Chihuly Garden and Glass is a masterpiece that will leave you awe-inspired by its one-of-a-kind glass art installations. Bursting with radiant colors and fanciful shapes, it’s a surrealist dream brought to life. Venture to the Glasshouse, where a colossal glass sculpture blooms like a radiant floral explosion. Art enthusiasts and curious travelers should prepare for a visual spectacle, as there is so much to absorb. For a more engaging experience at the museum, be sure to book the Seattle Art Gallery & Chihuly Tour with the team at Totally Seattle – a five hour driving tour full of surprises.
3. Visit the Original Starbucks or Starbucks Roastery
If you are looking for a caffeine-filled adventure, Seattle has two gems to visit: the original Starbucks and Starbucks Roastery. The original Starbucks, situated near the waterfront of Pike Place Market, exudes a sense of vintage with its famous lettering above the door. It’s a pilgrimage site for coffee aficionados, serving up their classic brews since 1971. On the other hand, the Starbucks Roastery is nothing short of a coffee wonderland where innovation meets craftsmanship. Enjoy everything that the roastery has to offer, from classy tasting rooms to immersive drinking experiences.
4. Leave Your Mark on the Colorful Gum Wall
While it might sound gross at first, and questions about hygiene abound, the Gum Wall is one of the most wonderfully weird attractions of Seattle. A tradition of sticking gum on the wall dates back to the 90s with the local patrons and performers who hung out down Post Alley. Nowadays, anyone can leave their mark on the brick wall – including tourists. The collection of chewy continues to grow piece by piece, year after year, creating a sugary tapestry like no other. Each piece of gum has its own color and is stuck to the wall in its own unique way, making it a cool photo opportunity!
5. Swing by Kurt Cobain’s House, From Nirvana
Set in a suburban neighborhood, down the road from the shores of Lake Washington, lies the home of Kurt Cobain – legendary lead singer of rock group Nirvana. Seattle is considered the birthplace of grunge and stopping by Cobain’s home is a must-do on every musical pilgrimage to the city. Despite being a large home (probably worth a few million dollars), it’s still incredibly modest – not something you would expect with a famous rock star. Kurt was said to have lived a modest life and spent his final moments at the home before tragically passing away from suicide at the age of 27.
6. Spend Some Time at the Museum of Pop Culture
The Museum of Pop Culture, known as MoPOP, makes for a great way to spend the morning or afternoon. Housed in a futuristic building, MoPOP is a treasure trove of all things pop culture. Immerse yourself in exhibits celebrating music legends, sci-fi sagas and gaming wonders. Marvel at artifacts like the guitars of Jimi Hendrix or Captain Kirk’s command chair from the Star Trek franchise. The museum’s interactive displays let you rock out, travel through time and get close to your favorite Marvel superheroes. It’s an out-of-this-world experience that leaves you starry-eyed!
7. Take a Day Trip to the Majestic Snoqualmie Falls
Located only 30 minutes drive from Seattle is the breathtaking Snoqualmie Falls – a waterfall that flows down 268 feet from the Snoqualmie River. The falls combine with the emerald-green surroundings to create a magical sight! For those who would like to visit on a day trip, and have all of the logistics sorted, a fantastic option is to book the Snoqualmie Falls, Salish Lodge & Nature Hike tour with Totally Seattle. Not only will you get the chance to soak up this slice of paradise from the Lower Falls and Upper Falls viewpoints, but also enjoy a gourmet lunch at the Salish Lodge.
8. Embark on a Hiking Adventure for the Day
To get some fresh air and exercise after ticking off all the unique things to do in the metropolis area of Seattle, what better idea than to set off on an epic day hike. The Pacific Northwest is a playground for adventurers and there are endless hiking trails to choose from. For example, Rattlesnake Ledge can be found 40 minutes east of Seattle and offers a path through an old growth forest to rocky ledges – with views over Snoqualmie Pass and the Southern Cascades. Another superb walk is Ebey’s Landing on Whidbey Island where rugged cliffs greet roaring waves, and eagles soar.
9. Catch the Ferry to Whidbey Island and Explore
Whidbey Island, a delightful destination just a short ferry trip from Seattle, promises a day of excitement! This captivating oasis boasts idyllic beaches, rolling farmland and quaint seaside towns. Get lost in Coupeville’s streets where historic buildings whisper tales of a bygone era. Take a dip in the refreshing waters of Double Bluff Beach and gaze at the mountains in the distance. Stop by Deception Pass Bridge, an engineering feat that connects Whidbey to Fidalgo Island. Or join the Whidbey Island & Deception Pass Tour with Totally Seattle for an exploration of Puget Sound’s top sites.
10. Learn the Secrets of the Seattle Underground
The Seattle Underground invites you to discover hidden secrets of the past. Descend into the subterranean depths and witness the remnants of the old city, preserved beneath the bustling streets above. With its dimly lit passageways and cobblestone paths, it’s like stepping into a time capsule. Traverse the basements and tunnels, hear fascinating stories of the gambling parlors and clandestine bars that popped up during the prohibition era, and learn about the Great Seattle Fire. It’s an activity that will leave you enlightened and entertained – a must-visit for every traveler.
11. Capture the Space Needle from Kerry Park
No trip to Seattle is complete without visiting Kerry Park, in order to access unique angles of the Space Needle and Mount Rainier in the background. Even if you don’t consider yourself a professional photographer, this park is still the best spot to capture the city’s skyline and nature with your iPhone. Sunset is considered the perfect time to go, as beautiful colors blanket the city. Additionally, it’s recommended to wait for a clear day when Mount Rainier is visible (you might need to be patient in this regard). For those who can manage it, sunrise also provides a special atmosphere!