Explore the Gem of the Pacific Northwest at Discount Prices

The arrival of summer means that Seattleites are moving outdoors. Coffee shops, movie screenings, theater, restaurants—everyone is anxious to enjoy the Emerald City’s mild summer temperatures. Indoor attractions are still a top draw, of course, and the Seattle CityPASS offers you discounted admission to all of it.

Seattle Skyline with Mount Rainier

With the Seattle CityPASS ticket booklet, visitors can see Seattle’s top six attractions for close to half off the regular price, plus they can skip to the head of the admission line. Adult passes are$59 (a$52.60 savings) and passes for kids aged 4 to 12 are $39 (a $32.40 savings). You’ll get admission to the Pacific Science Center, the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium, Woodland Park Zoo, and Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour. Plus choose either the Museum of Flight or the double Experience Museum Project/Science Fiction Museum.

A great way to enjoy a sunny day and get a feel for the city is on a one-hour narrated cruise of the Seattle Harbor and Elliott Bay. Argosy Cruises takes you by views of the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, and tells the story of Seattle’s historic waterfront.

The most iconic building in the Seattle skyline, the Space Needle was built for the 1962 World’s Fair. The panoramic indoor and outdoor view from the 605-foot-high observation deck is a great way to get oriented to the city and take in sweeping views of Puget Sound and the surrounding mountains. Even the elevator is a thrill ride—visitors are swooped up to the observation deck in just 41 seconds. Don’t miss the revolving SkyCity restaurant, stocked with local cuisine, wine, and microbrewed beers. The CityPASS includes two separate trips to the observation deck within a 24-hour period, so you don’t have to choose between daytime and nighttime views.

The Space Needle is part of the Seattle Center, which you can access with a quick ride on the elevated monorail. The monorail departs every 10 minutes from the Westlake Center Mall and passes the Experience Music Project before dropping you off at the Space Needle. Rides are just $4 round-trip for adults, $2 for seniors, and $1.50 for kids ages 5 to 12.

Also at the Seattle Center is the Pacific Science Center, rated by Zagat’s as one of the top 50 family attractions. Explore under the earth’s surface while viewing a creepy-cute naked mole rat colony, and zoom to the stars with planetarium shows. The Just for Tots area is perfect for little kids, and everyone in the family will love the tropical butterfly house. Outside at the Seattle Center, grab a cup of joe and watch the scene—everyone from locals on their laptops to street performers to kids splashing in the nearby fountains

Animal lovers can enjoy both the Seattle Aquarium and the Woodland Park Zoo. At the aquarium, enjoy a tropical coral reef as well as the “Window on Washington Waters” that shows sea anemones, salmon, and other local wildlife as explained by scuba divers with underwater microphones. Put your hands on local sea creatures at the large tide pool exhibit, and watch sea otters frolic. At the zoo, you can wander 92 acres of reptiles, great apes, big cats, and elephants. The new penguin exhibit is a top draw, and young visitors can crawl and run around the Zoomazium play area.

Some free diversions just outside of downtown include the Golden Gardens Park, with jogging trails along the coastline, hikes through the forest, pier fishing and a boat launch, and a sandy beach for catching some rays. The Washington Park Arboretum illustrates the saying “April showers bring May flowers” as it bursts into a 30-acre assortment of unique flowers and plants.

Night view of cruise pier at Seattle, WA

The Seattle CityPASS also comes with an option to visit one of two museums, the Museum of Flight, or the two-in-one Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum. The Museum of Flight has a collection of 85 aircrafts. View the jet-speed Concorde, the first Air Force One, and a Blackbird spy plane—all accompanied by interviews of the men and women who flew them. Wannabe rock stars can take in the Experience Music Project, a shrine to local rocker Jimi Hendrix and those who came before and after. In the same Frank Gehry-designed building is the Science Fiction Museum, which includes an interaction with E.T. and the chance to sit in Captain Kirk’s chair.

Evenings outdoors are a great time to experience the free spirited neighborhood of Fremont. For a donation of $5, you can join locals at the Fremont Outdoor Movies. It’s a bring-your-own-seat event, and folks get extremely creative. Don’t be surprised to find boats, couches, or little kids’ racecar beds being used as “theater” seating.