The “Emerald City” the Gem of the Pacific Northwest, there are many names that people use to refer to Seattle. The largest northernmost city in the continental United States, Seattle is known for many things: rain, grunge rock, Starbucks, and Boeing. It is also a popular place for travel, representing a vast array of cultural and educational opportunities for kids and adults alike.
Anchored by the Seattle Center, the former space of the 1962 World’s Fair, also known as the Century 21 Exhibition, Seattle offers many unique sites and experiences. Most famously this includes its Space Needle and its nearby Chihuly Garden and Glass. There are also a number of unique museum attractions in Seattle which include the nearby Museum of Flight, 10 minutes north of downtown, and the one-of-a-kind EMP Museum and Pacific Science Center located right in the heart of Seattle Center.
There are also more “traditional” attractions throughout the city which include the award winning Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Aquarium, and renowned Harbor Tours from Argosy Cruises. There are also newer additions to the cultural and entertainment landscape of the city meant to produce a revitalization of its harbor and piers, most notably the Seattle Great Wheel, which only debuted in 2012.
Whether you are from the northeast, southwest, or anywhere in between the unique atmosphere of the Pacific Northwest and its largest city, Seattle, is well worth a visit. Offering unbelievable landscape and original culture, Seattle is an amazing place to visit and live.
As the physical and cultural center of the city, Seattle Center offers visitors a great hub of activities and entertainment options throughout their trip. Home to the Space Needle and Pacific Science Center, the Seattle Center has many entertainment options unto itself as well. This includes the popular International Fountain and Children’s Museum, as well as a full year’s worth of festivals, concerts, shows, and other entertainment that offers appeal to everyone in the family.
There is nothing more emblematic of the city of Seattle than the Space Needle, located in the heart of the city at Seattle Center. Offering visitors an amazing 360 degree of the city and its surrounding mountains from atop a hill, 607 feet above the ground, this is truly the best way to “see” Seattle. Open 365 days a year until midnight, the Space Needle is also one of the most accessible attractions available and sure to provide photos, and memories, you won’t soon forget.
An AZA-accredited park dedicated to the marine life that inhabits the Puget Sound, the Seattle Aquarium offers visitors unique insight into the aquatic world that surrounds this city. With six distinct exhibits all dedicated to this goal as well as the mission to Inspire Conservation of Our Marine Environment, spending the day at the Seattle Aquarium is not only a great way to pass time in this fantastic city, but also has the fortunate side effect of teaching visitors about the important role of the waterways we often take for granted.
Opening in 2012, the 175-foot tall Seattle Great Wheel, located at Pier 57 on Elliott Bay, offers visitors a great way to “see” the city and the nearby Puget Sound. With both general admission as well as VIP trips available, this 12-minute ride provides tourists with some of the best views of the water possible and sits right in the heart of a revived waterfront district filled with shopping, dining, and other entertainment options.
Hop on board the hour-long Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour and see the city of Seattle, Elliott Bay, and the Puget Sound in a whole new way, literally. Offered year-round and commonly combined with admission to the nearby Seattle Aquarium, this narrated tour offers a constant view of the city skyline along with the Cascade and Olympic Mountains that offers insight and perspective into this special city that cannot be found anywhere else.
A regional leader in science and technology education, the Pacific Science Center offers 18 different permanent exhibits and two IMAX screens, along with a Planetarium and Laser Dome. The PSC is dedicated to outreach and education, and the winner of the prestigious National Medal for Museum and Library Service (2012). Originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair, this 6-acre campus at the southern-most tip of Seattle Center features a full day’s worth of hands-on learning and fun that can be tailored for adults and kids of all ages.
Unlike any museum you have likely seen or even heard of, the EMP Museum, located in none other than Seattle Center, is a unique institution dedicated to the innovative ideas and dreams of this generation and beyond. Calling itself a leading edge institution dedicated to risk-taking, EMP offers guests a constantly-rotating selection of exhibits along with interactive opportunities and a first-class education on modern pop culture and the innovative minds behind it.
Another truly unique and stunning addition to the Seattle tourist landscape, Chihuly Garden and Glass is a museum and garden dedicated to the work and life of Dale Chihuly. A native of Washington State, Chihuly’s work with glass blowing and sculpture has helped to define the art in the 21st century. In addition, the location of Chihuly Garden and Glass at the base of the Space Needle in Seattle Center makes it an easy addition to your trip.
With more than 92 acres of space, 1,000 animals, and award-winning exhibits at every turn, the Woodland Park Zoo is one of Seattle’s best attractions. Located in the north central part of the city in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood, this key cultural institution offers a full day’s worth of fun, learning, and entertainment that is sure to be one of the highlights of your Seattle trip.
Cataloguing more than 100 years in the air and above the atmosphere, the Museum of Flight offers a comprehensive look at humankind’s relationship with air and space flight. With more than 150 aircraft spread over three buildings, including the former Space Shuttle trainer, this museum offers visitors a lot to see and learn. In addition, as the top air and space museum in the world for K-12 education, the chance to help kids learn while having a good time is almost impossible to miss.