We spent a weekend checking out downtown Seattle and we had so many options for eating and playing tourist within walking distance — or a short Uber ride — it was hard to choose. And with the holidays creeping up on us, there’s even more to do.
These suggestions are just some of the year-round attractions and seasonal activities on offer in Seattle. Note: A Seattle CityPASS can help you save up to 50 per cent off some of the city’s most popular attractions.
If you’re a Prince fan, you’ll be purple with joy getting a first-hand look at some of the iconic artifacts included in this exhibit, including a Prince guitar, two outfits from the movie Purple Rain and photos on loan from photographers hired over the years to capture his legendarily theatrical image.
Pike Place Market
OK, even if you’re just visiting and have no need for fresh seafood or produce, you have to drop by Pike Place Market to buy a bunch or two of gorgeous flowers, which sell at ridiculously low prices.
From the iconic market sign and Rachel the piggy bank to the gum wall, the original Starbucks café, and the famous fish-tossing tradespeople, the market is a must-visit. The market added a historic expansion in 2017, featuring an open-air plaza and fantastic views of Elliott Bay.
With an all-new adventure dubbed Mischievous, the world's largest light maze returns to T-Mobile Park for its second year. Beyond the maze, guests can experience more than 70 local artisan vendors at the Christmas Market, several dining options, an Ice-Skating Trail, Santa’s Landing and more.
Christmas Ship Festival
Celebrating 70 years of this ship-to-shore holiday celebration, Argosy Cruises’ Spirit of Seattle will be decorated with hundreds of shimmering white lights and set sail to different Puget Sound waterfront communities. Once on board, guests will enjoy choir music, Santa visits, and kids’ crafts and activities.
Also offered are Follow Boat parties and onshore events. The Christmas Ship Parade of Boats takes place on Dec. 13 and the Grand Finale falls on Dec. 23.
Lumaze by Glow Garden
Lumaze is taking place in Seattle for the first time and will offer light gardens, illuminated structures and playgrounds, food and beverage, live music and an artisan market.
Woodland Park Zoo will come alive at night with more than 700,000 lights throughout the grounds, live reindeer, holiday treats and more.
Seattle Great Wheel
Although it was only built in 2012, the Seattle Great Wheel has quickly become a fixture of the city’s skyline — plus adds an entirely new sightseeing perspective, thanks to its location perched on the end of Pier 57.
Winterfest: a Fountain of Light Dance Party
Dance the night away on New Year’s Eve at Seattle Center’s Winterfest. This free event will feature live mixing by DJ Arson Nicki and a visual light display by VJ Baryonyx, to be projected onto Seattle Center’s International Fountain.
The night will culminate with the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display from atop the iconic Space Needle.
SAM (Seattle Art Museum)
SAM dates back to the 1030s and is the city’s largest museum, which houses a varied collection of artwork that spans multiple eras and geographic regions. Take the time to visit the Olympic Sculpture Park, an outdoor extension of the museum that’s open to the public for free about a mile away at the waterfront.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
The Chihuly Garden and Glass museum is really something to see. The museum is dedicated to the work and career of locally born, world-renowned glassblower Dale Chihuly, who was introduced to the craft while studying at the University of Washington.
It is the most comprehensive collection of his art to date, with interior galleries featuring a variety of his work. Make sure you visit the glasshouse, which includes a vibrant 100-foot-long sculpture in hues of red, orange and yellow suspended from the ceiling.