Seattle is probably not the most conventional choice, when you are going to visit to United States of America. But if you are tired of popular tourist destinations such as NYC, LA, and Miami, definitely give Seattle a try. Or be like my friend Nicolas, and make Seattle the first city in the USA to visit!
I have compiled a list of the seven highlights you have to see once you set foot on the ground in Seattle.
#1: Pike Place Market
Number one on this list definitely has to be Pike Place Market. This world-renowned market is famous for its beautiful (and cheap!) flowers, the fish vendors, and it carries the most-photographed sign in Seattle. So, if you are in Seattle make sure to go here and watch how the fish vendors throw fish to each other, and make sure to make that selfie in front of the Pike Place Market sign while holding a bouquet of your favourite flowers.
#2: First Starbucks & Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room
Just across from the famous Pike Place Market sign, you can find the very first Starbucks. Ever. Because yes, even though you might be the first one of your friends to visit Seattle, you are probably not the only one that likes to get a Pumpkin Spice Latte or White Chocolate Mocha. There is usually a long queue waiting outside this small shop, but if you’re lucky you will only have to wait for a few minutes. Inside you can buy special merchandise with the very first Starbucks logo on it, and you can of course order your favourite drink.
Also in Seattle, is the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room. If you buy Starbucks beans anywhere in the world, they come from this roastery. Pretty special, right! We didn’t have time to go here, but we heard it is very nice.
#3: Gum Wall
Don’t leave the Pike Place area just yet! Underneath the market is the famous Gum Wall. If you have never heard of the Gum Wall: it is basically a brick wall in an alley that has been covered in gum since 1993. In 2015, the government announced that the wall was going to be cleaned for the first time in more than 20 years, for maintenance and steam cleaning. It took 130 hours to clean the whole wall. As soon as the wall was all clean, people started the tradition all over again.
#4: Seattle Center – Space Needle & Museum of Pop Culture
If there is anything you will know about Seattle, it will probably be the Seattle Space Needle. You can find this very special observation tower in Seattle Center, an area of Seattle where a lot of museums and other tourist highlights come together. Inside the Space Needle there is a restaurant with probably one of the best views in the world, but unfortunately it was under construction while we were here. We were told that they were adding a glass floor to the restaurant, so it will definitely be worth it to have dinner here once they are done!
Another special must-see at Seattle Center is the Museum of Pop Culture. The exterior of the building is definitely Insta-worthy, however on the inside you can find some kind of tower made of guitars that will definitely be a hit on your Snapchat Story.
#5: Fremont Troll
A little less known is the Fremont Troll, located in –guess what- Fremont. Here in Fremont, you can find the Google Maps headquarters. Fun fact: If you type in “Center of the universe signpost” on Google Maps, it will guide you to Fremont, Seattle! Apparently, Google Maps put a signpost up as a joke, directing you to their own HQ when you are trying to find the centre of the universe on Maps. Another fun fact about Fremont is that they claim to have their own time zone. “Turn your watch ahead 5 minutes”, is what the sign reads before you enter the Fremont area.
Enough about the Fremont area. Let’s talk about the Fremont Troll. It’s a rather peculiar sight. In 1990, a competition was launched to rehabilitate the area under a certain bridge, which attracted drug dealers. Local artists won the competition. These artists wanted to create the Fremont Troll. It became a colossal statue underneath the George Washington Memorial Bridge of a troll clutching a Volkswagen Beetle. It’s a great spot for photos, although it is a bit sandy.
#6: Lake Union
We saw Lake Union while we were on the Ride the Ducks tour that takes you through the whole of Seattle, both on the road and on the water. From Lake Union, you can see the skyline of Seattle (including the Space Needle!), you have a great view on Gas Works park, and if you are lucky enough you get to see sea planes landing on the water too (we saw two!). In Lake Union, there are a lot of floating homes, from small bungalows to large villas. Try to spot the smallest houseboat on the lake once you are there!
#7: See a Seahawks game
Last but not least, when in Seattle you have to try and see a football game by the Seattle Seahawks. Inside the city, you will often see Seahawks supporters wearing their green outfits. And by supporters I basically mean any inhabitant of the city. Young or old, male or female, everyone wears shirts, sweaters, caps, and scarfs to support their favourite team. Especially on Friday it is very common to spot people in green. If you go see a match, you are also lucky enough to see CenturyLink Field from the inside.
These were our top 7 tourist tips about Seattle. Want to read more about this great city? You might also like this:
Explorers Experience – Seattle & Olympia, Washington State, USA
Do you have any tips to add to this list? Share your tips with the community!
Pictures by Nicolas Cediey
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