Top 5: Quintessential Seattle Experiences

by Brandon Schultz

Jul 18, 2019

© Sorin Colac |

Top 5 / North America

If the first word you think of when considering Seattle is “rain,” you’re not to blame—there is plenty of rain in this most famous of Pacific Northwest cities. But there are plenty of other, more enjoyable, quintessentially Seattle experiences to be found in Washington’s largest city, and here are the top five you can pack into any visit, no matter how brief.


The Space Needle

The tallest structure west of the Mississippi, The Space Needle is Seattle’s most iconic landmark. Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, it was outfitted with the world’s first revolving glass floor in 2017 and no trip to Seattle would be complete with a daring visit to the top.


Chihuly Garden and Glass

Just below the Needle, Chihuly Gardens and Glass house is one of the most breathtaking collections of Washington native Dale Chihuly’s brilliantly colored glass sculptures. Stroll through eight inspiring galleries and the exterior gardens designed to accentuate outdoor works before grabbing a bite at Collections Cafe, housing some of the artist’s most unusual personal collections.



Seattle is the home of Starbucks, and you can still find the original location here just across from Pike Place Market (itself worth a visit), but you should also take a coffee tour of this java-loving city. From fine Italian imports to local roasteries, groups like Road Dog Tours can show you the best.



Washington produces 70 percent of the nation’s hops, so don’t be surprised to find a trove of high-quality beer in Seattle. Try a few brewery tours, or hit up restaurants like No Anchor serving a variety of beers so diverse they provide four-quadrant charts to map out flavor profiles.



Take advantage of the area’s abundant marine life with a whale tour out of nearby Edmonds. Guide companies like Puget Sound Express provide half-day excursions where you’re extremely likely to encounter humpbacks, orcas, and minke whales, among other wildlife like dolphins, porpoises, sea lions, otters and plenty of birds.


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