17 AMAZING Places To Visit in Seattle [January 2020]

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Seattle has long been known as one of the most exciting cities in the US. Between its thriving tech industry, coffee culture, landmark buildings, and fascinating museums. There is so much on offer in this trendy city. 

Being surrounded by water, mountains, and evergreen forests mean there are loads of things to do near Seattle and in the city. The city itself is a hub of activity, while there are plenty of amazing places to visit surrounding it. 

Here is our guide on some of the best places to visit and things to do in Seattle. If you are looking for an authentic experience of all that the ‘Emerald City’ has to offer, then be sure to check some of these places out during your trip! 

Staying Safe in Seattle

Seattle WA is generally a very safe city to visit. As this destination receives many visitors each year, the city is well-prepared for people’s safety.  Like any other major US city, there are always some necessary precautions to take. 

Besides following standard safety procedures (being wary of your belongings, being vigilant at night), the Seattle tourist should not be too concerned about their safety.

 

#1 – Puget Sound

A Beautiful Outdoor Place to Visit in Seattle

Puget Sound

Puget Sound (Photo credit – 123rf.com )

  • An inlet of the Pacific Ocean
  • The body of water that Seattle is built around

Puget Sound is a massive estuary that comes from the Pacific Ocean. Seattle is built around Puget Sound, so you can’t really escape this place while visiting the city. There are many ways to enjoy the natural beauty of Puget Sound. 

This includes walking along the shores, swimming in the water, and of course, cruising around on the ferries! 

Best Attractions
  • The Washington State Ferries ride across Puget Sound, connecting different towns and areas. Catching one of these ferries is an essential Seattle experience. They also allow for the most beautiful views of the surrounding area. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Puget Sound, Seattle

 

Ready to book? Here are our favorite areas to stay in Seattle!

#2 – Pioneer Square

A Great Place in Seattle if You Love to Shop!

Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square (Photo credit – seattleandsound.com )

  • Seattle’s original downtown area
  • Full of stunning old buildings

Pioneer Square is the historic downtown part of the city. Plenty of Seattle attractions can be found here – including many boutique shops, cool bars, coffee shops, and Waterfall Garden Park. 

Enjoy walking around here, admiring the old ivy-covered buildings, and soaking up the authentic Seattle city vibe. 

Best Attractions
  • The underground tour here is a fascinating way of seeing the old Seattle. The entire city burned down in 1889, and a new city was built above the rubble. This tour shows you the Seattle that once used to exist. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Pioneer Square, Seattle

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#3 – Mount Rainier National Park

A Beautiful and Scenic Place to Check Out in Seattle

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park (Photo credit – lonelyplanet.com )

  • A 369 square mile Washington state reserve
  • Includes the impressive Mount Rainier

Southeast of Seattle lies the magnificent Rainier State Park. If you love nature and the great outdoors, then this is one of the best things to do in Seattle. This national park covers some of the most beautiful landscapes in the area. 

You can witness wildflower meadows, snow-capped mountains, and even volcanoes. The Mount Rainier National Park is a hiker’s paradise. Itis one of the best places to go to really escape the bustle of the city. 

Best Attractions
  • Mount Rainier stands tall at 14410 feet. You can admire the glacier-capped mountain around the park. Hiking up here is a truly special experience, as you get some of the most incredible views in Washington!

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Mount Rainier National Park, Seattle

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#4 – Lake Union

A Very Cool Place in Seattle to go for a Day

Lake Union

Lake Union (Photo credit – pinterest.com )

  • A beautiful freshwater lake close to downtown
  • The entire lake is within the Seattle city limits

Lake Union is only a short distance away from Seattle downtown, but it offers a peaceful escape from the city. Visiting the lake is one of the best Seattle things to do on a sunny day. There is always a great deal of activity happening around here! 

You could kayak around the lake, check out the different seaplanes and boats, or visit the areas many cool restaurants and bars. 

Best Attractions
  • The Centre For Wooden Boats offers all kinds of fun rentals and tours around the lake. If you want to get out on the water and explore the city from a unique perspective, then this is the place to visit. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Lake Union, Seattle

Have an early flight? Grab a hotel near Seattle AIRPORT to have a stress-free time!

#5 – Woodinville Wine Country

One of the Most Romantic Places to Visit in Seattle!

Woodinville Wine Country

Woodinville Wine Country (Photo credit – travelforsenses.com )

  • A beautiful wine valley just outside of Seattle
  • Home to many wineries, microbreweries, and fantastic eateries

If you are looking for things to do in Seattle this weekend, a trip out to Woodinville Wine Country is always a highlight! This is a stunning valley with over 100 local wineries and tasting rooms. You can reach Woodinville in just 30 minutes from downtown Seattle by car. 

This is one of the best places to explore on a sunny day, as the views and scenery are just as spectacular as the wine and food available. 

Best Attractions
  • The valley is known for its many amazing wineries. Some definite highlights (amongst the many) include Novelty Hill-Januik Winery, Columbia Winery and Chateau Ste. Michelle, and Delille Cellars. There are also some excellent microbreweries for those wanting to taste more than just excellent wines. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Woodinville Wine Country, Seattle

#6 – Green Lake

Green Lake

Green Lake (Photo credit – seattle.gov )

  • A freshwater lake in the middle of the city
  • The perfect place to spend a sunny day

When the sun comes out in Seattle, Green Lake is always a popular destination. This is one of the top things to do in Seattle for those that want to get outside and experience some nature. This sparkling lake offers great swimming and leisurely walking opportunities.

 Bring a picnic or your beach towel, and enjoy the peaceful shores of Green Lake. 

Best Attractions
  • The lake has a 2.8 mile stretch of trails – perfect for walking or cycling around. This is a great place for some fresh air in Seattle. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Green Lake, Seattle

#7 – Kerry Park

One of the Nicer Places in Seattle to Sightsee

Kerry Park

Kerry Park (Photo credit – flickr.com )

  • A peaceful Queen Anne park
  • Offers some of the best views of the Seattle city skyline

Seattle has a very distinguishable skyline, and Kerry Park is one of the best places to admire it. This park gives you awesome views of the Space Needle, surrounding skyscrapers, and Elliot Bay. On clear days you can even enjoy views of Mount Rainer!

Grab your camera and enjoy the stunning photo opportunities and serene nature of Kerry Park. 

Best Attractions
  • This small public park is best known for its brilliant viewpoints of the Seattle city skyline. Sit on one of the benches and admire the surroundings. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Kerry Park, Seattle

Planning a trip? See our list of the best things to see in Seattle!

#8 – Chinatown International District

A Must-See for Foodies!

Chinatown International District

Chinatown International District (Photo credit – redtri.com )

  • An exciting and diverse Seattle neighborhood
  • Full of great restaurants and points of interest

Walk through the impressive Chinatown gate and enter one of Seattle’s most exciting neighborhoods. The Chinatown International District offers plenty of fun things to do in Seattle, including the Wing Luke Museum and the Seattle Pinball Museum. Of course, there are many amazing Oriental restaurants here, making this area a foodie’s paradise! 

Best Attractions
  • Uwajimaya supermarket is one of the best places to absorb the energy of this district. This shop sells all kinds of cute gifts and snacks, making it one of the most popular attractions in Chinatown. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Chinatown International District, Seattle

  • Best Luxury Hotel in Chinatown International District → Hilton Seattle

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#9 – Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park (Photo credit – twowanderingsoles.com )

  • A beautiful national park in the Pacific Northwest
  • Enjoy a variety of landscapes in this scenic park

Seattle is surrounded by natural beauty, and the Olympic National Park is one of the best places to experience this! This park is easy to reach from Seattle, and it offers a total outdoor escape for any visitor. 

Some of the amazing landscapes and attractions to enjoy in the park include the Hoh Rain Forest, Hurricane Ridge, Lake Crescent, Ruby Beach, and the Sol Duc Valley. If you love nature, hiking, and being outdoors, then the Olympic National Park is a must-see in Seattle! 

Best Attractions
  • Mount Olympus rises tall above the park. This is one of the best hiking and climbing attractions in the area. Admire the glacier peak, and take in the dramatic views available from around the mountain. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Olympic National Park, Seattle

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#10 – Olympic Sculpture Park

Quite the Quirky Place in Seattle!

Olympic Sculpture Park

Olympic Sculpture Park (Photo credit – flickr.com )

  • A park operated by the Seattle Art Museum
  • Completely free and open to the public

If you are after an artistic experience in Seattle, then be sure to check out the Olympic Sculpture Park. As the name suggests, this park is full of impressive sculptures and art installations! The park overlooks the Cascade Mountains, and it is such a peaceful place to enjoy in the city. 

Visit the park to enjoy its vast collection of sculptures, or just walk around the scenic natural space. 

Best Attractions
  • The Olympic Sculpture Park often hosts yoga sessions in the garden. This is always a popular Seattle activity, and it promises some unique and refreshing fun amongst the art! 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle

#11 – North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park (Photo credit – seattlemet.com )

  • A national park covering over 500,000 acres
  • Includes mountains, lakes, and glaciers

The North Cascades National Park is an expansive wilderness outside of Seattle. This amazing national park attracts hikers and those wanting to escape the city and enjoy some truly fresh air. 

Exploring the North Cascades National Park is one of the best things to do around Seattle. Especially for those that want to be encircled by vast areas of beautiful, unspoiled nature. 

Best Attractions
  • There are a number of world-class hiking trails around the park, including the Thunder Creek Creek Trail. Just be aware of grizzly bears and gray wolves that can be found in the park! 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in North Cascades National park, Seattle

#12 – Gas Works Park

A Nice Quiet Place to See in Seattle

Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park (Photo credit – elsetge.cat )

  • A former gasification plant
  • A beautiful 9-acre park

The Gas Works Park is one of the most unique, but wonderful, urban parks around. This large green space used to be a city-run gasification plant. Because of this,  there are some interesting industrial buildings found within the scenic park. 

This is an award-winning park, dating back to 1975. If you are wondering what to do in Seattle on a sunny day, a picnic in Gas Works Park is always a great idea!

Best Attractions
  • The park is focused around the great mound. From here you can get amazing views of Lake Union, and the entire place surrounding the magnificent park.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Gas Works Park, Seattle

#13 – Washington Park Arboretum

Washington Park Arboretum

Washington Park Arboretum (Photo credit – botanicgardens.uw.edu )

  • A large public park in Seattle
  • A project by the University of Washington

There are a number of Seattle tourist attractions that involve nature and lovely outdoor spaces – this park is one of the best! The Washington Park Arboretum is a beautiful area full of trees, plants, and well-maintained gardens. 

This is a joint project between the University of Washington and the nonprofit arboretum foundation. 

Best Attractions
  • Everyone can enjoy a sunny day in this park. There is a beautiful Japanese garden, a fun playfield, and of course loads of impressive woody plants. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Washington Park Arberotum, Seattle

#14 – Discovery Park

Discovery Park

Discovery Park (Photo credit – pinterest.com )

One of the Most Amazing Places in Seattle! 

  • Seattle’s largest urban park
  • Enjoy some brilliant hiking trails here

In Seattle, you are never too far away from nature. Discovery Park is one of the best examples of this, being a lush urban park. The area consists of evergreen forests and large meadows. There is plenty of wildlife to be seen here, including snowy owls and blue herons. 

For a quick escape into the wilderness, Discovery Park can be easily reached from downtown. 

Best Attractions
  • Consider hiking the Discovery Park Loop Trail. This is a fairly easy route, and you will get to pass amazing scenery, forests, and views. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Discovery Park, Seattle

#15 – Alki Beach Park

Alki Beach Park

Alki Beach Park (Photo credit – pinterest.com )

  • A 135.9-acre park in West Seattle
  • Enjoy half a mile of sandy beachfront

Seattle is not usually thought of as a beach destination. If you are after some sand and sea though, Alki Beach Park offers a great escape. This peaceful park in West Seattle is home to one of the city’s best-loved beaches.

Enjoy some saltwater swimming, bathe in the sun, or visit the cool bars and cafes in the area. 

Best Attractions
  • Alki Beach is the perfect place to spend a day when the sun comes out in Seattle. This was actually the first public saltwater bathing beach on the West Coast of the US

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Alki Beach Park, Seattle

#16 – Madison Park Peach

Madison Park Peach

Madison Park Peach (Photo credit – pinterest.com )

  • A popular seasonal swimming beach
  • Has great views over Lake Washington

Madison Park Beach is another destination in Seattle where you can swim and lie in the sun on warm summer days. This seasonal swimming beach along the shores of Lake Washington is really popular amongst locals when the Seattle temperatures rise.

There is a children’s play area, a swimming raft, diving boards, and lifeguards on duty throughout summer. 

Best Attractions
  • Madison Park Beach is best enjoyed through lounging on the grassy area along the shore. This is the perfect place to set up your towels and picnics for a beach day!

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Madison Park Peach, Seattle

#17 – Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge Island (Photo credit – listings.curbflip.com )

  • A small city in western Washington state
  • Connected to Seattle by ferry

Just across the water from Seattle lies Bainbridge Island. Those that want to experience the charming little city and surrounds here can catch the ferry from Seattle. Bainbridge Island has some lovely gardens, museums, art galleries, and cafes.

 For those wanting to enjoy the outdoors, there are also many great nature trails, parks, and coastal areas on Bainbridge Island. 

Best Attractions
  • Located on the Puget Sound estuary, Bainbridge is known for its beautiful natural spaces. The Bloedel Reserve is one of the best places to appreciate landscaped gardens and beautiful nature. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Bainbridge Island, Seattle

Final Thoughts

Seattle sightseeing is widely varied, with so many unique places to visit around the city! Most people may be drawn here by the hip vibe on the streets, the one-of-a-kind museums, art, and a multitude of trendy bars and cafes. However, Seattle offers even more. 

Things to see in Seattle include adventures to great lakes, mountain peaks, lush forests, and green parks. This city perfectly combines nature with bustling city life, creating a destination that everyone can enjoy. 

We hope that this list of Seattle points of interest makes planning your trip a little easier, as there are so many magnificent places to visit in this Washington city!

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About the Author Aaron Hovanesian

Born in Los Angeles, Aaron Hovanesian is one of the original staff writers for Hotel Jules. Having backpacked the world as a young man, Aaron now prefers to travel the world in luxury, proudly staying in the world's most amazing hotels and properties. When Aaron is not traveling he lives in Western Colorado he can be found brewing his own beer (probably an IPA) or spending time with his two amazing golden retrievers.