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What is Seattle, Washington known for? A surprising number of things! Seattle is famous for Starbucks and overall coffee culture, grunge music scene, the Seahawks, the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, headquarters of a lot of the tech industry (including both Amazon and Microsoft), hiking, kayaking, and general outdoors lifestyle (think REI).
But that’s not all!
If you’re wondering if Seattle is the city for you, then you’ll be excited to hear that there’s a LOT more to the Emerald City than drizzly days and the world’s best lattes. Don’t believe me?
Here are 25 more things that Seattle is famous for!
What is Seattle, WA Famous For?
1. Pike Place Market
One of the longest-running farmer’s markets in the US, Pike Place Market is the place to be on a weekday morning.
Pike Place Market gives you the chance to engage with all of Seattle’s culture through food, drink, and of course, the famous Pike Place fish toss. Hot tip from a local, make sure you get a really good look at the Fish Market’s monkfish.
2. TV Shows & Movies
From Grey’s Anatomy, Fraiser, Sleepless In Seattle, and more, Seattle is famous for being the setting in numerous TV shows and movie hits over the past few decades.
Wherever you vacation, as soon as you mention being from Seattle or having visited Seattle, the first response you’ll get is one about Grey’s Anatomy or some other famous Seattle movie or show.
3. Seattle Parks & Beaches
An often overlooked gem of the Emerald City, Seattle is full of great parks and beaches, and during the summer months, you better believe Seattleites take advantage of it.
Kayak or paddle board from Gas Works Park to Lake Union Park, enjoy some volleyball and a campfire on Alki Beach, or explore the conservatory in Volunteer Park. Venture outside of the immediate city to explore other beautiful parks such as walking around Green Lake and Woodland Park Zoo or out to the lighthouse in Discovery Park.
Of course, this list can’t be complete without mentioning Nirvana.
One of the big things Seattle is known for, Nirvana was a 1980s rock band responsible for influencing Seattle towards grunge music and kicking off the vibrant music scene that has persisted in Seattle to this day.
5. Seattle Gum Wall
A classic Seattle piece of art, the Gum Wall has been a landmark in the city since 1993. It’s said that the tradition started in that year by patrons of Unexpected Productions’ Seattle Theatresport.
Twice, employees of the Theater scraped the wall clean but eventually, they gave up as Seattleites and tourists alike were determined to keep the tradition alive.
The Gum Wall has been deemed a tourist attraction since 1999 and is one of the many things that Seattle is known for.
6. Coffee Culture
Seattle does coffee like few other cities.
Even today, the first Starbucks located directly across from Pike Place Market can be visited for a taste of Seattle’s long-standing coffee culture.
Seattle, while being famous for its rain, mountains, and beards, is also well known for its coffee culture and abundant coffee snobs.
7. Space Needle
No list of famous sites Seattle is known for would be complete without mention of the Space Needle.
Built in 1961 for the 1962 World Fair, the Space Needle is one of the most visited attractions in Seattle and an icon the city is known for around the world.
8. Fremont Troll
The Troll Under The Bridge, as Fremont Troll is called, was sculpted by four local artists in 1990. This well-known Seattle attraction was actually created as an effort to rehabilitate the area under the bridge as it had become very unkept.
9. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
Another kind of food that Seattle is known for is handmade cheese from Beecher’s. Beecher’s focuses on buying fresh milk from local farms and turning that into handcrafted cheese free from preservatives or additives.
Pop into the Beecher’s store in Seattle to sample different cheese or watch artisans make the cheese.
10. Craft Beer
Want to live in a city that is famous for its craft beer? Then Seattle is the place for you! This city is well known for its craft beer made by independent brewers and is the ideal location for anyone fond of small-batch breweries.
As for what kind of food Seattle is known for, there is quite a list.
Due to its nearness to the Puget Sound, seafood is a regional dish throughout Seattle. One of the main kinds of seafood Seattle is known for is clam chowder. Try a Seattle famous cup of Pike Place Chowder or take a stroll to Pier 54 to visit the first Ivar’s restaurant.
Seattle can brag of being home to more than one famous chocolate company. Fran’s Chocolates, founded in Seattle in 1982, is famously known for making salted caramels that became a favorite treat of former President Obama.
Seattle is also known for being home to Theo Chocolate. Theo Chocolate is made from sustainably sourced, organic ingredients. The company is proudly fair trade with its only store in Seattle.
13. The Seattle Great Wheel
Take a stroll down to Pier 57 and hop on The Seattle Great Wheel for sublime waterfront views of the city.
The Seattle Great Wheel holds the title of being the tallest Ferris wheel on the West Coast — standing at an impressive 175 feet tall. It is also in the top 10 tallest Ferris wheels in the entire USA, making it a notable Seattle attraction.
14. Amazon Spheres
Known colloquially as “The Spheres” or “The Seattle Spheres”, this indoor rainforest provides a peaceful escape from the busy city streets.
There are more than 400 plant species thriving in The Spheres. These plants come from every corner of the globe and make The Spheres one of the best places to visit if you have a keen or casual interest in botany.
15. Seattle Aquarium
The Seattle Aquarium has been opened since 1977 and since the very beginning has been an attraction and much visited Seattle landmark.
The aquarium is the perfect place to visit with kids or even with adult friends as it combines an educational and fun experience into one outing.
Seattle has no shortage of museums where you can spend entire afternoons engrossed in artwork and Seattle pop culture.
Some of the best Seattle museums that you should visit include:
Another aspect of Seattle culture is sports. Whether you’re a Seattle hockey team fan, a Seahawks or a Mariners fan, Seattle’s sports culture will reel you in and intrigue you. Catch a game at the Seattle Seahawks Stadium or pick up a Seattle Sounders jersey to commemorate the fun soccer game that you were able to watch.
18. Emerald City Comic Con
Each year the Seattle convention center hosts the Emerald City Comic Con where comic fans and nerds get together to cosplay, buy merch, and meet like-minded comic enthusiasts.
Seattle is also home to an active shopping scene. If you’re in the mood for shopping, visit Northgate Mall Seattle, Westlake Center, or Southcenter for your shopping fix.
Another thing that Seattle excels at is education. Whether you’re attending The University of Washington, Seattle Pacific University, or Seattle University, you will enjoy your university experience in Seattle
What is Seattle University known for? What about the other universities in the Emerald City? Each university has its own vibe and energy that appeals to what different students are looking for in a university experience.
21. Benaroya Hall
Benaroya Hall is another Seattle attraction that is perfect for watching an orchestra or other formal performance.
22. Pacific Northwest Ballet
Art culture is strong in the Emerald City. Seattle is well known for being into the arts, whether it’s music, dance, or theater, it is represented in Seattle.
A field of art that is especially popular in Seattle is ballet.
If you get the chance to see a performance by the Pacific Northwest Ballet, seize the opportunity and enjoy the experience with friends or a significant other.
23. Book Culture
Bookish culture is another quintessentially Seattle characteristic.
If you are fond of the literary scene, check out the following X bookstores:
24. Mountains & Outdoorsy Culture
Seattle wouldn’t quite be itself without its affinity for mountains and outdoor activities. Most famous for Mount Rainier which is a short day trip from Seattle, there is a large fraction of the city population that is obsessed with the outdoors, hiking, kayaking, and bouldering.
25. Tech Culture
This makes Seattle an ideal place to move to if you’re looking for a career in tech or simply have a peaked interest in tech.
Related Article: Should I Move To Seattle?
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