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What To Do in Seattle
When you think of Seattle, what springs to mind? Between being the birthplace of Starbucks, home to the Seahawks, and boasting landmarks like the Space Needle in Seattle center – a perfect Seattle skyline there’s plenty to see and enjoy throughout the popular seaport city. The question “What’s in Seattle?” is difficult to answer since there’s so much to choose from.
What is Seattle, WA, known for? The following attractions and experiences will give you an idea:
- Capitol Hill
- The Triple Door
- Seattle Waterfront
- Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour
- Golden Gardens Park
- Washington Park Arboretum
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 a 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.
While famous for its rain, mountains, and beards, Seattle 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.
While visiting Seattle, Pop into the Beecher’s store in Seattle to sample different cheeses 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. Seattle Great Wheel 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 in downtown Seattle 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 Emerald city, 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?
Best Food in Seattle
One of the more immediate answers to the question “What is Seattle known for?” is its food. Beyond the famous Pike’s Place fish market, the Emerald City has a wide variety of cuisines to savor, spanning the gamut from budget to gourmet.
What Food Is Seattle Known For?
There are tons of famous Seattle food spots to speak of. So much so that it can be intimidating to know where to start and how to narrow your options. This speaks to the city’s culinary quality and consistency.
Tourists and locals alike tout Seattle’s robust farm-to-table market. Restaurants typically source local and organic ingredients, making the dishes as healthy as they are delicious. This is especially true with Seattle’s seafood scene.
What’s in Seattle? When it comes to food, oysters, and lots of them! Seattle is home to some of the best waters for oysters to grow, which explains their popularity. Between the fishing boats and the friendly atmosphere when hanging out at oyster bars, it’s no wonder people describe the seafood scene in Seattle in great, sensory detail.
Marination Ma Kai
Starting as a food truck in 2009, Marination Ma Kai has since expanded to a full beachside restaurant with a view evoking tropic-like vibes on a bright, sunny day. They serve amazing Hawaiian-Korean fusion food, with the pork katsu sandwich being a highlight.
Tom Douglas Restaurants
A self-taught chef, Tom Douglas owns several restaurants serving delicious Seattle foods. If you’re a fan of Italian, the wood-fired pizzas at Serious Pie should hit the spot. Partial to Greek food? Lola is popular even outside of Seattle.
Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream
Sometimes, nothing does the trick like delicious ice cream, even in Seattle, where the winters get particularly chilly. Molly Moon’s is a popular, locally run, woman-owned parlor with several ice cream variants, including a rotating selection of seasonal flavors. Molly Moon makes everything on site, including the waffle cones, with an irresistible smell!
If you’re looking to explore some Ethiopian food, Cafe Selam is an established location with many exciting options, including beef tartare, injera with spiced meats, and various vegetarian combos.
Dick’s has grown to eight locations since starting in 1954, and it remains a staple of American food that’s as simple as it is delicious. They also have a food truck with a weekly schedule so that you can get some burgers, fries, and milkshakes while out and about.
In addition to all the food Seattle is known for, there are plenty of unique places to get drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, in this thriving commercial district. If you’re looking for a good pick-me-up or just need to wind down, The Ave has no shortage of options.
Starbucks Reserve Roastery
One of the most popular answers to what to do in Seattle is to visit the original Starbucks. Although it’s now only a historical location, the more exciting option is Starbucks Reserve Roastery, just outside downtown Seattle. If you want a supersized version of Starbucks with tours, tastings, and unreleased coffees, this roastery is a must!
Seattle Barista Academy
If you’re enthusiastic about coffee, then a planned trip to the Seattle Barista Academy might be in order. They instruct in various ways, including professional courses that last up to five days and three-hour-long home barista training courses that teach you how to extract espresso, steam milk, and make latte art.
Bathtub Gin & Co.
Ever wonder what a speakeasy is like? Bathtub Gin & Co. is a modern take located in the basement of a former brick hotel in Belltown. The atmosphere is warm and cozy, with Prohibition-style cocktails and a large selection of liquors.
Chateau Ste. Michelle
The popular wine brand Chateau Ste. Michelle is Washington State’s oldest winery and produces many styles, such as chardonnay, cabernet, and Riesling. They offer a variety of tour and tasting-style experiences, including flights, pairings, and picnics, in their scenic rose garden.
Relocating To The Emerald City? We Can Help!
Planning a move to Seattle in the near future? If so, On The Go Moving & Storage is here to help!
Our team of professional movers is ready to help you with your upcoming move. We offer a wide variety of moving plans to accommodate the needs of different homeowners and want to help you with your approaching move.