Famous Attractions in Seattle, Washington

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Seattle, Washington, located in the Pacific Northwest, offers visitors both urban and natural environments for exploration. The city has tons of shopping, restaurants, parks, hiking, trees and nearby waterways to enjoy. Famous attractions that tourists should consider checking out when in Seattle include the Space Needle, Pike Place Market and the Seattle Art Museum.

Many tourists in Seattle enjoy taking a ride to the top of the Space Needle.

Many tourists in Seattle enjoy taking a ride to the top of the Space Needle.

Space Needle

The Seattle Space Needle (spaceneedle.com) offers visitors rides to an observation deck at the top of the building (for a fee), a restaurant, a gift shop and a space for hosting private events. It is the most defining building in the Seattle skyline and a must-see for visitors to the city. The Space Needle also sits conveniently close to museums and other city center attractions, so guests can combine a visit to the Space Needle with other activities. When the Space Needle was built in 1962, it was the tallest building in the U.S. west of the Mississippi River.

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market (pikeplacemarket.org) sits near the Seattle Waterfront and offers a huge variety of booths for shoppers to browse. The market offers many non-edible items, like clothing, jewelry and gifts. It also has food including pastries, and a large farmers market with fresh fruits, flowers and vegetables. One activity Pike Place Market became famous for among tourists is its fish throwing, where fish sellers throw fresh fish to each other after customers choose them for purchase.

Seattle Waterfront

The Seattle Waterfront (Alaskan Way, downtown Seattle) has breathtaking views of both the city and the water. Tourists can stroll between the many piers, gift shops and seafood restaurants along the waterfront. The Seattle Aquarium (seattleaquarium.org) sits along the waterfront, and visitors can watch the many ferries and sailboats traveling in and out of this area.

Seattle Art Museum

The Seattle Art Museum (seattleartmuseum.org) has a range of works on display at any given time, including Native American art, contemporary works, classic European art and historical Asian pieces. The museum displays paintings, textiles, sculpture and other types of art in three different venues.

Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square (seattle.gov/tour/pioneer.htm) was Seattle’s original downtown area. It now sits in the southwest portion of downtown Seattle and houses many shops, art galleries, cafes, outdoor benches, sports bars and nightclubs in some of the oldest buildings in Seattle.

Smith Tower

At the time that Smith Tower (smithtower.com) was built in the early 1900s, it was the tallest office building in the United States outside of New York, and one of the tallest buildings in the world. Nowadays, many tourists visit the famous building’s 35th-floor observation deck to get a view of downtown and the waterfront. The building still has a manually operated elevator, and it also has a room, called the Chinese Room, that displays gorgeous Asian decor and offers breathtaking views for private parties and events.


Lisa Chinn developed her research skills while working at a university library for several years. She writes for various publications, specializing in gardening, home care, wellness, style and travel. Chinn also designs marketing materials, holds a B.S. in psychology and works in a psychiatry research lab.


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