Nestled in front of Mount Rainier and alongside Puget Sound, Seattle, Washington, has a metro area with more than 3 million residents and is a popular vacation choice for tourists worldwide. With numerous restaurants, hotels and attractions like the Museum of Glass, Olympic Sculpture Park and Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour, Seattle’s fourth-largest industry is tourism. Only 113 miles south of the Canadian border, Seattle offers plenty of places to please visitors of all ages, including the Seattle Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and Woodland Park Zoo.
Woodland Park Zoo
A Seattle resource for more than 100 years, the Woodland Park Zoo hosts more than 1 million visitors each year. Providing a unique urban oasis for nearly 1,100 animals representing 300 species, Woodland Park is one of the oldest zoos on the West Coast. The zoo’s 92 acres are dedicated to different habitats, such as the tropical rain forest, frigid far north and the African savanna. The zoo is also home to 35 endangered species and five threatened animal species. Those who enjoy flora will appreciate the zoo’s botanical collection of more than 50,000 shrubs and 7,000 trees. Woodland Park Zoo is open daily except Christmas Day. Senior citizen and group discounts are offered. Children two and under are free. The zoo also offers a variety of educational programs. Food and beverages are available on site.
Woodland Park Zoo
601 N. 59th Street
Seattle, WA 98103
Designed as the central structure for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the Space Needle was the idea of artist Edward E. Carlson, the former president of Western International Hotels. Towering 605 feet into the Seattle skyline, the Space Needle officially opened on April 21, 1962. The Space Needle’s top house dome is five levels tall, complete with the 360-degree revolving Sky City Restaurant and the Observation Deck. Visitors to Seattle’s number one attraction can also see the Pavilion Level and Space Base retail store. The Space Needle offers discounts for children, seniors and active military. Children three and under are free. The Skyline Banquet facility is also available for party rentals. Valet parking is offered at the Space Needle’s base, with additional parking at nearby parking lots.
400 Broad Street
Seattle, WA 98109
Pike Place Market
Nicknamed “The Soul of Seattle,” Pike Place Market is internationally known as America’s premier farmers’ market. Originating in 1907, Pike Place now features nine acres of vendors showcasing a variety of fresh foods, seafood, produce, international foods, arts and crafts and more. The oldest continuously operating farmers’ market in the nation, Pike Place has nearly 200 year-round commercial businesses attracting 10 million visitors a year. Street performers, cooking demonstrations and in-store samplings add to the distinctive appeal of Pike Place. Special events held throughout the year include the Seattle Cheese Festival, Pike Place Market Flower Festival and Pike Place Market BBQ Competition. The Market is open daily except New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hours vary by merchant. Parking is available nearby for a fee, although some merchants offer validation.
Pike Place Market PDA
85 Pike Street, Room 500
Seattle, WA 98101
- downtown seattle image by Melissa Schalke from Fotolia.com