Seattle, Washington, is a great city, perched on Puget Sound, in the northwestern USA. Although it is famous for the amount of rain that falls here, there are plenty of sunny days, and there are numerous indoor activities which can occupy the traveler. Below is a list of my favorite things to do while in the city.
1. Take an Elevator to the Top of the Space Needle — The iconic tower was built for the 1962 World’s Fair and has become the major symbol of the city. The view from the observation level is absolutely fantastic!
2. Head to Seattle’s Origins at Pioneer Square – The oldest part of the city is still alive with activity. There are many shops and restaurants in the vicinity of this square, which is characterized by a totem pole.
3. Stroll along the Seattle Waterfront — The dock area of the city is also alive with residents and tourists alike, taking advantage of the great views and the many shops and restaurants which have located here.
4. Drive to Mount Rainier National Park — The once-active volcano presides over the city and can be seen, on sunny days, from almost everywhere. Its surroundings have been forever preserved as a national park and, as such, offers a wealth of walking trails, wildlife, and spectacular vistas.
5. Spend Several Days at Olympic National Park — This incredibly diverse national park occupies the peninsula across Puget Sound from the city. It can be accessed via roads by driving south and then west from Seattle, or it can be reached via ferry. The park contains scenic mountains (Hurricane Ridge), middle-latittude rain forest (Hoh Rain Forest) and pristine beaches (Ruby Beach).
6. Get into the Sounds at the Experience Music Project — Housed in an unusual, shiny, steel, modern building, designed by noted architect Frank Gehry, this museum features great music and wonderful workshops. The building also contains the Science Fiction Museum. It is located near the Space Needle.
7. Browse the Pike Place Market — This classic farmer’s market also displays gorgeous flowers. Crowds are entertained at the fish market by the employees who throw the large fish around as if they were footballs.
8. Visit the Museum of Flight — The proximity of Boeing Corporation has produced this excellent museum dedicated to air travel. It is located just south of the city, with a branch in the nearby city of Everett.
9. Take a Cruise on Puget Sound — Whether you just take a short cruise into the bay or a longer trip to the San Juan Islands, the views of the city from the water are fantastic. There are also whale watches which almost guarantee the sighting of Orcas (Killer Whales).
10. Check Out the Chittenden Locks — This series of locks connect Puget Sound with several nearby lakes (Lake Washington and Lake Union). They date to 1916 and are on the National Register of Historic Places.
11. Taste Rainier Cherries — These wonderfully sweet cherries are grown exclusively here, so they are a real treat for visitors. Elsewhere, when they are available, they are very expensive, so try them here.