If you’ve been itching to take a trip to the Pacific Northwest, consider visiting Seattle. With plenty of mountains, forests, and parkland to enjoy, it’s the perfect destination for an outdoor enthusiast or someone looking for a nice place to have their next family vacation. As Washington’s largest city, Seattle offers world-class coffee shops (did we mention they are the land of Starbucks?), premier restaurants, and various cultural attractions that will have you “oohing” and “aahing” at every turn. Let’s take a look at some of the best reasons you should visit Seattle this year!
Pike Place Market is a public market that overlooks the Elliott Bay waterfront in the heart of Seattle. It originally opened in 1907 and is one of the oldest operated public farmers’ markets in the nation. The market is open 363 days a year and takes up nine acres of downtown Seattle, making it the go-to destination for residents, guests, and visitors. A few things worth checking out at the Pike Place Market are:
- The very first Starbucks. Ever. This building was constructed in 1971 and still maintains its original look and feel.
- The legendary gum wall, also known as the Second Germiest Destination in the world, is a must-see attraction for visitors.
- The Giant Shoe Museum. On the fourth level of the Pike Place Market you’ll find the Giant Shoe Museum (it shares a space with the Old Seattle Paperworks store). Simply drop a few coins into the small coin box, and watch as the curtains reveal some of the biggest pairs of shoes you’ve ever seen. One pair even belonged to Robert Waldow, the world’s tallest man!
- Try a glass of Rachel’s Ginger Beer on the corner of Post Alley and Pine Street.
If you truly want to see all that Seattle has to offer, consider planning a day trip to The Space Needle. This observation tower is a landmark that was originally built for the 1962 World Fair. Today, The Space Needle is used as an observation deck for residents and visitors, standing 520 feet tall. There is also a rotating SkyCity restaurant where you can wine and dine while overlooking the entire city of Seattle.
- When The Space Needle opened for the World Fair, it attracted close to 20,000 visitors per day.
- Today, the iconic tower attracts close to a million visitors each year.
- It was named as a historic landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Board in 1999.
- The Space Needle is designed to withstand some of Mother Nature’s most powerful forces, including earthquakes.
According to its website, the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) is a leading-edge nonprofit museum that is dedicated to the ideas and risk-taking that fuel contemporary pop culture. The unique 140,000-square foot building looks like a shimmering sheet of metal that resembles a smashed electric guitar. Designed by the architect Frank Gehry, MoPOP is the best place to go to see where music and science fiction meet.
The museum originally opened in 2000 and was called the Experience Music Project (EMP). At the time, there was a major emphasis on the legendary Seattle rock guitarist, Jimi Hendrix. Unfortunately, the museum didn’t see much attendance in its early days, which is why it eventually added the Science Fiction Museum and the Hall of Fame to the south wing.Today, MoPOP has exhibits that span science fiction, horror, fantasy, music, video games, and sports. Some of the current exhibits at MoPOP include:
Marvel: Universe Of Super Heroes
If you’re a fan of Marvel comic books and movies, you’ll definitely want to check out this brand new Marvel exhibit at MoPOP. As the largest exhibition ever staged at the museum, Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes features over 300 original artifacts including costumes, props, and iconic artwork from comics and films like The Avengers and Captain America.
Pearl Jam: Home And Away
Love Pearl Jam? Plan a trip to MoPOP stat! Right now the museum is featuring an exhibit completely dedicated to the iconic rock band, Pearl Jam. While you walk through this exhibit, you’ll get a first-hand look at the band’s musical journey from 1990 to today. You’ll also get to see more than 200 artifacts directly related to the band members including instruments and stage props.
Nirvana: Taking Punk To The Masses
If you were an 80s or 90s baby, there’s a good chance you used to jam out to Nirvana. To get a more intimate look at these Seattle luminaries, visit the Nirvana: Taking Punk To The Masses exhibit at MoPOP. Featuring more than 200 rare artifacts, photographs, and more, you’ll get a glimpse at Kurt Cobain’s iconic Fender Stratocaster and Dave Grohl’s Tama Rockstar-Pro drum kit.
The Seattle Great Wheel opened on June 29, 2012 and was considered to be the tallest ferris wheel on the West Coast of the country at the time. Sitting at Pier 57 on Elliott Bay, you can enjoy soaring 175 feet in the air in its fully heated and air conditioned gondolas. If you plan on visiting Seattle during the holidays, we highly recommend visiting the ferris wheel because it puts on an amazing light show.
The state of Washington prides itself on wine. Less than 20 minutes away from Seattle you can find the state’s oldest and most celebrated winery: Chateau Ste. Michelle. As one of the only wineries in the world with two state-of-the-art wineries (one for red and one for white), you can enjoy both styles of wine when you visit the winery in Woodinville.
- The winery is open 7 days a week.
- Enjoy a guided tour and tasting (both private and public options are available).
- The chateau is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
The Seattle Art Museum, also known as SAM, is another landmark you definitely want to visit during your stay in the city. With deep collections in Asian, African, and contemporary American art, the museum has three notable locations in Seattle. The main museum is located downtown, while the Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM) resides in Volunteer Park, and the Olympic Sculpture Park sits on the central Seattle waterfront.
If you’re planning a trip to Seattle or another destination and you’re catching a flight from the Denver International Airport (DIA), be sure to park your vehicle with ParkDIA. Download our app to reserve your airport parking space, track shuttles, and more, or learn about our parking rates and options online.