Places to go while visiting Seattle?


Not completely in the vein of the rest of the blog, but I thought I would throw this out to see what I got from all y’all.

So, my brother, his wife and their 4 year old are visiting Seattle for the next several days and my sister in law is worried we’ll just sit around the house and talk rather than going out and doing everything their is to be done while they visit.

While I’ve lived in Seattle almost 2 years, I still don’t know the area that well (certainly not as well as natives) and I came up with a counter itinerary to their original.

For first time visitors (with a 4 year old) to Seattle, here’s what I recommend:

City neighborhoods tour

There is a lot to see here that doesn’t involve going inside and/or paying anything.

This could include:


  • Pike Place Market – ok, this one is dead obvious.
  • Downtown Library – one of the most interesting pieces of architecture I’ve ever seen.
  • REI Flagship Store – full rock climbing wall, outdoor track for test driving mountain bike. This may be the coolest store I’ve ever been to.
  • Seattle Art Museum Sculpture Park (free) – very cool outdoor park with large amounts of running around space.
  • Space Needle

Pioneer Square – oldest neighborhood in Seattle, hit Elliot Bay Books. I’m not sure if it’s the dirt or the old buildings that remind me of San Francisco the most.

Chittenden Locks (free) – these are real, working locks for small, medium, large and xx-large boats. It’s really cool.

The Troll, Lenin Statue and ICBM

Other trip ideas

Bainbridge Island Ferry (Free) – unless we take the cars.
I haven’t been to Bainbridge Island, but it sounds like a great place to visit. If nothing else, it’s a free ride across the Sound with sweeping views of downtown.

Snoqualmie Falls
Falls and town that were in Twin Peaks – taller than Niagra Falls

Golden Gardens or Alki Beach or Matthews Beach (free) –
in the city beach but only if it is nice and warm.

Discovery Park
Very large park (are we still in the city?)in Seattle with great views

Washington Park Arboretum and Japanese Tea Garden
As an aside, this is the first place I saw a bald eagle in the wild.

Rent Paddle Boats on Green Lake
Weather dependent.

Seattle Duck Tour
This is ridiculous, but maybe fun. Tour the city in vehicle that ultimately ends up in Lake Union and Portage Bay
$23 for adults $13 for kids.

Anything else?

Other thoughts and suggestions would be much appreciated.

2 replies on “Places to go while visiting Seattle?”

What? No comments?
Yes, Ride The Duck is silly, but if you don’t mind corny humor, this is a something you’re unlikely to find in other cities. My kid wanted this for her 8th birthday (talked about it for weeks beforehand), and I complied (and she talked about it for weeks afterward). That makes it a “hit” in my eyes.

Thanks for the tips. I’ll be in Seattle all next week for SMX. Hopefully I’ll have some downtime so I can see the town.

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