Known as the Ballard Locks, this part of the city is located along winding waterways, in a parklike landscape with incredible seafood vendors. As well as the numerous sailboats and fishing boats that weave their way through the locks, you can peer through underwater windows to spot salmon and steelhead fish as they make their way up the man-made Fish Ladder.
See A Sound Garden and the Black (Hole) Sun
The sound gardens of Seattle are a unique public art work on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration campus. Each steel tower structure has an organ pipe attached to a weather vane, that plays ethereal sounds when passed through by the wind. World-renowned Seattle band Soundgarden got their name from these audio sculptures, and since Chris Cornell passed in 2017, they've become a makeshift memorial to his life and work.
Take a day trip on a ferry
Seattle is located on the edge of the Puget sound, making it a breeze to hop on a ferry and explore nearby towns. A popular trip goes to Bremerton, a fascinating Navy town with excellent seafood restaurants and heaps of military history. You can also visit Vashon island, a large, rural stretch of land that’s best explored on 2 wheels.
Get coffee at Starbucks Reserve Roastery
Starbucks coffee is sometimes accused of being soulless and flavourless, but those accusations couldn’t be thrown at their Reserve Roastery in Seattle, where they house a selection of rare and extraordinary coffees with roasteries and bars serving up surprising creations.
Spend a day lounging at the beach
Is there anything this city can’t do? Yep, Seattle has beaches, too - head to West Seattle for Alki Beach Park, where bikers and skateboarders careen down the sidewalk and street food vendors serve delicious eats to revellers grouped around fire pits. Golden Gardens in Ballard is a more conventional sandy beach, with volleyball, golden sands and spectacular sunsets.
Things to do in Seattle
World Rhythm Festival
This immersion into world music, percussion and dance infuses all sorts of musical traditions and serves as a connection between musical styles and cultures. Drum, dance and hear stories from across the world with dozens of interactive workshops and performances.
Seattle Cheese and Meat Festival
Vegans steer clear - everyone else, you’ll be in heaven here, as you taste your way around this meat and cheese extravaganza. Tasting sessions run for 2 hours each throughout the day, and you’ll use your charcuterie board and tasting glass to sample delicious food and drink from a wild range of vendors.
Not one for small talk, Crosscut features days of thought-provoking conversations and bright ideas regarding the most pressing issues facing the world today. Politicians, authors, journalists, newsmakers and more come together and share their thoughts across 40 events.
Recycled Arts Festival
This hip and eco-conscious festival takes trash and turns it into art. All that stuff that was destined for the landfill is transformed into truly remarkable pieces of art, with an amazing variety of exhibits and handcrafted items to check out and buy. There’s also heaps of eclectic live music and a vibrant parade that celebrates community and nature through art.
IFest - Indie game festival
You won’t find Grand Theft Auto here but that’s fine for the attendees of this quintessentially Seattle Video Game Fest. It’s all about the indies here, showcasing the games that are low on budget but high on innovative ideas. If you’re into your pixel art, this is the place to be.
Top 5 Festivals in Seattle
Seattle has a rich musical, culinary and cultural heritage, as reflected in its top 5 festivals.
Museum of Pop Culture
This isn’t your everyday museum, it’s a fusion of incredible architecture, creative expression and history, with live music, art, fantasy, cinema and history exhibits along with a not-for-profit ethos. Interactive activities include Sound Lab galleries where you can explore the tools of rock and roll before performing before a virtual audience.
Seattle Art Museum
Located in downtown Seattle, the Seattle Art Museum features art collections from across the world that bridge cultures and centuries. Must-sees include the ‘Art Ladder’ its grand main staircase that features towering sculptures and the Codex Leicester, the last manuscript of Leonardo Da Vinci.
The Museum of Flight
This is the largest independent air and space museum in the world, with mindboggling scale and fascinating aircraft on display, from Boeing Jets to Concordes. It also has flight simulators, and a full-scale Nasa Space Shuttle Trainer.
This museum is dedicated to the legacy of immigrants to the US from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. It explored Nordic culture through numerous art exhibits and workshops, providing educational and cultural experiences such as concerts, classes, festivals, film screenings and food.
Living Computers Museum
This museum is a historical catalogue of computing, with huge, fully restored and fully usable supercomputers from the last 50 years, as well as exhibits on robotics, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and video games. The vintage collection is fascinating - ridiculously huge supercomputers that hold less data than we now hold in the palms of our hands.
Top 5 Museums & Galleries in Seattle
Seattle has plenty of fascinating museums to suit any demographic:
This all-american drive-in produces some of the best burgers in Washington. Get the Seattle burger, with two grilled patties, melted cheese and pickle relish, with a shake, naturally.
Best eaten at Dick’s Drive-In, 500 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
This is the go-to spot for Teriyaki, and all for under 8 dollars. Sticky, sweet, slightly spicy and filling, the Teriyaki is famous for a reason, but if you're looking for any Japanese food at all, including bento boxes and katsu, then look no further than Okinawa Teriyaki.
Best eaten at Okinawa Teriyaki, 1100 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98101
If you love chowder you’ll love Pike Place, which claims its New England Clam Chowder is the #1 popular dish in the country. Priding itself on sustainable seafood, Pike Place serves all sorts of chowder and bisque, served in hearty portions with sourdough bread.
Best eaten at Pike Place, 1530 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101
If fresh steamed and fried dumplings that are bigger than your hand sounds like something you’d be into, look no further than Mee Sum Pastry. Try their signature Hom Bow, BBQ pork mixed with spices and wrapped in a sweet bread roll, and you’ll never look back.
Best eaten at Mee Sum Pastry, 1526 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101
Food in Seattle
Seattle has one of the best regarded culinary scenes in America, and for good reason. Here’s the food you have to try when you’re in the state of Washington.