From 2000 until about 2012 I live and worked in Seattle. What a super fun city! When you are new to a town you tend to hit all the touristy places, then expand into the non-touristy places. Below are my favourites.
A great overall site on the internet is the Seattle's City Search website, although sometimes I find it hard to find the cool stuff, but you can find upcoming events, etc there.
- Pike Place market - Really cool public market right down town, go in the summer if you can!
- Bill Speidel's Underground Tour - Learn about the history of Seattle, in a fun commical way. Oh, and walk underground while doing it.
- Pioneer Square - Visit the original part of downtown seattle
- Woodland Park Zoo - Apparently the first Zoo on the 'net (according to the URL!), but it's a really cool place to go and check out some animals, Much more exciting if you go when it's cool out, so the animals are somewhat active.
- Seattle Science Center - Since Microsoft pumps cash into here, you can imagine that it's pretty high tech. In addition, there is an IMAX theatre that shows cool Hollywood movies!
- The Seattle Center - Games, theme park, you name it, they have it.
- Experience Music Project(EMP) - If you like music, and the history of music, and well, pretty much anything about music, you should visit the EMP and prepare to spend a day or so there.
- Science Fiction Museum - Check out the history of Sci-Fi from the beginning through to the present!
- Space Needle - Somewhat of a let down after the CN Tower back home in Toronto, but still something you can do to be "Sleepless in Seattle". I'd recommend going at dusk, so you can see the city, then watch the sunset, then see the lights of the city, it's the biggest bang for your buck.
- Seattle Aquarium - Another great museum of fish, really fun if you've got some time to kill, there is an IMAX theatre here too, although it typically shows nature shows instead of real Hollywood movies.
- Pike Place Pub - I always like eating here, it's pretty good, not too expensive, and they have pretty good beer
- The Pyramid Alehouse is located across from the two stadiums, if you're waiting for a game, totally go in here and grab a beer before the game!
- The Freemont Market is kind of cool to see.
- And while you're in Freemont, make sure you check out the troll under the 99th bridge (39th Street under 99/Aurora Road)
- Also. If you're up for a little bit of history, and a huge park, check out Gas Works Park.
- One of my favourite sit down pubs is in Freemont, check out the Red Door.
A little further to the sound than Freemon is Ballard, an Industrial part of Seattle gone touristy. Some places to head to include:
- The somewhat pricey, but very romantic restaurant called Ray's Boathouse.
- In addition, the Ballard Locks are pretty interesting to go and see. They are in a park and if you cross the damn you can see a fish ladder, which is great!
Queen Ann is part of Seattle, but it over looks the down-town core. In fact, if you're looking for a great picture of the city with Mt. Rainer in the background. Kerry Park is a great place to take it.
Again, Capitol Hill is part of Seattle, but not the down-town core. Capitol hill is a little more "free", but there still are some good places to visit like:
- The Garage, which has bowling, pool and is a bar as well.
Out on the west side, Seattle has a "Beach!", it's a great place to walk, run, bike, roller-blade, or just get coffee or smoothies. Check out Alki Beach.
South of Seattle
- Emerald Downs Horse Track - Watch the horse races and have dinner, or get down on the track
- South Center Mall
- Snoqualmie Falls - Pretty damn high falls, if you have the time, it's fun to hike down the side and down to the river, but it's not required to enjoy yourself
- The Museum of Flight has a ton of information on old planes, it's a really cool museum that talks about old planes, space travel, etc.
- Mt. Si - 4 miles up, but a great view from the top. On a clear day you can see the City and Mt. Rainer. Dare to climb the Haystack on the top!
- Wallace Falls - Much easier of a hike, and very beautiful. You can get to the lower falls pretty easily, but keep going for a final reward
- Market Street
- Houghton Point
- Kirkland Avenue Pub - a younger croud
- Bellevue Square Mall - somewhat pricy, but still pretty neat to check out
- Cheese Cake Factory - great sit down place, not too expensive
- The Taphouse bar & Grill - over 100 beers on tap!
- There are lots of theatres in the area, but the best one is Lincoln Square across from the Bellevue Square mall.
- XXX Rootbeer - no, not a strip joint, great burgers and on some Sunday's, car shows!