We’ve already covered some of the amazing adventures you can have in the areas surrounding Seattle – including exploring Mount Rainier National Park and going on a whale watching excursion – so now, we’re offering our tips for enjoying the Emerald City, itself!
Check out some of the highlights from our trip in the video below before reading our seven things to do in Seattle:
1. Get up early and go to Pike Place Market.
This is a MUST. The market has a totally different vibe in the morning. Apart from avoiding the crowds and other tourists, getting to the market early means you get to watch the magic happen.
The fishmongers are slinging the day’s selection onto the ice. The florists are delicately displaying their fresh-cut flowers and bouquets. You watch the produce stands gradually fill with every kind of fruit and vegetable you can imagine – all while the neon signs colorfully illuminate the corridor.
Try to arrive before 8 a.m. (general market hours are 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. most days) or earlier to enjoy this amazing setting. But don’t forget to stop by again once the market is buzzing!
2. Grab a cup of Pike Place at the first Starbucks store.
Right across from Pike Place Market is the first Starbucks store – yes, the VERY FIRST! One of our favorite drinks is a cup of Pike Place, so we couldn’t resist grabbing one on the corner of 1st and Pike.
3. Put your mark on the famous Gum Wall.
OK, this one is actually kind of gross, but it’s one of those things you just have to do in Seattle. Located in Post Alley under Pike Place Market, the Gum Wall is exactly what its name implies: It’s a brick wall onto which people have stuck their ABC (already been chewed) gum.
Though slightly disgusting, the wall makes for a fun photo op and serves as a uniquely Seattle backdrop for selfies.
4. Indulge your love for Amazon.
With its headquarters in Seattle, it’s no surprise that Amazon has a major presence in the city. We recommend the following for any of our fellow Amazon fans:
Shop at the Amazon Go store.
Amazon’s first checkout-less grocery store opened to the public in Seattle earlier this year, and it’ll amaze you. The “just walk out” shopping model is both convenient and fascinating. So how does it work?
Before you walk in, you have to download the Amazon Go app and log in to your Amazon account (or create one if you don’t already have an account). Then, you select your default credit card and presto! You’re all set to shop.
To enter through the store’s turnstiles, just scan your app. Once you’re inside, a system of cameras and sensors track your movements and selections. They detect when you’ve grabbed an item off the shelf, placed something in your basket or when you’ve put something back. Seriously – look up at the ceiling to see all the devices!
When you’re done shopping, just walk out. You’ll receive an email receipt from Amazon shortly after with a detailed list of your purchases.
Enjoy a free banana at the Community Banana Stand.
Amazon operates two Community Banana Stands (Terry Avenue in Van Vorst Plaza near Mercer, and in front of Amazon’s Doppler building on Westlake Avenue). At both stands, you’ll find “banistas” handing out free bananas to anyone who stops by.
According to Amazon, its banana stand “started in 2015 as a fun, quirky way to hand out healthy snacks to anyone in the community” and in January last year, the company hit a milestone of handing out more than a million bananas.
Stopping by the stand is a great way to fuel up and avoid an afternoon crash if you’re like us and plan way too many activities for a single day!
Tour the Amazon Spheres.
The Amazon Spheres are three conservatories located at 2111 7th Avenue, amid Amazon’s business center. Though they mainly serve as a workspace for Amazon employees, the first floor is open to the public.
According to Business Insider, the Spheres contain more than 40,000 plants and 400 species in total. Get a glimpse of them when touring the public space!
5. Admire the Space Needle.
Though you can see the Space Needle from various vantage points throughout the city, be sure to stop by the Seattle Center to get a close-up view. There, you can also enjoy the center’s various festivities and shops, visit the Museum of Pop Culture and the Chihuly Garden and Glass.
6. Ride the Seattle Great Wheel.
Though it did, indeed, rain the entire time we were in Seattle, we still enjoyed our ride on the Seattle Great Wheel, which gives you a 360-degree view of the city. On clearer days, you can also see Mount Rainier looming in the distance.
7. Try a coffee cocktail at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room.
Located at 1124 Pike St., the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room is a unique experience that no coffee lover should miss. Check out our video and blog post to learn more!