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Seattle Visitors' Guide

Do you have friends or family coming into town? Here are some Northwest favorites to consider for their next visit.

The Emerald city is an international hub of inspiration and connectivity, and its combination of art, nature, and innovation keeps us coming back for more. Whether you were born here or have moved here, it’s important to have a set of go-to activities for first-time visitors. To get you started, here is a compilation of some of our favorites.

What to do

Are you headed Downtown or looking to show off the quintessential Seattle landmarks? If it’s a clear day, be sure to take in the eye-catching views from the iconic Space Needle or the Seattle Great Wheel. Afterwards grab a snack at Daily Dozen Doughnuts and watch the fish throwing experts at Pike Place Market.

If you are looking for a historic view of the city, stroll through, or under, Pioneer Square on the Seattle Underground Tour to learn about the city’s history from a different point of view. For the 21+ groups, we suggest finishing up your day by enjoying a Prohibition-era craft cocktail on top of the Smith Tower.

smith tower at night

Tip: Grab your Seattle City Pass to save more on your favorite Seattle attractions.

For a nature-filled view of Seattle, you can enjoy the mountains and water views right in the city at Discovery Park, Golden Gardens Park, Olympic Sculpture Park, and Queen Anne’s Kerry Park.

If it is the arts you are seeking, there are plenty of free art walks happening across a number of Seattle neighborhoods including Pioneer Square where the nation’s first art walk started. Take in the history of pop culture at the MoPOP, catch a play at the 5th Avenue Theatre, or enjoy a musical at The Paramount.

If you want to learn more about Seattle’s cultural history, the Nordic Museum in Ballard provides a walk through Nordic heritage, while organizations like El Centro de la Raza host annual events in celebration of Latino heritage. You can also see traditional Native American artwork at the Burke Museum and Seattle Art Museum, as well as at Stonington Gallery and Steinbrueck Native Gallery.

Cruise the International District to sample international flavors and walk through the Wing Luke Museum to learn about the influence Asian Americans have had on Seattle’s history. The Northwest African American Museum explores the history, culture and art of African Americans in the region. 

Where To Eat

Seattle is home to world class chefs and exciting restaurants, including JuneBaby, The Walrus and Carpenter, and Staple & Fancy. But for something off the beaten path, check out some of the smaller businesses that create our diverse, local communities, such as Pho Bac and Terra Plata. Discover your neighborhood, support small business, and make your spending matter with the Intentionalist’s Guide to Intentional Spending

a plate of oysters

Beyond the City

If you are looking for a break from the city that won’t consume your entire day, take a 40-minute drive to Snoqualmie Falls, a free attraction with a powerful view. Or, hop on a 35-minute ferry to Bainbridge Island to tour shops and enjoy memorable views of the city from the water. Wine enthusiasts can enjoy a plethora of wineries in Woodinville (30 minutes from Downtown Seattle). If you’re looking to get in a quick hike, there’s the fan favorites Rattlesnake Ledge and Little Si, or try Poo Poo Point, which are a little less crowded.

Snoqualmie Falls

Need Cash for Your Exploration?

Are you from out of town but bank with your local credit union? No worries! We are part of the Co-Op Network, so you can stop by our locations to use a surcharge-free ATM while you’re enjoying the sights and sounds of Seattle.

More Things To Do Around Town

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