Travel

28 Unexpectedly Awesome Things To Do In Seattle

Seattle is a melting pot of culture, rain, and coffee.

1. See a majestic sunrise at Smith Tower.

The Space Needle is for suckers. Any true Seattleite knows that the Smith Tower — a local best-kept secret — has an equally amazing view of downtown Seattle.

2. Feast on corn dogs and strong drinks at Unicorn Bar.

flic.kr / Via Lara604

Tucked away on Capitol Hill is a carnival-themed dive where you can drink to your heart’s content, eat deep-fried Snickers bars, and prance around in a unicorn helmet.

3. Have coffee like a true Seattleite at Cafe Allegro.

VideoIgniter / Via videoigniter.com

With a coffee shop around every corner, an Americano is always at your fingers — but Cafe Allegro, Seattle’s first coffee shop, has one of the best. (Other worthy contenders? Cafe Lladro, Milstead, and Stumptown.)

4. Brunch like there’s no tomorrow at the Portage Bay Cafe.

Jessica Spengler / Via flic.kr

This Seattle brunch haven is known for its organic ingredients and delicious American fare. Line too long? Just skip to the front — you’ll (probably) only be met with a grimace and a healthy dose of passive aggressiveness.

5. Become one with nature at The Seattle Arboretum.

Rachel Sarai / Via flic.kr

Birkenstocks optional.

6. Set sail (for free!) at The Center For Wooden Boats.

Flickr: stefan_d-w / Via Hammerin Man

Every Sunday for the past 25 years, volunteer skippers and crew take Seattleites out on the water gratis — on spirit boats, schooners, and even the occasional yacht.

7. Pair frites with frosty brews at Brouwer’s Café.

flic.kr / Via Bernt Rostad

Two words of warning, though: 1) You will most definitely become addicted to Brouwer’s Café’s dragon sauce. 2) For each Rainier or Coors Light you fail to drink, a hipster loses his mustache.

8. Party like you’re from The 206 at Rock Box.

Karaoke until closing time? Check.

9. Eat organic at Local 360.

Tom Ipri / Via flic.kr

All of the items on Local 360’s menu are all sourced from within 360 miles of its location. Also on hand? One of the best burgers in Belltown.

10. Have an outdoor adventure at Discovery Park.

seattle.gov / Via Loree Wagner Communications

Walk the coast, sit in the grass, and pitch a bonfire on a warm summer day. Parched from your nature quest? Stop into Oliver’s Twist in Magnolia for cocktails like The Bumble — with bourbon, lemon, and creme de peche.

11. Rent a canoe at The WAC.

Annie Laurie Photography / Via annielauriephotography.com

The University of Washington (Go Huskies!) has a backyard filled with scenic wonders. Pass the blooming cherry trees in The Quad, walk down to The WAC, and canoe to your heart’s content. The WAC is open to the public, except for those who lost this year’s Apple Cup. Sorry Cougs.

12. Enjoy a taste of Asia at Uwajimaya.

Emily Bratkovich / Via Twitter: @emilybratkovich

Whether you’re looking for mochi candies, bubble tea, or frozen chicken feet, Uwajimaya supermarket has all of the above. It’s also in the International District, which is worth a trip on its own.

13. Class up your night at Needle & Thread.

Nanako E. / Via yelp.com

There’s no official drink menu at this speakeasy that’s hidden above Tavern Law. Instead, you’ll tell the bartender your liquor of choice, and they’ll work their magic.

14. Pull up to Dick’s Drive-In.

Annie Laurie Photography / Via annielauriephotography.com

Seattle has a plethora of locally sourced, gluten-free, vegan, and organic food available, but let’s be honest: Sometimes you don’t want any of that. Enter Dick’s — for every Seattleite’s favorite $2 non-organic, extra-gluten, cheese-filled burger.

15. Travel to Europe at Shultzy’s German bar.

Quinn Dombrowski / Via flic.kr

Backpack to the heart of Seattle’s University District for this popular German bar, complete with rowdy college kids, and a menu of Germany’s best brews. Ready for a challenge? Get a boot of beer for you and your mates — whoever takes the last sip pays!

16. Experience Vietnamese culture at Green Leaf.

Emily Bratkovich / Via Twitter: @emilybratkovich

The “Seattle Freeze” is alive and well, but the steamy bowls of pho at Greenleaf will definitely help with that.

17. Play tourist on the water taxi to West Seattle.

flic.kr / Via Jessica Spengler

Locals and tourists will agree that the water taxi has some of the best views of the Seattle skyline. Ensure you don’t look like the latter by wearing your wool socks, hiking boots, and Patagonia jacket.

18. Give into your sweet tooth at Molly Moon’s.

Annie Laurie Photography / Via annielauriephotography.com

Failure to sample the salted caramel will result in the biggest regret of your life — other than your crazy ex.

19. Hide away at the Knee High Stocking Club.

Loree Wagner Communications

 

Behind the barely-marked door, you’ll find a well-stocked bar, inventive craft cocktails, and a vibe that’s a welcome throwback to the ’20s.

20. Go pet and hipster-watching at Greenlake.

Nancy Regan / Via flic.kr

Head to Greenlake for a stroll around the blissful lake alongside ducks, dog-walkers, and on occasion, a techie in the flesh.

21. Grab a hot dog after a night out.

Carolyn Coles / Via flic.kr

Yes, a hot dog. Every New Yorker knows a pizza slice is the best way to end a night on the town. But every Seattleite knows a night isn’t complete without a stop by the local hotdog cart. For a true Seattle experience, make sure to pack on the cream cheese. (It’s a ~thing~.)

22. Plan a date on Capitol Hill.

Come rocking your chicest flannel and trek to Sun Liquor on Capitol Hill. Here you’ll find handcrafted adult beverages — like the Mai Tai, of course — that can turn any rainy day sunny in no time.

23. Get spooked in Pioneer Square.

Seattle Municipal Archives / Via flic.kr

What’s scarier than a bar without PBR? A ghost-guided tour in Pioneer Square, where you can learn about Seattle’s spooky history from a Pioneer Square pro.

24. Escape to Vashon Island.

A perfect day-escape — where you can a) find solace, and b) do yoga on a paddleboard amongst quinoa-eating yuppies. Namaste.

25. Hitch a ride on The SLUT*.

Atomic Taco / Via flic.kr

No trip to Seattle is complete without a few drinks and a fun ride. Take a spin on the South Lake Union Trolley for a scenic tram ride.

*C’mon, what did you think we were talking about?

26. Take a trip to Myrtle Edwards Park.

For a high you won’t forget, head to Myrtle Edwards Park for swimming, picnic spots, and Seattle’s annual Hempfest.

27. Root for the home team.

Stadium Place / Via stadiumplace.com

Looking for a great view of the the beloved Seahawk’s Stadium? Befriend a resident of Stadium Place for a shot that dreams are made of.

28. Head to The Hill for a phenomenal photo op.

Pro-tip: You’ll find one of the best views in Seattle at the Volunteer Park Water Tower.

correction

Adult admission for the observation deck at the Smith Tower is $7.50. We incorrectly said it was free in a previous version of this post, but we still think the view is worth it!

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