Seattle CityPASS » Things To Do In Seattle
Sure, a rain jacket is useful. But know this: Seattle’s total annual rainfall is actually less than a number of other U.S. cities (including Jacksonville in sunny Florida). When you’re in the Emerald City, you’ll be thankful for those regular mists and the accompanying mild climate; they make Seattle one of the greenest cities around, with lush parks and vistas on all sides.
But visitors to Seattle don’t just flock here for the great outdoors. They come for the music, culture, lifestyle, coffee and attractions. If you’re planning a trip to the Emerald City, here’s a list of the most popular things to do in Seattle.
From its hilltop perch, the Space Needle actually seems taller than its 605 feet (184 meters) and – thanks to free telescopes – gives visitors the chance to zoom into downtown or catapult themselves toward the Cascade and Olympic mountains. Since its construction for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Space Needle has become both an internationally recognized icon and Seattle’s most popular attraction. Visitors should leave time for a meal in the SkyCity restaurant: In only 47 minutes, the revolving eatery makes a complete 360-degree rotation.
Pacific Science Center
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012 (the Space Needle also turns 50 in 2012), the Pacific Science Center continues to engage visitors – especially young ones – through a variety of personal experiences. Children gravitate to the Insect Village and Body Works (where Calorie Bikes calculate energy generated), but the biggest draw may be the Tropical Butterfly Village, where those wearing yellow and red easily attract fluttering friends.
Formerly called Experience Music Project | Science Fiction Museum, the dramatic, fluid lines of the Frank O. Gehry-designed building that houses both museums is a must-see in and of itself. Climb aboard a space station simulation and then have a ball with sci-fi memorabilia, movie costumes, photos and hands-on exhibits. Bounce to performances shown on the world’s largest indoor video screen and then channel your inner Jimi Hendrix (a Seattle native) as you rock out to your own composition in Sound Lab.
The 7th most-visited aquarium in the United States, the Seattle Aquarium features more than 380 species of birds, fish, invertebrates and marine mammals. Visitors can gently touch certain marine animals in the Life on the Edge tide pool or talk with aquarium divers in the Underwater Dome, a spherical undersea room surrounded by 400,000 gallons (1,514 cubic meters) of water.
Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour
The Spirit of Seattle’s one-hour narrated tour offers a unique vantage point from which to view many of the city’s sights with ease: Pike Place Market, Olympic Sculpture Park, the Space Needle, Safeco Field and Qwest Field, to name a few. Relax and enjoy the skyline while someone else does the navigating.
Woodland Park Zoo
Hosting nearly 1,100 animals, the Woodland Park Zoo is nationally recognized for its commitment to creating environments that are true to the animals’ natural habitats. Hippos and giraffes roam on an African savannah, and birds swoop freely in the Tropical Rain Forest dome. Kids get their own special place, too: the Zoomazium, an indoor, nature-themed play space.
Museum of Flight
Looking like the fanciest airplane hangar ever made, the Museum of Flight doesn’t disappoint. Exhibits include the first Air Force One aircraft and the original Boeing manufacturing plant. And you’ll be looking up, with jaw dropped, in the six-story T.A. Wilson Great Gallery, home to 39 historic, full-size aircraft, many of which – including a Douglas DC-3 – appear to be flying by.
Pike Place Market
This historic market, now more than 100 years old, was designed to bring regional farmers and consumers together. Over the past century, however, it has also grown into one of the most popular things to do in Seattle. The market is a feast for the senses, with salmon flying, flowers in a riot of color, and the heady aroma of freshly baked goods. Be sure to snap a photo with Rachel, the bronze pig that serves as the market’s mascot.
Ballard Locks (Hiram H. Chittenden Locks)
Thanks to Army Corps of Engineers district chief Hiram Chittenden, boats have had an easy route from Lake Union and Lake Washington to the Puget Sound for nearly 100 years. Today, visitors atop swinging walkways watch the vessels’ progress and also have a special viewing window for the fish ladder – a 21-step structure that helps fish safely move to and from saltwater to freshwater.
Washington Park Arboretum
Covering 23 acres (93 hectares), the arboretum showcases more than 5,500 different plants from around the world. Though blooms can be found year-round, spring brings an impressive display along Azalea Way, a .75-mile (1.2 km) path and in the Rhododendron Glen. A Japanese garden features a copper-shingled tea house and 11-tier pagoda.
To visit the sites listed above that charge admission fees, use a Seattle CityPASS and save nearly half off combined admission. Plus, CityPASS holders avoid some ticket and entry lines, which means less time waiting and more time doing. Seattle CityPASS includes prepaid admission to the Space Needle, Pacific Science Center, Seattle Aquarium, Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour, EMP Museum, and either the Woodland Park Zoo or The Museum of Flight. Some special exhibits are not included with the CityPASS and may require an extra fee.
Passes can be purchased online or at any attraction that accepts CityPASS. Use CityPASS and discover the best of Seattle.
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Seattle CityPASS is a ticket booklet that saves 43% on admission to the 6 best attractions in Seattle.
We were able to use the coupons in three days without feeling rushed. In addition to saving over 50% on all the tickets, it was great to by pass the lines when getting in. Will definitely look at purchasing City Passes for other cities.