There are so many Seattle attractions you won’t want to miss on your visit to the Pacific Northwest. We’ve selected a handful to get you started on your exploration of one of the most beautiful regions of the country. Whether you’re traveling for vacation or for business, take time out to experience one or more of the Seattle attractions listed below. You’ll learn more about the area’s present, past and future, as well as see amazing sights that only visitors to Seattle have access to. Be sure to let us know in the comments section what you think of the list we’ve compiled!
Seattle Attractions #1: Argosy Cruises
Explore the waters of Puget Sound on one of five Argosy Cruises. Each tour listed below is fully narrated. You’ll not only enjoy spectacular views, but learn a lot about the region, as well. Cruises operate year round. Departure points vary depending on which cruise you choose. Buy tickets in advance, as space is limited. Your cruise choices include:
- Harbor Cruise is a one-hour tour around the sound. Perfect for a quick foray before lunch, or even as an interesting way to meet up with a client on your business trip.
- Locks Cruise lasts two and a half hours, so it will be a central part of your afternoon.
- Lake Union Cruise is one and a half hours long, which is just long enough to act as an introductory cruise before sightseeing Seattle on foot.
- Lake Washington Cruise takes one and a half hours to complete. This leisurely tour is ideal for couples that want to get away from the city hustle and bustle.
- Tillicum Village Excursion brings passengers all the way out to Blake Island. The round trip journey takes four hours all told, so be prepared for a long day out. Once on the island, passengers are treated to a proper northwestern buffet with genuine alder fire roasted fish. This foray is even better if you bring along a large group of friends or as part of a big family celebration.
Seattle Attractions # 2: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center
Located at 440 Fifth Avenue North, just across the street from the Seattle Center and Space Needle, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center welcomes visitors who want to learn more about what the foundation is all about. Interactive exhibits and displays are on hand to educate, inform and share ideas about the future of our changing world. Open from Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
Seattle Attractions #3: Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
Learn more about the culture, animal life and geology of the Seattle area and the entire Pacific Northwest at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. This impressive museum has authentic dinosaur fossils on display. In fact, they are the only ones on display in Washington State. There is information about the Native American history of the region, including displays of artifacts that have been found along the Pacific Rim. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. Tickets range from $7.50 to $10.00, but if you go on the first Thursday of the month, admission is free. A donation is appreciated but not mandatory on that day.
Seattle Attractions #3: Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour
Just about 24 miles due north of Seattle is the Future of Flight Aviation Center in Mukilteo, Washington. Open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., this Seattle activity is a cross between a museum and a tour. This is the largest Boeing assembly plant in the world, where visitors get a behind the scenes look at an actual Boeing aircraft being built. It’s the only publicly accessible commercial jet assembly plant in North America. Suitable for all ages. Tickets range from $16.00 to $20.00.
Seattle Attractions #4: Northwest Trek Wildlife Park
Seattle is home to many of the world’s technological centers. But for those who prefer to enjoy the natural side of the Pacific Northwest, the Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Eatonville, Washington is a welcome respite. Just an hour’s drive from SeaTac Airport. This relaxing and passive activity is perfect for youngsters and older family members, too. Simply hop on an enclosed trolley and sit back and enjoy the view as you roam this open animal refuge park. The park boasts 150 or more rarely seen animals, including bison and moose. Prices range from free all the way up to $21.95.