Seattle skyline with the Space Needle
Seattle Skyline

With as many great sights as Seattle has, it is hard to narrow all of the highlights down to a manageable list. But here is my best effort to distill the city’s attractions into a Top 10 Seattle list:

1. Visit the Space Needle. Sure, it’s cliche, but no visit to Seattle is complete without a trip to the city’s most iconic landmark. Make sure to go all the way up to the top for great views over the city.

2. The famous Pike Place Market is a favorite of foodie travelers, and is not to be missed on a visit to Seattle. While you’re there, make sure to visit the original Starbucks coffee shop in Pike Place!

3. Speaking of coffee, drinking a good cup of joe should be on any traveler’s list of things to do in Seattle. The city is teeming with cafes, and Seattle locals take their coffee very seriously.

4. Visit Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. The area is brimming with great shops and restaurants, including the famous Melrose Market with its sandwich bar, butcher, cheese shop, gift stores, and Sitka and Spruce restaurant. Also worth a visit are design shop Nube Green and ice cream store Molly Moor’s.

5. Another great Seattle neighborhood is Ballard. While it’s a bit off the beaten path, Ballard deserves its place on any top 10 Seattle list. The area is full of great boutiques like Venue, Jax Joon, Ketch, Dolce Vita, Re-Soul. When you’ve shopped till you’ve dropped, sit down for award winning cuisine at Seattle restaurant the Walrus and the Carpenter.

6. Catch some live music. Seattle is the birthplace of Grunge, but the city celebrates all kinds of music. The architecturally stunning Experience Music Project in Seattle is a great place to start. After hours, head to Jazz Alley for a night of dinner, live music, and dancing.

7. Go kayaking in Seattle. The Pacific Northwest is known for its natural beauty, and visitors don’t have to leave Seattle to experience it. Kayaking outfitters operate throughout the city, offering excursions for all skill levels.

8. Visit the library. Most people don’t make a bee line for the library when visiting a new city. But renowned architect Rem Koolhaus’ Seattle Central Library is not your everyday home for books. The stunning space is worthy of a walk, and the cafe is a great place to get a cup of the famous Seattle coffee.

9. Take a day trip from Seattle. While Seattle has no shortage of things to do, there are many areas around the city that are worth visiting as well. Try Mount Rainier, San Juan Island, or Victoria, BC.

10. See the sculptures. Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park is open all year and is free to visit. The outdoor space is home to a stunning collection of sculptures, and free tours are offered for those that want a more in-depth look. The unique museum definitely deserves a place on any top 10 Seattle list.