Home Things to do Unique Things To Do In Downtown Seattle, Washington

Unique Things To Do In Downtown Seattle, Washington

by Pankaj Upreti
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Downtown Seattle | Photo Credit- Jonathan Miske

Adjacent to Lake Washington, Seattle is also known as the Emerald City. It is known so not because it has precious emeralds but because it is one of the cities (and areas around Seattle) that is green all year round, even in the winters. There are many unique things to do in Downtown Seatle, a few of them we have listed out for you.

At the waterfront of this green city, surrounded by Elliott Bay, Pioneer Square, Queen Anne, and Capitol Hill in downtown Seattle. Just like any other downtown, downtown Seattle is the central business district of the largest city in King County, i.e., Seattle. The famous postcards of Seattle, Washington feature skyscrapers overlooking Elliott Bay in Seattle’s Downtown. 

From bustling Pike Place Market to eclectic restaurants and food stalls to famous fashion stores like Nordstrom, Downtown Seattle is home to diverse attractions and things. The cultural attractions here include Ferris wheel, Seattle Aquarium, Seattle Art Museum, Central Library, and 1928 Paramount Theatre. It also has many MNC offices and several local and federal government administration offices. Many hotels in Seattle are also found downtown.


Downtown Seattle also has a very low crime rate, so by following minor safety protocols, a visitor can explore the area without any added anxiety. It is also advised to be aware of guidelines provided by the government for the Covid-19 pandemic before making any travel plans in these times. To know official updates about the pandemic in Seattle, Washington, click here.

Below is a handpicked list of things to do in downtown Seattle, WA that you should not miss when you are visiting the city next.


Great wheel on Seattle | Photo Credit – James_Seattle

The Seattle Great Wheel is a giant one-hundred and seventy-five-foot tall Ferris wheel. It is located on Pier 57 on Elliott Bay of Downtown Seattle. It is one of the tallest Ferris wheels on the West Coast of the USA and has forty-two gondolas. Enjoy a ride on Seattle Great Wheel while experiencing the sights of Pioneer Square, Capitol Hill, etc., and moving ferries, ships and cargo on DT Seattle’s waterfront.

The rides mostly last from 12 minutes to 20 minutes with three full revolutions. Don’t forget to click lots of Instagram-worthy photos while you’ll be up in the air.

If you time your visit during or after sunset, you’ll be in for a magical ride that features beautiful panoramic views. The VIP gondola of the wheel has a transparent glass floor and comes with a drink plus a souvenir t-shirt.

After this exciting aerial ride, you can enjoy another scenic water ride from the Seattle pier to Bainbridge Island and Bremerton. Ferries from piers at 801 Alaskan Way offer a fun ride featuring lots of beautiful views to these places that should not be missed.


Olympic Sculpture Park | Photo Credit – Dan Merino

This is an outdoor public art park at Western Avenue in downtown Seattle. Open to the public from sunrise to sunset, Olympic Sculpture Park is created and operated by Seattle Art Museum. The 9-acre park features an outdoor modern sculpture museum, benches that represent eyes, an indoor pavilion, and a beach at the Puget Sound.

The park is located at the northern end of the Central Waterfront and the southern end of Myrtle Edwards Park in Belltown. There are sloping green paths dotted with permanent 20 sculptures and site-specific installations. The park has free admission and also hosts many revolving exhibitions showcasing the works of local and international artists. 

Among other attractions are vivarium growing fungi and moss on a tree trunk, twin jet fountains, and a colorful glass bridge.

After exploring the park, you can cool off at the beach or enjoy any scheduled event at the open-air auditorium.


Pike Place Market | Photo Credit – Suman Chakrabarti

It is 108 years old, one of the oldest continuously operated farmer’s markets in downtown Seattle, Washington. Located on 1st Avenue, the market offers stunning views of the central waterfront. It is one of the best things to do in Seattle, Washington that attracts over 10 million visitors annually. It is the place where you’ll find a mix of farmers, local merchants, and craftspeople.

It features over two hundred little shops and eighty restaurants on multiple levels. Even if you don’t like shopping, you might just end up enjoying the experiences of vibrant culture, street markets and performances, and delicious food-drink at numerous drinking and dining places of Pike Place Market. 

Shops featuring artisans selling photographs, glass, ceramics, and fresh flowers can be easily found here. The market is open to the public daily. Guided tours of the market covering the studios, restaurants, and shops are also offered here. 

Seafood restaurants, pizza places, breweries, pubs, and popular eateries with a quirky menu like Piroshky Piroshky add more stars to the vibrancy of the market. The first Starbucks café was opened in this market of DT Seattle. Many of the buildings in the Pike Market neighborhood have numerous buildings designated as landmarks or registered as historic places.

So make sure to visit this market which is an important part of downtown Seattle’s culture and heritage. Get access to the map of the market for easy exploration at their website.


Seattle art Museum | Photo Credit – David Herrera

Seattle art Museum is a place that is a must-visit place for art lovers in downtown Seattle, Washington. Located just a 3 minute walk away from Pike Place Market, the museum has an area of 312,000 square feet and an extensive collection of over 25,000 artifacts from modern and ethnic art. The museum is more popular for hosting many impressive changing exhibits all over the year. 

In front of the museum, a sculpture with a moving robotic arm is installed. The sculpture, called the Hammering Man, depicts the hard work of laborers and farmers from all over the world. It swings its arm four times in a minute.  

A mix of Italian, twentieth-century American and Aboriginal Australian art collections are more dominant here. The Seattle Art Museum also has the amazing Dorothy Stimson Bullitt Library and McCaw Foundation Library of Art. Guided tours, talks, and special events are offered regularly here.

One first Thursday of every month, the museum features free admission. Tickets at a discounted prices are also available here for students with college identity cards.


Seattle Pinball Museum | Photo Credit – J. Nathan Matias

It is an entertainment zone in downtown Seattle, Washington that is aimed at preserving pinball games for future generations. Located on Maynard Avenue in downtown Seattle, this is the place where you’ll have one of the best pinball experiences. 

The museum hosts many interactive exhibits of modern pinballs that showcase the development and activity of pinball over the years from the early 1960s to the 2000s. Experience the bustling activity of flashing lights and ringing bells of cheers. 

The museum also provides a vintage soda to keep up your sporting spirit. Spend a few hours at this place to have an exciting experience. 


The historic Paramount Theater is a 2,807-seat performing arts venue. It is located at 9th Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle, WA. Established in the 1920s, the cinema and performance hall is a luxurious, multi-purpose auditorium. Designated as the City of Seattle landmark, the theater is owned and operated by the Seattle Theater group. People who are performance art lovers must visit this place.

It hosts numerous Broadway theatres, concerts, dance, comedy, family engagements, silent film, and jazz all over the year. The Paramount Theater has hosted many iconic musical and theatrical performances throughout its establishment. From Pink Floyd, Madonna, Nirvana, Adele, and Bob Marley to iconic theater productions like Cats, its history has seen it all.

Enjoying a show at the Paramount Theater is one of the most exciting experiences of downtown Seattle. Visit their website to know more about the shows that the theater will be hosting at the time of your visit.


Seattle Space Needle | Photo Credit – Jason Wolff

This is the iconic landmark that is a six-hundred and fifty-foot tall tower just outside downtown Seattle, at the Seattle Center. It is one of the most popular things to do in Seattle, WA. It is available in every bucket list of the things to visit here. Space Needle offers the most stunning views of the DT, the waterfront, and the mountains in Seattle. 

Its lower deck has revolving glass floors and the upper deck has floor-to-ceiling glass walls that give uninterrupted views. It is the best place to spam your Instagram followers from. There is also an observation deck and a fine dining restaurant. Virtual bungee jumping for the brave ones is also offered here. Different ticket package deals are available here online for visitors. It is open daily.

Take a tour to enjoy many other exciting things to do around the Space Needle. Many dining and drinking places, markets, and a list of Seattle hotels are around this location.


Starbucks Reserve Roastery | Photo Credit – Nick Amoscato

Become a part of the millennial coffee culture by making a visit to the first Starbucks Reserve in the world. Its location is Pike Street. Here, you can experience the whole process of coffee making. From the arrival of the beans, their passage through the loading pit, to the roasting process, everything can be seen at the Starbucks Reserve. They also serve fresh coffee here. 

Make sure you get yourself some souvenirs like Starbucks espresso or Starbucks triple eight-ounce packages of clover brewed reserve blends packed. Just nine blocks away in Pike Market from this roaster is the world’s first Starbucks store.


Seattle Aquarium | Photo Credit – jc.winkler

At 1483 Alaskan Way on Pier 59 of the waterfront there is one of the best things to do in Washington, Seattle. Seattle Aquarium is a public aquarium that features native fish and mammals of the Pacific Northwest. The aquarium promotes marine conservation and educates its visitors about marine life.

The exhibits of the museum including Window on Washington Waters, Underwater Dome, and Crashing Waves have the most astonishing features. There are two touch tanks. These touch tanks feature animals of the inland sea and outer coast. A display of two giant pacific octopuses, moon jellies, gill sharks, sea stars, Pacific coral reefs, local birds, Harbor Seals, Great Northern Fur Seals, and Sea Otters are also here. 

The children below 3 years have free admission here. People who are curious about water life just visit this place. Visit their website for more information.


Seattle Central Library | Photo Credit – Ming-yen Hsu

Seattle Central Library is not just a library but a tourist location in downtown Seattle. Housed in a modern glass and steel structure, the library has a very extensive and diverse collection of books. The best way to experience this library is to visit its observation deck on the 10th floor.

Walk down to the main floor along the Book Spiral. The Book Spiral organizes the library’s books in one continuous path of uninterrupted Dewey Decimal progression. Admission to the library is for free.


Seattle Westlake Center | Photo Credit – Loren Javier

Westlake Center is a four-story shopping center and 25-story office tower in downtown Seattle, Washington. Seattle Center Monorail is located in front of the Westlake Center on Pine Street.

It is home to some of the top shops and dining places in the city. From high-end boutiques, jewelry stores, to artisan beauty stores, there is everything for every type of shoppers here at the Westlake Center. 

After having your fix of retail therapy here, you can enjoy some best coffee and drinks around this place.


The Museum of History and Industry | Photo Credit – boatbliS.S.

Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) is a history museum. It is located in the South Lake Union neighborhood of the city. With over four million artifacts, it is the largest private heritage organization in Washington. 

The museum is dedicated to spreading awareness about Seattle’s history and industry. Visit this museum to experience the culture and heritage of Seattle in a very comprehensive way. It also hosts many programs and events about the history of the Emerald city all over the year.

Also, read about things to do in Bradenton.

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