Seattle is a beautiful city to visit surrounded by Lake Washington, Puget Sound, as well as the Cascade mountain range. Seattle has the distinction of being one of the few cities in the US that has an underground city as well. Though it is no longer in use visitors can take a tour of a section that has been restored for tourism purposes. This underground portion of the city was once considered ground level until the Great Fire of 1889 destroyed the business district of Seattle. When the city rebuilt the area, buildings were required to be built in brick a retaining wall was put in and ground level eventually became basement level. Until the new buildings were finished shop keepers continued to run business out of the structures that remained. Stone arches were built over the walkways and alleys of the old buildings and a lighting system was put in to help business continue. After the area was rebuilt businesses no longer needed to use the lower level. The underground area soon became an area notorious for illegal gambling halls and opium dens. This section of the city runs under what is now known as Pioneer Square in Seattle. Visitors can also check out some of the items savaged from the 1889 fire at the Museum of History & Industry.
Another popular place to visit in Seattle is Pikes Place Market. Pikes Place Market is an open-air fish market known for the spectacular show the fish market puts on each day. The best time to visit Pikes Place Market is before noon on the weekends to catch the fishmongers famously throwing their fresh catches around. Pikes Place Market is full of an assortment of other shops as well that have been drawing locals and guest since the early 1900’s. My favorite shop in Pikes Place Market is Market Magic Shop. Market Magic Shop is said to be the oldest magic shop in the Pacific Northwest. This one-of-a-kind magic shop is full of memorabilia of some of the greatest magicians of all time. Just across from the magic shop is the Giant Shoe Museum though it may not sound exciting the display looks like something out of the bygone days of traveling circuses and it only cost 50 cents! Another place to visit while at the market is The Taproom at Pike Place. The Taproom is a small batch brewery with a rotating menu of local beers. This is a good spot to have lunch and try some of the best brews Seattle’s has to offer!
The Space Needle is the most iconic landmark in Seattle created for a World Fair in 1962. Visitors can make a trip to the rotating glass floored observation deck which is at 520 feet of the 605 feet needle. From the observation deck guests can see the Puget Sound, Mount Rainer, the Olympic Mountains, the Cascade Mountains, Mount Baker as well as Elliot Bay. The Space Needle is also known for its rotating restaurant Sky City. The Space Needle also has the distinction of having the Loupe a new addition to the needle. The Loupe is the world’s only rotating glass floor cocktail lounge.
The area the Space Needle is located is known as Seattle Center spanning 74 acres this area was once the location of the 1962 World Fair. Seattle Center is the most popular area of Seattle to visit. One of the many interesting places in Seattle Center is the Pacific Science Center an interactive science center with laser shows, IMAX theaters, a butterfly habitat as well Willard Smith Planetarium. Just outside of the Pacific Science Center is the Sonic Blooms interactive art display. These 20-40 foot flowers are equipped with their own music that is activated by sensors that detects movement. Chihuly Garden and Glass art museum and sculpture garden is also located in Seattle Center. Chihuly’s feels like something out of a Dr. Suess book with its vibrant works of art by artist Dale Chihuly. The museum offers live glass work demonstrations as well as tours. Another museum at Seattle Center is the Seattle Children’s Museum, this hands-on museum is temporarily closed for public safety reasons, but well worth a visit. The Museum of Pop Culture is also located at Seattle Center the building itself is a work of art. Inspired by music legend Jimi Hendrix this museum houses the Science Fiction & Fantasy Hall of Fame. Just outside of the Museum of Pop Culture is Seattle City Pass where visitors can pick up all-inclusive passes for Seattle Center as well as the Seattle Zoo, Woodland Park Zoo, or take a harbor cruise.