I was surfing YouTube a few minutes ago, and I stumbled across a video from Internet Celebrity Chris Pirillo, fellow resident of the “Seattle Area” (I’m not sure if he lives in Seattle proper or not).
In it, he gives his “Top 10 Things to Do in Seattle”, which I have transcribed as follows:
1: Fremont Troll
2: Olympic Sculpture Park/Gas Works Park
3: EMP/Sci Fi Museum
4: XXX Root Beer Drive-In
5: Bruce Lee Grave Site
6: Seattle Bug Safari
7: Argosy Harbor/Ride The Ducks
8: Pike Place Market
9: Seattle Asian Art Museum/SAM
10: Seattle Museum of the Mysteries
Of course, I was outraged that Mr. Pirillo left out the obvious Space Needle, but I often forget things when I make lists as well.
Still, it inspired me to make my own.
In my list, I decided to leave out things that I have not done yet. For instance, soon, I plan to take a seaplane flight over Seattle, and I also plan to Ride The Ducks. Until I can personally review these things, however, I cannot recommend them.
Also, in my first list, I try not to include individual businesses/museums. I approached my list more along the lines of the basics. A Foundation. Places where, before you do anything else, you must absolutely and unequivocally go to truly “See Seattle”.
Off the top of my head, and which is sure to change frequently, I came up with the following:
This is sort of a museum, but it deserves an exception. It simply cannot and must not be overlooked.
The observation deck affords the best view in the world, eclipsing the Empire State Building, CN Tower, Washington Monument, Stratosphere, St. Louis Arch, and every other landmark tower I have ever been in.
Mountains, glaciers, skycrapers, water, there is no equal to the view from the Space Needle anywhere else on planet earth. I promise.
Taking The Monoroail from Westlake Park is gravy.
Seattle’s second most visible landmark (after the Space Needle). Pike Place is the Town Square of the Pacific Northwest — a place to eat, shop, and people watch. It’s also my second home. You can often spot me in the back, pecking away at my laptop, consuming a treat from a vendor while overlooking the Puget Sound.
3) The Ferry
Water travel is an integral part of Puget Sound culture. Ferries are fun, relaxing, and afford unmatched views of the surrounding landscape. If you visit Seattle without riding a ferry, then you’ve cheated yourself. I recommend the Bremerton line for maximum minute-for-dollar value and speed/view diversity. A strangely-good cup of hot chocolate from the vending machine is gravy.
Traversing parts of Capitol Hill, Pike/Pine, and First Hill, this is Seattle’s unofficial Main Street. Until you’ve walked (driving will not do) the entire length of Broadway, you haven’t really seen Seattle.
5) Kerry Park
The second best view in the world.
Weird, beautiful, and unique … the “Central Park of Seattle” is a must-visit.
7) Alki Beach
Sunbathe in the shadows of glaciers and skyscrapers. Build sand castles while watching ferries cross the sound. Best non-swimming beach (the water is too cold for most) in the world.
8) The S.L.U.T. & Transit Tunnel
The past, present, and future of Seattle transit. A great way to visit Lake Union from Downtown, The South Lake Union Trolley is the first installment of what will (hopefully) be many more streetcar lines.
Why wait, though? Ride it now.
Equally as integral to Seattle’s transit culture is the bus tunnel, where buses double as subway trains for 2 miles.
In addition, we also have a subway train now.
Ride it out to SeaTac and back for a quick tour of South Seattle and Beacon Hill.
9) Pioneer Square
Where it all started. Seattle’s “Old Town”. Homeless missions, clubs, and tons of retro architecture.
Technically Alki is where Seattle was officially founded, but our fist skyscraper still stand in Pioneer Square.
This probably goes without saying, but this is where the skyscrapers are, and this is urban ground zero for the entire Pacific Northwest.
There are more, such as the I.D., U-District, Ballard, Lake Union, etc … but in my opinion, the above is core. The absolutely minimum one must experience on a trip to Seattle.