Stroll above and below Seattle, a city literally rebuilt atop its own ruins, with nonstop and witty historical commentary about the unique events and characters that shaped the city. Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour is a leisurely guided walking tour beneath Seattle’s sidewalks and streets. While you roam the subterranean passages that once were the main roadways and first-floor storefronts of old downtown Seattle, tour guides share humorous stories Seattle’s pioneers didn’t want you to hear.
Seattle’s world-famous Pike Place Market is the oldest continually operating farmers’ market in America. More than 300 shops and restaurants, 100 farmers, 150 craftspeople and 50 street performers call the market home.
For a change of pace, take a Spirit of Washington Dinner Train excursion, which glides along the eastern shore of Lake Washington, while you enjoy gourmet cuisine and award-winning wines. The 44-mile round trip also includes a one-hour stop at a winery in Woodinville, with time for a tour and tasting.
Resting on the doorstep of one of the richest and most diverse aquatic habitats on Earth, the Seattle Aquarium’s world-class exhibits and unique underwater viewing dome take you close up to the wonders of Puget Sound marine life.
The Science Fiction Museum is the first museum devoted to this dynamic and far-reaching genre. The museum combines artifacts and information in evocative environments, immersing visitors in science fiction’s "alternative worlds." The museum is also home to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, honoring the legends and luminaries who have shaped humanity’s visions of the future. The members of the Hall of Fame represent major figures in the establishment of the science fiction genre.
More than 190 galleries are located in the greater Seattle area, with many more throughout the state and region. Exhibits of every kind abound including a full range of framed art, sculptures, blown glass, jewelry, contemporary animation, pottery, Native American collectibles, clocks, antiques and handcrafted furniture.
Seattle and Washington State are well known for boutique beers and quality microbreweries. Some offer tours and tastings, including Redhook Ale Brewery in Woodinville as well as the Pike Pub and Brewery, and Pyramid Brewery and Alehouse in downtown Seattle. Beers can also be sampled at Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant in Pacific Place and Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery at Rainier Square.
For nature lovers, Seattle has many gardens to enjoy. The Washington Park Arboretum and Bloedel Reserve are beautiful at any time of year. Visit parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the Tropical Rain Forest and the Rose Garden at the Woodland Park Zoo, or the Bellevue Botanical Garden. How about water gardens, a Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection or fields of lavender for the picking in midsummer? Ann Lovejoy’s Garden School, Elandan Gardens, Lakewold Gardens and the internationally known Heronswood are also nearby.
Whale watching is a popular activity in the Pacific Northwest, with the three local pods of orcas (currently 84) most often observed between May and September. Excursions are available from Everett, Anacortes, La Conner, Bellingham, San Juan and Orcas Islands and Sidney and Victoria, British Columbia. Kayaking/whale watching expeditions are also available in the San Juans.
A wealth of national and state parks, national forests and
scenic areas plus the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument make Washington
State a one-of-a-kind nature destination—featuring everything from temperate
rainforests, volcanic ruins and craggy mountain peaks to high desert terrain.