Gateway Towns

Seattle, Washington’s Top 5

From a fantastic market to a bookstore that’s survived Amazon, see the best of Seattle.

Pike Place Market

Reason to Go: It’s touristy, but even the locals love this market lined with little shops tucked away in a labyrinth of narrow walkways.

Tip: When it’s wet out, the crowds thin out and it feels more authentic. Right next to the entrance, eat at DeLaurenti, an Italian deli, wine and cheese shop.

Throwing fish at the Pike Place Fish Company in Seattle
Throwing fish at the Pike Place Fish Company in SeattleDeposit Photos

Seattle Public Library

Reason to Go: This 11-story architectural marvel completed in 2004 is a glass-and-steel building that looks as if the steel is a net around the glass.

Tip: Visit the “Living Room” on the third floor intended for patrons to read. Then check out the “Books Spiral” where you’ll find the library’s non-fiction collection stretching continuously up four floors without interruption to its Dewey Decimal system.

Seattle Public Library
Seattle Public LibraryPixabay

Elliott Bay Book Co.

Reason to Go: Located in Capitol Hill, this bookstore, which opened in 1973, has been around much longer than Amazon and holds more than 150,000 titles.

Tip: Check the author reading series schedule in advance to coincide your visit with a talk. You can grab a bite to eat at the cafe here, which was Seattle’s first bookstore cafe.

Elliott Bay Book Co. in Seattle
Elliott Bay Book Co. in SeattleJoe Mable/Wikimedia Commons

Olympic Sculpture Park

Reason to Go: Set on 9 acres, this sculpture park is Seattle’s largest downtown green space.

Tip: After exploring, visit the Seattle Art Museum, one mile south.

Eagle sculpture in Seattle's Olympic Sculpture Garden with the Space Needle in the background
Eagle sculpture in Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Garden with the Space Needle in the backgroundDepositphotos

Pioneer Square

Reason to Go: Down the street from Pike Place Market, you’ll find trendy restaurants, shops and galleries housed in late 1800s Victorian and Romanesque Revival buildings.

Tip: Go on Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour where you can explore subterranean storefronts and sidewalks built before the Great Fire of 1889. After the fire, the city built on top of the ruins.

Nighttime in Seattle's Pioneer Square
Nighttime in Seattle’s Pioneer SquareDepositphotos