If you’re planning a trip to Seattle as a newcomer, or maybe you’re going back for more, consider these non-tourist activities. Every city has its famous must-see spots, but if you’re just not feeling the Space Needle or Pike’s Market try some places the locals frequent, to get a more authentic Seattle experience.
The most commonly sought after museums in Seattle are the MoPop (formerly EMP) and the Chilhuy Glass Museum, both of which are really cool and definitely worth seeing. But literally any other museum in the city would be less tourist-y. Pacific Science Center, and Seattle Art Museum might still be tourist-y because they’re still pretty well known so consider alternatives like Museum of History & Industry, Burke Museum of Natural History, Center For Wooden Boats, Living Computers or Nordic Museum. Seattle even has a museum about pinball machines if that get your gears turning.
While Seattle is a fun, thriving and eclectic city there are sites to see outside of the city too. Luckily being the ever-green state, those sites aren’t too far, and you’ll feel more like a Washington native after seeing its beautiful scenery.
Some trails are much flatter than others, and will be more like walking than hiking like Franklin Falls, and Coal Creek Falls, which both end in, you guessed it, beautiful views of waterfalls. Hikes with a higher elevation and require more work for the able-bodied person are Heather Lake, Snow Lake and Rattlesnake Ledge. They are all gorgeous options so choose which one you think you’re most comfortable trying and be sure to have a mode of a mode transportation-preferably a car to get there.
Try some of the local, lesser-known dives in Seattle. Avoid the long lines at the first Starbucks or Dick’s old fashioned hamburgers and venture out. Seattle is home to some great teriyaki or dim sum restaurants. Or if you’re feeling more in the mood for Thai, Wallingford has a great vegetarian-friendly Thai place called The Jhan-Jay.
Seattle has many original and locally-owned only restaurants to choose from, that cater to all dietary needs, because its the West Coast after all. While you’re in Seattle, if you’re craving donuts, try Mighty-O Donuts, also located in Wallingford. They started out in Seattle specializing in using organic, non-GMO, and non-animal derive ingredients to cater to specialty dietary needs while having a great respect for the environment.
Seattle is a youthful city, so of course there are lots of bars to choose from. Seattle is also “hipster” in their approach to having craft brewed beer, and since Washington and Oregon thrive off fruit orchards its no surprise they like their wine.
An interesting, local place located in Capitol Hill is called Unicorn, a carnival themed bar serving fun food, strong beverages, with hilarious names, and even has a photo booth and arcade games to ensure you have a wild, fun-filled night. This is a 21+ only place.
If the party doesn’t stop for you, try some of the local brewing pubs like Elysian Brewing Co., Good Bar in Pioneer Square, Brouwer’s Café in Fremont, or Quinn’s Pub in Capitol Hill.
Seattle has an eclectic variety of stores to choose from. If you’re looking for alternative attire, Panache located in Capital Hill caters to Gothic-inclined aesthetic and has plenty of nightclub clothes. Located in The University District is an oddities store called The Gargoyle Statuary that supports local artists, selling originals, prints, candles, journals, animal skulls, things pertaining to Wiccan and the Occult and of course gargoyle statues. It seriously feels like you just stepped into Halloweentown (from The Nightmare Before Christmas, not the Disney Channel original movies, which are awesome too) when you walk in this shop.
Seattle also has great record stores like Golden Oldies in the Wallingford neighborhood (oh and while you’re there be sure to check out The Sock Monster Boutique), Jive Time Records, Easy Street Records & Café, and Neptune Music Co. which is like a hoarders paradise or “thrifter” heaven with all its heavily discounted records, CDs, cassettes, DVDs and Blu-rays.