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Top 10 Things for New Residents to Do in Seattle

By: Andrew Mortier
May 30, 2019

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

Seattle is so booooring…

Said no one ever. The hustle and bustle of the emerald city makes plenty of other urban vistas seem like ghost towns. You want something to do? You asked for it!

Here’s a sweet little list of the top 10 things to do in Seattle.

1. The Museum of Pop Culture

Formerly, this was the “Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame.”

Now you can utter its title in a single breath. Whether it’s an exhibit of sci-fi props from famous movies or an interactive fantasy experience in a dark faux-forest, this place has always got something cool going on.

2. Pacific Science Center

Where the Museum of Pop Culture is sci-fi, this is “sci-non-fi.” Er, real science.

Perfect for adults and kids alike, the PSC features lots of science-based attractions that make learning fun. Gravity, dinosaurs, anatomy, you name it.

3. Subterranean Seattle

In 1889, AKA the golden days, a fire burned a chunk of old Seattle to a crisp. The remains are underneath modern Seattle’s busy streets. Wasn't there a Futurama episode about this? The tour of this dark, underground Seattle is worth your time. It’s a strange, interesting look into Seattle’s past.

4. University of Washington

Things to do in Seattle? How about school!

But seriously, UW’s campus is absolutely gorgeous. It’s also home to Suzzallo Library, a gothic-cathedral-style building with a big winding staircase and… A Starbucks. Still, a great spot to kick back with a coffee and get some reading in.

5. Seattle Aquarium

Seattle had to go and one-up other cities’ aquariums by sitting its own aquatic zoo right by the docks. And some really tasty seafood restaurants, which some may find a bit unsettling. In any case, it’s a wondrous experience for landlubbers and sailors alike. Plus, Washington residents get a discount on tickets.

6. Gas Works Park

Rusty old gas plants have never been so alluring.

In this bright green park are the remains of the Seattle Gas Light Company’s aging “gasification plant.” It’s an impressive view, and there’s even a converted pump house for kids to romp around in. It’s all been decontaminated, so no worries there. Of all of Washington’s great parks, this one is by far the most unique.

7. Seattle Japanese Garden

The Washington Park Arboretum is awesome enough, but at one end is Seattle’s famous Japanese garden. It’s everything you want out of rural Japan: Koi fish, stylistic lanterns, and stone-paved bridges. When the weather is right, there is no better place in town for a pleasant stroll.

8. Pike Place Market

How to describe this place? It’s like a coastal, partially underground steampunk mall. You can go there several times and have totally different experiences. Staircases, winding streets, and alleyways weave around nifty shops and delicious restaurants. If you saw a large group of people taking pictures across the street, that is the original Starbucks location. You’ll be overwhelmed with the number of food options, so use our Foodie Guide to find the best spots.

9. Starbucks Reserve Roastery

Alas, no list of things to do in Seattle can escape the coffee giant. The reserve roastery is like the inside of a fancy distillery. In fact, it’s exactly that! Grinding machinery and coffee connoisseurs abound. You don’t go here for a drip or caramel macchiato. More like something with lavender, lemon pepper notes, and a zesty spice finish. The reserve roastery has tons of space to sit, so it’s a great place to gather with friends.

10. Frye Art Museum

Get your oil-on-canvas fix at Frye Art Museum, a classic collection of mostly 19th-Century visual pieces. There is a particular focus on dark, dramatic German paintings. Representational stuff. And it’s free! Bookmark their website, as they are constantly hosting different types of events.

These are our must-do’s when you move to Seattle, but the Emerald City offers so much more. Before making your move, learn about the average rent in Seattle to see if the city fits your budget!

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Drew is a contributing author at Apartment List. As a previous Seattleite, he obtained a B. Read More
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