Picture this: you’re standing at the top of the Space Needle, gazing out over the city as the sun sets behind Mount Rainier. You can see all of Seattle’s most famous landmarks laid out before you.
The Space Needle, of course, is the most famous landmark in the city, but there are plenty of other landmarks that are just as worthy of your attention.
- Famous Landmarks in Seattle You Need to Visit
- Space Needle
- Pike Place Market
- The Columbia Center
- Ballard Locks (Hiram M. Chittenden Locks)
- Pioneer Square
- Saint James Cathedral
- Museum of Pop Culture
- The Seattle Underground
- T-Mobile Park
- Seattle Public Library
- Seattle Great Wheel
- Chief Seattle Sculpture
- George Washington Memorial Bridge
- Smith Tower
- Mount Rainier
- Bruce Lee Gravesite
- Final Thoughts
Famous Landmarks in Seattle You Need to Visit
Here are 16 of Seattle’s most famous landmarks you need to visit on your next trip to the Emerald City.
Every Hollywood movie set in Seattle has a shot of the Space Needle, and for a good reason. It’s an iconic piece of architecture that symbolizes the city.
Built in 1962 for the World’s Fair, the Space Needle is 605 feet tall and has an observation deck that offers incredible views of the city.
If you’re afraid of heights, don’t worry – there’s also a restaurant at the top of the Space Needle that rotates slowly, so you can enjoy the views without stepping out onto the observation deck.
Pike Place Market
This historic market has been in operation since 1907, and it’s the place to go for fresh seafood, produce, flowers, and more.
Farmers from all over Washington come to Pike Place Market to sell their wares, and you’ll find everything from strawberries to salmon.
Pike Place Market is also home to the original Starbucks, so be sure to stop in for a cup of coffee.
But, even if you don’t buy anything, it’s worth strolling through the market to soak up the atmosphere.
The Columbia Center
Standing at 933 feet tall, the Columbia Center is the tallest building in the Pacific Northwest and the West Coast.
It’s home to 76 stories of offices, shops, and restaurants, and it also has an observation deck on the 73rd floor.
Also, it has a beautiful glass exterior that reflects the city skyline. In 2018, the Columbia Center underwent a renovation, so it’s looking better than ever.
Ballard Locks (Hiram M. Chittenden Locks)
Ballard Locks is an engineering marvel that allows ships and boats to move between the freshwater of Lake Union and the salt water of Puget Sound.
And it’s right in the heart of some of the city’s best shopping, dining, and entertainment. The locks were built in 1917, and they’re still going strong today.
Every year, millions of visitors come to see the locks in action.
As the name suggests, Pioneer Square is the original site of Seattle’s first settlement. It’s now a historic district with plenty of shops, galleries, and restaurants.
And it’s the perfect place to start your exploration of Seattle’s history. Pioneer Square is also home to some of the city’s best nightlife. So if you want to stay out late, this is the place to be.
Saint James Cathedral
It is difficult to miss the St. James Cathedral, with its towering spires that loom over the city. It was built in 1907 and is a beautiful example of Renaissance Revival architecture.
St. James Cathedral is the seat of the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Seattle. The cathedral’s interior is just as stunning as the exterior, with stained glass windows, a grand organ, and beautiful mosaic floors.
Museum of Pop Culture
Formerly known as the Experience Music Project, the Museum of Pop Culture is a must-visit for any music lover.
The museum has exhibits on everything from rock ‘n’ roll to hip hop, and it’s also home to the world’s largest collection of Jimi Hendrix memorabilia.
Even if you’re not a huge music fan, the Museum of Pop Culture is worth a visit for its incredible architecture.
The exterior of the building is covered in over a thousand metal pieces that shimmer in the sunlight.
The Seattle Underground
The Seattle Underground is a network of tunnels and basements that were once the city’s streets.
In 1889, a fire destroyed much of the city, and the streets were rebuilt on top of the old ones. Today, you can tour the Seattle Underground to see what the city was like before the fire. It’s a fascinating glimpse into Seattle’s history.
If you’re a baseball fan, you’ll want to check out T-Mobile Park, home of the Seattle Mariners. The stadium was built in 1999 and is one of the country’s most picturesque ballparks.
The park is in downtown Seattle, and it’s easy to get to by public transportation. Once you’re there, you’ll enjoy views of Elliott Bay and the downtown skyline.
It has a retractable roof, so you can enjoy a game even if it’s raining. Thanks to the variety of food and drink vendors, you can enjoy a meal or drink at the park while watching the game.
Seattle Public Library
The Seattle Public Library is one of the most visited libraries in the United States. And it’s easy to see why. The library is full of beautiful artwork and an impressive collection of books.
The building itself is a work of art, with a stunning glass facade. And if you’re looking for a place to relax, the library has a quiet reading room with views of the city.
Seattle Great Wheel
Seattle Great Wheel is a Ferris wheel on the waterfront. Standing at 175 ft, it’s one of the tallest Ferris wheels in the world.
Covered with over half a million LED lights, the Great Wheel is also one of the most beautiful. It’s a great way to get a birds-eye view of the city, and it’s especially beautiful at night.
The wheel has 42 air-conditioned gondolas, so you can ride comfortably on a hot day. The Great Wheel is a great place to go for a romantic date or just to enjoy the view.
Chief Seattle Sculpture
This symbolic sculpture of Chief Seattle was created by American artist James Wehn. The statue is located in Tilikum Place, commemorating the Duwamish tribe‘s connection to the land. The sculpture is made of steel and stands over 8 feet tall. It’s a beautiful and moving tribute to the Duwamish tribe and their history.
George Washington Memorial Bridge
Also known as the Aurora Bridge, the George Washington Memorial Bridge is a steel truss bridge that spans the length of Lake Union.
The bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Seattle, and it’s a popular spot for photographers. The views from the bridge are incredible, and you can see all of downtown Seattle from the top.
If you’re looking for a thrill, you can bungee jump off the bridge. But if you’re not feeling quite so adventurous, you can just enjoy the view from the top.
Smith Tower was built in 1914 and is a beautiful example of Art Deco architecture. The tower has an observation deck on the 35th floor, and it’s one of the best places to get a panoramic view of the city.
On a clear day, you can see all the way to Mount Rainier. The tower is also home to a speakeasy, and it’s one of the best places in the city to get a cocktail.
Plus, there are self-guided tours available at the tower, and it’s a great way to learn about the history of Seattle.
Arguably the most iconic landmark in Seattle is Mount Rainier. The mountain is the tallest in the Cascade Range. It is also one of the most popular hiking destinations in the area.
The mountain was first summited in 1870 by a group of intrepid explorers. And since then, it has been drawing visitors from all over the world.
Mount Rainier is also an active volcano; its last major eruption occurred in 1984. The good news is that it’s unlikely that the mountain will erupt again any time soon. So you can rest assured that it’s safe to visit.
Bruce Lee Gravesite
Bruce Lee was a martial artist, actor, and director considered by many to be the father of modern martial arts. He died in 1973 at 32, but his legacy continues through his films, books, and teachings.
The Bruce Lee Gravesite is located in Lake View Cemetery, a popular destination for locals and tourists. The gravesite is simple and modest, but it is a powerful reminder of the incredible impact that Bruce Lee had on the world.
If you are ever in Seattle, check out the Bruce Lee Gravesite. It is a fantastic place to pay tribute to a true legend.
Seattle is a beautiful city with so much to offer. From stunning natural scenery to incredible feats of engineering, the city has something for everyone.
These 16 landmarks are some of the best that Seattle has to offer. So whether you’re a local or a tourist, be sure to check them out. You won’t be disappointed.
Which of these landmarks are you most excited to visit? Let us know in the comments below.
More about our TFVG Author
A seasoned traveller, Dad, and avid sports tourist, James foundered The Family Vacation Guide to share his expert vacation experiences- especially when it comes to being a travelling family man.
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