Looking for some epic things to add to your Seattle bucket list? From those iconic experiences, hidden gems, quirky finds, hipster spots, and the best food, cocktails, and coffee, here are over 150 things to check off your Seattle bucket list!
After something like eight trips to Seattle in eight years, you could say that it’s become one of my all-time favorite cities. I’ve fallen in love with the natural beauty of the area, the cool hipster vibe, and the amazing food (sooooo much amazing food). And, over the years I’ve found plenty to add to my Seattle bucket list.
There is soooo much to do in Seattle, from foodie adventures, urban hikes, cultural experiences, outdoor activities, taking photos at the most photogenic spots in the city, finding the best city views, and much, much more! I thought I had already done a lot in the Emerald City, but I still ended up finding so much more to add to my Seattle bucket list!
Luckily for me, Seattle is just a quick flight away (2 hours from San Francisco, where I used to live; and 3 hours from Orange County, my new home), and I see plenty of weekend trips to Seattle in my future!
Want to know all the best things to add to your Seattle bucket list? Keep on reading for all those bucket list experiences in the Emerald City!
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The Ultimate Seattle Bucket List
1. Watch the sunset (and take some Instagram photos) of the Seattle skyline at Kerry Park. | Queen Anne
2. Eat an award-winning Creole brunch at Toulouse Petit. | Queen Anne
3. Order the tasting menu at Canlis, Seattle’s finest restaurant. | Queen Anne
4. Sip on an espresso and contemplate a purchase of a fancy espresso machine at La Marzocco. | Queen Anne
5. Climb to the top of the Space Needle and enjoy the view – check out the rotating glass floors at the Loupe. | Seattle Center
6. Get wet at the International Fountain. | Seattle Center
7. Enjoy all the interactive exhibits at MoPOP, the museum dedicated to all things pop culture. | Seattle Center
8. Admire the stunning glass works of Dale Chihuly at the Chihuly Garden and Glass. | Seattle Center
9. Watch and IMAX movie at the Pacific Science Center. | Seattle Center
10. See the Seattle Opera or Pacific Northwest Ballet perform at McCaw Hall. | Seattle Center
11. Check out a roller derby event (or watch the biggest names in music perform) at the Climate Pledge Arena (formerly the Key Arena). | Seattle Center
12. Go to the Bumbershoot music festival – held every year during Labor Day weekend. This has been on my Seattle bucket list forever!| Seattle Center
13. Eat your way through Pike Place Market. Yes, touristy AF but a must on any Seattle bucket list| Pike Place
14. Eat a smoked salmon piroshky (a Russian pastry) from Piroshky, Piroshky. | Pike Place
15. Check out the first Starbucks location inside Pike Place at 1st & Pike – and get yourself a souvenir mug to commemorate it. | Pike Place
16. Snap a photo with the Pike Place gum wall, the second germiest attraction in the world (and add a piece of gum to it yourself, if you dare!). | Pike Place
17. Say hi to and drop a few coins into Rachel the Pig – doing so and rubbing her nose is said to bring you good luck. Proceeds go to the Market Foundation, which supports social services in Seattle. | Pike Place
18. Watch the fishmongers at Pike Place Fish Co. throw fish to each other, when someone purchases one. | Pike Place
19. Grab an artery-clogging breakfast at Biscuit Bitch. | Pike Place
18. Sample all the different chowder varieties at Pike Place Chowder. | Pike Place
19. Sample some cheese and eat some mac and cheese at Beecher’s Handmade Cheeses. | Pike Place
20. Eat a delicious Italian dinner while watching a burlesque or trapeze show (on Saturday nights) at the Pink Door. | Pike Place
21. Order a mule or a boozy float at Rachel’s Ginger Beer. | Pike Place
22. Go to the burlesque Sunday brunch at the Can Can. | Pike Place
23. Get a bag of freshly baked mini donuts at Daily Dozen. | Pike Place
24. Order the omakase at Sushi Kashiba, helmed by Shiro Kashiba, one of Seattle’s legendary sushi chefs who is a three time James Beard Award winner, and who once trained with Jiro Ono of Jiro Dreams of Sushi. | Pike Place
25. Sip on a quality cocktail at Zig Zag Cafe – known as one of the best bars in town, according to the city’s bartenders. | Pike Place
26. Take a stroll along the Seattle waterfront. | Belltown
27. Admire the view from the top of the Seattle Great Wheel, the tallest ferris wheel on the US west coast. | Belltown
28. Take a walk and admire the public art at the Olympic Sculpture Park. | Belltown
29. Pick up a box of milk chocolate sea salt caramels at Fran’s – apparently, they are Barack Obama’s favorite! | Belltown
30. Try the coconut cream pie and the made-to-order donuts at any of Tom Douglas’s restaurants (or pick them up at Dahlia Bakery). | multiple locations
32. Order the dealer’s choice at Bathtub Gin – pick a spirit, decide if you’re feeling sweet or sassy, and let the bartenders work their magic! | Belltown
33. Get a delicious wood-fired pizza at Serious Pie – the sausage is a favorite. | multiple locations
34. Eat cheap, fresh sushi by enjoying the happy hour specials at Umi Sake House. | Belltown
35. Admire all of the art at the Seattle Art Museum. | Belltown
36. Feast on some delicious pasta at Tavolata. Insider tip: go during Happy Hour (5-7 pm daily) for the best deals! | multiple locations
37. Go see a show at the Showbox, in an art deco building across from Pike Place Market. | Belltown
38. Grab a burger, fries, and a shake at Dick’s Drive-In. | Multiple locations
39. Check out the view from the top of the Columbia Tower, home of the tallest observation deck in the Pacific Northwest. | Downtown/First Hill
40. Admire the award-winning architecture of the Seattle Central Library – and check out the view from the 10th floor atrium. | Downtown/First Hill
41. Take the monorail to Seattle Center. | Downtown/First Hill
42. Take the SLUT (aka South Lake Union Tram) streetcar. | Downtown/First Hill
43. Shop at the flagship Nordstrom – a Seattle bucket list must for shopaholics!| Downtown/First Hill
44. Drink a cold brew and eat a quaffle (a cinnamon roll, waffle and croissant hybrid) at Anchorhead Coffee. | Downtown/First Hill
45. Wait in line to grab a sandwich at Salumi – if you happen to catch them at a time that they’re open (check their hours – they are odd). | Pioneer Square
46. Enjoy a cup of single-origin coffee at Elm Coffee Roasters. | Multiple locations
47. Learn about Seattle’s history on the Seattle Underground Tour. | Pioneer Square
48. Check out the view from the top of the Smith Tower, Seattle’s first skyscraper. | Pioneer Square
49. Browse the art galleries in Pioneer Square during the First Thursday art walk – the first of its kind in the nation. | Pioneer Square
50. Check out the Iron Pergola and Tlingit totem pole, Seattle’s first landmark, at the corner of Yesler Way and 1st Avenue in Pioneer Square. | Pioneer Square
51. Buy yourself an vintage throwback jersey or ballcap for the team of your choice from Ebbets Field Flannels. | Pioneer Square
52. Eat your lunch or sip on a cup of coffee in front of a roaring waterfall at the Waterfall Garden, at the site of the original UPS headquarters in Pioneer Square. | Pioneer Square
53. Join the pep rally/parade (complete with a marching band) on the way to cheer on the Seattle Sounders. | Pioneer Square/SoDo
54. Browse the fun little knick knacks and get a bento box at Uwajimaya. | International District
55. Get the city’s best Szechuan food at Seven Stars Pepper. | International District
56. Eat some xiao long bao dumplings at Dough Zone. | International District
57. Get a curry pan (curry bun) at Fuji Bakery. | International District
58. Feast on some sushi at Maneki, Seattle’s oldest sushi restaurant. | International District
59. Slurp on a bowl of comforting pho or grab a bahn mi sandwich in the International District – Pho So 1, Pho Bac Sup Shop (try the dry pho here), and Saigon Deli are supposed to have some of the best. | International District
60. Try to snag a spot at Tsukushinbo. If you’re lucky enough to, you will be rewarded with super authentic sushi, including hard-to-find varieties such as barracuda or smoked kinmedai. On the weekends, order the ramen as well! | International District
61. Check out the largest pinball collection in the Pacific Northwest at the Seattle Pinball Museum. | International District
62. Check out all the vintage computers on display at the Museum of Living Computers. | SoDo
63. Attend a Seattle Seahawks game at CenturyLink Field, and become part of “the 12.” | SoDo
64. Enjoy America’s favorite pastime and attend a Seattle Mariners game at T-Mobile Park. | SoDo
65. Go to a show at the Showbox SoDo. | SoDo
66. See the houseboats on Lake Union, including the one from Sleepless in Seattle – you can see them either by renting a boat, or taking a lake cruise. | South Lake Union
67. Tour the Seattle Spheres, a botanical garden-like workspace serving as part of the Amazon headquarters campus. | South Lake Union
68. Try some chowder fries (clam chowder poured over a plate of french fries) at the White Swan Public House. | South Lake Union
69. Take a Kenmore Air seaplane flight from Lake Union. You can even fly to Victoria, BC – which makes it the world’s tiniest international airport! This one has been on my Seattle bucket list for so long! | South Lake Union
70. Kayak on the lake – either at Lake Union or Lake Washington. | Multiple locations
71. Rent a free rowboat at the Sunday Free Sail at the Center for Wooden Boats. | South Lake Union
72. Shop at the REI flagship store, at the company headquarters. | South Lake Union
73. Gather some friends (up to 5) and rent a hot tub boat to sail around Lake Union. I knew that I had to add this to my Seattle bucket list as soon as I heard about it! | South Lake Union
74. Sip on some cocktails and enjoy the view from the rooftop at the swanky M Bar. | South Lake Union.
75. Get a pistachio croissant on the weekends at Crumble and Flake (go early – they run out quick!). | Capitol Hill
76. Escape the rain and check out the plants and the Victorian style architecture of the Volunteer Park Conservatory. | Capitol Hill
77. Get a specialty coffee, a flight, a whiskey barrel-aged cold brew, or a cocktail at the original Starbucks Reserve Roastery. | Capitol Hill
78. Browse the local book selection at the Elliott Bay Book Company, a must on your Seattle bucket list if you’re a book lover! | Capitol Hill
79. Drink cocktails made with locally distilled craft spirits at Sun Liquor or Sol Lounge. | Capitol Hill
80. Channel your inner lumberjack with some axe-throwing at Blade & Timber. | Capitol Hill
81. Eat a creative, hyper-seasonal kaiseki-style Japanese prix fixe dinner at Adana – you can choose from three, five, or seven course options. | Capitol Hill
82. Try to snag a reservation for some cocktails at Needle & Thread…or try your luck at the pay phone, located at the entrance next to Tavern Law. This has been on my Seattle bucket list forever, but I still haven’t been able to get in…fingers crossed next time!| Capitol Hill
83. Drink a das boot and play some bocce ball at Rhein Haus. | Capitol Hill
84. Eat an ooey-gooey, rich, molten chocolate lava cake at Hot Cakes. | Multiple locations
85. Grab a slice of pie and a Pie-tini at Pie Bar (and get a whiff of those pies baking in the oven!). | Multiple Locations
86. Grab a creative cocktail at Canon, an award-winning bar known to have the “world’s best spirits selection.” A must on any cocktail lover’s Seattle bucket list!| Capitol Hill
87. Eat a Seattle Dog – a hot dog topped with grilled onions and cream cheese. | Various locations
88. Grab some abodaba pork tacos at Tacos Chukis. | Capitol Hill
89. Snap a photo with the rainbow crosswalks in Capitol Hill. | Capitol Hill
90. Pay your respects at the grave of Bruce Lee (and his son Brandon Lee) at the Lakeview Cemetery. | Capitol Hill
91. Stroll down the promenade and check out the reflecting pool at Cal Anderson Park. | Capitol Hill
92. Eat brunch on the hidden patio at Oddfellows Cafe. | Capitol Hill
93. Eat the nasi goreng at Kedai Makan. | Capitol Hill
94. Sample coffee at the coffee cupping at Victrola Coffee, held every Wednesday at 11am. | Capitol Hill
95. Sample all the oysters at Taylor Shellfish Farms. | Multiple locations
96. Grab some cocktails and play carnival games (and win some X-rated prizes) at Unicorn. | Capitol Hill
97. Slurp on a bowl of late-night pho at Ba Bar. | Capitol Hill
98. Eat some organic, seasonal ice cream at Molly Moon – try the honey lavender or rose milk tea! | Multiple locations
99. Enjoy a perfectly crafted latte at Espresso Vivace, a Seattle bucket list must for any coffee lover! | Multiple locations
100. Try all the creative flavors of donuts at General Porpoise Doughnuts – the lemon curd is a fave! | Multiple locations
101. Enjoy the views of Lake Washington while running, walking, or biking on Lake Washington Blvd. | Madrona
102. Pay tribute to Kurt Cobain at the home where he spent his last days on 171 Lake Washington Blvd. You can’t actually go up to the house, but you can see it from across the street at Viretta Park. | Madrona
103. Find a moment of Zen at the Japanese Garden, and partake in a traditional tea ceremony. | Washington Park
104. Pretend you’re in the Hogwarts Library at the Suzzallo Library on the University of Washington campus – a must on your Seattle bucket list especially if you are a Harry Potter lover! | University District
105. Admire all the cherry blossoms in bloom on the University of Washington campus. | University District | University District
106. Grab an espresso at Cafe Allegro, Seattle’s “original espresso bar.” | University District
107. Check out all the weird, tacky, and just terrible art at the Official Bad Art Museum of Art (aka “OBAMA”) inside Cafe Racer. | University District
108. Look for the bright red Letter Farmer truck and write an old-school “wish you were here” letter to a loved one. | Multiple locations
109. Walk, run, or bike around Green Lake. | Green Lake
110. Grab a cortado (and admire the wallpaper) at Preserve and Gather. | Greenwood
111. See the wildlife at the Woodland Park Zoo, an award-winning 92-acre oasis featuring over 300 animal species. | Phinney Ridge
112. Have a picnic on the grass and fly a kite on a sunny day at Gas Works Park (and check out all the ruins from the Seattle Gas Power Company, the sole remaining coal gasification plant in the United States). | Wallingford
113. Drink some coffee and play with some kittens at the Seattle Meowtropolitan Cafe. | Wallingford
114. Tour the Theo chocolate factory – and sample some chocolates, too! Also buy some cheap chocolates from the bargain bin. | Fremont
115. Get a Cuban sandwich at Paseo. | Fremont
116. See a grunge show at Substation. | Fremont
117. Take a walk and watch the ships go by at the Fremont Canal Park. | Fremont
118. Say hi to and take a picture with the Fremont Troll. | Fremont
119. Sit on the patio and sip on some craft brews from Fremont Brewing. | Fremont
120. Visit the “center of the universe” in Fremont (or just the sign that proclaims itself as such). | Fremont
121. Grab a cup of “snobby” coffee (according to Food & Wine magazine) at Milstead & Co.(and get an education in coffee while you’re at it). | Fremont
122. Browse through all the vendors at the European-style Fremont Sunday Market. | Fremont
123. Eat dinner at Joule – a modern Korean fusion steakhouse. | Fremont
124. Get a slice of ube cheesecake at Hood Famous Cafe and Bar. | Ballard
125. Watch the boats go through the Ballard Locks – also see the salmon climb up the ladder from the viewing platform underneath. | Ballard
126. Sample all of the day’s oysters at the Walrus and the Carpenter, a Seattle bucket list must for oyster lovers! | Ballard
127. Browse through the stylish boutiques on Ballard Ave., listed on the National Register of Historical Places. | Ballard
128. Learn about Ballard’s Scandinavian heritage at the Nordic Heritage Museum. | Ballard
129. Sample all the microbrews in Ballard: some of the best are found at Stoup, Reuben’s (recently named one of the 10 best in the US), Populuxe (named Washington’s best small brewery in 2018), Maritime Pacific Brewing Company, and Hale’s Ales. You can even take a brewery tour here.| Ballard
130. Stroll along the beachfront trails at Golden Gardens Park. | Ballard
131. Eat fresh seafood in Ballard, either at Chinooks, and Ray’s Boathouse. | Ballard
132. Browse through the stalls and listen to some live music at the Ballard Farmer’s Market, held every Sunday. | Ballard
133. Hike to the lighthouse at Discovery Park. | Magnolia
134. Spend the day on the beach at Alki Beach (and snap a photo of the skyline). | West Seattle
135. Take a water taxi out to West Seattle. | West Seattle
136. Take a photo of the Seattle skyline and the Elliot Bay from Hamilton Viewpoint Park. | West Seattle
137. Shop for records or catch an in-store performance at Easy Street Records. | West Seattle
Seattle Bucket List Day Trips
138. Visit the tulip farms and attend the tulip festival in Skagit Valley. You can even take a tour that also includes local wine and cheese tastings here.
139. Enjoy the stunning views of Snoqualmie Valley on a hike of Rattlesnake Ledge.
140. Take the ferry out to the San Juan Islands and go whale watching.
141. Take the Washington State Ferry from downtown Seattle out to one of the islands of Puget Sound – Bainbridge (there’s plenty of things to do on Bainbridge Island without a car), Whidbey or Vashon.
142. Get up close and personal to the majestic Mt. Rainier and see the largest alpine glacial system outside of Alaska on a visit to Mt. Rainier National Park. You an take a small group day tour here.
143. Enjoy the breathtaking natural beautiful of Olympic National Park – from the fern-covered Hoh rainforest, the stunning mountain views of Hurricane Ridge, the serene beauty of Lake Crescent, to the towering Marymere falls. You can take a small group day tour here.
Want to learn more about Olympic National Park? Here’s my detailed guide to Olympic National Park!
144. Admire the majestic 268-foot tall Snoqualmie Falls. You can take a day tour there + go wine tasting in Woodiville (the next item on this Seattle bucket list) here.
145. Go wine tasting in Woodinville, home to over 100 wineries and tasting rooms. Don’t want to worry a driving? Grab some friends and hire a limo here.
146. Tour the Boeing Factory and the Future of Flight Aviation Center in Everett, and see the production of a modern commercial jet.
147. Take the Victoria Clipper out to Victoria, BC. and visit the iconic Butchart Gardens.
148. Attend the Oktoberfest festival and/or check out the Christmas festivities in Leavenworth, Washington’s Bavarian village.
149. Check out the glass art at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma.
150. See the conifer trees, glacier peaks, and clear blue lakes at North Cascades National Park.
151. Go volcano watching at Mt. Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument, home of the volcano which last erupted in 1980. You can take a small group day tour there here.
152. Climb to the top of Mt. Baker, the third highest mountain in Washington.
Have you ever been to Seattle? What are some of the things on your Seattle bucket list?
You might also like:
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2 Days in Portland
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Monday 27th of July 2020
I haven't been to Seatle just yet, but I confess your post made me want to go sooner, definitely went up on my USA bucket list, such a cool destination. That Russian pastry made my mouth water haha.
Monday 27th of July 2020
I've always imagined Seattle as a tranquil chill sort of place - and this definitely confirms it. Even the food you listed feels soooo hygge 😅
Sunday 26th of July 2020
Love Seattle! I miss living there. Great guide for a magical city!
Sunday 26th of July 2020
This is such a cool post, so comprehensive! I've always wanted to visit Seattle. Definitely saving this. would love to see the Waterfall Garden.
Catherine @ To & Fro Fam
Sunday 26th of July 2020
I'm curious about the ferris wheel - do you think it's worth it? I've done many of these Seattle bucket list things to do but there are so many more to do! I can't believe I've never been to the Chihuly glass museum.