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Seattle see + do

On fair summer days, with the waters of Puget Sound and Lake Union twinkling and mountains on almost every horizon, it's hard to see past Seattle's outdoor charms—kayaking, strolling along a beach trail, chilling out in a park or on a coffee shop's patio. But there are plenty of things to do in the city's indoor spaces, especially after several major museum overhauls. Most of the significant sightseeing spots are downtown and within easy reach of one another. Pike Place Market, the piers, and parts of Pioneer Square get overrun with tourists in summer, but even in this small city it's easy to explore in peace. Most Seattleites desert the downtown area as soon as the workday's done, so if you want a full picture of Seattle life, check out the residential neighborhoods as well.

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Art Galleries, Seattle

Many of the city's art galleries are clustered around historic Pioneer Square; to get a thorough overview of the neighborhood's offerings, go on one of the...more

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Beaches, Seattle

In the summer, Seattle's meandering shorelines are full of sunbathers. People come in droves to Alki Beach Park to swim in relatively warm, shallow salt water....more

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Boating, Seattle

Boating is a favorite pastime in Seattle; locals race sailboats on the weekend and row before going to work. The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard are an...more

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Cinema, Seattle

As befits a town notorious for its rain, Seattle has some standout theaters. Saved from impending destruction in 1999 by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the...more

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Coffee, Seattle

Starbucks, Torrefazione Italia Coffee, and Seattle's Best Coffee are among the chains that got their start here, but it's the smaller, funkier cafés that...more

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Experience Music Project, Seattle

This multicolored blobular building, a 140,000-square-foot rock-and-roll museum designed by Frank Gehry, is home to the world's largest collection of Jimi...more

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Frye Art Museum, Seattle

More like an overgrown gallery space than a museum, it's free and you can comfortably ponder all of its works in an hour. The three center rooms hold the...more

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Islands, Puget Sound

Puget Sound has a string of gorgeous islands, all easy day trips from the city, and all with their own distinct personalities. Washington State Ferries runs...more

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Northern Neighborhoods, Seattle

Fremont is probably the best known of the northern neighborhoods, and while its days as a haunt for starving artists and all members of the counterculture from...more

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Parks, Seattle

Gas Works Park was once a belching natural gas production plant. Remnants of the site's industrial past remain (a tangle of towers, pipes, and catwalks), but...more

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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