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Opened in 2012 and reinforcing Seattle’s position as a leading city of the arts, this exquisite exposition of the life and work of dynamic local sculptor Dale Chihuly is possibly the finest collection of curated glass art you’ll ever see. It shows off Chihuly’s creative designs in a suite of interconnected dark and light rooms before depositing you in an airy glass atrium and – finally – a landscaped garden in the shadow of the Space Needle. Glassblowing demonstrations are a highlight.

Space Needle

This streamlined, modern-before-its-time tower built for the 1962 World’s Fair has been the city’s defining symbol for more than 50 years. The needle anchors the complex now called the Seattle Center and draws more than one million annual visitors to its flying saucer–like observation deck and pricey rotating restaurant. Purchase a combination ticket with Chihuly Garden & Glass for $49.

Hiram M Chittenden Locks

Seattle shimmers like an impressionist painting on sunny days at the Hiram M Chittenden Locks. Here, the fresh waters of Lake Washington and Lake Union drop 22ft into saltwater Puget Sound. You can stand inches away and watch the boats rise or sink (depending on direction). Construction of the canal and locks began in 1911; today 100,000 boats pass through them annually. You can view fish-ladder activity through underwater glass panels, stroll through botanical gardens and visit a small museum.

University of Washington

Founded in 1861, Seattle’s university is almost as old as the city itself and is highly ranked worldwide (the prestigious Times Higher Education magazine listed it 32nd in the world in 2016). The college was originally located in downtown on a 10-acre site now occupied by the Fifth Avenue Theater (the university still owns the land), but with both university and city outgrowing their initial confines, a new site was sought in 1895.

Vast tracts of agricultural land were disappearing, replaced by such ventures as the Northgate Mall and Sea-Tac airport. The internment of Japanese American farmers during WWII had also taken its toll. The entire area became a bowery for the destitute and was known as a center of ill repute. In the wake of the 1962 World’s Fair, plans were drawn up to bulldoze the market and build high-rise office and apartment buildings on this piece of prime downtown real estate. Fortunately, public outcry prompted a voter’s initiative to save the market. Subsequently, the space was cleaned up and restructured, and it has become once again the undeniable pulse of downtown; some 10 million people stroll through the market each year. Thanks to the unique management of the s and low-income housing mix with commerce, and the market has maintained its gritty edge.

Post Alley continues on the southern side of Pike Street where you’ll find the beautifully disgusting gum wall. The once venerable red-brick facade is now covered in used pieces of chewing gum, originally stuck there by bored theater-goers standing in line for a nearby ticket office in the 1990s. Despite early attempts by the city council to sanitize, the gum-stickers persevered and in 1999, the wall was declared a tourist attraction. Feel free to add your own well-chewed morsels to the Jackson Pollock–like display Next head to one of the market’s best hideaway spots, the bar and pizza restaurant Alibi Room. Triangle Building All in a row in the diminutive Triangle Building, sandwiched between Pike Place, Pine Street and Post Alley, is a huddle of cheap food take-outs including Mee Sum Pastry (try the steamed pork bun), a juice bar and Cinnamon Works – all great choices for a stand-up snack.

Tickets and passes The museum offers timed ticketing and plan-ahead pricing. If you plan to visit several attractions while in Seattle, you can purchase package deals.

Here you can organize educational programs including Saturday nature walks, day camps for children and bird-watching tours. The main walking trail is the 3-mile-long Loop Trail, part of a 12-mile network of marked paths. Branch off onto the South Beach Trail descending down a steep bluff if you want to view the still-functioning West Point Lighthouse, a great spot for panoramic views of the Sound and mountains to the west. You can circumnavigate back round to the Loop Trail via North Beach. The park also has five miles of paved bike trails. Seventeen acres in the north of the park are Native American land and home to the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center, a community center for the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation (UIATF), a confederation of the many Native American tribes in the Seattle area.

This streamlined, modern-before-its-time tower built for the 1962 World’s Fair has been the city’s defining symbol for more than 50 years. The needle anchors the complex now called the Seattle Center and draws more than one million annual visitors to its flying saucer–like observation deck and pricey rotating restaurant. Purchase a combination ticket with Chihuly Garden & Glass for $49.

Latest Stories from Seattle

Soon, the greengrocers made room for fishmongers, bakers, butchers, cheese sellers, grocers selling imported wares, and purveyors of the rest of the Northwest’s agricultural bounty. The market wasn’t exactly architecturally robust – it’s always been a thrown-together warren of sheds and stalls, haphazardly designed for utility – and was by no means an intentional tourist attraction. That came later. An enthusiastic agricultural community spawned the market’s heyday in the 1930s. Many of the first farmers were immigrants, a fact the market celebrates with annual themes acknowledging the contributions of various ethnic groups; past years have featured Japanese Americans, Italian Americans and ericans. By the 1960s, sales at the market were suffering from suburbanization, the growth of supermarkets and the move away from local, small-scale market gardening.

Post Alley Between the Corner Market and the Triangle Building, narrow Post Alley (named for its hitching posts) is lined with shops and restaurants. Extending north across Stewart Street, it offers two of the area’s best places for a drink: the Pink Door Ristorante, an Italian hideaway with a cool patio, and Kells, an Irish pub. In Lower Post Alley, beside the market sign, is the LaSalle Hotel, which was the first bordello north of Yesler Way. Originally the Outlook Hotel, it was taken over in 1942 by the notorious Nellie Curtis, a woman with 13 aliases and a knack for running suspiciously profitable hotels with thousands of lonely sailors lined up nightly outside the door. The building, rehabbed in 1977, now houses commercial and residential space.

This streamlined, modern-before-its-time tower built for the 1962 World’s Fair has been the city’s defining symbol for more than 50 years. The needle anchors the complex now called the Seattle Center and draws more than one million annual visitors to its flying saucer–like observation deck and pricey rotating restaurant. Purchase a combination ticket with Chihuly Garden & Glass for $49.