Places and Events of Interest
Between sessions at the 2021 AAG annual meeting, there is plenty to do and see while visiting the Seattle area.
On the shores of Puget Sound is Discovery Park: a 534-acre park with miles of walking and hiking trails. The largest park in the city, it is a great place to view wildlife, including birds and marine animals. In fact, over 270 bird species have been spotted in the park, as well as seals, sea lions, and more! Offering views of both the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges, the park has two miles of protected beaches, open meadows, cliffs, forests, and more. A wonderful place to get away from the stress of the city, whether you check out the West Point lighthouse, go on a hike, kayak, or just take in the views, Discovery Park has something for everyone! Open 4am-11:30 pm everyday, the park is free and open to the public.
Visit Kerry Park to take in some of the best views of the Seattle skyline. From the viewpoint you can see both the Space Needed and Mount Rainier in the distance. Go at sunset for a spectacular view or after dark to take in the city lights in all their glory.
Located less than 60 miles south of Seattle, Mount Rainier is an iconic place to start your physical geography trip in Seattle. Standing 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier is an active volcano and the highest peak in the state of Washington. Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous United States with 26 major glaciers to its name! A good place to hike or climb, Mount Rainier is not to be missed. Make sure to check the weather and plan your visit before you go.
Take a ferry ride from Seattle to visit the Suquamish Museum located on the Port Madison Indian Reservation on the Kitsap Peninsula. The museum showcases the Suquamish culture in a LEED certified building designed by Seattle architects with indigenous landscaping and material use honoring Suquamish traditions. Open from 10 am to 5 pm daily there is a $5 fee for adults (no admission fee for Suquamish Tribal Members).
Asian Art Museum
Celebrate Seattle’s Asian Heritage with a trip to the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Located in Volunteer Park, the art deco building was the original home of the Seattle Art Museum and now exclusively houses the Asian Art collection. If you are planning a visit, keep in mind that the museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, however a special program offers free admission to the museum on the first and second Thursdays of the month!
Historic Central Area Arts and Cultural District
Throughout the late 19th century, the East Madison area and the Yesler–Jackson area of Seattle became home to a vibrant African American community, eventually growing together to form the Central District. Recently designated Seattle’s second Arts and Culture District, take a stroll down East Columbia Street, one of Seattle’s Stay Healthy Streets only open to pedestrians and cyclists, and support Black businesses, arts, and cultural groups.
Geocaching is a recreational activity where participants use a GPS or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (aka “geocaches” or “caches”) at specific locations that have been marked. Anyone can download the Geocaching app on their smartphone and start participating! Geocaching HQ happens to be located in Seattle and is open to the public. Go check out the visitors center, but as it’s a working office please RSVP and schedule a visit on their website.
Seen throughout Seattle, the Space Needle sits 605 feet high. Originally built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the tower is now a historic landmark offering views of the Seattle skyline, the Cascade Mountains, and even Mount Rainier. The Space Needle has been featured in movies such as Sleepless in Seattle and is one of the most visited places in Seattle. Buy your tickets ahead of time to avoid the line!
Chihuly Garden and Glass
Dale Chihuly is one of the most renowned glass artists in the world. His work is featured in more than 200 museums worldwide, but you can see much of his work in his home state of Washington in the Chihuly Gardens in Seattle. You can go see the art, drink a coffee at the cafe, or peruse the bookstore. You can buy your tickets online or at the gardens.
Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture traces its history to the founding of a high school naturalist club in 1879 and claims the title of the oldest museum in Washington state. It holds a collection of over 16 million artifacts, including the world’s largest collection of spread bird wings. With five galleries spanning topics like biology, archaeology, contemporary culture, and paleontology, the museum is friendly for all ages. The museum is open 10-5 daily and you can purchase timed tickets online.
Washington Park Arboretum and Botanic Gardens
This huge public park located in Seattle is a sight to see! Contained within the Washington Park Arboretum are a few smaller parks such as the Seattle Japanese Garden. There are roads to drive through the park or you could get out of the car and take one of the many walking trails. Known for their fantastic azaleas that feature many different colors of the beautiful flower that typically bloom in spring, the park is managed by the University of Washington and is free and open to the public. Plan your visit today!
Woodland Park Zoo
Lions and tigers and bears oh my! In the heart of Seattle lies the Woodlands Park Zoo. With animals from Africa, Australia, Asia, and more this zoo offers conservation programs and sustainable solutions to protecting wildlife. From a butterfly garden to the penguin exhibit there’s no lack of things to see at the zoo. The zoo is open from 9:30 - 4. Tickets for adults are $15.50 and you can buy them online ahead of time.
Boeing Future of Flight
Mukilteo, Washington, 25 miles outside of Seattle, is home to one of Boeing’s manufacturing plants. Take a public tour of the world’s largest building by volume - the location where the Boeing 747, 767, 777, and 787 Dreamliner are built! Tours are available daily from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Be sure to purchase tickets in advance and please note that there is a mandatory height restriction of 4 feet to take part in the tour.
Pike Place Market
First opened in 1907, Pike Place Market is one of the oldest public farmers markets in the US. Situated on the Seattle Waterfront overlooking Elliott Bay, the market is the most visited tourist destination in Seattle. It’s home to hundreds of small farm stands, craftspeople, and other merchants. Pikes Place is a great place to go for a meal or just to walk around and take in the views!
Founded in 1981, this is known as Seattle’s original craft brewery. Serving up great food and delicious beer, the brewery also offers a happy hour every weekday as well as special events on some weekends.
While in Seattle, go visit the flagship location for the biggest coffee chain in the world. First opened in 1971, the Starbucks in Pike Place Market is the original Starbucks, a chain that now has over 30,000 locations worldwide. Go ahead and sip a coffee at their LEED Gold certified store.
U.S. Naval Undersea Museum and Puget Sound Navy Museum
Seattle’s location on the coast of Washington puts it at a unique advantage for the Navy. The greater Seattle area is home to two out of the 10 museums that are operated by the Naval History and Heritage Command: The U.S. Naval Undersea Museum and the Puget Sound Navy Museum. These two museums give great insights into Naval history and technology. The Undersea Museum details the Navy’s operations, technology, research, and more. The Puget Sound Museum showcases the naval heritage of the Pacific Northwest. Check out their websites to plan your visit!