Seattle Attractions

Popular Attractions in Seattle for First Time Visitors

Seattle Southside is the perfect home base to explore the Pacific Northwest.
Eat, play, stay, and venture forth from Seattle Southside.

Choose your adventure.

If you like cities that have plenty of attractions to keep you busy, look no further than Seattle, Washington.  From the iconic Space Needle to the bustling Pike Place Market, there is something for everyone in this Pacific Northwest city. Do you like scenic views? Hop on a ferry and take in the sights of Puget Sound. No matter what your interests are, there are plenty of things to do in Seattle Washington that will not disappoint.

The Space Needle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Seattle. Built in 1962 for the World's Fair, this unique structure is 605 feet tall and can be seen from miles away.  Visitors can take an elevator to the top for stunning views of the city, Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountain range to the west, and the Cascade Mountain range to the east.

Located on the Seattle Waterfront, Pike Place Market is a historic market that has been open for business since 1907.  It's home to some of Seattle's most popular restaurants and shops, and is a great place to people watch. Plan on leaving with a bag of fresh fruit, vegetables, pastries, and a few souvenirs to remember your visit. This is the place where you can see fish thrown around by the fish mongers.

Seattle Ferries are another popular attraction in Seattle.  The ferries connect downtown Seattle to a number of islands in Puget Sound and offer wonderful views of the Seattle skyline and Mt. Rainier.  Visitors can take a ferry ride to popular day-trip destinations that include Bainbridge Island, Whidbey Island, Vashon Island, and Bremerton. Each island has it's own special character that include charming walkable downtown areas for shopping, bike paths, beautiful gardens, beaches, farm-to-table restaurants, and wine tasting.

The Museum of Flight is a must-see for aviation fans. The museum is home to a wide variety of aircraft, from historical planes to NASA's Space Shuttle Full Fuselage Trainer. Visitors can explore the history of flight and learn about the latest advancements in aviation technology.

Mt. Rainier is a 14,411 ft. high active volcano and regional icon that offers majestic scenic views from every direction.  Visitors can take a scenic drive to the Paradise Jackson Visitor Center to experience and learn more about this treasure of a National Park that offers hiking trails, camping, and unlimited beauty. Mt. Rainier's last major eruption was in 1894.

Sea-Tac International Airport (SEA), located in Seattle Southside, is the gateway for visiting the Pacific Northwest. With the ocean (Puget Sound) on one side and Mt. Rainier and the majestic Cascade mountains on the other, there is no shortage of adventures to be had in our region, including wine tasting, visiting train museums, dining at any of the numerous international restaurants, and exploring the dramatic natural, rugged beauty of Washington state.

Center your compass on Seattle Southside where there are over 60 hotels to choose from and venture out in any direction to experience lush, green parks, culturally diverse neighborhoods and popular tourist attractions. Be sure to sign up for our Travel Update Newsletter for the latest monthly updates on the best things to see and do in and around Seattle.


Seattle Attractions

The ultimate list of top places to go, things to see, and things to do for first-time visitors to Seattle.


Seattle Space Needle with Mt. Rainier in background

The Space Needle

See the best panoramic views of the city from Seattle's iconic 605-ft.-tall observation tower.


Pike Place Market fresh fruit stands in downtown Seattle

Pike Place Market

Enjoy the amazingly fresh produce and locally-grown flowers at Seattle's Pike Place Market.


Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls

Come see for yourself why this breathtaking 270-ft high cascading waterfall is visited by over 1.5 million each year.


Visit Mount Rainier in the Spring on things to do in Seattle list

Mount Rainier

This majestic 14,410-ft. dormant volcano is the icon of Washington and is surrounded by meadows, lakes, and rainforests.


Museum of Flight must be on the list of things to do in Seattle

The Museum of Flight

This amazing educational air and space museum preserves over 160 planes and spacecraft.


Westfield Southcenter Shopping Mall for things to do in Seattle

Westfield Southcenter Shopping Mall

You'll find more than 200 stores & eateries plus a multiplex theater with IMAX at the largest mall in all of Washington state.


des monies beach park for things to do in seattle

Des Moines Beach Park

Enjoy this beautiful coastal park on the blue waters of Puget Sound with stunning views of the snow-capped Olympic mountains.


Seattle Day Trips - Seattle Ferry to Bainbridge Island

Seattle Day Trips

Consider one of these popular day trips from the greater Seattle area for both visitors and locals.


Family Fun Center in Tukwila, Seattle Southside - Seattle Attractions

Family Fun Center

The activities, rides and attractions you’ll find at Family Fun Center Tukwila offer an endless array of opportunities for the entire family to have FUN!


iFLY Indoor Skydiving is on best things to do in Seattle list

iFly Seattle

Safely enjoy the thrill of indoor skydiving in the vertical wind tunnel at iFly in Tukwila


Seattle Southside is Perfectly Placed

The cities of Tukwila, SeaTac and Des Moines together make up Seattle Southside.

Just 15 minutes south of downtown Seattle with quick easy access to Sea-Tac Airport (SEA), freeways and light rail stations.

Explore the Pacific Northwest from Seattle Southside

Map of Seattle Southside in reference to Seattle and Washington State

compass point explore seattle north

Venture North

To the north of Seattle Southside you'll find that most of these popular tourist spots are only 15 to 20 minutes away by Light Link Rail or car.

compass point explore seattle south

Venture South

And only 20 minutes to the south of Seattle Southside you'll find these popular attractions in the city of Tacoma:

compass point explore seattle east

Venture East

And to the east of Seattle Southside towards the Cascade Mountain Range you'll find these immensely popular attractions:

compass point explore seattle west

Venture West

And to the west of Seattle Southside explore these idyllic day trip destinations accessible by one of the Seattle Ferries:


Travel Itineraries

Des Moines Beach Park View from Pier

Which ever direction you choose to head first, our suggested itineraries can help you to kick-start planning your trip to Seattle.

Generate new ideas and customize one or more to make it your own.

seattle travel itinerary map icon


Travel Planner

Seattle Activities Travel Planner

Start your Seattle Southside journey off right by looking at the Seattle Southside Travel Planner. It includes everything you need to know:

  • Area information
  • Things to do: spas, gardens, shopping, museums, sports, outdoor activities, events and festivals
  • Dining: from family friendly to fine dining
  • Accommodations: a place to stay for any budget
  • Cruise information
  • Transportation options: tips and tricks
  • Itinerary suggestions
  •  Area maps

Choose from Over 60 Hotels, 100 Restaurants, and Countless Fun Activities Near Seattle Airport (SEA)

FAQs about the Best Attractions in Seattle


What are the top sights in Seattle?

For high-up city views, the most popular vantage points are the Space Needle, Columbia Tower, and Smith Tower. Hop on over to Kerry Park for one of the best spots overlooking the city to take a photo. Other top sights include The Great Wheel, Seattle Aquarium, Pike Place Market, Museum of Pop Culture (MoPop), Seattle Art Museum (SAM), Ballard Locks, Snoqualmie Falls, The Museum of Flight, Des Moines Beach Park, Bainbridge Island, and Mt. Rainier.


What is the most visited place in Seattle?

The Space Needle in downtown Seattle was constructed especially for the 1962 World's Fair and is the most iconic symbol of the city. Each year the Space Needle has an average of 1.3 million visitors. In 1962 it was the tallest structure west of the Mississippi at 605 feet.


Is 3 days enough time to see Seattle?

You couldn't possibly see EVERYTHING that Seattle has to offer in 3 days, but if that's what you're working with, then its just enough time to get acquainted. Our Travel Planner and Suggested Seattle Itineraries may be just what you're looking for to map out your adventure.


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