Seattle Tourist Attractions

Local Favorites and Top Tourist Attractions for First Time Visitors to Seattle

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

Choose your adventure.

Seattle is a beautiful city located on the Puget Sound in Washington state.  There are many popular tourist attractions for people to visit, including the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). If you're looking for a great place to visit, then Seattle is a perfect and unique destination for you to add to the top of your bucket list.

The Space Needle is a famous landmark that was built for the 1962 World's Fair.  It is 605 feet tall and offers amazing views of the city, Puget sound, and surrounding mountain ranges.  The Space Needle is typically open daily from 10:00 am - 10pm, so you can choose between daytime, sunset, or night time views of the city skyline. For a truly spectacular experience, check whether there might be a full moon rising on the day of your visit.

Pike Place Market is a popular tourist attraction that dates back to 1907.  The market is located on the Elliott Bay waterfront and is home to an eclectic variety of shops and restaurants, as well as the world-famous fish market where you can see a 30 lb. salmon being tossed and caught by the fish mongers in their orange overalls. In addition, you can find fresh local produce, flowers, seafood, and souvenirs for sale every day except Christmas.

Founded in 1933, the Seattle Art Museum is one of the largest art museums in the country, and features works from both local and international artists in an array of permanent and rotating exhibitions.  The SAM also offers educational programs for all ages, as well as special events throughout the year. 

Additionally, there are many other great places to visit in the greater Seattle area, including the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, Woodland Park Zoo, The Museum of Flight, Westfield Southcenter Shopping Mall, iFLy Indoor SkydivingDes Moines Beach Park, and Saltwater State Park.

If you are looking for a fun and exciting way to see all of Seattle's tourist attractions, consider taking a guided tour.  There are many different Seattle tour companies that offer tours of Seattle's landmarks, and tours that include winetasting at local vineyards, a visit to the state's highest waterfall in Snoqualmie, and even whale watching.

Whether it’s your first-time visiting Seattle or you’re a local looking for staycation ideas or new experiences to add to your bucket list, we’ve put together a list of just a few of the fun things to do in Seattle to help you plan the perfect trip. Our list includes iconic Seattle “must-dos” as well as some local secrets you won’t find in most travel guides.

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 Tourist Attractions

The ultimate list of top places to go for first-time visitors


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.


Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

The Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

The SAM is home to about 25,000 unique pieces of art from around the world and has three locations throughout Seattle.


Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum in Seattle

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Enjoy the stunning studio blown glass creations of artist Dale Chihuly next to the Space Needle at Seattle Center.


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


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.


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.


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.


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 Tourist Attractions in Seattle


What is the number one tourist attraction in Seattle?

The most popular tourist attraction is Seattle Center & the Space Needle. Seattle Center, the Space Needle. and the Monorail were all originally built for the 1962 World's Fair. Since then they have been turned into an entertainment complex and park area with theaters, sports facilities, and restaurants.


Is Seattle worth visiting?

Seattle is near the Olympic mountains and the Cascade mountains, the Pacific Ocean, the Hoh Rainforest, desert, city, farmland, vineyards, islands, and even a few active, but non-erupting volcanoes. There are several incredible day-trips just few hours outside the city where visitors can explore the vast variety of wilderness. In and around the city are dozens of tourist attractions and museums and opportunities for family fun.


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.


Visit Seattle Southside

Share your best shot on Instagram & Tag Us at #SeattleSouthside