Seattle Tourism

Visitors Descend on Pacific Northwest Paradise Again

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


Whether you're a first-time visitor to 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 vacation. Our list includes iconic Seattle “must-dos” as well as some local secrets you won’t find in most tourist guides.

Sea-Tac International Airport (SEA), located in Seattle Southside, is the gateway for visiting Washington. 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 touring wineries and exploring the dramatic natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

The greater Seattle area has everything from nationally recognized museums and lush, green parks to culturally diverse neighborhoods and popular Seattle 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.


Choose Your Adventure from these Popular Seattle Tourism Attractions

Out Top 10 picks for fun places for tourists to go sightseeing in the Seattle area in 2022


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.


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.


Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden

Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden

Enjoy this collection of Seattle's most treasured gardens, including the Seike Japanese Garden and Elda Behm's Paradise Garden.


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.


Seattle Whale Watching

Seattle Whale Watching

You're sure to see gray whales, minke, humpback, or two types of orca on every trip.
The peak whale watching season in Seattle is between late Spring and early Fall.


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

Mount Rainier

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



Snoqualmie Falls Day Trip from Seattle Southside

Snoqualmie Falls Day Trip

This magnificent 270-foot waterfall is surrounded by a two-acre park with hiking trails, an observation deck, gift shop, and the Salish Lodge.



Summit at Snoqualmie Winter Sports Daytrip from Seattle Southside

Summit at Snoqualmie Day Trip

Fresh snow & Alpine Lakes. Skiing, Snowboarding, Tubing, Cross-country Skiing, Snowshoeing, hiking, and more.


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 Seattle Tourism


How many people visit Seattle each year?

It is estimated that in upwards of 21.5 million people visited Seattle and King County in 2021.


How important is tourism in Seattle?

Tourism is big business as the state’s fourth largest industry. In 2019, visitor spending contributed $21.9 billion to the state economy including 240,000 jobs in Washington and more than 80,000 in King County.


What should I know before I visit Seattle?

A trip to the Seattle area offers adventures any time of the year. Most people vacation in the Pacific Northwest between May and September, with summers being as close to paradise as you'll find. There are lots of indoor activities for people who prefer not to venture in the rain during Fall, Winter and Spring, but if you're the least bit outdoor inclined, bring your walking shoes, hiking boots, and the right kind of jacket to repel the rain. Tip: Most people in Seattle do not use umbrellas.


How many days should I plan for to see Seattle?

If you can swing it, a 3 or 4-day itinerary would give you ample time to see the best of this magnificent Pacific Northwest metropolis! Seattle offers countless adventures from day trips to dormant volcanoes to whale watching excursions in search of orca. If the idea of exploring the best coffee shops and craft breweries appeals to you, then you'd love visiting Seattle.


What are some of the things Seattle is best known for?

Seattle is well known for being home to Starbucks and a pervasive coffee culture, as the origin of the grunge music scene, the Seattle Seahawks, Mariners, and Kraken sports teams, the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, the high-tech industry (Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, T-Mobile) hiking, kayaking, and home base for those who love an avid outdoors lifestyle.


Visit Seattle Southside

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