10 Free Attractions in the Seattle
The city with top notch tech businesses and a magnetic natural beauty abounds with free finds around every corner.
Between the beautiful Puget Sound and the stunning Mt. Rainier lies the bustling “City of Flowers,” Seattle. The birthplace of Starbucks and the home of the Seattle Seahawks, this city combines the stunning beauty of the Pacific Northwest with a melting pot of various cultures. When visiting, don’t worry about breaking the bank, however, because you can visit many well-known locations throughout Seattle without spending a penny. On your next visit to the Emerald City, be sure to stop by some of these free attractions.
Pike Place Market
Widely recognized as one of Seattle’s most noteworthy attractions, Pike Place Market provides guests with an experience they can only receive in Seattle. An open market fun for both shopping and strolling, Pike Place Market boasts restaurants and shops that offer incredibly fresh food choices from fish to produce. Have you heard of the fish throwers? They’re at Pike Place Fish, one of the most famous stops at the market, so be sure to stop by and you might just see them throw one or two. Visit the iconic statuesque pig out front of Pike Place, Rachel the Piggy Bank, who has been around since 1986 and has raised over $200,000 for the Pike Place Foundation.
The barrier between Lake Washington and Puget Sound, the Ballard Locks, are both an amazing feat of engineering and fascinating to watch at work. About a 20-minute drive from downtown Seattle, the Ballard Locks allow guests to see just how goods are transported on the waters near Seattle. At first, the difference in water height is astounding to see, but the sights grow more amazing when ships travel through the Locks. Waters raise or lower over twenty feet to help around 40,000 ships travel from the waters of Puget Sound to Lake Washington or vice versa each year. Likewise, the Locks bring in over one million guests each year, pulling in tourists from all over the country to see this fascinating engineering success.
Nestled along the beautiful Pacific Coast and boasting incredible views of the Olympic mountains, the Seattle Waterfront provides a unique waterfront experience. The project to revitalize the waterfront started in 2011 and has been met with positivity and success, providing locals and visitors alike a place to experience the natural beauty Seattle offers. Including favorites like the Seattle Aquarium and Pike Place Market, the Seattle Waterfront provides guests a beautiful place to rest between their other activities planned. While on the Waterfront, stop to eat at the famous Ivar’s Pier 54 Fish Bar and feed the seagulls or pick up a Seattle-themed souvenir at Ye Olde Curiosity Shop.
A park famous for its views of Downtown Seattle and Mt. Rainier, Kerry Park has been loved by locals since it was donated to the public in 1927 by Mr. and Mrs. Albert Sperry Kerry Sr. The park is relatively small, taking up only 1.26 acres, and yet it is well-known for its beauty and incredible views. In the middle of the park stands a sculpture, Changing Form, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Kerry’s children. Whether you visit for the amazing views or the unrivaled photo opportunities, Kerry Park has what you’re searching for in terms of Seattle beauty.
Olympic Sculpture Park
Previously an industrial site and brownfield, Olympic Sculpture Park revitalized a part of Seattle thought to be lost in 2007. The outdoor sculpture museum rests on 8.5 acres near the waters of Puget Sound, allowing guests to experience both the natural world and the artistic world in one location. To learn more, the Olympic Sculpture Park provides visitors with the opportunity of a guided educational tour. Enjoy the park for your next group event and let the beauty of Seattle serve as the backdrop, encouraging an atmosphere of beauty and a combination of cultures.
Fremont Sunday Market
Every Sunday since 1990, rain or shine, Seattle has put on the Fremont Sunday Market, a place for vendors to come together and share what they have with the Seattle public. Modeled after European markets, Fremont Sunday Market encourages the traditional market banter and negotiation, calling both vendors and shoppers together in an inviting environment. Each Sunday brings in up to 200 vendors with a variety of goods to sell. What makes this market so outstanding is the fact that it is open year-round, both indoors and outdoors, allowing you a chance to experience Seattle whenever you choose to visit.
Waterfall Garden Park
Amidst the bustling city life of Seattle lies a unique tropical oasis: Waterfall Garden Park. Constructed and open to the public since 1987, this park has served Seattle-goers as a relaxing and restful location during their busy city days. Although relatively small, Waterfall Garden Park boasts a 22-foot-tall man-made waterfall for visitors to relax by and listen to. Because of its extravagance and small size, this park boasts the title of the most expensive park per square foot in the U.S.
Seattle Central Library
The history of Seattle’s public libraries is both long and intriguing, but the most interesting piece of library history is the construction of Seattle Central Library. Opened in 2004, this library is a stunning work of art designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. A library unlike any other, Seattle Central Library is both immense and aims to offer everything it can for its patrons, including free public parking, more than 400 computers and 11 literature-packed levels for visitors to enjoy. An architectural and societal leap, this beautiful library truly adopts the Seattle goal of providing “libraries for all.”
Green Lake Park
Surrounded by dense neighborhoods, Green Lake Park provides guests a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of daily life in the city. Home to thousands of native plants, trees and wildlife, this park brings in guests with the promise of a restful time well spent. Settled around Green Lake, the park offers many boat docks and swimming opportunities for you to enjoy Seattle from the water. To more fully enjoy what the park has to offer, walk, run, bike or skate around the recently constructed 2.8-mile path that winds around the picturesque lake.
Woodland Park Rose Garden
Seattle’s moderate weather allows for beauty to bloom year-round, as evident through the Woodland Park Zoo Rose Garden, open every day of the year. Open since 1924, this garden allows guests to spend time wandering the 2.5-acre garden that features over 3,000 roses and features beautiful architectural designs. The Rose Garden practices natural gardening habits and prides itself on being pesticide free since 2006. A feat to be proud of, the Woodland Park Rose Garden was provided an incredible honor and designated an All-American Rose Selection from 1947-2010.