Travel tips and things to do in Seattle, USA: The nine things you should do


In a city of many icons (think Nirvana, Boeing, Starbucks), the most recognised symbol of Seattle is the Space Needle. Built for the 1962 World's Fair, this retro observation tower remains a focal point despite being dwarfed by newer skyscrapers. A $100 million renovation in 2018 saw the addition of the world's first revolving glass floor on the lower observation level, while sloping floor-to-ceiling structural glass on the upper deck allows more expansive, and somewhat trippy, views across the city. See


Located in an indoor/outdoor gallery in the Seattle Centre, Chihuly Garden and Glass is an explosion of colour, light and fantasy, courtesy of renowned local glass artist Dale Chihuly . From playful installations such as Glass Forest and the Sealife Room, to mind-blowing chandeliers and a magical, suspended floral display in the Glasshouse, this collection will surprise and delight. Don't miss the garden and its glass balls reflecting the neighbouring Space Needle. See


Conveniently situated in the heart of downtown, the quirky Kimpton Hotel Vintage is a prime base to explore this walkable city. Washington State's burgeoning wine industry provides inspiration for the decor, with winery-themed guest rooms, artworks made from recycled corks, hallway maps of WA wine regions, and a concierge who doubles as a sommelier conducting complimentary wine tastings each evening. See


Seattle's food philosophy is fresh, organic and local; and nowhere illustrates this better than the city's number one tourist attraction, Pike Place Market. Established in 1907, Seattle's original farmers market continues the "meet the producer" tradition, with fish markets, vegie stalls, flower vendors and specialty food stands. Watch the famous "fish toss", take a guided tour for a moveable feast, attend a cooking class at the Atrium Kitchen, and join the queue to try Beecher's Mac & Cheese – you won't be sorry! See


Welcome to the future of shopping – a cashless convenience store. To enter Amazon Go, (there are four Seattle locations, including one adjoining Amazon headquarters), simply download their app, scanning it to pass through security gates. You can then pluck what you want off the shelf and leave – no lines, no checkout, with the Just Walk Out Technology detecting what you take and charging it to your credit card. It feels a little like shoplifting, but all perfectly legit. See


When Dr McDreamy said "I have a thing for ferry boats" on Grey's Anatomy, he was speaking for every sensitive New Age dreamer. There's something incredibly romantic about travelling on the behemoth Washington State Ferries, and there's no view quite like the diminishing Seattle skyline as the car ferry chugs across Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island. Whether driving or as a walk-on passenger, this is a joyride not to be missed. See


"One thing that's missing in today's workplace is a link to nature," said John Schoettler, vice-president of Amazon. The solution is The Spheres, a curved glass conservatory on the Amazon campus that provides office space amid a cloud forest ecosystem. Made from 2643 panes of glass, The Spheres contain more than 40,000 plants sourced from 30 countries, including an Australian tree fern, a giant ficus and an 18-metre living wall. Tours are available two Saturdays a month by reservation. See


Sorry Seattle, we coffee snobs just aren't impressed with your Starbucks coffee. In a city boasting 142 outlets of the ubiquitous franchise, however, one super-cafe stands out – Capitol Hill's Starbucks Reserve Roastery. It's worth stepping inside just to gawk at the infrastructure that delivers beans from roaster to storage silos, through a pneumatic hopper system and into your cup. There's a Mixology Bar, a Sensory Experience Bar and a detailed coffee menu including specialty flights. Nice try. See


During the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890s, stampeders heading north to Alaska stopped by C.C. Filson's clothing and blanket warehouse in Seattle to prepare for the harrowing adventures ahead. Later, Filson's became synonymous with hunting and fishing gear, their reputation for durability unsurpassed. Today, the fashion-friendly range of bags, jackets and outdoor gear – all made on the premises – have a lifetime guarantee, with a rather hefty price tag reflecting the exemplary quality. See



Many of Seattle's top-end restaurants are moving away from the tipping culture, replacing tips with a 20 per cent service charge. Some actively discourage customers from leaving tips, instead offering staff commission on sales and higher wages. Check the fine print on the menu to see if a tip is expected.

Julie Miller travelled as a guest of Visit Seattle.