Can’t Miss Tours & Activities in Seattle, Washington

The city of Seattle has been one of my favorite places to visit and explore so far. It’s an easy city to walk around and fit in many of the activities it has to offer. Whether you are a foodie, a history buff, outdoorsy, or so many other things, there are great activities in Seattle for you to enjoy.

Seattle is filled with museums and landmarks, some of the best food you’ll find, and unique tours to take to experience the city. When you’re planning a trip to Seattle you’ll want to fit in at least a few of these tours and activities in the city. Book a tour or two ahead of time and look into purchasing a Seattle CityPass that will allow you to check off many of the attractions below with one purchase.

All these activities are right in the downtown Seattle area that you can get to with a short Uber ride or a nice walk through the city.The top activities and attractions you can't miss in Seattle, Washington. Plus how to save on them.

Note: Some stays, tours, passes, and meals were provided at no cost to the author. As always, all opinions remain my own. You’ll find affiliate links in this post which allow me to continue to improve Traveling Nine to Fiver. I hope this article on activities in Seattle is useful for you. 

Food Tour of Pike Place Market

My favorite thing I did while in Seattle was my tour of Pike Place Market with Savor Seattle. While you can explore Pike Place Market on your own it is rather overwhelming on your first visit. While I have word that almost nothing is a tourist trap, you still don’t know which spots you should visit over others. Taking a tour with an experienced guide directed you to all the can’t miss spots and a few hidden secrets. On top of that, you got to learn the history of the place and the businesses within it.The top activities and attractions you can't miss in Seattle, Washington. Plus how to save on them.

Also, there are so many places to try that eating a normal meal will limit the number of spots you can fit in. A great thing about food tours is you get a sample (a pretty good sized one on this tour) leaving room to try a few more spots. Food tours are one of the first things I look up when visiting a new city and my one of Pike Place Market with Savour Seattle is still the best I’ve been on. A can’t miss for any trip to Seattle.

EMP Museum

I’m a nerd who loves music and science fiction. This makes the EMP Museum a little bit of paradise. Whether it’s learning about the history of the grunge movement in Seattle or getting to see props from Doctor Who there is a little something for everyone in this museum.

This is one of the spots included on the City Pass and something I probably wouldn’t have thought to do on its own. So glad I didn’t skip it.The top activities and attractions you can't miss in Seattle, Washington. Plus how to save on them.

Space Needle

A classic Seattle spot. Taking the trip up the needle is something everyone should do at least once. You get a birds-eye view of the city and a little more of its history. The ticket price is also included in the City Pass making it well worth the trip up. Also, you can spend just $25 per person at the restaurant and get a free ride up, not a cheap meal but if you consider the ticket up is $22 it can give you a bang for your book.The top activities and attractions you can't miss in Seattle, Washington. Plus how to save on them.

Underground Tour

Did you know that Seattle was basically built twice? And one on top of each other? I didn’t. On top of that, parts of the initial city are still intact and you can tour through them. The Underground Tour allows you a chance to learn about this unique piece of history Seattle has, along with some of the seedy pieces of the town’s history.The top activities and attractions you can't miss in Seattle, Washington. Plus how to save on them.

I enjoyed one of the daily tours but would love to go back for a chance to take the “adult only tour” where you can learn about the underside of Seattle that used to operate in the underground.

Seattle Aquarium

One of the most interesting pieces of Seattle is that part you can’t see below the surface, the wildlife it’s it’s bay. The Seattle Aquarium is one of the best I’ve visited (and I’m spoiled having been a member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium). You’ll see wildlife up close and personal from sea lions to otters to octopus. There are some animals you can even see much more up close than you can in Monterey.The top activities and attractions you can't miss in Seattle, Washington. Plus how to save on them.

This is another one of the spots that are included in the CityPass. Making it very easy to add on top your trip.

A Ride Along the Bay 

Whether you just like to get out on the water or you’re a Grey’s Anatomy fan who needs to take a ferry boat ride. Seeing Seattle’s skyline from the water is a must.

There are two ways to do this. The first is hop on a bay tour where you have a guided experience across the bay, pointing out key spots of interest, and more of Seattle history. You can do this with Argosy Cruises Harbor Tours or it is a part of the CityPass.The top activities and attractions you can't miss in Seattle, Washington. Plus how to save on them.

You can also take a public ferry. This is a cheap way to take the ride and while you might not have a guide you can even head to Bainbridge Island for some wine tasting and more.

Brewery Tour

Seattle has a notable craft brewery industry and it’s one of the things you shouldn’t miss on your next visit to the city. One of the best ways to explore it is with Road Dog Tours as they drive you around at a few different breweries in the area with sample and tours. Brewery tours also tend to be a lot of fun, as you have a little to drink, and make friends with many of your tourmates.The top activities and attractions you can't miss in Seattle, Washington. Plus how to save on them.

Especially if you are staying downtown, this tour will get you to some of the best breweries in the area without having to worry about who is driving.The top activities and attractions you can't miss in Seattle, Washington. Plus how to save on them.

Chihuly Garden & Glass

There isn’t a better way to describe Doug Chihuly’s artwork as anything other than awe-inspiring. He uses bright colors, distinct textures, and shapes, and a transformation of form to create pieces of art. While I’d seen pieces of his work and similar artists there is nothing quite like walking through all the different exhibits together.The top activities and attractions you can't miss in Seattle, Washington. Plus how to save on them.

His glasswork creates many different experiences as you walk through the museum. It’s also one well worth taking a tour at so you have a chance to learn about each piece and the artist himself. This museum is something unique to Seattle that shouldn’t be missed.

A ticket is also available with the CityPass and is the perfect spot to visit right after the Space Needle.The top activities and attractions you can't miss in Seattle, Washington. Plus how to save on them.

Get the most out of the Activities in Seattle 

These activities will give you a good flavor of what Seattle has to offer but at the same time, they only scratch the surface. Even if you fit all these into one trip you’ll leave the city wanting to come back and explore more.

The best way to fit in all the attractions (other than the tours themselves) is getting the Seattle CityPass. I loved having it on my visit as it only cost me the ticket price of attractions I was already going to do and then added more to it without an extra cost. Make sure if you’re planning a trip to Seattle that you look at purchasing your CityPass before you head out.The top activities and attractions you can't miss in Seattle, Washington. Plus how to save on them.

For even more activities in Seattle don’t miss my best things to do list that includes all my favorite places to eat in the city and where to stay or check out my favorite place to stay in Seattle.

Have you visited the city before? What activities in Seattle would you recommend? Especially for the first time visitor. Leave a comment below. The top activities and attractions you can't miss in Seattle, Washington. Plus how to save on them. The top activities and attractions you can't miss in Seattle, Washington. Plus how to save on them.

About Megan

Megan MacNee is the founder of Traveling Nine to Fiver. From nine to five she works in the non-profit world in California. She focuses on exploring the world from her own backyard to across the globe. You'll find her sharing about explorations through food, books, travel, and more.