Seattle may be most well-known for its Space Needle, Starbucks, and State Ferries. But there is so much more to see and do in the Washington State city. This is an alternative guide to Seattle, including its unusual museums, unconventional suburbs, and different tours, for when you want to see another side of the city.
STAY IN AN ALTERNATIVE HOTEL
Motif Seattle is an independent hotel in downtown Seattle that has an interior inspired by the city’s rich fashion scene. This includes waterfront, skyline, and mountain views from the 319 guest rooms and 10 suites. Motif is also home to Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails on the hotel’s fifth floor, which includes an outdoor patio, shuffleboard, fireplaces, and handcrafted cocktails.
DISCOVER QUIRKY FREMONT
Walking around Fremont, on Lake Washington’s northern edge, is a must in Seattle. First stop is visiting the Fremont Troll under the Aurora Bridge, which is a heavily-photographed monster crushing a Volkswagen Beetle. There is a seven tonne statue from Slovakia of controversial former Russian President Vladimir Lenin on the main street. The Fremont Rocket protrudes from a local business and the Waiting for the Interurban statue is a comical modern art piece constantly decorated, depending on the occasion. To match its quirky exterior, Fremont’s distinctive boutiques sell many one-of-a-kind pieces.
Seattle was destroyed in 1889’s Great Seattle Fire, so residents essentially rebuilt the city on top of its remains. Nowadays visitors can go underground to see what is left of old downtown Seattle and its storefronts with Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour. Tour guides regale stories about the city’s pioneers as you walk approximately three blocks underground. The tour operates hourly.
SEE A DIFFERENT SIDE TO PIKE PLACE MARKET
Pike Place Market is one of Seattle’s most famous attractions, but there are alternative ways to see its sights other than a casual walk through. Savor Seattle Food Tours offers an award-winning Pike Place Food and Cultural Tour. For a spookier view, why not do a Market Ghost Tour and learn about the eerie people and places that have called the market home in its 100-year history? Guests hear stories about serial killer meeting points, former graveyards, and a mortuary where the Pike Place Market stands today. You also can’t visit the market without seeing Gum Wall – an alley covered in a rainbow of bubble-gum pieces.
VISIT THE SEATTLE PINBALL MUSEUM
Resembling more of an arcade than a museum, there are over 40 different vintage pinball machines to play with inside the Seattle Pinball Museum. For a fixed price, adults and children can enjoy perfecting their pinball skills on machines spanning 80 years: from 1934’s Mystery Six to 1980’s Dracula. It is an unusual but nonetheless fun activity for Seattle visitors.
So when you are staying in Seattle, perhaps step away from the Space Needle and Starbucks and see a different side to the Pacific Northwest city. From being a guest at Motif Seattle, to quirky Fremont and spooky Pike Place, there is an alternative activity awaiting you.
This blog post is part of the #HipmunkCityLove series.