If you’re staying in the downtown area, then consider getting to the Seattle Center from Westlake by taking the short ride on the Monorail. Begin the day at perhaps the most photographed landmark in town: the sky-high Space Needle, built in 1962 as the symbol of that year’s World Fair. Today, visitors still enjoy the 360-degree views as well as meals from the top.
Rock out at the Experience Music Project Museum — Photo courtesy of EMP Museum
Afterward, choose from a few nearby institutions to learn more about Seattle’s history and character.
Lovers of sound should head to the Experience Music Project, a hands-on museum where visitors relish the exhibits chock full of historic tidbits, little-known fun facts and coveted artifacts from some of the world's most beloved musical stars. Then, test your own skills in interactive studio settings, or have a faux music video made on a stage where simulated “crowd” and lighting effects give you a taste of what it feels like to be a limelight-loving rocker.
If art is more your thing, then head to the Chihuly Garden and Glass, where the masters' vibrant pieces dazzle and wow patrons of all ages.
Lovers of glass art get blown away at Chihuly's Seattle outpost — Photo courtesy of Chihuly Garden and Glass
Some other names synonymous with the city of Seattle? Why, Microsoft and Bill Gates, of course. After you’ve sufficiently explored the Seattle city, consider walking to the free visitors' center attached to the Gates Foundation. Here at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center, you’ll learn about the organization’s important work around the globe.
If you’ve worked up a healthy appetite with all this adventuring, enjoy a casual crepe lunch at Citizen, located at 706 Taylor Avenue North. This is also a great spot to while away the afternoon with a laptop or book and a foamy latte.
This half-day itinerary proves a great jumping-off point for afternoon touring, too - perhaps after you’ve taken a wee break and refueled with some food and/or java, that is. Ride the Ducks of Seattle tours launch their amphibious vehicles from right under the Space Needle and provide entertaining excursions around the City (by land and by water).
The South Lake Union zone is another nearby walk from the aforementioned sites; spend the afternoon meandering through the many shops, restaurants and bars that have built up around the colossal Amazon HQ building.
If nature appeals more, walk to the south end of Lake Union, where the Wooden Boat Center and museum MOHAI prove other great afternoon options.
Regardless of which iconic parts of the City you choose to dive into, you’ll soon learn why so many have fallen in love with Seattle. Enjoy the views!