View of the Space Needle from below surrounded with yellow leaves on the trees, one of the best Seattle Landmarks and Historical Sites

33 Seattle Landmarks & Historical Sites (A Local’s Picks)

I’m a Seattle local, and in this guide, I share the top Seattle landmarks and historical sites worth visiting.

This post features several neighborhoods where you can visit statues, monuments, and turn-of-the-century buildings. Some are the most popular landmarks in Seattle, while a few are lesser-known Seattle attractions you won’t want to miss. 

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33 Famous Seattle Landmarks

Space Needle

Ride to the top of the most notable Seattle landmark: the Space Needle.

The author Chelsea Booker posing with the Space Needle in the background
Me posing with the Space Needle, Seattle’s most popular landmark

📍 Google Maps | Space Needle Website | 👉 Save on Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass Tickets 

The Space Needle is the most notable Seattle landmark, and one of the most easily recognizable. Located in the lower Queen Anne neighborhood, the Space Needle was originally built for the World’s Fair in 1962 as a nod to the era’s Space Age exploration.

You can ride to the top of the Space Needle for 360-degree panoramic views. Stand on the revolving glass floors and look out at the Olympic Mountains, the Cascades, and Mount Rainier. You’ll also see the Puget Sound, downtown, and the surrounding neighborhoods. 

Alternatively, if you’d like to see the epic Seattle skyline complete with the Space Needle, go to Kerry Park. This is one of the best Seattle parks for this coveted skyline view. 

👉 Pro Tip: One of my budget-friendly tips for people traveling to Seattle is to buy a Seattle CityPASS ahead of time. The CityPASS will let you visit the Seattle Space Needle in the morning and at night. It also gives you discounts to other Seattle attractions like the MoPoP, Aquarium, and more.

Fremont Troll

Visit a giant troll beneath a bridge in the beloved and quirky Fremont neighborhood.

A Fremont Troll sculpture under the bridge in Seattle
Seattle’s favorite troll (photo: Uladzik Kryhin / Shutterstock) 

📍 Google Maps | 👉 Premier 3-Hour Seattle City Tour

The Fremont Troll is another one of the most famous Seattle landmarks. Most people will recognize it because it was featured in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You

The troll was originally part of an art contest the city held to help revitalize the neighborhood. The winners of the art contest brought the troll to life. It’s been a beloved local landmark beneath the George Washington Memorial Bridge ever since. 

It’s completely free to visit the troll. Get a shot of you climbing atop or posing next to the troll – it’s basically a Seattle right of passage. 

The troll is just a few blocks from the main drag in Fremont, one of Seattle’s best neighborhoods. After visiting the bridge dweller, you can go explore the rest of the fun area.

Pike Place Market

Experience the excitement of Seattle’s number-one attraction and vibrant historic district.

On a rainy day Pike Place Market with stalls around
Pike Place Market is great to visit on a rainy day

📍 Google Maps | Pike Place Market Website | 👉 Book a Pike Place Market Food Tour 

Located in downtown Seattle, Pike Place Market is all-around one of the best things to do in Washington state. It’s an iconic Seattle landmark and was classified as a historic district in 1971.

The market has a rich history. It originally opened as a way for farmers to sell directly to their customers to work around meager profits from greedy wholesalers. It once faced the wrecking ball, but Seattle voters elected to keep Pike Place Market alive. Since then, it’s become an essential Seattle experience. 

There’s a lot you can do at the market. Go watch the flying fish, grab a bite to eat from amazing restaurants, and do all the people-watching your heart desires.  

Even as a local, I never get tired of exploring the market. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to begin with the market, I wrote this Pike Place Market Guide to give you some local tips.

Chief Seattle at Tilikum Place

See the statue of the leader that gave Seattle its name.

A statue of Chief Seattle stands in the center of Tilikum Place plaza
(photo: Max Herman / Shutterstock) 

📍 Google Maps | Tilikum Place Website | 👉 Browse Belltown Hotels on Booking

Tilikum Place is a small, tree-lined green space in the Belltown neighborhood. It has one particular special Seattle landmark. 

A statue of Chief Seattle, who was the Duwamish and Suquamish leader that gave Seattle its name, is in the park. The word “Tilikum” means welcome and it was Chief Seattle who welcomed and helped the first settlers in Seattle.

The statue was first unveiled in 1912. If you’re interested in Seattle’s history, it’s worth stopping by to see the statue of the man who played a massive role in Seattle’s development.

Seattle Great Wheel

Seattle’s newer waterfront landmark is a hit with tourists.

The Seattle Great Wheel in between the fingers captured across the ocean
Me “capturing” the Great Wheel from across the Sound

📍 Google Maps | Seattle Great Wheel Website | 👉 Browse Nearby Hotels

The Seattle Great Wheel on the waterfront adds a bit of fun and whimsy to the area. It’s one of the newer Seattle landmarks and was completed in 2012.

One reason the wheel was built was to keep waterfront businesses afloat during the demolition of the Alaskan Viaduct. Hal Griffith, a businessman who’d wanted a Ferris wheel for a long time, had it built on his pier. It’s been spinning since then and has become a staple of the waterfront district.

It’s well worth it to take a ride on the massive Ferris wheel. You’ll get a private cabin as you ascend to the top to look out over the Sound. It’s also especially pretty at night when it gets lit up for light shows.

Gum Wall

Wander through Seattle’s grossest landmark.

The author Chelsea Booker scrunches her nose while pointing at the gums in the Gum Wall
Me next to the gum wall… my face just about sums up how I feel about this particular landmark 

📍 Google Maps | Gum Wall Website | 👉 Browse Nearby Hotels on Booking

The gum wall in Pike Place Market is exactly what it sounds like. Wander down Post Alley past Ghost Alley Espresso and you’ll find it. It’s more of a gum canyon now since gum covers both sides of the alley all the way down the hill.

It all started with one person sticking a piece of gum and a penny onto the wall. Other people followed suit until the wall was covered. Eventually, the pennies were taken, but the gum remained.

Over the years, the gum wall has been scrubbed clean only for people to begin adding gum to it again. No matter how often it gets cleaned, it seems the tradition of the gum wall will… stick.

Museum of Pop Culture

Visit one of the most unique museums in Seattle.

The exterior architecture building of the Museum of Pop Culture
Part of the MoPOP building, one of the best Seattle landmarks 

📍 Google Maps | Museum of Pop Culture Website | 👉 Premier 3-Hour Seattle City Tour

Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture is popular for good reason. Inside are unique, contemporary pop culture exhibits. You’ll find ones on fantasy, science fiction, horror movies, and tv shows. 

There are also in-depth music exhibits on local music legends like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Jimi Hendrix. The museum was co-founded by Paul Allen, one of the founders of Microsoft.

Located in the Seattle Center, the Museum of Pop Culture is one of the best museums in Seattle. The exterior architecture of the building is also an intriguing art piece itself.

Seattle Central Library

Seattle’s central branch library is made entirely out of glass and steel.

The façade of Seattle Central Library entirely made out of glass and steel
(photo: Sergii Figurnyi / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Seattle Central Library Website | 👉 Browse Downtown Seattle Hotels on Booking

The Seattle Central Library is another one of Seattle’s coolest landmark buildings. Made entirely out of glass and steel, you’ll find the library smack dab in the middle of downtown. It opened to the public in 2004.

If you like architecturally-interesting buildings, this is one of the best ones to visit. Don’t neglect the inside either. Wander around to take a peek at the book spiral, the red floor, and the neon escalators. They’ll make you feel like you’ve walked right into the set of a movie. 

📚 Related Reading: Where to Stay in Seattle in 2022 (By a Local)

Smith Tower

Tour and sip cocktails in Seattle’s first skyscraper.

The old skyscraper of Smith Tower located in between the streets of Seattle
(photo: Bob Korn / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Smith Tower Website | 👉 Browse Nearby Hotels on Booking

The Smith Tower is one of Seattle’s most notable buildings, particularly because it was the first skyscraper in the city. When it was completed in 1914, it was also the tallest building on the west coast. 

Notable because of its unique shape and interesting architecture, you’ll get a glimpse into the past if you visit. You can book a tour where a guide will take you around the well-preserved building and tell you about its history. 

In addition to the tour, you can also buy tickets to go to the speakeasy-style bar at the top. Here, you can enjoy strong cocktails and the open-air deck with views of the surrounding neighborhood and beyond.

Seattle Waterfront

Watch ferries, visit attractions, and enjoy a stroll along Seattle’s iconic waterfront.

Sunset view of the downtown Seattle skyline with the Great Wheel and waterfront

📍 Google Maps | 👉 Seattle Harbor Cruise

Visiting the Seattle waterfront is a must when you come to Emerald City. It’s home to several other Seattle landmarks and attractions. Walk along the waterfront to see the Seattle Great Wheel, the Aquarium, and other notable buildings.

The waterfront is always bustling with activity. As you make your way down the waterfront’s Elliott Bay Trail, stop to watch the ferries. You’ll see them making their way to Bainbridge Island, one of Washington’s best cities and a great day trip destination. 

Head north along the waterfront and eventually, you’ll reach the Olympic Sculpture Park. If you keep going further, you’ll make it to the popular Myrtle Edwards Park, a good place for watching sunsets.

Ballard Locks

Watch ships cross from lake to sea from atop a network of locks.

A sunny day of boats crossing the water of Ballard Locks in Seattle
Watching the boats go back into freshwater 

📍 Google Maps | Ballard Locks Website | 👉 Book a Ballard Locks Cruise Tour

The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, usually just referred to as the Ballard Locks, are the main attraction in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. They’re an awesome feat of engineering and represent one of the many ways Seattle’s natural landscape was altered to make it more habitable.

The Ballard Locks connect the saltwater Puget Sound to freshwater Lake Washington via the Lake Washington ship canal. You can visit and watch all the action up close from on top of the locks. 

In addition to being a transition point for the ships, the Ballard Locks are also home to a fish ladder. You can watch salmon jumping up it as they travel to spawn at the Ballard Fish Ladder.

Volunteer Park

A park near Capitol Hill’s Millionaire’s Row that’s home to a conservatory and museum.

A sunny day in the Black Hole Sun sculpture at Volunteer Park in Seattle
The Black Sun sculpture in the park (photo: Eli Medeiros / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Volunteer Park Website | 👉 Browse Nearby Hotels on Booking

Volunteer Park is one of Seattle’s prettiest parks and was designated a landmark in 2011. Visit to see blooming dahlias in the summer, little ponds with ducks, and the Black Sun sculpture that frames the Space Needle. Wander up to the water tower for a cool view of downtown.

The Volunteer Park Conservatory and the Seattle Asian Art Museum are both within the park, and I recommend checking both of these out. 

The art museum is in an art-deco-style building with an impressive collection of pieces. The conservatory has a variety of tropical and native plants, along with succulents and cacti.

The park is also in an area of historic Capitol Hill mansions, so make sure to check out the side streets to see the beautiful homes.

Bruce Lee’s Grave at Lake View Cemetery

Pay your respects to a martial arts legend.

Grave of the famous martial artist and actor Bruce Lee and Brandon Bruce Lee at Lake View Cemetery
(photo: Plume Photography / Shutterstock) 

📍 Google Maps 

Bruce Lee fans can visit his and his son’s grave at Lake View Cemetery. The cemetery is just north of Volunteer Park. It’s well-maintained and pretty and you’ll find their graves toward the middle of the cemetery.

You’re welcome to visit at your leisure and leave flowers, stones, candles, or whatever other items you want as a tribute. Lee was buried in Seattle because, according to his family, their time in Seattle was when they were happiest.

If you’re a big fan, I also recommend checking out the Bruce Lee exhibit in the Wing Luke Museum before or after visiting his gravesite. It’s a wonderful tribute that gives you a view into different aspects of the life of this martial arts icon.

Pioneer Square

The original Seattle neighborhood has art galleries, good restaurants, and lots to do.

Buildings of shops and tall trees around the Pioneer Square
(photo: Randall Phillip Williams / Shutterstock) 

📍 Google Maps | Pioneer Square Website | 👉 Book an Underground Walking Tour at Pioneer Square

Seattle’s first downtown was located in Pioneer Square before it was decimated in the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. The buildings of the present day were built atop the ruins of the old ones. If this fascinates you, you can book an underground walking tour to see what remains of the original city. 

Today, Pioneer Square hosts Seattle’s biggest art walk. It has great eateries and a distinct charm. Visit its hidden waterfall park and the free Klondike Historical museum.

Visitors should note that while it’s a fun place to explore, Pioneer Square does sometimes have homeless encampments. You’ll most likely see these while walking through.

While I recommend exploring this neighborhood in the daytime, you may feel a little uncomfortable here at night. Check out my Seattle safety guide where I delve into more details on this.

Sky View Observatory at Columbia Center

Enjoy a panoramic view of the city from the tallest tower in Washington state.

Aerial view of the illuminated Seattle skyline during twilight
A view of Seattle from the Sky View Observatory at Columbia Center

📍 Google Maps | Sky View Observatory Website | 👉 Skip the Line: Sky View Observatory Admission Tickets

Most people assume that the Space Needle is the tallest building in the city, but that title belongs to the Columbia Center. This giant tower is located downtown. At 933 feet, it’s the tallest building in both Seattle and Washington, making it one of the top places to visit in the state

Visitors can go to the 73rd floor of the tower to see the amazing views from the observation deck. Buy a ticket and ride up to the Sky View Observatory. 

From here, you’ll see sweeping views across downtown Seattle. Check out the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges, and even Mount Baker in the distance.

If you want the most breathtaking views you can get in Seattle, the Columbia Center is a good place to go for them. For a real treat, book a sunset visit and enjoy drinks from the bar while you watch the city glow.

University of Washington

Seattle’s oldest university has gothic-style buildings and gorgeous cherry blossoms.

Students relaxing on a bench surrounded by Cherry Blossoms in bloom at the University of Washington campus

📍 Google Maps | University of Washington Website | 👉 Browse Nearby Hotels on Booking 

Founded in 1861, the University of Washington is the oldest in Washington state. The campus is huge and filled with tons of historic, gothic-style buildings. One of the oldest is the Theodor Jacobsen Observatory, which was built in 1895 and has public stargazing events. 

You’re free to wander the University at your leisure, but I highly recommend coming around late March or early April. This is one of the best times to visit Seattle to see the cherry blossoms. The quad has tons of blossoming trees to admire during the U-District Cherry Blossom Festival.

Jimi Hendrix Statue

Check out a tribute to one of Seattle’s greatest music legends.

A statue of Jimi Hendrix kneeling while holding a guitar on the sidewalk in Seattle

📍 Google Maps | 👉 Browse Capitol Hill Hotels on Booking 

Jimi Hendrix was one of Seattle’s greatest musicians. There are several tributes to the rock legend throughout the city, but the quickest and easiest one to visit is on Broadway in Capitol Hill. Here, you’ll find a Jimi Hendrix statue. It’s been in its current spot for over 20 years and is worth a quick stop while in the area.

In addition to the statue, you can find another Jimi Hendrix tribute at the Jimi Hendrix Park in the Central District. You can also see a Jimi Hendrix exhibit at the MoPOP.

T-Mobile Park

Catch a Mariners game at one of the best ballparks in the USA.

People watching a baseball game inside T-Mobile Park with the roof down during the summer
T-Mobile Park with the roof down during a summer game 

📍 Google Maps | T-Mobile Park Website | 👉 Browse Nearby Hotels on Booking

See the Mariners play at T-Mobile Park, one of the best Seattle landmarks. It was built in the late ‘90s to replace the Kingdome, a ballpark that was beloved but started falling apart after about twenty years. 

T-Mobile Park is a great ballpark, with a retractable roof to keep out the rain, and amazing views of downtown when it’s open. 

There have been a lot of improvements there over the past few years. Starting in 2023, every game will have the option to buy a ticket for just $10. This means it’s yet another budget-friendly activity in Seattle.

📚 Related Reading: On a strict budget, but still want to explore the Emerald City? No problem! Check out my list of 33 awesome free things to do in Seattle next.

King Street Station

Check out Seattle’s gorgeous train station built in the early 20th century.

Gorgeous interior architecture at the waiting area of King Street Station in Seattle
(photo: CineCam / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | King Street Station Website | 👉 Browse Nearby Hotels on Booking

The King Street Station is Seattle’s main train station. It was originally built in 1906 and made the list of the National Register of Historic Places in the ‘70s.

It’s worth taking a peek at this landmark whether you booked a train trip or you’re just hanging out in the area. It’s designed in several different architectural styles, and it’s a stunning building to wander around in.

King Street Station is right in the bustling International District. After looking around the station, you can go grab food from some of Seattle’s best restaurants.

Seattle Center

Enjoy several of Seattle’s best attractions at a vibrant cultural center.

A rainy day with the view of a massive flower sculpture outside the Seattle Center
Some of the sculptures in the Seattle Center 

📍 Google Maps | Seattle Center Website | 👉 Tour to Uncover Seattle’s Hidden Gems

The Seattle Center is home to numerous Seattle landmarks, and coming here is one of the best things to do in Seattle

Many of the original buildings in it were built in the 1920s and ‘30s. Gradually, more were added, particularly during the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962. The most notable attractions built during that event were the Space Needle, the monorail, and Climate Pledge Arena.

This is one of the best places to go to enjoy the cultural aspects of the city. Wander through the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, catch a Kraken game, or watch an opera performance. 

Cultural fests like the Seattle French Fest, Dia De Muertos, and Diwali are held annually. One of the city’s best festivals, Northwest Folk Life, also takes place at the Seattle Center.

Capitol Hill

Many of Seattle’s best restaurants, bars, and music venues are located in its historically gay neighborhood.

View of the rainbow crosswalk at Capitol Hill in Seattle
The rainbow crosswalks of Capitol Hill (photo: Rey Rodriguez / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Capitol Hill Website | 👉 Browse Capitol Hill Hotels on Booking

While Capitol Hill is constantly morphing and changing, it’s still one of the most popular and vibrant neighborhoods in Seattle. 

It’s home to tons of dining and drinking establishments, along with landmark theaters, fun shops, and music venues. The rainbow crosswalks in the neighborhood’s Pike-Pine corridor harken back to its history. 

Capitol Hill became known as Seattle’s “gayborhood” when the LGBTQ community started to get swept from downtown. The first gay bar in the city opened in Capitol Hill, and there are still many queer-friendly bars in the neighborhood today. This is also where the Seattle Pride event takes place every June.

International Fountain

Cool off in this popular fountain on a hot summer day.

The author Chelsea Booker sitting near the International Fountain on a late summer day
Me by the international fountain on a late summer day

📍 Google Maps | International Fountain Website | 👉 Browse Nearby Hotels on Booking

One of the focal points of the Seattle Center is the International Fountain. It was originally built during the 1962 World’s Fair and then rebuilt in the ‘90s. The fountain’s structure is reminiscent of the fair’s space-age theme. It continues to delight crowds 60 years later. 

The fountain is synchronized to music and plays fun water show performances with LED lighting at night. If you visit during the summertime, it’s a popular place for families to bring their kids to run around and cool off in the mists. There’s also ample green space all around, which makes it a peaceful place to relax, read a book, and take a break from a busy day.

Gas Works Park

Wander through a hilly park with skyline views that was once home to gas companies.

Two women sitting on the grass hill and hugging in front of Gas Works Park in Seattle
(photo: Blueee77 / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Gas Works Park Website | 👉 Seattle Ballard Locks, Gas Works Park, and Houseboats Tour

Gas Works Park is on the north end of Lake Union. Today, it’s known for its rolling hills, awesome views of Seattle, and huge 4th of July celebrations, but you can’t visit without seeing a glimpse of its past.

It was once the site of the Seattle Gas Light Company’s coal gasification plant. Many of the old buildings are still there today. Some of the buildings are redone and incorporated into the children’s play area. A lot of them are gated off, but it’s still worth wandering past to see the rusted ruins of the former coal plant.

The juxtaposition between the ruins and the rest of the park is stark and interesting, making this one of the coolest Seattle landmarks to visit. 

📚 Related Reading: Getting excited to see Seattle landmarks? Bookmark my article on the ways to get around Seattle so you know how to get from place to place on your visit.

Lumen Field

Watch the Seahawks and Sounders play at the beloved stadium known for the Beast Quake.

Exterior view of the Lumen Field stadium on one gloomy day in Seattle
(photo: Paparacy / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Lumen Field Website | 👉 Browse Nearby Hotels on Booking

Lumen Field is the home of Seattle’s football and soccer teams, the Seahawks and the Sounders. It’s the place where roaring fans were so loud in 2010 that the sound registered as an earthquake (the “Beast Quake”). Sports fans will love the huge stadium with views of the Seattle skyline.

Lumen Field is also home to the WaMu Theater, which hosts epic concerts and events for a variety of artists. The stadium is close to the Pioneer Square neighborhood, which has plenty of bars to visit before and after games and concerts.

Pacific Science Center

A science center with a popular butterfly house, astronomy exhibits, and daily laser shows.

Beautiful view at the entrance of Pacific Science Center surrounded with trees
(photo: CineCam / Shutterstock) 

📍 Google Maps | Pacific Science Center Website | 👉 Tour to Uncover Seattle’s Hidden Gems

The Pacific Science Center is all about hands-on, interactive exhibits (a couple of which are originals from the World’s Fair). They have live demonstrations, and this is a great place for families who want to help their kids learn about scientific concepts. You’ll find the Pacific Science Center in the Seattle Center with the building’s notable arches to lead the way. 

The landmark institution has plenty of fun exhibits for kids, but also ones adults will enjoy. The tropical butterfly house is popular and features hundreds of live butterflies to observe. There’s also a planetarium, laser shows, and an IMAX theater that plays documentaries and other films.

Historic Chinatown Gate

This Paifang-style gate is an architectural beauty in the International District.

A sunny day view of the vibrant and historical Chinatown Gate in the street of Seattle
(photo: SnapASkyline / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | 👉 4-Hour Seattle City Tour

The Chinatown Gate in the International District is a real beauty. It was built semi-recently, completed in 2008, and quickly became an icon of this historic neighborhood. The arch consists of thousands of ceramic tiles made in southern China, and there are dragons on posts on either side of the gate.

It’s easy to stop by and admire this unique structure when you’re in Chinatown. Many special International District events also take place around the gate. This includes Food Walks and Night Markets.

Hat and Boots at Oxbow Park

A giant hat and boots in a small Georgetown park are what remains of a popular gas station in the ‘50s.

A massive cowboy hat and boots sculpture at Oxbow Park
(photo: Ian Dewar Photography / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Hat and Boots Park Website | 👉 Browse Nearby Hotels on Expedia

Visit Oxbow Park in Georgetown if you want to see the giant sculptures that gave it the nickname Hat and Boots Park. Said hat and boots were originally part of a western-themed gas station in the ‘50s that drew crowds. It’s said that Elvis may have even stopped by. 

While the gas station went out of business, the neighborhood chose to keep the quirky sculptures as icons of the community’s past. 

The hat and boots make for a fun photo op, though the park is admittedly a bit uninteresting. If you do venture to see the sculptures, I recommend taking your photos and then heading over to the Georgetown neighborhood. There, you can enjoy a good meal and a brew at ample dining and brewery options.

👉 Don’t Miss: Georgetown Brewery Tour on Viator

Old Rainier Brewery Building

See where one of the city’s most popular beers used to be made.

Exterior view of the bright red and yellow building of Old Rainier Brewery with traditional signage in Seattle
(photo: Ian Dewar Photography / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Old Rainier Brewery Building Website | 👉 Browse SoDo Hotels on Booking

Rainier Beer is a classic, historic beer that was once brewed right in Seattle. While the original brewery was in Georgetown, the Old Rainier Brewery Building in SoDo is more easily recognizable. This is where production resumed after prohibition in the ‘30s. 

The building is no longer a brewery and the beer is not made in Seattle anymore, but the eye-catching building remains. It’s not abandoned, either. Today, it’s a spot where businesses and artists live and thrive.

Visit to see the colorful, cool structure and imagine what it was like when it was still making one of the city’s most iconic beers.

If you start to crave some beer on your visit, I recommend heading a couple of miles south to the original Rainier Brewery in Georgetown. Here, you’ll find Machine House Brewing carrying on the brewing tradition in the original building. For more, check out my guide to the best Seattle craft beer.

St. James Cathedral

Visit the oldest cathedral in the city.

Aerial view of St. James Cathedral surrounded by vibrant green trees and skyscrapers in downtown Seattle
An aerial view of the St. James Cathedral 

📍 Google Maps | St. James Cathedral Website | 👉 Browse Nearby Hotels on Expedia

Seattle may not be a city known for its churches, but the St. James Cathedral is the oldest Catholic Cathedral in the city. It’s a magnificent one to tour even if you’re not Catholic. 

It was constructed in 1907, and one of its most notable features is the altar, which is located in the center of the church beneath a domed skylight. Visitors can tour the St. James Cathedral virtually or in person on Wednesdays at 1 pm.

Seattle Art Museum

Admire local and global artwork in a world-class museum.

Persian artifacts and metalwork pieces displayed inside the Seattle Art Museum
Some Persian artifacts and metalwork pieces featured at the SAM

📍 Google Maps | Seattle Art Museum Website | 👉 Browse Nearby Hotels on Booking

The Seattle Art Museum has a massive collection of over 25,000 pieces and has several facilities. In addition to its downtown building, the Seattle Asian Art Museum and the Olympic Sculpture Park are also part of the museum. Each of these facilities has done a lot to transform Seattle into the arts destination it is today.

No matter which you go to, all three of these are essential landmarks to visit, especially if you want to see the best of Seattle’s art scene. 

Seattle Aquarium

An aquarium right on the Puget Sound that specializes in marine conservation.

Lots of clownfish swimming around the corals at the Seattle Aquarium
There are plenty of clownfish to see at the Seattle Aquarium

📍 Google Maps | Seattle Aquarium Website | 👉 Browse Downtown Seattle Hotels on Booking

Go to the Seattle Aquarium if you want to learn all about the marine creatures of Seattle’s waters. It’s located downtown on the waterfront, right on Puget Sound, and is one of the most visited attractions in the city. 

The Seattle Aquarium is a conservation focused. Visitors can learn about and see a variety of critters on a visit there – from sea anemones and hermit crabs to harbor seals and puffins.

Statue of Liberty Plaza at Alki

See Seattle’s Statue of Liberty.

Silhouette of the Statue of Liberty Plaza with the ocean and mountain view at Alki

📍 Google Maps | Statue of Liberty Plaza Website | 👉 Seattle Harbor Cruise

Visit Alki Beach in West Seattle and you’ll find Seattle’s very own mini Statue of Liberty. When the Denny party, some of the first white settlers, arrived in Seattle, Alki was where they originally set up. They called it “New York Alki,” likely because many of them were from New York

While the statue was added a century later, it’s fitting to have the mini Statue of Liberty in Seattle’s “original New York.”

Check out the statue, then plan to spend your day in the surrounding area. Alki Beach Park is one of the best areas in West Seattle, and also one of the best Seattle beaches. It has tons of unique places to eat and drink and opportunities for rollerblading, bike-riding, and kayaking.

Amazon Spheres

A modern and eye-catching office space and greenhouse in the South Lake Union neighborhood.

People strolling around the breathtaking interior of Spheres greenhouse with a sky view
A view from the inside of the Spheres (photo: SeaRick1 / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Amazon Spheres Website | 👉 Book an Amazon Spheres Tour

If you’re wandering around the South Lake Union neighborhood, you’ll probably come across the Amazon Spheres. The Spheres are three glass domes that operate as unconventional offices for Amazon employees. They’re also greenhouses full of lush greenery and 1,000 species of cloud forest plants. 

You can admire the Spheres from the outside or you can book a public tour of the inside. Tours are only offered on the first and third Saturday of the month. Make sure you sign up early since registration opens 15 days in advance and spots are limited.

FAQs about Landmarks in Seattle

What is Seattle’s most recognized landmark?

The Space Needle is Seattle’s most recognized landmark.

How many landmarks are in Seattle?

There are over one hundred landmarks in Seattle. Some of the most notable and famous Seattle landmarks are in Seattle Center, along the waterfront, and in downtown Seattle.


And there you have it! Those are the Seattle landmarks you’ll want to put on your list for your next visit to Washington and the Pacific Northwest. 

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