You’re sure to recognise this iconic structure in images of the Seattle skyline, but did you know the story behind the Space Needle? The final design was actually a compromise between the designs of two men, Edward E. Carlson and John Graham, Jr, for the 1962 World Fair. Carlson envisioned a giant balloon tethered to the ground, whilst Graham’s concept was of a flying saucer. The tower houses an observation deck at 520ft and a restaurant at 500ft, and rotates 360 degrees in exactly 47 minutes. If heights are your thing, take a trip up the Needle and take in the stunning view of mountain ranges, a bustling waterfront, the lights of downtown Seattle, and even Mount Rainier.
Founded over 110 years ago, Pike Place Market is the oldest continuously operating farmers market in America, and a great place to start on your Seattle tour. Here you’ll find an abundance of shops, restaurants and bars, as well as live music and great people-watching. Foodies will be in their element as they wander from stall to stall, sampling everything from Russian pastries to cheese and charcuterie. After hours, you’ll find signature cocktails and an impressive collection of craft beer, whiskey, bourbon and scotch at an array of bars, whilst on the lower arcade levels, discover quirky shops selling everything from vintage posters to magic tricks. If you want to explore Pike Place Market in more depth, there are several tours available, from cooking classes and history lessons to ghost tours.
As home to bands such as Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, and – of course – Nirvana, Seattle has played a major role in music history. So the Museum of Pop Culture is a great place to learn more if that's your sort of thing. The brain child of Microsoft co-creator Paul Allen, and designed by Canadian architect, Frank Gehry, MoPop offers visitors an array of exhibits, interactive activity stations, sound sculpture and various educational resources. Sci-fi fans will also love the science fiction and fantasy exhibit on site, with other fascinating temporary exhibits popping up regularly.
An urban-renewal project which opened in 2007, this terraced park is landscaped over railway tracks and set against a stunning backdrop of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. The park houses over 20 pieces of modern sculpture over nine acres, and you’ll join dog walkers and joggers alike as you meander through its zigzag paths. Take in Jaume Plensa’s Echo – the park’s newest piece - a huge white head that appears to contort depending on which angle you view it from, and the eye-catching The Eagle by Alexander Calder, which seems to curve perfectly around the Space Needle.