· Chihuly Garden and Glass
If you decide to go to the Space Needle (or decide to blow it off but are in that part of town anyway), this gorgeous museum next door is definitely worth a visit. The museum and its gardens are full of the works of Dale Chihuly, who created giant sculptures out of colored glass. The museum’s website has a free audiotour that you can listen to on your phone. If you forgot earbuds, they keep a bowl of free ones at the front desk.
· EMP Museum
Also in the Space Needle complex is the EMP Museum, formerly known as the Experience Music Project. Funded largely by Seattleite Paul Allen, this museum pays tribute to music greats. On any given day, exhibits could include videos of Jimi Hendrix performances, a photo series of the Rolling Stones on tour, and an interactive installation about musicians from the Pacific Northwest. Also in this museum and included for no additional fee is the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, which includes everything from vintage movie props (yes, that is Uhura’s original Star Trek uniform) to quotes from major sci-fi authors analyzing the genre.
· Volunteer Park
This one’s a bit of a hike to get to if you’re not driving, but it’s well worth the trip. Volunteer Park is home to the Asian Art Museum (which has a pay-what-you-can policy), an observatory with beautiful views of the city, and – oh yeah – gorgeous greenery.
· The Crocodile
If you want a truly Seattle bar, it’s hard to go wrong with The Crocodile. This beloved local dive bar serves beer and pizza, with a pickup window on the side in case you want to grab an extra slice on the way home. The venue also hosts bands, so you can basically cross every item off of your Seattle wish list at once.
· Serious Pie
Beloved local chef Tom Douglas has several restaurants in town offering everything from Middle Eastern meze to baked goods. But if you’re only going to sample one of his establishments, Serious Pie is a great pick. (There are two locations, but the one on the Seattleite list is the one downtown, on Virginia Street.) You can get root beer straight from the tap and served in a frosted mug or a regular beer, with local options from Elliott Bay Brewing Co. But of course it’s the pies that are worth the price of admission – we advise getting the roasted seasonal mushrooms and truffle cheese pizza. You can thank us later.