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5 Unique Tourist Spots in Seattle

Some say the only unique thing about Seattle is the rain, but we know that’s far from true. The city is packed with things to do and see, including some pretty obscure attractions.

But what exactly sets Seattle apart from other places in the Pacific Northwest?

Today, we’re putting on our galoshes and exploring some of Seattle’s weird and wonderful destinations.

Let’s get into it!

Why Seattle Is a Unique Tourist Destination

Although it rains about 150 days a year, you don’t need heavy waterproof gear to enjoy this city. The precipitation is usually light. And although you could spend all day in your car, public transit is the best way to get around Seattle.

The city is special because you can find something for anyone here. If you’re looking for music history, you’ll love learning that this is where grunge got its start. And if you’re all about the outdoors, there’s no shortage of breathtaking hikes. 

Seattle’s also got much to offer for food lovers. Especially if you’re into coffee. But if seafood is what baits you, then you’re in luck. Since it’s a port city surrounded by water, chefs thrive to serve some of the best ocean cuisines in the world.

But like any port city, Seattle attracts weirdness. And the late 1800s Gold Rush played a huge factor in that. Some of that pioneering, unique legacy can be found today in its famous tourist spots. Here are a few of our favorites.

Know Before You Go: We took a closer look to uncover Is Seattle Safe for Tourists to keep you safe while exploring.

View of Space Needle in Seattle
Seattle is full of lots of unique sites to explore.

#1 Gas Works Park

Don’t be fooled by the name. Gas Works Park isn’t where you go to learn how engines work. Conversely, this public park is one of Seattle’s most beautiful places to wander.

Surrounded by Lake Union, this 19-acre park has some of the best views in town. Architect Richard Haag designed the landscape to incorporate the location’s former coal gasification plant elements. Parts of the old plant remain as ruins, while others got a fresh paint job. 

The juxtaposition of industrial imagery with green pastures makes this one of the many unique attractions in Seattle. Whether you picnic in the former boiler room or take your kids to the pump house playground, you’ll have a one-of-a-kind experience.

Location: 2101 N. Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103

#2 Pike Place Fish Market

If you only have time to check out one thing at Pike Place, make sure it’s the Fish Market. This historic shop is at the center of Seattle’s most famous street, and it’s where you’ll find the freshest seafood around. In fact, this fishery claims to be the world’s premier fish market, with the best customer service anywhere.

But what makes this Seattle shop unique isn’t the fact that you can buy habanero sauce with your halibut. It’s what you see when you visit- flying fish!

Thousands of tourists visit Pike Place Fish Market to watch employees throw fish to each other. And there’s a reason behind this ritual. When a customer buys a fish, employees by the display case grab them and throw them to someone behind the counter. Not only that, but each fish has a different throw call. And all employees echo the call.

Somehow, witnessing this longstanding tradition makes you feel like you’re part of a close-knit community. It’s special.

Location: 86 Pike Place, Seattle, WA 98101

#3 Can Can Culinary Cabaret

Reserve a table at the Can Can Culinary Cabaret for a meal and a throwback in time. This dinner theater experience is an ode to Cabaret-style venues popular in 1800s France. Cabaret theater peaked in the 1930s in a direct revolt against Fascism and oppressive politics. And the sexy can-can dance fits right in.

Just know that this unique Seattle experience is a little pricey. For a pretty penny, visitors can indulge in a three-course dinner for two. Preferred seating is more affordable, but you only get one free drink and one menu item. But those who want to wing it and just see the show will only pay about a third of the price. Buy early, as seats sell out all nights of the week.

Location: 95 Pine Street, Seattle, WA 98101

Pro Tip: We think The Chewing Gum Wall Is the Grossest Place in Seattle (and That Says a Lot). So should you avoid it? Find out!

#4 Ye Olde Curiosity Shop

Anyone with a good dose of morbid curiosity will likely love this unique Seattle shop. Founded in 1899, Ye Olde Curiosity Shop is a museum and store filled with odd artifacts. You’ll find preserved medical corpses, mummies, animal tusks, and totem poles. In addition, the store carries plenty of trinkets and quirky gifts for sale.

Much of Ye Olde’s collection comes from Joseph Standley. Standley was an avid collector of oddities. As a former grocery store owner, Standley knew how to manage a business before opening his curiosity shop. And after several years of collecting Navajo crafts and tools, he had more than enough items to get things started.

Echos of the early 1900s are as much a part of Ye Old Curiosity Shop as the items are. You may wonder if what you’re looking at is a fake. But does that matter? Just being in the store is half the fun.

Location: 1001 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98104

#5 Georgetown Morgue

Who doesn’t love a visit to the morgue? But don’t worry, the Georgetown Morgue is now a seasonal haunted house and historical landmark. It’s not a functioning crematorium. But it’s one of the most unique places to visit in Seattle.

This building went from a simple mortuary in 1928 to a massive crematorium by 1943. Owners Charles and Henry Broughton ran a successful business until both died in separate horrible circumstances about 25 years later. Although the city of Seattle kept the morgue going for a while, the company couldn’t get out from under its bizarre history. By 1983 it was closed.

Today, you can visit Georgetown Morgue in the fall for an immersive haunted house experience. And it’s one of the scariest around. Pregnant people, folks with heart conditions, and kids under twelve are recommended to stay away.

Location: 5000 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, WA 98134

Unique Attractions Await You in Seattle!

The wide variety of tourist destinations in Seattle makes it a truly unique place. It’s a buzzing city with more natural wonder than most. And we’ve only scratched the surface. You could spend weeks here and still have a different experience every day.

Whether you want to get a taste of local life or explore the spookier side of the city, Seattle has it all! Just be sure to bring your umbrella and a comfortable pair of walking shoes.

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