The Seven Wonders of the Emerald City (or those nearby)
There’s no question Seattle has a lot going on. On any one day you could find yourself traversing through the wilderness, eating the most amazing food, experiencing some of the most influential art and music, puzzling over the city’s rich history, taking in some of the best views on the west coast, tossing a fish or two, or witnessing some of the most important technological innovations of the day. So how do you choose? How do you choose what you’re going to see, hear, and experience today? At Smith and Burns, we pride ourselves on providing residents with front row seats to all the amazing wonder Seattle has to offer. Here we’ve compiled a list of Seattle’s favorite attractions and sightseeing spots. Some are right in town, others may require a bit of a drive, but we promise they’re worth it. Here are our Seven Wonders of the Emerald City.
How could it not be number one on a sightseeing around Seattle list? That’s right, first up is Seattle’s premier attraction, the Space Needle. It was built in Seattle center in 1962 for the World’s Fair, and for some time, it was the tallest structure this side of the Mississippi. These days, you can ride an elevator up to the observation deck for the #1 view of the city a delicious meal.
Although, technically in North Bend, Snoqualmie Falls achieved their position on the list for providing the most breathtaking natural sightseeing near Seattle, hands down. About 45 minutes outside of town, you can exit I-90, drive for about 10 minutes and make it to the observation deck to witness the 270 foot torrent of water as it plunges from the cliff. It’s truly a sight to behold, which is likely why it was chosen by David Lynch to appear in the title sequence of his popular 90’s soap opera, Twin Peaks.
3) Mt. Rainer
Every Seattleite knows and loves Rainer, mostly because it can be viewed from most places in town! Nonetheless, Mt. Rainier provides the most stunning natural backdrop to what otherwise would be the stark urban environment of Seattle. While it’s easy to appreciate Rainier from a distance, it’s also easy to appreciate it up close. The mountain is home to all sorts of hiking and camping activities, and many take on the difficult challenge of training to ascend to its summit. If you’re looking for the epicenter of Seattle’s outdoor sightseeing opportunities, why not start with the tallest mountain in the state?
Many Seattle transplants have taken their visiting parents to the view at Kerry Park on Queen Anne. And with good reason! It’s perhaps the only location in town where you can capture the enormity of Downtown, with the Space Needle and Mount Rainer all in the same frame of your camera. If you’re new to Seattle, or even if you’ve lived here for some time, it’s important to visit Kerry Park every now and again to revel in Seattle’s wonder. It’s no wonder this park is one of the city’s most favorite attractions.
Not all wonders have to be beautiful. In fact, some can be quite ugly at first glance. But, while it is hard to ignore the increasing number of blunders and missteps that have occurred over the course of the underground tunnel being built on the waterfront, we must marvel in the enormity of the project and the lengths our city is willing to go to better itself. The entire project is a wonder to behold and important for all Seattleites to know about, even if it wasn’t executed perfectly. Once the tunnel is complete and the viaduct is lowered, our city will certainly be the better for it.
Perhaps it’s fair to consider the Locks to be the underdog of our 7 wonders of the emerald city list, But no one can deny that the Locks are one of Seattle’s favorite attractions. With over 1 million visitors per year, and more boat traffic than any other Lock system in the US, the functionality and ingenuity of the Locks is truly an amazing thing. It’s also home to well- frequented fish ladder that allows spawning salmon to return upstream. If you visit at the right time of year, you can watch the salmon climb the ladder!
Last, but certainly not least on our list of Seattle’s best sightseeing, is a sight that is in fact outside of Seattle. Thus, the view from Mt. Constitution has the special honor of being the most wondrous, yet furthest, of the attractions on our list. Located on Orcas Island, the largest of the San Juan islands, Mt. Constitution extends from the center of the island providing a nearly 360 degree view of every island in the San Juan’s. On a clear day, you can even glimpse the Canadian coast. Although it requires a ferry ride and a couple hours of driving, it is so completely worth it!
We want you to experience all this city has to offer and more. The Pacific Northwest is truly a remarkable place to live and Seattle is it’s crown jewel. It’s history, natural wonders, and culture make it the envy of every other major city in the US. It’s no coincidence it’s the fastest growing city in America. At Smith and Burns, we strive to provide our residents with more than just a place to live. We want to provide you with a front row seat to all the remarkable things going on in Seattle right now.