Surrounded by water, lush green forests, and rugged mountains, Seattle is a bustling city that’s full of life and where there’s always something going on. Not only is it Washington State’s largest city, but it is also a tech hub, home to the best coffee in the United States, and a great place for outdoor aficionados. Whether you’re in Seattle for a weekend getaway or a more extended family vacation, don’t miss visiting Waterfront Park downtown. This waterfront location is home to excellent restaurants serving fresh seafood, a variety of shops, and lots and lots of attractions. Here’s a guide to Waterfront Park, Seattle, that you can read to explore the best things to do and eat in the area.
Things to do / Highlights
Take a walk along the waterfront boardwalk
Take some time to explore everything Waterfront Park has to offer. The port and water views are breathtaking, so remember to take a stroll along the boardwalk to make the most of your visit here. During warm summer months, the boardwalk is buzzing with locals and tourists coming out to enjoy the fresh breeze. The place is sprinkled with all kinds of coffee and snack shops, as well as souvenir boutiques.
Ride The Seattle Great Wheel
The Seattle Great Wheel is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. It’s easily recognizable in photographs and on postcards, and it’s one of the most popular attractions in Downtown Seattle. The best time to hop on the wheel is at sunset, as you’ll get to see the sky’s pink and orange pastel shades melt into the bay’s waters on one side, and the city skyline on the other side. On a clear-sky day, you’ll also get to see some epic views of the Olympic Mountains in the distance. At night, you’ll be able to witness its spectacular light shows. The wheel is covered in over 500,000 LEDs and puts on colorful light shows every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. During various national holidays or game days, there are special themed light programs too! Tickets for The Seattle Great Wheel can be booked on-site at the ticket booth or online.
Take the kids to Seattle Aquarium
Even if you’re not traveling with children, a visit to Seattle Aquarium will still be worth your time. The aquarium has been open since 1977 and is home to a wide array of birds, fish, and mammals. You’ll be able to see the tufted puffin, the fur seal, as well as different species of otters. Keep an eye out for the bay pipefish and the funny-looking puffers and grunt sculpin. The aquarium also offers visitors a chance to get up close and personal with a giant Pacific octopus. Daily activities include Meet Our Marine Mammals, Story Time (which is the children’s favorite), as well as Diver Show. For further information and online ticket purchase, visit the aquarium’s official website.
What to eat
When it comes to eating at Waterfront Park in Downtown Seattle, seafood and fresh fish are the major stars of the dining scene. Many recommend dining at Aqua by El Gaucho for its grilled tuna or seared scallops that go perfectly with a glass of wine from the extensive wine list. Ivar’s Acres of Clams is known for its clam chowder, which is best savored on the waterfront patio, while Fisherman’s Restaurant and Bar is the place to go if you want to sample the region’s finest fish and shellfish, from mussels to crabs.
Construction in the area
Seattle’s waterfront area is currently undergoing a major makeover, and construction is estimated to continue through 2024.
Waterfront Park along with the boardwalk and its piers are wheelchair accessible. For more information, you can check out the access map for the area online.
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How to get there
Since Waterfront Park is located in Downtown Seattle, it’s easily accessible. Here are some options.
If you’re considering taking public transport to Waterfront Park in Seattle, it is recommended that you take one of the busses from Seneca Street and Fifth Avenue and get off at Second Avenue and Pike Street. Then you can walk for a few minutes to reach the attraction. The lines that service this route include 143, 158, 159, and 577.
Less than a kilometer (0.6 miles) away from Downtown Seattle, Waterfront Park can easily be reached on foot. Enjoy the 10-minute walk while admiring the beautiful and buzzing central area of the city.
If you prefer driving to Waterfront Park, you’re just a minute away from Downtown Seattle. There is street parking available around the Seattle waterfront, starting at 3 USD/hour from Monday to Saturday. Parking is free on Sunday but only for two to four hours. There are also a lot of garages and parking lots in the area.
Waterfront Park information
Address: 1401 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101
Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)
Official website: Waterfront Park
Department of tourism: Visit Seattle
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