14 Famous Landmarks in Seattle, Washington to Visit


6 min read
© pandionhiatus3 via Depositphotos
Ufo-shaped tall structure with other skyscrapers nearby during sunset
The iconic Space Needle is one of many beautiful tourist attractions in Seattle

Seattle is a city located on the West Coast of the United States. It is the seat for the government of King County and the largest city in Washington state.

Numerous famous landmarks in Seattle, Washington, have been attracting visitors here for a long time. Undoubtedly, the most popular among all the spots in the port city is the observation tower, the Space Needle.

Furthermore, Seattle is home to the Pike Place Market - the oldest still operating marketplace in the U.S. Many historically important bridges stand above the waters of Seattle, like North Queen Anne Drive Bridge and the George Washington Memorial Bridge.

Don't miss out on the chance to see the remarkable landmarks Seattle has to offer. To learn more about the famous sites in Seattle, WA, keep on reading for more information.

  • 14 landmarks

Disclosure: Destguides may receive commission for purchases made through links in this article at no cost to you.

Seattle Landmarks Map

Using the map of Seattle, you can explore all the landmarks.

© cascoly via Canva.com
Colorful houseboats on water docked in a harbor on a bright sunny day
Lake Union's name is derived from the names of two lakes, Eastlake and Westlake

Lake Union

Lake Union, located entirely within the borders of Seattle, is a beautiful freshwater lake. The name of the lake is in relation to the two neighboring lakes of Eastlake and Westlake.

Lake Union is a popular vacation spot, as it offers many ways to spend an active day. It is a great place to rent a kayak or an electric boat as there's plenty to discover.

In addition, Lake Union is also home to 2 seaplane bases and numerous rowing centers.

Back to top

© Comstock via Canva.com
The tall Space Needle is one of the famous landmarks in Seattle, Washington
The Space Needle is one of the most famous landmarks in Seattle, Washington

Space Needle

The Space Needle is, without a doubt, one of the most famous sites in Seattle. Constructed in 1962, it is viewed as the symbol of the city.

It was built in merely 400 days for the 1962 World’s Fair and was visited by over 2.3 million people at the time. The Space Needle has an observation platform 520 feet above the ground, providing a panoramic view of Seattle.

The world-famous landmark is built to survive earthquakes of up to 9.0 magnitude in scale and winds of up to 200 mph. It is worth going up the tower for the views and then exploring the sites around the Seattle Center afterwards.

Back to top

© JeffGoulden via Canva.com
Colorful flowers in a lush garden with a glass panel greenhouse in the background
Volunteer Park is a 48-acre park that is popular with tourists for its dahlia garden

Volunteer Park

Volunteer Park is a 48-acre park in the center of Seattle. The park is known for its conservatory built in 1912 and the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

Furthermore, a water tower with an observation platform and an amphitheater can be found in the park. In the summertime, the park attracts foreigners and locals to view its blooming dahlia garden.

Swimming pools are open for visitors during the warm season, accompanied by picnic spots all around the park. Volunteer Park was constructed in 1901 and was named a Seattle Landmark in 2011.

Back to top

© 4nadia via Canva.com
Big "Public Market Center" red signage on a busy street with people and cars
Pike Place Market is one of the oldest farmer's markets in the US

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market is more than a 100-year-old marketplace located in the center of Seattle. It is one of the oldest farmer's markets still operating in the U.S.

A lot more than just food can be found here. In addition to the local goods sourced directly from the farmers, antiques, collectibles, and small restaurants are located in Pike Place Market.

In the grounds of the market also lies the 7-acre Pike Place Market Historical District that preserves and protects the area's historical buildings.

Back to top

Seattle Asian Art Museum

The Seattle Asian Art Museum, located at Volunteer Park, showcases works of art from Korea, India, China, and Japan. The Seattle Asian Art Museum has a library and education center as well.

The architecture of the museum building is Art Deco-style. The house was constructed in 1933 and was originally the place where the main collection of the Seattle Art Museum was held.

The museum was opened in 1994 and is listed in the U.S National Register of Historic Places.

Back to top

© gmc3101 via Canva.com
View of a hilly town with buildings and antenna towers from the ocean
The 1936 North Queen Anne Drive Bridge was declared a Seattle Landmark in 1981

North Queen Anne Drive Bridge

The North Queen Anne Drive Bridge was constructed in 1936 to replace the former wooden crossing. The bridge connects the district of Queen Anne to the George Washington Memorial Bridge, reaching 238 feet in length.

The arch of the bridge is higher than usual and doesn't have many supporting pieces. That's why, because of its unique engineering style, the North Queen Anne Drive Bridge was designated a Seattle Landmark in 1981.

Back to top

© july7th via Canva.com
Historic street lined with stores either side and shaded by leafy green trees
Pioneer Square was Seattle's first neighborhood

Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square is quite literally the birthplace of Seattle. It was the first neighborhood of the city, dating back to 1852.

After the disastrous Great Fire, the district was rebuilt in late 19th-century style - meaning Pioneer Square got a new brick-and-stone look. The area has one of the best Romanesque Revival-style architecture in the U.S.

The legendary neighborhood is now named the Pioneer Square Preservation District, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

Back to top

Bruce Lee's Gravesite

The gravesite of Bruce Lee is a popular landmark in Seattle, WA, throughout the year. The graves of Brandon and Bruce Lee sit side by side in Seattle's Lake View cemetery.

The father and son both found their end terribly early and now rest next to each other while visited by thousands of fans every year.

Due to the already high number of visitors, the cemetery did not allow Kurt Cobain, the frontman of Nirvana, to be buried in Lake View.

Back to top

George Washington Memorial Bridge

The George Washington Memorial Bridge, also known as the Aurora Bridge, connects the Queen Anne and Fremont neighborhoods. The bridge, standing above Lake Union, was first opened in 1932, on the 200th anniversary of George Washington.

Unfortunately, the bridge has been the site of many accidents. That being said, the nearly 3000-foot-long bridge is an important historical site. The Aurora Bridge was added to the National Register of National Historic Places in 1982.

Back to top

© gregobagel via Canva.com
Under an overcast sky, an abandoned gasifier sits on grass surrounded by trees
For 50 years, Gas Works Parks was a gasification plant, but now it is a public park

Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park is a 19-acre park and one of the landmarks in Seattle, WA. The site used to be a gasification plant from 1906 to 1956. The area now serves as a public park that provides a stunning view of Seattle.

Gas Works Park contains parts of the only coal gasification plant still remaining in the U.S. Some parts have been used to make a playground, and some stand as ruins, reminding visitors of the old construction.

Although some say it's the strangest park in Seattle, it definitely has its charm.

Back to top

© nesneJkraM via Canva.com
A white boat exiting a canal lock on a sunny day during high tide
Steelhead and salmon can be seen passing through special windows at Ballard Locks

Ballard Locks

Ballard Locks is a complex of locks located in Lake Washington Ship Canal. The spot is a popular Seattle landmark as it has more boat traffic than any lock in the United States.

The waterway is also a path for steelhead and salmon. There are special windows to observe life underwater. That is one of the reasons Ballard Locks is a favorite among kids as well.

Interestingly, the way the locks are built has lowered the water level of Lake Union by 8.8 feet. Ballard Locks are also among the Historic Places on the National Register.

Back to top

© libre de droit via Canva.com
Aerial view of an urban district with modern buildings and ocean in the background
Seattle's downtown is visible from the 1,000-foot-high Sky View Observatory

Sky View Observatory

Sky View Observatory, located nearly 1000 feet above the ground on the 73rd floor, is the tallest public observation area in the Pacific Northwest.

In addition to having the view of the Space Needle, it offers a 360-degree view of the Cascade Mountains, Mt Rainier, and the Olympic Mountains.

The 1.5 million-square-foot skyscraper was finished in 1985 with 76 stories. It includes 48 elevators and six escalators, and as many as 8,800 windows.

Back to top

Chief Seattle Sculpture

The Chief Seattle statue, located near the Seattle Center, is dedicated to the leader of the Suquamish people. The life-size copper statue of him was created in 1912.

Chief Seattle is known for fighting for the Native people's rights and forming partnerships with the white settlers.

Since only one photo of him existed, there wasn't much to rely on when creating the statue. The sculptor Wehn used the single picture for inspiration to build the sculpture.

Back to top

Saint James Cathedral

St James Cathedral is a beautiful Roman Catholic cathedral dating back to 1905.

The church is still operating today, although it has seen some rough days in the past. In 1916, the 60-foot-high dome crashed under the weight of snow and was never rebuilt.

In 1984, St James Cathedral was named a Seattle Landmark and is now popular as a place of worship, as well as a piece of charming architecture.

Back to top

In Summary

You'll be sure to get a cultural and historical vacation if you head to Seattle. It is among the most important cities in the U.S, loved by locals and foreigners.

Make sure not to miss the Space Needle and the Sky View Observatory that offer you panoramic views of the most beautiful places in Seattle.

There are things to do for the whole family, so don't hesitate to bring your kids with you to show them the outstanding center and the busy Ballard Locks.

Seattle welcomes you with open arms; all you need to do is pack your bags and get ready to discover the city!

This article was edited by Loredana Elena.


Written by Kirke Männik

kirkemannik WRITER As a full-time traveler, I've visited 47 countries and 4 continents. I'm collecting adventures wherever I go, exploring the world through cultures and the people I meet.


Stay informed

Get excited about travel by subscribing for the latest articles and announcements.