How Best To Experience Seattle
While our Stay Alfred’s in Seattle are gorgeous, comfy and encourage maximum relaxing, we understand you won’t be staying in all day. (But given how comfy our beds are, we don’t blame you for sleeping in.) If you’re coming to Seattle to experience the city, there’s a pretty good chance you’re planning on hitting up some of the city’s most popular attractions. As you should! Seattle is a great city to be a tourist in. With a gorgeous natural landscape, a unique Pacific Northwest subculture, and a variety of world-class tourist attractions, it truly is a great place for vacay. But there’s a dark storm cloud threatening to ruin our sunny picture of Seattle. All these amazing must-see destinations cost some dough, and the cost of admission, especially for the whole family, can quickly add up. But there’s a silver lining. And it goes by the name of “Seattle City Pass”. This handy little booklet allows adults and kids alike to visit a variety of Seattle’s most hoppin’ attractions for a fraction of the cost.
Get your bearings about you!
Seattle’s Most Recognizable Landmark The Space Needle
The Space Needle – The Space Needle is, arguably, Seattle’s most prime attraction. And once you standing on the observation deck of this impressive architectural feat, 605 ft. up in the air, you’ll see why. With 360 degree views you’ll be able to take in Seattle’s impressive urban environment as well as the natural beauty surrounding the city. It’s not everyday you can jaw-dropping skyscrapers, glistening waters, and majestic mountains all in the same place. With your CityPASS you’ll get to experience the city both during the day and at night. That’s right, your ticket gives you entry twice during a 24 hour period so you can experience the city and the views two ways: by night and by day.
Age Range and Average Time: The Space Needle is great for kids and adults alike. This all ages activity normally takes anywhere from 1-2 hours to experience. However if you find your travel squad getting a little hangry (hunger + angry) while you’re up there, stop by the delicious SkyCity restaurant for a bite to eat.
The Seattle Aquarium
The Seattle Aquarium – While there is so much to do and see at the Seattle Aquarium here at Stay Alfred we’ve got to admit: the sea otters have stolen our hearts. Your CityPASS gives you admission to watch these cute little water creatures, along with tons of other animals, flip, dip, and dive. Did you know otters hold hands and tie their tails together to keep from floating away while sleeping? Neither did we until we visited the Seattle Aquarium. While kids will obviously delight in such exhibit as the Window on Washington Water, a 120,000 gallon exhibit with live shows, adults shouldn’t be too quick to write off the aquarium as a children’s activity. From the Underwater Dome’s 360 degree view to the Pacific COral Reef exhibit, there’s something here for folks of all ages.
Age Range and Average Time: Who can resist the chance to touch a starfish and sea anemone in the aquarium’s touch tank? This activity is great for all ages and given it’s manageable size only takes 1-2 hours to see in its entirety.
Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour
Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour- All aboard matey! Get your sea legs on during this one-hour narrated cruise throughout Elliott Bay and the Seattle Harbor. Take in the city views along with the picture-perfect background of the Casca and Olympic mountain range. From seeing Seattle’s historic waterfront to witnessing the city’s natural beauty, these entertaining cruises are a great way for folks of all ages to sea (get it?) the city from a different perspective and learn some interesting things along the way. Even if it’s a rainy grey day in Seattle (what a surprise!) this peaceful hour long cruise is still enjoyable given the informative and interesting hosts and indoor seating in the ship.
Age Range and Average Time: This activity take just over an hour and is great for school aged kiddos and up.
Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)
MoPOP- After you’re done checking out the Space Needle you may be tempted to check out the super cool building right next door. This colorful building was designed by Frank Gehry and houses the Museum of Pop Culture or MoPOP. Inside the doors of this awesome museum hardcore music fans and novice listeners alike can enjoy learning about and reliving famous moments in rock music, science fiction and pop culture. With everything from a David Bowie exhibit to one of horror films to their “We are 12” exhibit, which focuses on the Seattle Seahawks, this sociological trip is sure to be an interesting one.
Woodland Park Zoo
Woodland Park Zoo – While adults and older kids may find the MoPOP more interesting kids are sure to delight in the timeless fun of the zoo. With everything from gorillas to grizzlies, with lions, birds and reptiles thrown in, the award-winning Woodland Park Zoo has everything. With an outdoor theater program and a Zoomazium’s indoor nature play space, kids will be entertained for hours. They’ve even got a seasonal free-flying butterfly garden.
Age Range and Average Time: The zoo is fun no matter your age. Kids and adults alike will enjoy seeing everything from giraffes to penguins. Plan to spend between 2-4 hours here.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
Chihuly Garden and Glass – Art lovers will delight in experiencing Dale Chihuly’s large, beautiful and above all else, colorful glass works. A walk through the garden or the signature Glasshouse is sure to inspire with its ever changing exhibits and long-time favorites. While young kiddos may find the serene beauty of the Chihuly less than exciting, the museum is perfect for adults and older kids.
Age Range and Average Time: The Chihuly will likely be boring for young kids (unless you’ve got some sophisticated art consequor kids on your hands, in which case… bravo), but it’s great for adults and teenage and up children to explore. It can take anywhere 1.5 -3 hours to see depending on how long you want to stare in wonder at these gorgeous art pieces
Pacific Science Center
Pacific Science Center – For parents who feel that their young kiddos won’t be able to appreciate the beauty of the Chihuly, there’s the Pacific Science Center: a kid friendly explorative museum perfect for curious minds. In addition to the cool exhibits, your Seattle CityPASS also gives you admission to one IMAX movie. This museum is well laid out meaning that even on busy days you can still navigate the exhibits and take part in different hands on experiences.
Age Range and Average Time: While the Pacific Science Center is an ideal place for young kids (age 2-10) even older siblings can find the moving dinosaurs entertaining. It’s not too big a museum and most families take between one and three hours to get through it.
The Seattle City Pass
Why the City Pass?
If you’re planning on visiting two or more of the attractions listed above, The City Pass could be a great investment for you and your family. In addition to saving money, you’ll also find it comes with additional perks like fast pass entry. This can be especially helpful at places like the Space Needle where the wait can get pretty long (we’re talking 20-30 minutes on weekdays and 50-60 minutes on weekends.)
With the City Pass you’ll find five out of the seven attractions are located in a compact downtown area called the Seattle Center. This park and entertainment area in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood is home to the Space Needle, Pacific Science Center, Chihuly Garden and Glass and the MoPop. For families staying at our downtown locations, you’ll the Seattle Center is either a short walk or monorail ride away.
The benefit of the City Pass is that it can save you 49% on five top Seattle attractions. We’ve crunched the number for you and for an adult to visit 5 of the available attractions without the city pass would cost $162.81. With the city pass it’s only $79 resulting in a total savings of $83.81. For kids the city pass savings amount to $50.89. Take that money you saved on admission and #treatyoself for being such a smart traveler.
If you’re only planning on visiting one of the places listed above than the pass doesn’t make economic sense but if you’re in the city for numerous days and planning on hitting up three or more of the listed destinations, then the City Pass is the most economic way to go about tourist-ing.
How do you know you’re getting the best deal? We’ve crunched the numbers and even with military, elderly and youth discounts, there’s still no cheaper way to see Seattle than with the city pass. So if you’re planning on visiting a number of the following Seattle City attractions, we recommend purchasing a City Pass.
How to Purchase:
It’s super easy to buy your city pass. You can do it online or in person at any of the participating attractions. If you buy online, you’ll be prompted to print a confirmation that you’ll trade in for your official city pass booklet(s) at your first destination. It should be noted that your City Pass is only valid for 9 consecutive days following your first day of use.
If you’ve decided to stay with Stay Alfred in Seattle you’re clearly a smart traveler. The Seattle City Pass is another smart travel move for families and groups looking to visit three or more of the five prime attractions featured above. If you’ve got any questions about your stay in Seattle, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 866-232-3864. We look forward to hearing from you!
At Stay Alfred we pride ourself on having stays in the heart of the city. If you’re looking to explore the popular City Pass attractions you’ll find yourself perfectly situated to do so when calling our Seattle STAYS home. With a number of our stays less than half a mile to the city center (our furthest is only 1.3 miles away) you’ll find yourself within walking distance of Seattle’s best.