The Perfect Self-Guided Walking Tour of Seattle

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The Perfect Self-Guided Walking Tour of Seattle

Seattle, Washington. The heart of the Pacific Northwest, Seattle is a city renowned for grunge music, Starbucks Coffee, and rain. With an abundance of awesome sights, from the (kinda icky) Gum Wall at Pike Place Market to the towering Seattle Space Needle, the best way to admire all of these iconic landmarks is on a self-guided walking tour of Seattle!

As I was born and raised in Vancouver, I’ve frequently embarked on a weekend trip to Seattle. And in all my time there, I’ve never gotten bored of a few key areas: the Pike Place Historic District, Seattle Center, Pier 57… and with all these spots being within easy walking distance, the best way to visit them is by foot.

A Public Market sign at the edge of Pike Place on a sunny day, an essential stop on every walking tour of Seattle

Needless to say, you’ll be visiting all of these top Seattle spots on this walking tour. So without further ado, let’s begin: this is my self-guided Seattle walking tour.

The Perfect Self-Guided Walking Tour of Seattle

Before we dive into all the stops on our walking tour of Seattle, remember that you can make whatever changes and modifications you’d like. That’s the best thing about self-guided walking tours; you have the ultimate freedom to decide where to go!

With that being said, according to Google Maps, this Seattle walking tour covers 1.9 miles (3.06 km) and will take 40 minutes to complete. However, it doesn’t include all the time (and steps) you’ll spend browsing around. So, I recommend taking a full day out of your itinerary to complete the tour.

Now, once again, let’s begin!

Pier 57

First, let’s start our free walking tour of Seattle at Pier 57.

Home of the Seattle Great Wheel and Miner’s Landing, Pier 57 is the perfect place to start our walking tour. Filled with unique retails shops, stunning ocean views, various family entertainment, and several popular restaurants including The Crab Pot and The Fisherman’s Restaurant, Pier 57 is a vibrant, fun-filled wonderland perfect for those traveling with family and friends.

Ocean view of the Seattle Great Wheel, Seattle skyline, and Miner's Landing Pier 57; stops on my walking tour of Seattle

Here are the three best things to do at Pier 57 in Seattle:

  • The Seattle Great Wheel: Offering panoramic views overlooking Elliot Bay, the Seattle Great Wheel is a relatively new yet iconic Seattle landmark. Adult tickets cost $15, and it’s typically open from 11 am to 10 pm.
  • Miner’s Landing Pier 57: Housing the most popular restaurants in addition to Wings Over Washington, Salish Sea Tours, and the Carousel, Miner’s Landing is filled with entertainment (perfect for kids!).
  • Seattle Aquarium: For those interested in the diverse sea life of the Puget Sound, the Seattle Aquarium is the best educational resource. Adult tickets cost anywhere from $24.95 to $34.95 (depending on the day you’re visiting), and the aquarium is open from 9:30 am to 6 pm.
A clown fish at the Seattle Aquarium, near some sea anemone and two other clown fish - a possible stop on your Seattle walking tour

  • Pier 57 Address: 1301 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101, United States

Pier 62

Next, walk along the waterfront to Pier 62. The first completed section of Waterfront Park, Pier 62 offers breathtaking views of the Puget Sound, as well as some delightful art installations and a floating dock. Admire the incredible ocean scenery before heading to our next stop: Pike Place!

  • Address: 1951 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101, United States
  • Time to Get Here: It’ll take 5 minutes to walk from Miner’s Landing Pier 57 to Pier 62.
  • Hours: 6 am to 10 pm, open daily.
  • Website: https://waterfrontparkseattle.org/pier-62/

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Pike Place Market

Next, it’s time to explore Pike Place Market. One of the most popular Seattle tourist attractions (and an essential stop on all walking tours of Seattle), Pike Place Public Market is my absolute favorite district in Seattle.

The "Public Market Center" sign at Pike Place Farmer's Market, the best stop on the walking tour of Seattle!

Historic and vibrant, Pike Place is filled with life. First opened in 1907, Pike Place remains one of the oldest farmer’s markets in the USA. From comic book stores, antique dealers, fresh fish and produce, artisan crafts, and more, Pike Place Market offers a plethora of goods.

While visiting Pike Place, don’t forget to check out these key sights:

  • The Gum Wall: While I personally find it a bit gross, Seattle’s Gum Wall is a prominent local landmark worth checking out. On the side of the Post Alley’s Market Theater, it’s one of the most popular Seattle photo spots!
A section of the Gum Wall at Pike Place Farmer's Market in Seattle, with small bits of the brick wall visible under several colorful gum pieces
  • Rachel the Pig: Located under the iconic red Public Market Center sign, Rachel the Piggy Bank is a bronze sculpture based on the 1985 Island County Fair prize-winning 770-pound pig. Here, you can take some photos and donate some coins to help support Pike Place Market.
  • The Original Starbucks: While the Starbucks located in Pike Place Market is commonly referred to as the Original Starbucks, it is actually the second store that opened. Nevertheless, as the first Starbucks no longer exists, the Starbucks located in Pike Place is the closest we can get to the original. Drop by for some souvenirs and great photo ops!
  • Beecher’s Handmade Cheese: While I’m not a huge cheese enthusiast, I still adored having some of Beecher’s macaroni and cheese. Stop by to try some handmade artisan cheese!
A crowd of people huddled around a fresh fish stand as a fisherman throws fish onto the display of ice at Pike Place Public Market in Seattle

With so many sights to see in Pike Place Market, don’t rush this part of our walking tour of Seattle. Take your time and explore the shops and restaurants, before heading to our next stop!

  • Address: 85 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101, United States
  • Time to Get Here: It’ll take 7 minutes to walk from Pier 62 to the Pike Place Public Market.
  • Hours: Most businesses are open from 9 am to 5 pm.
  • Website: http://pikeplacemarket.org/

Two women walking by a produce stand at Pike Place Farmer's Market on a walking tour of Seattle

Victor Steinbrueck Park

Next, walk from Pike Place Market to Victor Steinbrueck Park. A small but charming park offering pleasant ocean views, it is worth visiting en route to our next destination. However, there are occasionally some sketchy characters hanging around, so be aware and stay safe!

  • Address: 2001 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121, United States
  • Time to Get Here: It’ll take 3 minutes to walk from Pike Place to Victor Steinbrueck Park.

Olympic Sculpture Park

From Victor Steinbrueck Park, walk for 14 minutes to Olympic Sculpture Park. Spanning nine acres and associated with the Seattle Art Museum, this award-winning park is a great place to relax, offering clean amenities, enchanting views, and interesting sculptures. And with no entrance fee, it is one of the best cheap things to do in Seattle.

A view of the Seattle Space Needle and a red sculpture from the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle

Seattle Center

Finally, the last stop on our walking tour of Seattle is Seattle Center, which includes four key museums and sites: the Seattle Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass, the Museum of Pop Culture, and the Pacific Science Center.

While this free walking tour of Seattle is officially over, you can easily spend hours exploring the museums around Seattle Center, especially since they all offer something different and unique. So, make sure you have enough time!

  • Address: 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109, United States
  • Time to Get Here: It’ll take 8 minutes to walk from Olympic Sculpture Park to Seattle Center.
  • Website: http://www.seattlecenter.com/

The Space Needle

A view of the Seattle Space Needle from down below in the Seattle Center on a sunny day, an essential stop on a Seattle day trip

One of the most popular and exalted tourist attractions in Seattle, the Space Needle was built for the 1962 World’s Fair and stands at 605 feet (184 m) tall. While tickets aren’t cheap, there’s no better place to admire the breathtaking panoramic views of Seattle!

  • Address: 400 Broad St, Seattle, WA 98109, United States
  • Cost: General admission tickets for adults costs $35 (but you can buy a combined ticket with Chihuly Garden and Glass for $57!).
  • Hours: Their core hours are from 12 pm to 5 pm, but additional hours will be added 2-4 weeks in advance.
  • Website: https://www.spaceneedle.com/

Chihuly Garden and Glass

A mainly yellow glass art sculpture in the outside portion of the Chihuly Garden and Glass, my favorite spot on the Seattle free walking tour

One of the coolest art galleries I’ve ever visited, the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum showcases the fantastic glass blowing sculptures and art pieces of Dale Chihuly, a celebrated artist from Tacoma, Washington.

With eight galleries, three Drawing Walls, and the Glasshouse and Garden offering fabulous views of the Seattle Space Needle, you won’t be bored at Chihuly Garden and Glass!

  • Address: 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109, United States
  • Cost: General admission tickets for adults cost $32 (but you can buy a combined ticket with the Space Needle for $57!).
  • Hours: 9 am to 6 pm from Sunday to Thursday, and 9 am to 7 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Website: https://www.chihulygardenandglass.com/

The Museum of Pop Culture

An art display of guitars and other string instruments hanging upside down at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, Washington

If you’re a music or film enthusiast, you have to visit the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) on your Seattle free walking tour. A nonprofit museum focused on contemporary popular culture, they offer exhibits on the Seattle Sound (with a focus on Nirvana and Pearl Jam), science fiction, and horror films.

  • Address: 325 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109, United States
  • Cost: Adult tickets cost anywhere from $26.75 to $34.50 (depending on the day you’re visiting).
  • Hours: 10 am to 6 pm from Monday to Friday, and 9 am to 6 pm on the weekend.
  • Website: https://www.mopop.org/

The Pacific Science Center

A nonprofit museum perfect for those traveling with young children, the Pacific Science Center offers fascinating educational experiences and exhibits focused on science and discovery.

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Other Fabulous Things to Do in Seattle

Now that we’ve finished our walking tour, you’re probably looking for an extra couple things to do in Seattle. So, here is my list of 10 additional awesome places to visit:

  • Kerry Park: Seattle’s best photo spot, Kerry Park is located on Queen Anne Hill and offers breathtaking views of the Seattle skyline, Elliot Bay, and Mount Rainier. It is definitely one of the most romantic things to do in Seattle!
Viewpoint of the Seattle skyline and Mount Rainier from Kerry Park at dusk, one of the best things to do at night in Seattle!
  • Seattle Art Museum: Located near Pike Place, the Seattle Art Museum offers a wide variety of gorgeous art pieces completed by artists from around the globe.
  • South Lake Union: A scenic lake located in central Seattle, South Lake Union is the perfect place to relax and people-watch. It also offers some great Seattle outdoor activities, with both paddle board and kayak rentals!
  • Gas Works Park: Located on the north shore of Lake Union, Gas Works Park is the former site of a Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant. With fascinating remains and delightful views, this unique park is one of the best in Seattle.
The Seattle walking trails at Gas Works Park, with views of a green field, Pacific Ocean, and distant Seattle suburbs
  • Pioneer Square: A rustic and charming neighborhood in the heart of old Seattle, Pioneer Square is a delightful historic area with cute boutiques, delicious restaurants, and striking murals.
  • The Smith Tower: Located in Pioneer Square, the Smith Tower, built in 1914, is Seattle’s oldest skyscraper. With charming architecture and stunning views from the observatory and bar, the Smith Tower is one of the best things to do at night in Seattle.
View of the Smith Tower in Pioneer Square in Seattle on a sunny day
  • Chinatown-International District: The epicenter of Seattle’s Asian-American community, the Chinatown-International District can be split into three sections: Chinatown, Japantown, and Little Saigon. Regardless of the area you’re exploring, the Chinatown-International district will offer the best Asian cuisine in Seattle!
  • The Museum of Flight: The world’s largest nonprofit air and space museum, the Museum of Flight is a fascinating spot that will enthuse all flight enthusiasts, holding both the original Boeing Aircraft factory and a NASA space shuttle trainer!
A display of a couple old airplanes, including a green propeller plane, at the Seattle Museum of Flight - one of the best indoor activities Seattle
  • Seward Park: Offering some of the best Seattle walking trails, Seward Park holds 300 acres of enchanting forests, lovely beaches, and a delightful native plant garden.
  • Day Trips from Seattle: From Mount Rainier, Olympic National Park, Snoqualmie Falls, and Mount Saint Helens, there are numerous incredible day trips from Seattle; I’ve even written an article about it! Click here to read my article on the most amazing day trips from Seattle.
View of Mount Rainier off a trail in the summer, with some clouds in the middle and dark trees in the foreground - one of the best day trips in Seattle

Or, if you’re looking for a Seattle day trip that takes you out of the US and into Canada, check out my articles on Vancouver and the Gulf Islands:

The Best Time to Visit Seattle

To avoid Seattle’s infamous rain, one of the best times to visit Seattle is in the summer, from June to August. With average high temperatures ranging from 71°F to 79°F (22°C-26°C), the weather is warm and sunny.

However, as this is Seattle’s high season, the crowds are consequently bigger and accommodations tend to cost more (so it’s not the best time for budget travelers).

Large crowds in front of the Public Market Center sign at Pike Place in July, one of the best times to visit Seattle
Pike Place on a weekend in July

In my opinion, the best time to visit Seattle is in the shoulder season (spring and fall), with either September or October being the best month to visit Seattle. It’s also a great time to go on some walking tours in Seattle, as the weather isn’t too hot!

And That’s It for our Walking Tour of Seattle!

I hope you enjoyed reading this article, and I hope you’ll love this walking tour of Seattle. Remember, as this is a self-guided walking tour, you have the final say in where you go and what you do. Best of luck, and happy travels.

Thanks for reading the article! If you have any questions, feel free to comment down below, and if you want to see more travel and hike-related content, make sure to check out my other articles.



Photos by Mia and Pixabay.

The Perfect, Self-Guided Seattle Walking Tour

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One Comment

  1. Thanks for the awesome walking guide! We followed your advice and ideas from our cruise ship port and through city center! Great fun facts and sites! Thank you!

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