With Covid-19 cases dropping in Seattle and King County, we are happy to report that our museums and many attractions are now open again. New practices are in place to keep visitors safe such as limiting capacity to 25%, face masks and social distancing required, increased cleaning and sanitation stations, and timed ticket entry. With no cruise ships or conventions in town, this is a good time to visit Seattle like a local, without the crowds. Here are our top recommendations.
Woodland Park Zoo
Woodland Park Zoo’
s beautiful outdoor exhibits have been open for several months now. This beautifully landscaped zoo has a large variety of animals and natural looking exhibits. Fortunately for us, it is located only 2 miles south Greenlake Guest House in Woodland Park. In fact, some of our guests even walk to the zoo. Most outdoor exhibits have covered areas that are comfortable even in rainy weather. Stay tuned for a new lights festival called Wild Lanterns that will be happening in the evenings after 4pm on November 13-January 17.
Museum of Flight
The Museum of Flight
reopened on September 5 (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays). This huge museum in South Seattle offers lots of space for social distancing. It is the largest independent, non profit air and space museum in the world and includes the original Boeing Red Barn, many vintage planes, and a Space Shuttle trainer. Plan to spend at least 2-4 hours there in order to see everything.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
The Chihuly Garden and Glass
features spectacular indoor and outdoor glass installations by Dale Chihuly, who is a Seattle native. It is located just below the iconic Space Needle and is consistently ranked as Seattle’s top attraction on Trip Advisor.
Seattle Space Needle
Seattle’s Space Needle
, built in 1962 for the World’s Fair, was completely remodeled in 2018 to include an all glass floor below and an open-air deck above as well as a new lounge 500 feet above Seattle on a revolving glass floor. With a new state of the art UV-C sanitizing program it is safer than ever. You can save money by purchasing a combination pass with the Chihuly Garden & Glass.
National Nordic Museum
The National Nordic Museum
reopened on September 4 and is open Wednesday-Sunday. Located in the nearby Ballard neighborhood in a new, architecturally stunning building, it is dedicated to the history of the area’s Nordic immigrants.
Seattle Japanese Garden
The Seattle Japanese Garden
, located in Washington Park Arboretum northeast of downtown Seattle, recently reopened (advanced reservations required). This 3.5 acre, meticulously groomed garden is especially lovely in the fall when the leaves turn brilliantly red and gold.
Pike Place Market
This fall may be the best time to visit the partially outdoor Pike Place Market
because it is so uncrowded. Fall is the perfect time to purchase local produce like apples and pears and fresh items with a pumpkin or harvest theme. Many of the restaurants like Matt’s in the Market, Il Bistro, Radiator Whiskey, and Le Pichet are now offering pop up patios, street-side dining, and rooftop balconies. We are told that these outdoor dining spaces will be extended for at least a few more weeks to take advantage of Seattle’s typically mild, early fall weather. Be sure to stop in for handcrafted cheese across the street in the Post Alley at Beechers, a bouquet of fresh flowers, or some fresh fish for the full Seattle experience.
If you are traveling to Seattle, we think these are the not to miss museums and attractions. Be sure to call or by a ticket or make a reservation ahead of time in order to avoid disappointment. Advanced purchase is recommended at most museums and attractions to allow for timed entry.