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Exmouth and the coral coast, esperance and the golden outback, perth and surrounds, margaret river and the south west, aquatic and coastal, food and wine, nature & wildlife, welcome to the tourism western australia library.

The Tourism Western Australia Library houses a collection of images, videos and stock footage showcasing destinations and tourism experiences in Western Australia. It also contains logos, graphics and other branding tools. The library aims to provide the tourism industry, travel media, state government agencies, convention and event agencies with a range of visual assets that can be used to promote Western Australia as an extraordinary holiday destination.

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Plan Your Visit

AGWA exterior view

AGWA is located in the heart of the Perth Cultural Centre – also home to the State Library of Western Australia , PICA , Blue Room Theatre , State Theatre Centre and WA Museum Boola Bardip .

Getting here

AGWA is just a short walk from the Perth Train Station and is easily accessible by public transport and car. See Google map below.

AGWA Building Map

Download the sensory and access map

Download The Art Gallery of Western Australia Visual Story

Related Information

Gallery open, things to know.

The Gallery is free to visit, donations are welcome. To protect artworks, the Gallery is climate controlled and can be a little cool – bring a cardigan.

An increased cleaning schedule remains in place and sanitisers are freely available in the space. If you are feeling unwell, we ask that you postpone your visit until you are feeling well again. 

In the Gallery 

We welcome all visitors and have provided a range of services available for people with disabilities. A walking frame, manual wheelchairs and an electric buggy are available. ACROD parking is available in the Perth Cultural Centre car parks. Companion cards are welcome. Large format print labels are available on our website for exhibitions and a copy available at Information.  Find out more.

The parents' room is located on the ground floor. Breastfeeding is welcome throughout the Gallery. 

More information 

For more information, please see our

Frequently asked questions

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The Gallery is one of Perth’s most sought-after venues. Available for private and corporate functions from 8 to 800 people, discover the possibilities for your next event. Find out more. 

Join us on a free daily guided tour (closed Tuesdays). We can also arrange private tours for groups of eight or more. Find out more. 

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GALLERY OPEN Wed to Mon 10am-5pm Closed Tuesdays, Good Friday and Christmas Day Entry is free, donations welcomed. Special exhibitions may incur a ticket fee.

GALLERY CLOSED UNTIL 6 FEBRUARY Usually: 10am-5pm, Wednesday – Monday Closed Tuesdays, Good Friday, Anzac Day and Christmas Day Entry is free, donations welcomed. Special exhibitions may incur a ticket fee.

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The 16 Best Things to Do in Seattle

By Jenna Scatena and Naomi Tomky

16 Best Things to Do in Seattle From Indigenous History to Floating Hot Tubs

Seattle's famous drizzle feels like an afterthought when you're soaking up the view from aboard a sailing hot tub, and the dampness barely registers while looking up at a spectacular waterfall from an Indigenous cultural center. Getting outdoors all year round, and in any weather, is part of the culture in a city where gardens of colorful glass, giant wooden trolls, and world-class sculptures complement lush parks and tree-lined streets. Puget Sound panoramas unfold all around, from the top of the remodeled Space Needle, to the Marketfront Pavilion addition to iconic Pike Place Market to a ferry ride across Elliott Bay (usually for a great restaurant).

But the beauty extends to the indoors, too: Look down from the pinnacle of the city's most famous tourist attraction, the Space Needle, at the patchwork of neighborhoods hosting museums and galleries that show off the city's deep cultural roots—and, of course, the incredible food scene that comes with Seattle's diversity. Here are the best things to do in Seattle, no matter what time of year you're visiting.

Read our complete Seattle travel guide here .

This gallery has been updated with new information since its original publish date.

Discovery Park Seattle

Discovery Park Arrow

Discovery park offers 534 acres of lush urban respite. Set on the quiet shores of the Puget Sound in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood, this is the city's biggest park. Twelve miles of walking trails leading to coastal bluffs, tidal beaches, serene meadows, and wooded groves, but if you're short on time, the 2.8-mile Loop Trail offers a best-hits list (it's also one of the easier to accomplish hikes in the area).

Chihuly Garden and Glass Seattle

Chihuly Garden and Glass Arrow

Seattle's Chihuly Garden and Glass showcases the oeuvre of glass from world-famous glass artist Dale Chihuly. This forward-thinking museum inspires creativity and imagination as much as it pays tribute to the artist, through a surreal landscape of colorful glass sculptures that interact with the natural environment. The magnum opus of the museum is arguably the Glasshouse. This towering 40-foot-tall work of art is the result of Chihuly’s fondness for conservatories. The centerpiece inside is a massive 100-foot-long sculpture, which is one of Chihuly’s largest suspended sculptures. The artwork takes on different qualities throughout the day, as the natural light changes it. The Garden is also a must. Strangely beautiful handmade glass artwork sits amid ferns, vines, and perennials.

Pike Place Market Seattle Washington

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One of Seattle’s most iconic destinations, this century-old public market houses dozens of stalls and shops for farmers, restaurants , purveyors, and artisans, all overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront. The bustle is non-stop here. From locals buying fresh seafood and flowers to visitors eating their way through the different gourmet food stalls, there’s an endless array of movement and chatter. Showing up without a game plan can be overwhelming, but you can find a fully customizable planner with suggested itineraries on the market’s website .

Hot Tub Boat. people. view

Hot Tub Boats

See the city from a different angle: staring out from the comfort of a private hot tub as you motor around Lake Union with up to five friends. Anyone can rent these floating spas by the hour, year-round, from two different companies that offer slightly differing styles of boat, and each one fits up to six people. The small boats come with lights for nighttime floats, bluetooth speakers, and room for a cooler to keep everyone entertained and hydrated as you tour the waterway. Look up at the Space Needle towering above, watch seaplanes land just overhead, and take a self-guided tour of the local houseboats. Lake Union is one of the city's aquatic playgrounds; depending on the day and time of year you might weave among sailboat lessons, kayak commuters, and competitive canoers. Plus you'll get a close-up look at the Museum of History and Industry, the Center for Wooden Boats, and the Steamship Virginia V which dodging big boats and pricey yachts as they ply the canal from Puget Sound to Lake Washington and Gasworks Park.

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Seattle Art Museum Seattle Washington USA

Seattle Art Museum Arrow

The Seattle Art Museum’s sleek and contemporary digs are as artful as the works that inhabit it. As an institution of Seattle’s art scene, it’s a must-see for any visiting art lover. And while it's not uncommon that a museum’s exhibits play second-fiddle to the permanent collections, here they are one of the main attractions. Spanning topics like, "Who authors history?" to extreme landscape paintings, each exhibit is well-curated and beautifully positioned at a nice pace throughout the museum.

Kubota Garden Seattle

Kubota Garden Arrow

Hidden fountains, bright-red bridges, koi darting about elegant ponds. At Kubota Garden, 20 acres of gorgeous Japanese gardens await visitors willing to make the trip to the Rainier Beach neighborhood in South Seattle. First started in 1927 by Fujitaro Kubota, the complex is now part of Seattle’s public park system. Make time to wander; an incredible number of native Northwest flowers, shrubs, and trees grow amid the interweaving paths. Just know that the 15 minute drive each way can grow to 30 or more minutes in traffic.

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Wa Na Wari Arrow

Wa Na Wari features Black art as part of the organization's mission to promote Black ownership (of land, culture, and joy) in Seattle's historically red-lined Central District. Works of all types, from local artists' to international pieces, hang around the living room and bedrooms of the converted house. The use of a house as a gallery means the downstairs exhibits in the main rooms offer plenty of space for grand ideas, while the smaller bedroom exhibits upstairs give an intimate feel. Bright lights and a multi-space setup makes it easy to explore at your own pace. Friendly staff greet visitors from the porch, but do little more than a welcome. This is a must-stop for anyone who cares about how history, art, and urban geography converge.

Bainbridge Island Seattle

Bainbridge Island Arrow

A 35-minute trip from the Seattle Ferry Terminal, Bainbridge Island makes a great day trip for families or couples, even on a short stay in Seattle. Whether you walk, drive, or ride your bike off the boat, you’ll arrive in downtown Winslow quickly. From there, explore the bookstores, coffee shops, clothing boutiques, and cafés that line Winslow Way, or head to Waterfront Park and City Dock for an easy hike along the shore. Extend your stay with dinner at Ba Sa , a modern Vietnamese restaurant infused with regional ingredients, and stay the night at the fairytale-evoking Eagle Harbor Inn.

The Eagle by Alexander Calder statue. moon

Olympic Sculpture Park Arrow

An offshoot of the Seattle Art Museum perched on the northern edge of downtown, this park's paths winds down toward Elliott Bay through nine acres of artwork from local and internationally renowned artists. Alexander Calder's "Eagle" overlooking the water provides one of the city's most iconic views, particularly during the sunset. Teresita Fernandez's “Seattle Cloud Cover” beautifully links the natural atmosphere of the park to the man-made art, and Jaume Plensa's waterfront “Echo” is simply mesmerizing. Smooth paths and ample ramps make it easy to navigate. While little information is provided at the various sculptures, the downloadable map and guide on the park's website helps with context. Admission is free and a visit can be a quick stop for a few photos, or a more leisurely stay for a picnic.

Space Needle Seattle Washington

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The Space Needle is undoubtedly one of Seattle's ( and America's ) most iconic landmarks. Built for the 1962 World's Fair, it's a futuristic observation tower and the most prominent building in the Seattle skyline. Visitors can reach the top of the Space Needle by elevator for unparalleled 360-degree views of the area: the $100 million renovation that debuted in 2018 gives visitors both an enclosed view level with a glass floor and an open-air deck level above.

National Nordic Museum Seattle

National Nordic Museum Arrow

The region has one of the largest populations of nordic peoples in the United States, and this museum gives a deep dive into their history. The thought-provoking collection is primarily built from textiles, archival ephemera, and artwork brought from Nordic countries through generations that emigrated to the United States from 1840 to the present day. Temporary exhibits showcase a wide range of works from artists of nordic descent. Freya , the museum restaurant, isn't just an afterthought like some museum cafes—it's destination dining highlighting the best of Nordic cuisine, and the menu offers a litany of savory smørrebrød. 

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience Seattle Washington

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience Arrow

This 60,000-square-foot facility focuses on the confluence of Asian and Pacific American history. The permanent collections include a tribute to the museum's namesake, Councilman Wing Luke (the first Asian American elected to public office in the Pacific Northwest), and other exhibits exploring the cultural heritage of pan-Asian Pacific American immigrants, addressing topics like local history, working conditions, and social justice. It's a great place to begin exploring the stories of Seattle's under-represented communities, especially if you can schedule in one of the Chinatown Discovery Tours—including the Friday afternoon food one.

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Northwest Trolls: Way of the Bird King Arrow

Over the course of 2023, five large wooden trolls landed in the greater Seattle area (plus a sixth in Portland), all designed by Danish artist Thomas Dambo from recycled materials, and each with its own backstory. Part outdoor art and part play structure, they are designed for exploration and to encourage curiosity. While three of the trolls live in suburbs that require a ferry, car, or both to access (Issaquah, Bainbridge Island, and Vashon Island), Frankie Feetsplinters outside of Ballard's National Nordic Museum and Bruun Idun, who sings to orcas near Colman Pool in West Seattle, are the easiest to find and visit.

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Snoqualmie Falls, Gift Shop and Visitor Center Arrow

The magnificent 270-foot waterfall just east of Seattle and the short walk to its base alone makes for a wonderful half-day trip. But since the ancestral caretakers of the land, the Snoqualmie Tribe, purchased their land back, they have made it even more meaningful in adding more to see. In 2023, the Snoqualmie added a visitors center that tells the story of the Snoqualmie (both the tribe and the falls) through cultural resources, including Indigenous art, with a gift shop that sells art by minority and women artists. This is the fastest way to get an idea of the Pacific Northwest's splendor without having to drive too far from the city or stay too long.

Green Lake Neighborhood of Seattle Washington Aerial

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When the Olmstead Brothers planned Seattle's system of connected parks throughout the city, Green Lake quickly became one of the focal points. More than a century later, the crowds walking or rolling the three-mile path around the lake rarely subside, the sports fields and facilities bring people from all over the city, and the beaches attract crowds throughout the summer. A walk around Green Lake introduces anyone to staples of Seattle culture, mostly through the people one passes: the walkers, the fishermen, the picnicking families, and the soccer players. But also through the buildings, including historic bathhouse and aqua theater.

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Frye Art Museum Arrow

The Frye is a sleeper gem, with a convenient central location, no admission fee, and creative exhibitions and events. The building's bold, attractive entrance leads visitors through to the galleries full of modern and contemporary art with a natural flow and plenty of natural light. Founded with a private collection of more than 200 oil paintings from the late 19th century and early 20th century, from Europe and the US, the museum has since greatly expanded and enriched its collection by expanding into later artists and pursuing works by under-represented people in the same time periods. The result is a well-rounded, excellent selection of art, curated into informative exhibits.

Recommended

Thompson Seattle

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Visitors’ Guide & Map Request

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The Washington State Visitors’ Guide is published by State of Washington Tourism and the Washington Hospitality Association. For additional travel resources, visit our Plan Your Trip page.

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Washington State Road Map

People still love their road maps! Even in these days of GPS and smart phone apps, one of the most often requested items at visitor info centers and AAA offices across the nation continues to be a good old-fashioned, fold-out highway map.

The map features the routes with a brief description of all 29 of our state’s Official Scenic Byways. It is available to order online, or it can be picked up at nearly every visitor information outlet throughout the state.

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25 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Seattle, WA

Written by Brad Lane Updated Mar 21, 2024 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Seattle is like its own planet in the Pacific Northwest. Its gravitational pull is hard to avoid as the biggest city in the region, enticing with a broad selection of outdoor and indoor attractions alongside a vibrant community. I find something new that adds to the sparkle of the Emerald City with every visit, especially in the summer, when the entire city shines after winter's frequent drizzles.

View of City from Gas Works Park

Visitors may conjure the image of the Seattle Space Needle when envisioning a trip to Seattle. And this 605-foot spire is well worth the visit, especially the surrounding Seattle Center, home to other attractions like Chihuly Garden and Glass and Climate Pledge Arena. But peel Seattle back beyond these renowned tourist destinations, and the city has so much more to explore.

You'll never see everything in a single day or weekend. I once stayed for an entire month and felt pressed for time. That's because between seaside parks, underground tours, immersive museums, and iconic spots like Pike Place Market, things to do in Seattle span all hours of the day and throughout the year. Luckily, there are plenty of coffee shops to aid in making the most out of a vacation.

Prepare to explore the sunny side of Seattle my list of the best attractions in Seattle.

1. Seattle Center & the Space Needle

2. pike place market, 3. discovery park, 4. chihuly garden and glass, 5. go underground in the pioneer square historic district, 6. learn about puget sound at the seattle aquarium, 7. woodland park zoo, 8. mohai: the museum of history & industry, 9. watch boats pass at hiram m. chittenden locks (ballard locks), 10. take a water taxi to alki beach park, 11. wander the galleries at the seattle art museum, 12. take a trip to the museum of flight, 13. whale watch from seattle, 14. get lost at the washington park arboretum, 15. catch the sunset at gas works park, 16. walk around green lake, 17. find fun at the museum of pop culture, 18. ride the seattle great wheel, 19. sunbathe on a seattle beach, 20. picnic at volunteer park, 21. explore the olympic sculpture park, 22. head to the international district, 23. meet the fremont street troll, 24. dive into the living computers: museum and labs, 25. experience benaroya hall, where to stay in seattle for sightseeing, map of attractions & things to do in seattle, wa, best time to visit seattle, wa.

The Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass

Seattle Center, home to the Space Needle, is often included on a first trip to Seattle. And for good reason. These iconic attractions were first built for the 1962 World's Fair and have since been converted into an entertainment complex and park area with a long list of community attractions.

This public space is also home to the Museum of Pop Culture and Chihuly Garden and Glass , two of the best museums in Seattle (and two of my favorite). Restaurants and shopping also line the pedestrian paths across campus, alongside ample public areas for wandering or sitting down and people-watching. This is especially true at the International Fountain with its orchestrated waterspouts and light shows.

The newest addition to Seattle Center is Climate Pledge Arena . This state-of-the-art sports venue is home to the Seattle Kraken, freshly minted into the NHL during the 2021/22 season. Seattle's best radio station, KEXP, also operates out of a studio in the Seattle Center, giving music fans a reason to gather.

View from the Needle Observation Deck

Despite all the other world-class attractions in Seattle Center, the Space Needle claims the most international fame. And while the paid trip to the top of the Space Needle has some of the classic frills of a tourist trap, the view atop is indeed spectacular and worth the few hoops required to jump through.

It's a moderate admission price to get to the top of the Space Needle, and when I visited during a midweek morning in August, I waited about 45 minutes in line for my ride to the top. I opted out of the commemorative photograph taken after the elevator ride, but I spent extra time exploring inside and outside.

Anyone with a fear of heights should not go to the top of the Space Needle. But as someone with unlimited trust in the guardrails and glass-bottom floors, I didn't want to go back down once I got up. Plan to spend at least half of the day if you want to ride to the top. Sunny weather is certainly the most preferred forecast, though a rainy day could provide an exciting ambiance.

Address: 400 Broad Street, Seattle, Washington

Official site: www.spaceneedle.com

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market is another busy tourist area worth a visit. It offers an authentic taste of the maritime culture associated with the city, comprising a wide range of vendors on the two bustling levels floors near the waterfront.

Fish, fruit, vegetables, and all sorts of odds and ends tantalize the taste buds and camera lenses. And keep an eye out for fresh fish flying through the air from the Pike Place Fish Market . If you don't have the hotel facilities for cooking seafood, head to one of the 80 local restaurants and bakeries or pick up goodies to bring home from one of the specialty foods stores.

Pike Place Market

In addition to plentiful food choices, there are more than 200 proprietor-operated shops that range from antiques and collectibles to bookstores and quirky specialty shops. The historic nine-acre shopping haven includes a crafts market with 225 local and regional creators.

Although it's possible to spend all day admiring each stall in Pike Place Market, typically, it's only a part of a touristic day. The market is in the central downtown area, surrounded by several other places to visit. Visitors can also check out the Seattle Art Museum, the Seattle Aquarium, and the Seattle Great Wheel at Pier 57 within a short walk.

Address: 1st and Pike Streets, Seattle, Washington

Official site: http://www.pikeplacemarket.org/

Discovery Park

Discovery Park covers nearly 550 acres and is the largest park in the city and one of the top beaches in Seattle . It's located on a point protruding into the sound from the Magnolia neighborhood, west of downtown. Coastline, forest, and meadows comprise much of the park's landscape, with dirt and paved trails winding throughout.

I headed straight to the West Point Lighthouse on my first visit to Discovery Park, which required about a two-mile hike from the Discovery Park Visitor Center and park entrance. The lighthouse was immediately recognizable as the popular photo destination that it is. But the actual view in person, including an expanse of the Olympic Mountains backdropping Puget Sound, made me understand why it's such a popular Seattle destination.

A paved trail parallels the beach that extends from either side of the lighthouse, offering great views across the water the entire way. The entire network of trails is sprawling within the park, but abundant signage makes navigating throughout the 500-plus acres fairly easy. I never lost reception in the park, either, so I could use my online maps to navigate.

Discovery Park is the former site of Fort Lawton, and some of its military history remains today. An Environmental Learning Center is also onsite at the Visitor Center, hosting interactive exhibits, information about the park, and education programs for all ages.

Address: 3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Seattle, Washington

Chihuly Garden and Glass

If you're heading to the Seattle Center for the Space Needle, be sure to budget at least some time to check out the next-door Chihuly Garden and Glass. The colorful exhibits of this world-renowned museum display and explore the work of innovative glassblower Dale Chihuly - a Tacoma native.

Chihuly's work is known for using glass as a purely artistic medium and creating captivating sculptures. And captivated I was while walking through the eight darkened galleries of the museum, illuminated by glass gardens and densely packed exhibits. It gets a little crowded in these galleries but easy enough to stand still and admire the artistry.

Greenhouse at the Chihuly Garden and Glass

The Glasshouse is the capstone of a visit under the shadow of the Space Needle. An amorphous glass sculpture hangs delicately above this beautiful rotunda encapsulated by glass, changing colors and appearance with the arcing sun above. Between the galleries and the grand Glasshouse, expect to spend between ninety minutes and two hours at the museum (minimum).

The Art Plaza and Collections Café is next to the Greenhouse, offering a lovely place to sit and enjoy hourly glassblowing demonstrations. The plaza abuts the garden, where visitors find Chihuly's work presented within a natural environment, enhancing the flow and depth of the glass.

Address: 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, Washington

Official site: www.chihulygardenandglass.com

Pioneer Square Historic District

Pioneer Square is the city's historic heart, marked with a 60-foot totem pole. It's an area of town that retains much of its historic character distinct from modern parts of downtown, including beautiful Victorian-era buildings. Smith Tower stands out for its imposing height (42 stories), with an observation deck on the 35th floor that's ideal for sightseeing.

In the same neighborhood, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park remembers the surge of prospectors who departed for the Yukon during the 1897 Klondike Gold Rush. This monumental event brought new prosperity to Seattle, the marketed "Gateway to the Gold Fields."

Seattle underneath Pioneer Square

Something to know about visiting Pioneer Square in modern times is that the area is an example of some of the city's urban challenges. Expect to see Seattle's un-housed population while visiting, and while statistically, it's a safe place to visit, it's a spot to take out earbuds and pay attention to your surroundings.

I elected to explore Pioneer Square by going underground and joining the expedition on the famous Bill Speidel's Underground Tour . This 75-minute tour explains how the current city streets were established after the 1889 Great Seattle Fire and dives into the legacy of the almost forgotten underground sidewalks. It turned out to be a great experience that allowed me to get more comfortable with the area under the wings of a tour guide.

Seattle Aquarium

The non-profit Seattle Aquarium operates on the downtown waterfront, just a short walk from the Seattle Great Wheel on Pier 57. Through several live animal exhibits, the aquarium captivated my attention the entire afternoon and inspired my interest in the nearby Puget Sound.

The Window on Washington's Waters is the first exhibit encountered at the aquarium. This 120,000-gallon tank has nothing but good views thanks to its 40-foot-wide window, leaving plenty of room for kids to gather near the front at this popular family attraction.

The tide pool touch tanks tend to be the next area of attraction at the aquarium. This is also a popular attraction for kids, but I'll admit I spent most of my time at the museum reaching into the water to gently put my fingers on sea anemones and other colorful invertebrates.

The aquarium is also home to various marine mammals, including different kinds of seals and otters. Thanks to the tank designs, you get to see these playful residents above and below water. And wandering throughout the museum are staff members ready to answer any questions and engage with visitors.

The aquarium is open seven days a week. Expect to spend at least a few hours at the aquarium, if not more. It's also in a touristy part of Seattle's waterfront, with tons of lunch spots nearby to enjoy after a visit.

Address: 1483 Alaskan Way, Seattle, Washington

Official site: https://www.seattleaquarium.org/

Woodland Park Zoo

Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo is a 92-acre facility with many threatened and endangered species from around the globe. This AZA-accredited facility was the first to create naturalistic exhibits, and its 300 different species range from Asian and African elephants to snow leopards, jaguars, lemurs, and grizzly bears.

It's a popular family attraction, although, as an adult, I was tired after a half-day walking the enormous complex. And I didn't partake in any of the daily programs, animal feedings, or educational lectures throughout the week, nor did I ride on the solar-operated carousel.

Rhinos at the Woodland Park Zoo

If you're here in the summer, consider visiting first thing when the zoo opens, or stick around until it's about to close. Many animals will ride out the heat of the day in their enclosures.

Visitors can book an animal experience tour for a real treat, allowing animal lovers to get up close to some of the zoo's most fascinating wildlife, often with the chance to feed or touch the animals. Experiences include the opportunity to meet giraffes, penguins, lemurs, and other residents.

Address: 601 N 59th Street, Seattle, Washington

Official site: www.zoo.org

The Center for Wooden Boats and MOHAI

The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) celebrates Seattle's position as a leader in innovation and industry, showcasing this legacy with planes hanging from the ceiling and other engaging exhibits across three levels.

The True Northwest exhibit takes tourists on a journey through the region's history, from indigenous cultures through the present, exploring how geography and cultural events like the Klondike Gold Rush shaped the Emerald City.

Permanent collections in the museum's main gallery include a wide range of historical objects, from vintage clothing to locally invented products. Visitors also enjoy 360-degree views of the city using an authentic WWII-era Tang periscope in the Maritime exhibit.

MOHAI: The Museum of History & Industry

The museum's third major gallery focuses on how local inventors have put the region at the forefront of innovation and new technology. It includes interactive exhibits and a chance to get a sneak peek at concepts being explored.

Adjacent to MOHAI, The Center for Wooden Boats is another popular community attraction. This non-profit strives to provide public access to water recreation and maritime travel. The center offers workshops, public sailboat adventures, and rentals throughout the week.

Address: 860 Terry Ave N, Seattle, Washington

Official site: https://mohai.org

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (Ballard Locks)

These busy locks northwest of Seattle Center are also known as the Ballard Locks. They are a fascinating work of engineering in Salmon Bay, constructed to keep the saltwater of Puget Sound separate from the freshwater of Lake Washington while also providing a boat elevator between the two.

Commodore Park and the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Center are on either side, connected by a bike path that crosses the Locks. This path may be impeded by passing boat traffic. But you can get close to the action, and I spent extra time just watching boats, big and small, transfer from one waterway to the other.

Boats going through the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (Ballard Locks)

Besides watching the boat traffic move between Puget Sound and the lakes, I recommend checking out the fish ladder in Commodore Park, where salmon struggle upstream. On the other side of the locks, the Botanical Center is a quieter spot to rest and appreciate well-tended gardens.

Tourists can take a narrated sightseeing cruise along the canal, which offers various views of some of the city's most iconic features, like the Space Needle, the Great Ferris Wheel, and even the houseboat community featured in Sleepless in Seattle . The tour typically lasts 2.5 hours and includes transportation back to the starting point.

Address: 3015 NW 54th Street, Seattle, Washington

Alki Beach Park

Alki Beach Park is a popular destination in West Seattle with a lot of history. It's where the first white settlers landed in 1851, greeted by Chief Seattle and his tribe. Today, it's a 2.5-mile linear park and a guaranteed busy place when the weather is nice.

But with ample sand and space to stretch out some volleyball nets, overcrowding isn't always the biggest issue on summer weekends. Instead, finding a parking space can sometimes require extra patience. To avoid the hassle of parking, it's much easier to hop on a water taxi from Pier 50 in downtown Seattle. The water taxi drops you off at the eastern end of Alki Beach Park.

Timing a visit to Alki during low tide opens a world of tide pool exploring. A 2.5-mile concrete pathway parallels much of the beach, and benches and local businesses line much of this route, offering plenty for an afternoon of exploring.

Seattle Art Museum

The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) is downtown, one block from Pike Place Market. It's a massive repository for world-renowned art and a must-see for casual observers and enthusiasts alike. I spent just over two hours here, including time spent in a special Monet exhibit I paid extra for.

The museum's collection is spread across four floors of expansive gallery space. The bottom three floors feature rotating exhibits and pieces from the permanent collection. Some permanent displays include Native American, European, and Islamic Art. The museum also houses a robust collection of contemporary and modern art.

SAM also oversees two other prominent art facilities for even more aesthetic pleasure. SAM also operates the Olympic Sculpture Park, less than a mile to the north on the waterfront, which is free to enjoy. And in Volunteer Park, in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, SAM also operates the Seattle Asian Art Museum .

Address: 1300 1st Ave, Seattle, Washington

Official site: https://www.seattleartmuseum.org/

Museum of Flight

Seattle's Museum of Flight is home to a wide array of airplanes, educational exhibits, and flight-related historical objects. The museum is open Thursday through Monday, and many visits take the entire day. Alongside general admission, the museum offers premium experiences that lend access to behind-the-scenes exhibits.

An outdoor gallery displays the largest aircraft in the collection, including a Concorde, the first jet Air Force One, and military planes like the B-17F Flying Fortress. The indoor Great Gallery at the museum gives onlookers the thrill of seeing many of the aircraft suspended in flight. The Lear and Space galleries focus on space travel, both its history and future.

History buffs will especially love the Personal Courage Wing, dedicated to the critical role of aviation during World War I and II. Exhibits include 28 restored fighter planes, personal stories of pilots and air support troops, and interactive experiences like a flight simulator.

Address: 4097, 9404 E Marginal Way S, Seattle, Washington

Official site: www.museumofflight.org

Orca off the coast of Seattle

The city-defining waters of Puget Sound host a wide array of marine life. This proximity to a wild habitat gives residents and visitors a unique opportunity to see the landscape's largest mammals.

While several types of whales enjoy the water close to the city, it's often orcas that are sought out. The summer is considered the best time to see orcas from Seattle, specifically between mid-June and early September.

Watchful tourists can spot whales from the shore without boarding a boat. Spots along the western banks of Seattle, like Alki Beach and Golden Gardens , offer some of the best vantage points. Patience and a little help from resources like the Orca Network go a long way in spotting whales from the Seattle shore.

Several whale-watching boat tours are also available from Seattle. In years past, boat noise and boat disturbance became known contributors to declining orca populations. When booking a whale-watching tour, consider finding a company like Puget Sound Express with a long track record of responsible practices.

Washington Park Arboretum

Covering over 230 acres in the Madison Park neighborhood northeast of downtown, the Washington Park Arboretum is the best spot to step away from the city. It's co-managed by the city of Seattle and the University of Washington Botanic Gardens, and it's open every day to the public, free of charge.

Among the expansive green space, the arboretum maintains several specific gardens. A few notable paths include the jaunt through Rhododendron Glen and Azalea Way – the historic heart of the park. Visitors can also expect to encounter Japanese maples and a 2.5-acre plot devoted to New Zealand native plants.

Self-guided and guided tours are available at the arboretum. Guided excursions include Tram Tours , which navigate the entire park in an hour. If you're trying to walk through the whole park, plan for at least this same amount of time. For more information and trail maps, visit the Graham Visitors Center near the northern border.

Official site: https://botanicgardens.uw.edu/washington-park-arboretum/

Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park is on the northern shoreline of Lake Union , with a fantastic view across the water toward the downtown skyline. Alongside this shimmering view of boats and buildings, the park also has several pieces of eye-catching infrastructure.

Before becoming a park, Gas Works was the site of an industrial coal gasification plant. This history is still readily apparent, as many historic structures are now reclaimed into public art pieces. Some of the old facility is even now incorporated into playground equipment and park structures.

View of the Seattle skyline from Gas Works Park

A large earthen mound with a paved trail offers an excellent vantage point of all the park has to offer. Here, towels and blankets punctuate the elevated spot as people enjoy the lakeside ambience. Come sundown, the entire area comes under a special glow as the last bit of day reflects off the water.

Green Lake

Green Lake is an approximately 260-acre lake north of downtown. A popular residential area of the same name borders the eastern and northern edges of the water, and a 2.8-mile multi-use paved trail circles the entire lake, connecting several places to spend the day.

East Green Lake Park is one of the most popular pitstops. Here, sandy shoreline and ample green space abound with people throughout the warmer months. Popular things to do at the park include volleyball, swimming, and lounging about close to the water. Boat rentals are also available.

Opposite East Green Lake on the northern shoreline, West Green Lake Beach offers similar amenities on a slightly smaller scale. On the southern end of Green Lake, connected by the paved multi-use trail, Woodland Park and the Woodland Park Zoo offer their own day of things to do.

Museum of Pop Culture

The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) is a top attraction within the Seattle Center . It's next to the Space Needle, and with a colorful and fluid-like building, it's hard to miss when visiting this central tourist district.

MoPOP dedicates itself to telling the continuing story of modern culture. Exhibits span three levels and include hundreds of artifacts, including costumes, guitars, and a constant stream of memorabilia. Among other subjects, the permanent collection relates to the world of horror movies, the sci-fi universe, and the meteoric rise of the 90s grunge band Nirvana. And new exhibits frequently rotate on display.

The museum is open daily. Plan to spend a few hours wandering the eye-catching and sometimes interactive displays. The museum also regularly hosts events, including movie nights from their ever-evolving list of "100 Horror Films to See Before You Die."

Address: 325 5th Avenue N, Seattle, Washington

Official site: https://www.mopop.org/

Seattle Great Wheel

The Seattle Great Wheel is a 175-foot-tall Ferris Wheel on Pier 57 on the downtown waterfront. It's just minutes from Pike Place Market and easily visible from the Seattle Aquarium . For many, taking a revolution is a quintessential downtown experience.

The Great Wheel spins seven days a week. Depending on the crowd size, a ride on the Great Wheel takes approximately 20 minutes. During that time, a revolving view of Elliot Bay and downtown keep the ride captivating. Although the wheel spins on rainy days, blue skies offer the best experience.

The Great Wheel is only one part of the larger Miners Landing on Pier 57. Other tourist attractions include a classic carousel and a unique "flying theater" known as Wings over Washington. The area also has an ample supply of souvenirs and gifts available.

Golden Gardens Beach

Water surrounds all sides of Seattle. The saltwater of Elliot Bay and Puget Sound offer lapping waves to the west, and Lake Washington has freshwater to the east. While this doesn't mean the entire outer edge of the city is a sandy beach, the marine landscape does offer a few incredible shorelines to enjoy.

On Puget Sound, beaches at places like Golden Gardens and Carkeek Park rank high as local favorites. These two beaches offer some of the most spacious sandy stretches in the city and are popular for all beach-related activities. The world-famous Discovery Park also has a Puget Sound shoreline with a sandy beach bisected by a scenic lighthouse.

The east side of Seattle, on Lake Washington, also has several shoreline areas with sand. Matthews Beach Park , in Northeast Seattle, is one of the largest. It features a designated swimming area with lifeguards, a swimming platform, and ample green space to lay a blanket down.

Read More: Top-Rated Beaches in the Seattle Area

View of Space Needle from Volunteer Park

In the north Capitol Hill neighborhood, Volunteer Park features a century-old conservatory with tropical plants and trees. Visitors can also find simple attractions within the park like walking trails, sports facilities, a children's play area, and picnic grounds.

It's simply a lovely park to wander through and is especially a nice place to bring a blanket to enjoy a picnic or casual hangout with a view. A historic water tower in the park offers a circular staircase to ascend for a 360-degree view of the entire area.

The lush green space also encompasses the Seattle Asian Art Museum (a branch of the larger Seattle Art Museum downtown), where galleries display Chinese, South Asian, and Southeast Asian art; decorative arts; and textiles.

Address: 1247 15th Ave E, Seattle, Washington

Olympic Sculpture Park

The Olympic Sculpture Park is free and open to the public year-round, positioned at the edge of Elliott Bay. Some of its more remarkable sculptures are the Eye Benches and a glass bridge titled Seattle Cloud Cover . Many Seattle residents and tourists come to the park to wander the day away and photograph or admire the installations.

The park's setting is as significant as its artwork. The space underwent an environmental transformation from a post-industrial brownfield site to an ecologically balanced green space that includes a salmon habitat and employs sustainable practices like rainwater collection.

The inland entrance to the park is on Western and Broad Street, and the park follows a "Z" trail down to the waterfront. The trail passes by the PACCAR Pavilion with more art inside. This open community space also has a café and available window seating.

Sculpture of a head at the Olympic Sculpture Park

The park is maintained by the Seattle Art Museum , which is located one mile away, close to Pike Place Market . The museum's collections include artwork from around the globe and across millennia, as well as an extensive gallery dedicated to the art of Native Americans in the northwest.

Address: 2901 Western Ave, Seattle, Washington

Official site: www.seattleartmuseum.org/visit/olympic-sculpture-park

International District

To the east of Pioneer Square is the colorful International District, where Japanese and Chinese shops and restaurants dominate the street scene. There are many things to do here, but the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience is a must. This museum charts the history of Asian immigration. It's named for Wing Luke, a Chinese American who was the first Asian American elected official in Washington.

Another fun place to visit within the International District is the Seattle Pinball Museum . This hands-on museum doesn't just relate the colorful history of these popular arcade accessories, it encourages visitors to flick the flippers of countless pinball games. The surrounding district is also filled with several international restaurants and cultural centers.

Address: 719 S. King Street, Seattle, Washington

Fremont Street Troll

The Fremont Troll is the result of a public art competition that took place over three decades ago. It was an effort to clean up a notorious dumping ground beneath the Aurora Bridge. Now, with a few fresh coats of paint over the years, the Fremont Street Troll has solidified itself as a city attraction and success in urban planning.

The most popular thing to do at the troll is to pose for a picture. The enormity of the sculpture comes into view in real life while standing next to his long stringy fingers and peering up to his singular metal eye. It only takes a quick visit to check out the troll under Aurora Bridge, five miles north of downtown.

Living Computers: Museum and Labs

Living Computers Museum and Labs is a techie's heaven, packed with items and interactive opportunities that look at the history of computers, modern accomplishments, and future potential.

Their extensive vintage collection includes some of the first computers, as well as exhibits that look into the lives and work of the geniuses who revolutionized the personal computer and beyond, including Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Paul Allen.

The museum's philosophy is that visitors cannot fully appreciate technology without experiencing it, so the majority of exhibits encourage interaction. Visitors can experience cutting-edge virtual reality, take a simulated drive in a self-driving car, and even sit down to write some code for their very own video game. Other topics include robotics, artificial intelligence, and the world of Big Data.

Address: 2245 1st Ave S, Seattle, Washington

Official site: www.livingcomputers.org

Benaroya Hall

Benaroya Hall is Seattle's premier arts venue and seats 2,500 for Seattle Symphony concerts. The performance hall is downtown, across the street from the Seattle Art Museum . Look for the large glass art sculpture by Dale Chihuly, featured prominently in the lobby. It's similar to the works at Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle Center and at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma.

Benaroya Hall presents a variety of shows and performances. The Seattle Symphony is a staple exhibition, but this beautiful concert hall also features folk performances, family concerts, and lively speaker series. Whatever show brings you to Benaroya Hall, the decadent 2,500-seat auditorium itself adds to the experience of visiting.

Address: 200 University Street, Seattle, Washington

Official site: https://www.seattlesymphony.org/benaroyahall

We recommend these great hotels in the city center, near top attractions like Pike Place Market and the Space Needle:

  • Inn at the Market : This eco-friendly, luxury, boutique hotel is convenient for sightseeing, with its Pike Place Market location. Enjoy water views, the rooftop deck, and floor-to-ceiling windows.
  • The Maxwell Hotel - A Staypineapple Hotel : For mid-range rates, funky decor, an espresso bar, a free shuttle, and an indoor pool, this is the place.
  • Best Western Executive Inn: With affordable pricing and a location near the Seattle Center and the Space Needle, it's hard to beat this Best Western.
  • Comfort Inn & Suites Seattle: This budget-friendly hotel offers affordable rates, clean rooms, free Wi-Fi and parking, laundry facilities, and free breakfast.

The best time to go to Seattle is in the drier season between mid-June and mid-October . The city comes to life this time of year, with sunny skies, outdoor festivals, and blooming mountain landscapes. Seattle is in full swing in the summer, with millions of tourists checking out top attractions like Pike Place Market and the Space Needle.

Some say that summer in Seattle starts on July 5th, just in time for fireworks to dry out from the 4th of July. The truth is that rain can extend well into the first couple of weeks of July. The summer season in Seattle really begins any time after the clouds break in July. Everyone in the city tries to take full advantage of the sunny weather this time of year after a wet winter and spring.

Seattle skyline from Gas Works Park in August

To avoid the biggest summer rush , the autumn months are the best time to travel to Seattle. Hotel availability tends to go up after Labor Day Weekend, and the weather remains warm throughout the beginning of the season. Increased precipitation should be expected later into October. Cultural events like the Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival occur throughout the fall.

A small caveat to summer travel in Seattle is wildfire smoke that blows in from across the American West and British Columbia. A few smoky days are nearly guaranteed during the Seattle summer, and how many depends on several variable conditions. While it's hard to predict months in advance when wildfire smoke will blow through, it's worth monitoring a week or so prior to traveling. If the wildfire smoke is heavy enough, it's ill-advised to engage in rigorous outdoor activity.

Seattle Map - Tourist Attractions

  • Center for Wooden Boats
  • Central Freeway Park
  • Children's Museum
  • Coast Guard Museum
  • Frye Museum
  • Fun Forest Amusement Park
  • Kingdom (demolished)
  • Klondike Gold Rush NHP
  • Maritime Heritage Museum
  • Omnidome Film Experience
  • Pacific Science Center
  • Pike Place Market
  • Pioneer Square
  • Seattle Aquarium
  • Seattle Art Museum
  • Seattle Center
  • Smith Tower
  • Space Needle
  • Washington State Convention & Trade Center
  • Wing Luke Asian Museum

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Washington Travel Guide: Plan Your Perfect Trip

Henry Art Gallery

Approaching 90 years of age, the Henry is Seattle's modern-art masterpiece. Set in a sophisticated space on the University of Washington campus, it revolves around a remarkable permanent exhibit created in 2003 by light-manipulating sculptor James Turrell. Backing it up is a full revolving program of high-quality temporary and touring collections. Expos here are modern, provocative and occasionally head-scratching.

There are also regular artist talks, discussion groups and workshops.

cnr 15th Ave NE & NE 41st St

Get In Touch

206-543 2280

https://​www​.henryart​.org​​/

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

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Pike Place Market

A cavalcade of noise, smells, personalities, banter and urban theater sprinkled liberally around a spatially challenged waterside strip, Pike Place Market…

The Space Needle and the Experience Music Project, Seattle, Washington.

Museum of Pop Culture

The Museum of Pop Culture (formerly EMP, the "Experience Music Project") is an inspired marriage between super-modern architecture and legendary rock-and…

Museum of Flight

Museum of Flight

Even people with absolutely no interest in aviation have been known to blink in astonishment at Seattle's Museum of Flight, which takes visitors on a…

West Point Lighthouse, Discovery Park, Seattle, Washington. (Photo by: Greg Vaughn /VW PICS/UIG via Getty Images)

Discovery Park

Hard to beat on a sunny spring day, this former military installation has been transformed into a wild coastal park, laced with walking trails and…

Olympic Sculpture Park.

Olympic Sculpture Park

This ingenious feat of urban planning is an offshoot of the Seattle Art Museum and it bears the same strong eye for design and curation. There are dozens…

UNITED STATES - 2012/01/01: USA, Washington State, Seattle Center, Chihuly Garden And Glass Exhibit. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Chihuly Garden & Glass

Opened in 2012 and reinforcing Seattle’s position as a leading city of the arts, this exquisite exposition of the life and work of dynamic local sculptor…

Space Needle

Space Needle

This streamlined, modern-before-its-time tower built for the 1962 World’s Fair has been the city’s defining symbol for more than 50 years. The needle…

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks on Lake Washington

Hiram M Chittenden Locks

Seattle shimmers like an impressionist painting on sunny days at the Hiram M Chittenden Locks. Here, the fresh waters of Lake Washington and Lake Union…

Nearby Seattle attractions

1 . Central Plaza (Red Square)

The center of campus is more commonly referred to as Red Sq (because of its base of red brick rather than any Bolshevik inclinations). It’s not the…

2 . University of Washington

Founded in 1861, Seattle's university is almost as old as the city itself and is highly ranked worldwide (the prestigious Times Higher Education magazine…

3 . Rainier Vista

What other US university campus has a perfectly framed view of a glacier-drizzled, 14,410ft stratovolcano? This beautiful green corridor of lawns and…

4 . Suzzallo Library

The architecturally minded will be interested in the University of Washington’s Suzzallo Library. Designed by Carl Gould in 1926, this bibliophile’s dream…

The lovely Quad is home to some of the original campus buildings, many of them built in a Collegiate Gothic style reminiscent of New England. On sunny…

6 . Drumheller Fountain

Drumheller Fountain sits inside what was originally known as Geyser Basin (now ‘Frosh Pond’), one of the few remaining pieces left over from the 1909 expo…

7 . Burke Museum

An interesting hybrid museum covering both natural history and indigenous cultures of the Pacific Rim. Inside you'll find, arguably, Washington's best…

8 . Ravenna Park

Just north of the U District is Ravenna, a residential neighborhood that’s home to a lot of professors and university staff. At its heart is Ravenna Park,…

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Dive into the magic of Edmonds

One visit just isn’t enough.

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PERFECTLY PNW AND CLOSER THAN YOU THINK

An unrivaled arts, dining, shopping, and entertainment destination on the edge of the salish sea, edmonds always has more to uncover. dive into all the things to see and do in edmonds.

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Taco The Town, Edmonds Style

Marinated meats, lickable salsas, and tortillas galore—tacos abound in Edmonds!

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Witness the Edmonds Wildlife

From seeing seal heads on a morning stroll to enjoying a weekend devoted to birds, Edmonds is full of wildlife.

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Get Your Spa On In Edmonds

These ten Edmonds spa experiences wIll leave you better than they found you.

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Eat Your Way Through The Edmonds International District

A “hidden gem,” no more, the Edmonds International District is brimming with world-spanning foods you’re bound to love.

ARTS & CULTURE

Home to the first Certified Creative District in Washington, Edmonds’s significant commitment to art in all its forms brings out the best in performing, literary, visual, culinary, and liquid arts.

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Performing Arts

Where else can you find a troupe of comedic, pliéing ballerinas, a Spoken Word folk rapper dramatizing dystopian themes and 20th century capitalism? Only in Edmonds.

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Visual Arts

Edmonds offers art in all the places: a street corner, back alley, flower basket poles, fronting cafes and boutiques, walls and walls of changing scenery…expression gone wonderfully wild.

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Musical Arts

Edmonds knows how to put on a show, attracting the biggest, brightest, and best to the stage. Audiences love their musical artists, and the feeling is mutual.

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Literary Arts

Edmonds is a writer’s paradise, with its nationally known writer's conference, independent bookshop and an environment that brings out the creative spirit.

SIP & SAVOR

From oysters and bubbles to beers and brats or jasmine tea and soup dumplings, Edmonds boasts locally-made dishes with global influence. Wherever you dine, you’ll be talking about what you ate in Edmonds to everyone you meet.

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An Edmonds Kind of Dim Sum

From soup dumplings to shumai and a ton in between, our Edmonds dim sum restaurants serve up palate pleasers!

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Wine Down in Edmonds

Wine options abound in Edmonds. From bottle shops to wine walks, pretty much every variety of vino is available for a sniff, swirl, and sip.

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Destination Restaurants

Gourmet courses and wine pairings…Petit Filet, Hama Hama Oysters, Sushi Omakase…knives up! Fancy dress, suit and tie, totally optional.

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Toast of the Town

Edmonds distinguishes itself as a premier craft cocktail, beer, wine, and spirits kinda town. Award-winning distillery and brewery add to the allure. Bottoms up!

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Don't miss out on any of the many performances, concerts and festivals woven into the fabric of the Edmonds experience.

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Annual Festivals & Events

Edmonds plays host to a number of events every year, celebrating, food, the environment, arts and culture, and a community.

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10:00am - 4:00pm

Northwest handmade market.

The Northwest Handmade market is something you don't want to miss! Each show will feature artists from your town.

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7:30pm - 9:30pm

An eca special engagement: the wallflowers.

For the past 30 years, The Wallflowers have stood as one of rock’s most dynamic and purposeful bands—a unit dedicated to and continually honing a sound that meshes timeless songwriting and storytelling with a hard-hitting and decidedly modern musical attack.

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7:00am - 6:00pm

Puget sound bird fest.

An annual celebration of birds and nature in beautiful downtown Edmonds.

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Top 20 must-see tourist attractions in WA

Travel & Touring  |  WA Destinations

27 September, 2022  By: Monique Ceccato

No matter which part of WA you're planning on visiting, there'll  be no shortage of incredible wonders to keep you busy.

There are so many unique things to see and do in Western Australia, from sprawling forest and rugged coastlines to ancient gorges. Not sure where to start sightseeing? These top 20 WA tourist attractions are a great way to begin planning your trip.

1. Ningaloo Reef

People swimming over Ningaloo Reef near Coral Bay

Covering some 300km from Carnarvon’s Red Bluff, all the way around the tip of the cape, to Exmouth Gulf’s Bundegi Beach, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef is the world’s largest fringing reef system, much of it accessible close to the mainland. It’s also the home of the world’s biggest fish, the whale shark .

Anywhere between 300-500 of these plankton-feeding giants frequent the reef throughout the year. From mid-March through to late July, the chances of seeing them swim along the reef are high. Watch them from the air or witness them gliding through the water in their natural habitat on a thrilling whale shark swim.

The whale sharks are in good company, with manta rays, turtles, and humpback whales also frequent visitors to Ningaloo’s waters. If you’re lucky, you’ll see them on a snorkelling, diving, or whale shark swim, too.

2. Valley of the Giants

The Tree Top Walk in the Valley of the Giants

If anything in WA is going to make you feel small, it’s the towering Tingle trees of the Valley of the Giants, between Denmark and Walpole . Endemic to the South West and Walpole Wilderness Area, the eucalypts can grow up to a whopping 24m in circumference and 45m in height.

The best living example is aptly named the Giant Tingle Tree. Follow the 1km loop trail from the Hilltop Lookout carpark, and you can walk through the hollowed-out base of the 400-year-old tree.

For a different perspective, head out on the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk . The 600m-long circular walkway is suspended 40m above the ground, enveloping you in the canopies as you wander your way around.

3. The Pinnacles

The Pinnacles in Nambung National Park

Taking a drive through Nambung National Park, 190km north of Perth near Cervantes , is as close as you’re going to get to feeling like you’ve just landed on another planet. Thousands of jagged natural limestone structures known as The Pinnacles jut out of the park's yellow desert landscape.

Formed 25,000 to 30,000 years ago from sea shell deposits left behind when the ocean receded, The Pinnacles have been whipped into their irregular shapes by wind and sand erosion. There are column-like structures that reach 3.5m in height and others that are shorter, smoother, and more like small domes.

4. Bungle Bungle Range

The Bungle Bungle Range with people walking in the foreground

Until 1983, the orange and black striped domes of the Bungle Bungle Range were known only to the traditional custodians of the land, the Karjaganujaru people. Shortly after a film crew ‘discovered’ the ranges, the Purnululu National Park was established, and, in 2003, the Bungle Bungles and park received their UNESCO World Heritage status.

Approximately 300km south of Kununurra , the sandstone cones – some up to 250m tall – are remote, accessible only by four-wheel drive or on a scenic flyover with Helispirit or AviAir. From above, trace the deep canyons and gorges as they snake through the Bungles. On the ground, don’t miss Cathedral Gorge, a red rock amphitheatre with near-perfect acoustics and a serene pool of water.

5. WA Museum Boorla Bardip

WA Museum Boorla Bardip exterior of building

After four years of downtime and $400m worth of upgrades, the impressive WA Museum Boola Bardip (meaning ‘many stories’ in Nyoongar language) reopened to the public in 2020. At four times the size of the old museum, there are almost 7,000 square metres of gallery to explore.

Eight permanent exhibitions are on display, each centring around either the people of Western Australia and their stories, the beautiful landscapes and fauna of the state, or Western Australia’s place in and impact on the world.

Taking pride of place in the gallery hall is Otto, a 24-metre blue whale skeleton that’s more than 120 years old. It joins many more displays of WA’s unique flora and fauna, installations on the state’s most recognised landforms, and information on the prehistoric creatures that once roamed the land.

6. Kings Park

Two people sitting on the grass at Kings Park

The best views of Perth city come courtesy of Kings Park . Sitting atop Mount Eliza just to the west of the city, the 400-hectare park looks out over the Swan and Canning Rivers, the city skyline, and the Darling Ranges in the distance.

Soak up the views by picnicking on the manicured lawns or wandering the Lotterywest Federation Walkway, pausing on the bridge for happy snaps. Keep following the many trails and walkways to immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of native bushland, which covers two-thirds of the park. The final third consists of playgrounds, grassed areas, and the native flower-filled Western Australia Botanic Garden.

Head up from late August to October to see the flower beds blooming with carpets of everlastings, kangaroo paws, and all kinds of West Australian acacias.

RELATED: Top 20 things to do in Perth »

7. Fremantle Prison

Fremantle Prison underground tunnel tour in a small boat

Only decommissioned as a maximum-security prison in 1991, the Fremantle Prison has a long history with some of Western Australia’s most hardened criminals. Built by convicts in the 1850s, the site now stands as the largest convict-built structure in all of WA. It’s also known as the best-preserved convict-built structure in Australia.

Entry to the site is free and allows visitors access to the museum, cafe, gift shop, and prison gallery, where you can peruse art created by current inmates in Western Australia. For a more in-depth introduction to the prison, three daytime tours are on offer. Each walks you through the stories of convict and prisoner life within the prison walls. Those with nerves of steel can opt to do a tour of the tunnels deep beneath the prison, including some water-filled sections of tunnel where you’ll make your way through in replica convict punts. (Prices vary).

8. Rottnest Island

People swimming near reef on Rottnest Island

Rottnest – or Wadjemup in Whadjuk Nyoongar language – has garnered plenty of international attention thanks to its cute, furry quokka population. But, the 19km2 island has so much more to offer than just a cheeky selfie with its most famous residents.

The shores of Thompson Bay are just 25-minutes by ferry from Fremantle (RAC members can purchase discounted tickets ). There, you’ll find the newly refurbished Isola Bar e Cibo, Hotel Rottnest, and Samphire Rottnest. Choose any one in the trio for an indulgent long lunch in the sun, complete with quokka visitors and impeccable ocean views.

Hire a bicycle from the nearby Pedal and Flipper, and spend the day bay-hopping around the island. There are plenty to choose from, but snorkelling fans should make a beeline for The Basin and sun-soakers, the stretch of sand at Pinky Beach.

9. Busselton Jetty

Busselton Jetty aerial photo

Wagin has the giant ram, Harvey the big orange. Busselton , 45-minutes south of Bunbury , is famed for its king-sized jetty. At 1.841km, the Busselton Jetty is officially the southern hemisphere’s longest timber piled jetty.

There’s a 90-seat electric train that runs the length of it, transporting passengers from the shores of Geographe Bay out to the underwater observatory at the end. It’s one of only six natural underwater observatories in the world and allows you a first-hand glimpse into what lies below the surface.

There, 8m down, you can watch southern calamari, decorator crabs, and, if you’re lucky, southern fiddler or eagle rays going about their daily business among the pylons.

10. Wave Rock

Aerial shot of Wave Rock near Hyden

Known as Katter Kitch to the Nyoongar people, Wave Rock near the town of Hyden is a significant site for many reasons. Not only was it a keniny (dancing ground) for the Ballardong custodians and an important part of their Dreamtime stories, but its unique formation was some 270 million years in the making.

Standing at 15m tall and 100m long, the multi-coloured granite landform gets its name for its likeness to a crashing wave. Even if you’re not a regular Kelly Slater, standing at the base of the wave for a photo ‘surfing’ it is customary.

Just 800m away you’ll find the Wave Rock Salt Bath. It’s a 6m-deep gypsum pool the colour of jade, with a higher salinity than the Dead Sea. Slide in for a relaxing, weightless float.

RELATED: Perth to Wave Rock road trip (3 days) »

11. Kalbarri National Park

Pot Alley coastal cliffs in Kalbarri National Park

Experiencing the beauty of Kalbarri National Park is now even more accessible, thanks to the dual cantilevered platforms of the Kalbarri Skywalk. Extending 25m out from the rim of the Murchison River Gorge, the universally accessible platforms project sightseers over the 100m high chasm for a view you just wouldn’t get otherwise.

To see the red and white banded gorges from a different angle, take the 9km grade 4 Loop Walk. It starts along the edge of the cliffs and winds its way down to the river bank below before climbing back up to end at the iconic Nature’s Window. Temperatures in the valley can reach 50 degrees in summer, so the trail is closed after 7.00am from November to March. It’s best to attempt it in spring and autumn.

RELATED: Perth to Kalbarri road trip itinerary »

12. Karijini

An aerial shot of Karijini National Park with a family walking

Tranquil, fern-lined swimming holes, arid plateaus, and deep rock chasms are hallmarks of Karijini National Park, a desert oasis 1,400km to the northeast of Perth.

Karijini is one of WA’s most unique and picturesque national parks, one that needs to be seen to be believed. Explore its deepest crevices and hidden swimming holes by taking one of the many walking trails that weave through the park. Fern Pool and Hamersley Gorge’s Spa Pool are some of the most popular routes. Fed by a small waterfall and surrounded by curved rock, the iridescently blue waters of the latter are an unforgettable place to take a dip.

It’s best to save your visit until late autumn, winter, or spring, avoiding the blistering heat and the deluge of rain the summer (and wet season) brings.

13. Albany’s Gap and Natural Bridge

People on the viewing platform over The Gap near Albany

Albany’s southern-facing coastline is one of the most exposed in the state. It’s also one of the most spectacular. Enjoy panoramic views from Bald Head to West Cape Howe from universally accessible lookout points at The Gap and the Natural Bridge.

At The Gap, a meshwork platform allows you to stand 40m above the surging Southern Ocean and watch it as it smashes against the granite cliff face below. In winter, a spraying of seawater is expected, so prepare well with ponchos and raincoats. For a less turbulent and altogether drier experience, the equally scenic Natural Bridge is a short walk away.

RELATED: Perth to Albany road trip itinerary  »

14. Stirling Range and Bluff Knoll

Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Range

If you thought it didn’t snow in Western Australia, think again. When the conditions are just right, a light dusting covers the Stirling Range’s tallest peak, Bluff Knoll , 415km from Perth. It’s a spectacle that draws tourists and hikers in from all around the state.

Climbing to the top of Bluff Knoll is a healthy challenge, the 6km round trip taking around 3 hours to complete. If you’re not up to the climb, there is a 42km scenic drive (on unsealed roads) that winds through the Stirling Range National Park, with plenty of lookout points along the way.

A short drive away is the Granite Skywalk in the Porongorup Range, another challenging uphill hike with a spectacular vantage point at the top.

15. Dolphins at Monkey Mia

Dolphin feeding on the beach at Monkey Mia

There are few places in Western Australia where you can get a close-up look at dolphins in their natural habitat. At Monkey Mia a small resort town fringing Francois Peron National Park on the Coral Coast, morning meetings with the bottlenose are a daily occurrence.

The wild dolphins cruise into the bay in the early morning, past a line-up of people in ankle-deep water, hoping to catch a glimpse. Anyone that’s paid the reserve fee on entry to the site can join in on the viewing, but spots are limited, so it’s best to arrive early.

Post-dolphin interaction, cool off in the bay's calm waters, have a bite to eat up at RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort’s  Boughshed Restaurant or take a hiking trail through the national park.

RELATED: Things to do in the Shark Bay region »

16. Aboriginal rock art of the North West

Wandjina Aboriginal Rock art paintings on a rock wall

Western Australia’s most prized art collection isn’t housed within the Art Gallery of Western Australia; it’s in the caves and on the rock faces of Murujuga National Park, 5km northeast of Dampier.

Aboriginal engravings (known as petroglyphs) in this region have been estimated to be up to 40,000 years old, providing a pictorial record of anything that held meaning to the Ngarluma-Yindjibarndi, Yaburara-Mardudhunera and the Woon-goo-tt-oo Aboriginal people of the Pilbara at that time.

The most popular site to see the ancient artwork is Ngajarli Gorge. A 700m accessible boardwalk winds through the rock piles where you can find human figures, marine life, and birds etched into the stone, as well as other historical artifacts. Remember to tread lightly, respect the artwork, and, due to cultural restrictions, avoid taking photos of any petroglyphs of the human form.

RELATED:   Aboriginal rock art of the North West »

17. Horizontal Falls

A boat crossing Horizontal Falls in Talbot Ba

Western Australia’s Kimberley region is home to a rich Aboriginal cultural heritage, a long pearling history, and some of the most striking landscapes in the country. It can also lay claim to Australia’s largest tides. At its most extreme, the tidal difference can reach 10m or more, causing a rushing effect as the water ebbs and flows over the course of the day.

The fast-moving water can be seen all around the Buccaneer Archipelago, but it’s in Talbot Bay where the tide really puts on a show. Each day, water gushes through the narrow gaps in the McLarty Range, forming what’s known as the Horizontal Falls (or Garaanngaddim to the Dambimangari people). Witness it from the air on a scenic flight from Broome or Derby, or land on the water before jetting through the falls on a high-speed boat.

RELATED: Great drives in the Kimberly and Pilbara »

18. Abrolhos Islands

Aerial shot of Abrolhos Islands

Rottnest isn’t the only idyllic island that lies off the west coast. The Houtman Abrolhos – better known as the Abrolhos Islands – is a chain of 122 small islands and islets 90-minutes from Geraldton by fast ferry or even closer by light plane. With most of the islands nothing more than brilliantly white sand, turquoise waters, and coastal scrub, they’re a day-trip destination only.

Pack a snorkel and take to the waters, where seagrass meadows and tropical coral reef meet. The islands are home to the southernmost tropical reef in the Indian Ocean, a product of the warm Leeuwin current passing through the otherwise temperate waters. On dry land, get to know the infamous history of the islands (it includes shipwrecks and mutiny), and watch the sea lions and tammar wallabies bask in the sunshine.

19. Lake Argyle

 Aerial shot of Lake Argyle at sunset with boats in the water

Technically classified as an inland sea, the mammoth Lake Argyle is Australia’s second-largest artificial reservoir. The freshwater system just out of Kununurra covers approximately 1000km2 and holds 32 million cubic litres of water – that’s some 20 times larger than Sydney Harbour.

Fed by the fertile Ord River, the lake is a thriving marine environment. A wildlife cruise along the lake’s shoreline, its 70 islands, and up the Ord River will expose you to the region’s plentiful native flora and fauna, including wallabies, freshwater crocodiles, and more than 240 species of bird. Cruise at sunset and the odds of ticking them all off the ‘spotto’ list increase exponentially. But, to truly appreciate the size of Lake Argyle, it’s best seen from the air.

20. Mitchell Falls

Mitchell Falls three-tiered waterfall

There are arguably no Australian falls more beautiful than the Kimberley’s Mitchell Falls (known as Punamii-Uunpuu to the Wunambal people). An intercept along the Mitchell River’s path, the falls tumble down a series of red rock tiers, collecting in deep, emerald-coloured pool after pool.

Swimming is permitted in the top pools, where it’s safe to cool off without the threat of the local wildlife. A dip comes as a welcome treat after the 4.3km walk out to the falls, taking the Punamii-Uunpuu walking trail from the campground.

Less energy is expended seeing the icon by air, either on a scenic flight or helicopter tour departing from Kununurra.

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8 of Perth's best museums, galleries and theatres

From murals to maritime history, Perth has an art and culture scene you won’t want to miss.

By Leah Dobihal

In recent years, Perth’s art and culture scene has flourished. Jaw-dropping street art is splashed across the city, art galleries have taken hold in underrated neighbourhoods and the city’s maritime and convict history is displayed in beautiful museums.

Here are some of Perth’s must-visit art galleries and museums.

Art Gallery of Western Australia

Where: City Centre

Home to the iconic State Art Collection, the Art Gallery of Western Australia has the state’s most extensive exhibitions of visual art. The museum’s collection holds more than 18,000 works created from the 1800s to today. Discover riveting Aboriginal art, twentieth-century sculptures and an ever-evolving showcase of contemporary paintings.

Perth Theatre Trust

Interior of the State Theatre Centre in Perth © Tourism Western Australia

State Theatre Centre, Perth, Western Australia © Tourism Western Australia

Where: Several locations

The Perth Theatre Trust operates a number of venues at the epicentre of culture in Perth. Each theatre has its own personality and community, from the Baroque-style His Majesty’s Theatre to the modern glamour of the State Theatre Centre . Catch a comedy show, dance performance or even a circus act at venues across the city – there’s always something exciting to see.

PS Art Space

Where: Fremantle

Located in a stunning heritage-listed building, PS Art Space is an experimental gallery and independent artist studio. Explore 36 diverse spaces showcasing contemporary art that’s sure to excite and intrigue. Exhibitions are curated regularly, so this is a gallery you’ll want to visit again and again.

WA Museum Boola Bardip

Blue whale skeleton at the WA Museum Boola Bardip in Perth © WA Museum, photo by Michael Haluwana, Aeroture

WA Museum Boola Bardip, Perth, Western Australia © WA Museum, photo by Michael Haluwana, Aeroture

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Did you know?

WA Museum Boola Bardip is home to a blue whale skeleton , which took more than three years to prepare for transport to the museum. It's one of the state's most beloved treasures.

Where: Perth

The name ‘Boola Bardip’ means ‘many stories’ in the local Whadjuk Nyoongar language, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at the WA Museum . The museum is centred around the stories of Western Australia , from the diverse wildlife to the Dreamtime stories of local Aboriginal peoples. With several permanent exhibitions to explore, you’re sure to leave with newfound knowledge and appreciation of the beauty of Australia’s western state.

Western Australia Maritime Museum

Family at the Western Australia Maritime Museum in Fremantle © Cultural Attractions of Australia

As a coastal city, Perth has an iconic maritime past, centred around the historic suburb of Fremantle. The Western Australian Maritime Museum is dedicated to Western Australia’s unique relationship to the sea – a relationship that continues today. Wander through displays of handcrafted sailing boats, explore huge vessels and drop down into a retired submarine.

Japingka Aboriginal Art

No artistic exploration of Perth would be complete without a trip to an Aboriginal art gallery. Japingka Aboriginal Art is the perfect place to start, showcasing 12 exhibitions annually from exciting Indigenous artists both emerging and established. Browse intricate paintings and woven baskets, and perhaps make a purchase to bring home with you. All works in Japingka are ethically sourced.

Perth Institute of Contemporary Art

Where: Northbridge

Considered unmissable for art-lovers, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA) is where you’ll find art that excites, innovates, experiments and stimulates. You could spend the entire day here, with visual art, performance, dance and interdisciplinary art on offer. Plus, with PICABAR on ground level, you can stop for a drink after you’ve had your fill of art.

Outdoor art

Street art in Fremantle, Western Australia © Tourism Western Australia

Fremantle, Perth, Western Australia © Tourism Western Australia

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Experience Australia’s spectacular outdoor art galleries

Where: Perth and surrounds

In Perth, art is all around you – as you pass by cafés, wander down laneways and explore trendy neighbourhoods. The city’s street art scene is diverse, featuring murals, landscapes and Insta-worthy backdrops. The outdoor art doesn’t end in the city, either. The PUBLIC Silo Art Trail is Western Australia’s most unexpected gallery, with massive paintings appearing on farming silos around the state.

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Elizabeth Quay, Perth, WA © Tourism Australia

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May is Tree Month in the City of Perth!

Across the month we’ll be running a series of community planting days and sustainable events activities to showcase how we can collectively make our City cleaner and greener.

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San Antonio to Washington D.C. nonstop flights could boost tourism and economy

by Stephanie Esquivel

The proposed direct flights from San Antonio to Washington D.C. and back could help bolster the economy of the Alamo city. (SBG San Antonio){ }

San Antonio International Airport and American Airlines are teaming up to bring nonstop flights from San Antonio to Washington D.C. Visit San Antonio said those nonstop flights could open doors to more tourists in the Alamo City, bringing a big economic boost.

“To have this easy nonstop service for our residents is important, but also, for all the tourists that we're hoping to garner from the Washington DC area,” said Marc Anderson, President and CEO of Visit San Antonio.

Anderson said a direct flight would significantly cut down travel time between the San Antonio International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

“This will just add the ease for that traveler in the Washington DC area to get to our city to experience you know the number one and number two tourist attractions and all of Texas the Alamo and our Riverwalk,” said Anderson.

Nonstop flights could easily persuade more people from the Washington D.C. area to visit San Antonio, according to Anderson.

Extra visitors could also have a huge economic impact because right now, tourism is the third largest industry in the city and Anderson said one in seven people work in the hospitality industry.

"Especially right now we have a lot of construction going on so that doesn't help much either," said Virginia Ramos, with El Merkadito on Market Square.

Ramos said more tourism couldn’t come at a better time.

“I've been here for a long time, many years and it's not like it used to be. We used to get a lot of clientele, a lot of business, and it's diminished a whole lot,” said Ramos.

While boosting local businesses, Anderson said the additional tourism will also increase tax revenue.

“That tax revenue is going to streets and sanitation, public safety, the police department, the fire department, it really keeps the city running and running more effectively,” said Anderson.

Ramos said she hopes the direct flight brings more people to see what San Antonio has to offer.

“To come down and take a look at the Market Square. We have a lot of gift shops, we sell the best Michelada here, you know, and there's a lot of fun things for the kids. It's a family-oriented place for everybody to come out and have fun,” said Ramos.

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Reporting by Max A. Cherney in Seattle; Additional reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Noel Randewich and Matthew Lewis

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Japan, famously polite, struggles to cope with influx of tourists

Huge numbers of visitors are causing chaos at such popular spots as Mount Fuji and Kyoto, leading to some extreme measures to tamp down the crowds.

TOKYO — Japan is proud of its “omotenashi” spirit, its practice of wholeheartedly caring and catering for guests. But a post-covid surge in tourist numbers, coupled with a weak yen that makes Japan cheaper for many visitors, is pushing Japan’s world-famous hospitality to the brink.

One town is installing a huge screen to stop tourists causing traffic jams while they take selfies in front of Mount Fuji. At least one overrun restaurant is reserving Friday nights for locals only. Even the deer of Nara, usually very proactive about coming forth for snacks, have had their fill.

This is because international tourists, unable to enter Japan for 2½ years during the covid pandemic, now appear to be making up for lost time.

The Japanese yen has been steadily weakening, losing more than 40 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar in the past five years and making Japan a much cheaper place to visit.

A staggering 25.1 million tourists visited the country last year, marking a sixfold increase from 2022. In March, at the start of the cherry blossom season, 3.08 million visitors arrived in the country, according to data from the Japan National Tourism Organization ( JNTO ), with the monthly number surpassing 3 million for the first time since records began in 1964.

Just over a quarter of tourists this year have come from South Korea, while about 17 percent are from Taiwan and 15 percent from China. Americans have made up less than 7 percent of tourists since January.

The influx has been good for the Japanese economy: Spending by visitors to Japan in the first quarter of this year totaled $11.4 billion (1.75 trillion yen), the highest quarterly figure ever recorded, according to the Japan Tourism Agency . The average spending per person was about $1,300 (208,760 yen), up 41.6 percent from the same period in 2019.

But, in many popular places, it has not been good for the locals. There have been widespread complaints about overcrowding, litter, strain on infrastructure and a particularly Japanese worry: not being able to devote the requisite amount of care to each visit.

The concept of “omotenashi” is at the heart of the Japanese service sector. This wholehearted hospitality and level of attentive service can be felt in hotels, restaurants and shops from the moment one arrives in Japan — in fact, from the moment the air marshallers on the airport tarmac bow as planes taxi up to the boarding bridge. It’s in the white gloves of taxi drivers and the individually wrapped wet wipe that accompanies even the cheapest cup of coffee.

“Overtourism is a serious issue in Japan with tourism concentrated in the major centers, lacking the infrastructure to deal with the volume of visitors,” said Max Mackee, founder of adventure travel company Kammui.

“This can ruin the tourists’ experience, particularly as the beauty of Japan is often found in its peace and meditative moments, even in cities like Tokyo. It’s also a serious issue for the local population, which is not equipped to handle visitors, which can lead to local resentment, environmental impact or even closure of restaurants and bars and other establishments on the tourist trail.”

Screening off Mount Fuji

Fed up with badly behaved tourists, the town of Fujikawaguchiko is building a screen to block views of Mount Fuji at a popular photo spot.

The Lawson convenience store in the town has become a hit on social media because the renowned volcanic cone sits perfectly above the store’s neon sign. Tourists have flocked to the store’s parking lot to take photos of themselves in front of the Instagrammable scene.

Residents complained about the traffic problems, unauthorized parking, trespassing and littering this was causing. The Ibishi Dental Clinic, across the street, even installed a barrier to keep tourists away and ensure customers could get in.

“When we asked people to move their cars, some yelled back, and some even threw lit cigarettes. There are days where it’s difficult to provide proper medical services,” the clinic wrote in a statement on its website .

“Obviously it’s regretful for us too, to lose that view from our clinic, but we believe that it’s now an inevitable measure that needs to be taken in response to the unthinkable violations that exceed all measures we have taken until now.”

Lawson even issued a statement apologizing to residents and customers for the inconvenience.

The town has decided on more extreme measures: It is constructing a mesh net that is 8 feet tall and 65 feet wide to block the view, expected to be finished next week. “To ensure the safety of both tourists and drivers, and to ensure the peaceful life of residents, we have regrettably come to the difficult decision to proceed with this construction,” the town of Fujikawaguchiko posted on its website .

Then there are the crowds on the mountain itself.

Mount Fuji — Japan’s highest peak and a popular tourist destination — has been dealing with overcrowding in recent years, and the influx of overseas tourists has led the prefecture to take measures.

Starting this week, authorities have instituted an online booking system to stop Mount Fuji’s most popular trail from becoming excessively crowded during the summer hiking season. A maximum of 4,000 people will be allowed on the Yoshida Trail each day during the July-to-September hiking season, with 3,000 of the spots requiring advance bookings at $13 a pop.

Kyoto crackdown

In February, Koji Matsui was elected as Kyoto’s new mayor after campaigning against overtourism. Kyoto, just over two hours from Tokyo by bullet train, is famous for its temples and shrines and its traditional wooden buildings.

The city, once Japan’s capital, has a resident population of about 1.5 million but saw more than 20 times that number — about 32 million — of tourists arriving last year.

One major attraction is the Gion district, where geisha and their apprentices can be seen walking around in traditional kimonos and makeup. Kyoto last month banned tourists from entering private alleys in Gion after locals complained that the neighborhood was “not a theme park” and urged the government to act against unruly tourists.

Matsui’s other campaign pledges included charging tourists more than residents to take public transport fares and creating special tourist bus routes. The new mayor also plans to introduce “smart” garbage cans that send signals to the management bureau when full to try to curtail littering.

“ While we are very grateful for the large number of tourists attracted by the charms of Kyoto, we are now facing serious challenges in achieving a healthy balance between tourists and local citizens, ” Matsui said during his inauguration news conference.

The picturesque temples and gardens of Nara, just south of Kyoto, make it a popular side trip. And almost every visitor goes to Nara Park, where deer wander freely and vendors sell rice crackers, which the deer love. Usually.

Nara deer usually approach people and famously “bow” to — or sometimes butt — them to ask for the crackers. Not anymore.

This month during Golden Week, a popular Japanese holiday period, visitors to Nara found that deer were done with the rice snacks.

“Deer crackers have now become absolutely worthless due to the sudden surge in deer crackers during Golden Week,” one visitor wrote on X, posting a photo of an unimpressed deer lying beside four uneaten crackers.

これはGWの急激なシカ高せんべい安によって紙くず同然の価値となった鹿せんべい。 pic.twitter.com/hJNus8d0MA — 魅惑のなめろうフィットネス (@cqFv4ntcLoT6Sk6) May 5, 2024

Hiroshima, another regular stop on the tourist trail due to the Peace Memorial Museum commemorating the site of the 1945 U.S. nuclear bombing, is also feeling the strain.

Hiroshima is famous for okonomiyaki, a savory vegetable and meat pancake cooked on a griddle in front of the customer. But okonomiyaki restaurants are becoming so overcrowded that one popular place, Momiji-tei , has reserved Friday evenings exclusively for locals.

“It feels wrong for us to become a restaurant that is inaccessible to our regulars who supported us throughout the pandemic,” owner Ryota Fujiwara told local media. “We want to make sure to preserve their place even if it’s just once a week.”

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  • Boeing & Aerospace

Bezos’ Blue Origin resumes space tourism with latest launch

Jeff Bezos’ Kent-based Blue Origin resumed sending tourists to space on Sunday, launching six private passengers on a short flight more than 60 miles above the Earth.

The passengers included Ed Dwight, a former Air Force captain who was selected as the first Black astronaut candidate in 1961 but never got to fly to space with NASA. “This was fabulous,” he said after emerging from the crew capsule after touchdown.

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The flight was delayed by an hour before taking off at about 9:35 a.m. local time from the company’s West Texas launch site. Following takeoff, the vehicle reached what many institutions consider to be beyond the boundary of space. The rocket and capsule then returned to Earth, with the rocket landing upright a few minutes after takeoff. The capsule also successfully touched down, using two of its three parachutes, roughly 15 minutes after takeoff.

This flight is Blue Origin’s first tourist mission on New Shepard since August 2022. The company was forced to halt flights of the rocket after a New Shepard vehicle suffered an engine failure midflight during an uncrewed mission in September of 2022. Blue Origin spent most of 2023 investigating the failure and making design corrections, and the company successfully returned to flight with another uncrewed mission in December.

Blue Origin has now launched seven tourist missions on New Shepard to date, famously flying celebrities like William Shatner, Michael Strahan and Bezos himself. In all, New Shepard has flown 37 humans above the internationally recognized boundary of space, the company said on the launch webcast.

The company, seen as a future key strategic rival to Elon Musk’s SpaceX, plans to debut a much larger and more powerful New Glenn rocket later this year capable of launching cargo to orbit. Blue Origin also aims to send humans to the moon later this decade for NASA.

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