Where to Take Tourists in Seattle

This is how Seattle Met editors show off the city to guests.

By Allison Williams February 27, 2023

No elbows through the windows: the conservatory at Volunteer Park.

As Seattle Met editors and designers, we know expectations are high from our out-of-town visitors. Here's where we take them to show off the best of the city (and avoid all those other tourists).

“A visit to Volunteer Park is mandatory. Between the bars of the Water Tower Observation Deck, visitors can easily Instagram some of the city’s most storied sights—the Needle, the Olympics, Rainier—with nary a wait. Did I mention there’s also an art museum, conservatory, amphitheater, and cafe? Something for everyone.” —Benjamin Cassidy, features editor

“I don’t spell out the full name of Ada’s Technical Books lest they expect a textbook warehouse. Capitol Hill’s homey little bookstore—it’s literally in an old Craftsman house—is full of sci-fi and cool nonfiction, plus a cafe with beer, wine, and legitimately good vegetarian food. This is what I want visitors to think all of Seattle is like.” —Allison Williams, deputy editor

“If you lack sufficient time to schlep guests to an actual oyster farm, Taylor Shellfish Farms’ location at Melrose Market is the next best thing. A few dozen freshly shucked Shigokus (maybe a few uber-rare Virginicas and Olympias) consumed next to bubbling tanks filled with geoducks and dungeness crabs deliver a cold, clear picture of why it’s magical to live here.” —Allecia Vermillion, executive editor

“Most visitors I get these days have kids or dogs in tow, or both. Magnuson Park satisfies all parties nicely. It’s not only got walking paths with views, prime picnicking spots, even launching points if we’re feeling ambitious with a stand-up paddleboard—but also a massive playground and off-leash dog park. The brewery is just a sweet bonus.” —Angela Cabotaje, editor in chief

Magnuson Park is quieter than many of Seattle's popular green spots.

“Regardless of the season, spending the morning at the Ballard Farmers Market is a great way to dissuade the Sunday Scaries. Whether you’re in the mood to shop the stalls with a cup of coffee or have a lazy brunch with delicious food and tons of people-watching, the market never disappoints.” —Spencer Brown, editorial intern

Caffe Vita at KEXP is a coffee shop within a radio/broadcast station, which means you can get a cup of local coffee while you watch them play music and run a radio show. The Seattle Center space also has a record shop inside, so it has an all-around indie vibe.” —Sophia Struna, editorial intern

“Is Marination Ma Kai too obvious? For West Seattleites it’s a reliably delicious destination with an epic view of the city. Add a trip across the Sound on the water taxi and you’ve checked the ‘ride a boat’ item off of your visitor’s list as well.” — Jane Sherman, digital senior art director

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