One of Seattle’s most distinguishing features is its working waterfront. It is the core of Seattle’s thriving maritime community and is chock full of the sights, shore-bird cries, and briny air of a seaport metropolis. It’s the place to catch ferries to Bainbridge Island or the Kitsap Peninsula, or view sea life at the Seattle Aquarium. The piers are tourist central, replete with restaurants and bars, import shops, and harbor tours. On the southern end of the bay, acres of container yards border the city’s gritty but fascinating industrial district.

Ferries Terminal

  • Pier 52

  • 206 464 6400

Seattle Aquarium

Ye Olde Curiosity Shop

  • Pier 54

  • 206 682 5844

  • 9am–9:30pm daily

Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center

  • Bell St Pier 66

  • 206 374 4000


  • 10am–3pm Tue–Thu, 10am–4pm Fri, 11am–5pm Sat

  • Adm $7 adults, $5 seniors/ students

Seafair & Tug Boat Races

One of the most famed summer events is Seafair, a citywide festival that includes the famous tug boat races on Elliott Bay. Neither sleek nor sluggish, these champions of the sea are something to behold .

Catch your fresh seafood meal at Anthony's Pier 66 & Bell St Diner,

2201 Alaskan Way
206 448 6688, a respected Seattle institution. There’s a carry-out section for fish ‘n’ chips or chowder, a seafood vendor, and an excellent indoor restaurant with dockside seating.

CityPass offers admission to multiple attractions such as Seattle Aquarium and Argosy Cruises: Adult $42, Child $29. 

For an unparalleled cityscape, pack an extra roll of film and catch a Washington State Ferry to Winslow, returning to Seattle at sunset.

Top 10 Sights
  1. Waterfront Streetcar

    Children love this delightful Old World mode of travel along the waterfront. Hop aboard at any of nine stations between Myrtle Edwards Park and the International District. They run every 20 minutes.

  2. Washington State Ferries

    An icon of the Pacific Northwest, these ferries provide a picturesque, inexpensive cruise across Puget Sound, as well as transporting Seattle’s commuters from neighboring shores.

  3. Seattle Aquarium

    The waterfront’s most popular all-weather attraction is the world-class Seattle Aquarium. Make a point to step inside the Aquarium’s glass-domed room under 400,000 gallons of water for spectacular shark and octopus views. Watch divers feed the fish in the Underwater Dome and the sharks in the Coral Reef Exhibit. There are also talks and craft activities for children.

    Seattle Aquarium
  4. Ye Olde Curiosity Shop

    Looking for literature etched on rice grains, or other such unique objects? Since 1899, this has been the place to find curios both from the distant and recent past. It’s also a great source for coastal Native American art.

  5. Bell Harbor Marina

    This harbor provides moorage for pleasure boats, large and small. It’s adjacent to the port of Seattle’s cruise-ship terminal.

  6. Water Sports & Tours

    If you’re feeling adventurous, strap on a paraglider and head up for a breathtaking ride and aerial city view. Many boat cruises depart from here.

  7. Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center

    Celebrating Seattle’s working waterfront, this institution has hands-on exhibits for landlubbers and their kids. You can steer a virtual tanker ship into harbor, try kayaking, spin a tanker’s propeller with pedal power, or operate miniature canal locks.

  8. Myrtle Edwards Park

    Visit this waterfront haven for fine views of Mount Rainier, Puget Sound, and the Olympic Mountains. A bike trail and pedestrian path winds along the Elliott Bay coastline. The park also has a fishing pier.

  9. Cruise Ship Terminals

    Seattle’s relative proximity to Alaska’s stunning Inside Passage, coupled with modern trends in leisure travel, led the city to build two new terminals to accommodate the thousands of passengers coming and going. You can watch ships docking by the Bell Harbor Marina all summer long.

  10. Container Yards

    Seattle’s local economy depends heavily on a successful shipping industry and marine activity predominates here. Constant tanker, tug boat, and rail traffic represent the city’s financial well being.

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