1. Pike Place Market Pike Place Market is one of the most photogenic spots in Seattle, as hundreds of thousands of people can attest to on social media. It’s one of the largest (over 9 acres!) and oldest farmer’s markets in the city, so you can bet photo opps with everything from shop decor, flowers, produce and artisanal lattes are readily available-and there’s always new places to explore and document! I also personally love Pike Place because it supports many of the city’s local businesses, craftspeople and farmers. Shopping local is important to consider, wherever you may be!
2. Original Starbucks Part of Pike Place Market’s waterfront, the very first Starbucks store is one of Seattle’s most popular tourist spots. As a self-confessed coffee addict and entrepreneur, I was so excited to be in the first store that such an innovative business grew from. For the ‘gram (and a little time warp), be sure to include the wood-paneled interior in your photos; all of the floors, counters and fixtures in this location are the originals from 1971!
3. Seattle Great Wheel The city’s Great Wheel is one of the tallest Ferris Wheels in the US, and it’s views of Elliott Bay are equally impressive. This is one of the best family-friendly attractions in Seattle, so be sure to take lots of cute family photos! For extra Insta-worthy moments, be sure to check out the Wheel’s now-legendary light displays if you go there at nighttime.
4. Giant Red Twin Popsicle Sculpture One of the Belltown neighborhood’s biggest attractions is this 17-foot-tall sculpture of a bright red popsicle, by artist Catherine Mayer. Located on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Blanchard Street, it’s now one of Seattle’s most popular public art attractions. Photos with the popsicle, as seen on Instagram, have added a sweet pop of color to everyone’s feeds. Also, what’s not to love about a giant, colorful frozen dessert?
5. Great Gum Wall One of the strangest and fascinating landmarks of Seattle, the Great Gum Wall is part of an alleyway in Post Alley that spans over 50 feet. Completely covered in used chewing gum since the 1990’s, it’s a colorful sight to behold and makes for great portrait backgrounds or artsy, wide-range photos. Also, if visitors want to “contribute” to the Wall, select parts of it can be added onto.
6. University of Washington Quad The cherry blossoms in DC are legendary, but many overlook the blooms in the University of Washington’s “Quad” (Liberal Arts Quadrangle). It’s symmetrical architecture and foliage have made it one of the school’s trademark attractions, and is the perfect addition to anyone’s Instagram feed – whether you’re a student or not.
7. Chihuly Garden and Glass One of the most-visited art exhibits in the Seattle Center, Dale Chihuly’s bright glass sculptures provide a serene break from the bustle of city life. The museum’s gardens provide gorgeous complements of his sculptures and a variety of florals, a personal favorite of mine on the trip. The final room has stunning glass flower displays (as documented on my Instagram) that make for a stunning photo opp, though no photos can do it justice!
8. Space Needle I couldn’t make a highlights list without including the iconic Space Needle! Seattle’s biggest landmark, built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, is 160 stories tall and provides visitors with panoramic views of the city and surrounding bays; who doesn’t love a view? The Needle’s super-mod Atmos Cafe also provides Insta-worthy views at the 520-feet level, too.
9. Suzzallo Library Reading Room – Another highlight from the University of Washington is it’s Suzzallo Library. For a fun academic throwback, or just to feel like you’re inside a Harry Potter movie, the library Reading Room’s stone walls, stained-glass windows and oak bookcases are the perfect dose of historic nostalgia. Inspired by it’s namesake founder’s idea that universities should be “cathedrals of learning,” this is the best spot in the city for an interior shot straight from the early 1900’s.
10. Rainbow Crosswalks Finally, one of the cutest photo opps around Seattle are it’s rainbow crosswalks. Created for Pride Week several years ago, they’re now popular destinations for colorful photos around the city. If you simply love a fun rainbow moment (but especially to show support for your LGBTQIA+ friends!), check them out at Pike Street, Pine Street, 10th Avenue, 11th Avenue, and Broadway.