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Hidden Gems

Check out these lesser known but worthwhile attractions if staying away from busy places and crowds is the experience you’re looking for. 

Hidden Gems from Seattle Premier Attractions - People aboard Argosy Cruises looking over the water at the Seattle skyline

Seattle, known for its iconic landmarks like the Space Needle and Pike Place Market, holds a treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Beyond the well-trodden path, intrepid travelers can unveil a different side of the Emerald City. Here are five hidden gems that will add a touch of intrigue and wonder to your Seattle experience.

Discovering Seattle from a New Perspective


Argosy Cruises

Argosy Cruises has been part of the Northwest fabric for over 70 years and is family-owned and operated. Hob aboard for a cruise around the harbor to see the Seattle skyline from the water or sail through the Ballard Locks.

boy reading a plaque beneath a mamoth skeleton
Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture

Situated on the University of Washington campus, the Burke Museum is a hidden gem for history and natural science enthusiasts. Delve into the wonders of the Pacific Northwest's diverse ecosystems, learn about indigenous cultures, and marvel at the museum's extensive collection of fossils, minerals, and animal specimens. The Burke Museum's engaging exhibits, including its renowned T. rex skull, provide a captivating educational experience for visitors of all ages.

National Nordic Museum

The National Nordic Museum shares Nordic culture, values, and ideas with people of all ages and backgrounds. Founded in 1929, the museum is the only institution of its size and scale to present the culture of the entire Nordic region and the legacy of Nordic immigrants to the United State.

Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) from Seattle Premier Attractions
Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI)

Nestled on the shores of South Lake Union, MOHAI invites visitors on a journey through Seattle's vibrant past. Uncover the city's captivating stories, from its early Native American roots to its transformation into a bustling metropolis. The museum's exhibits, featuring photographs, artifacts, and multimedia installations, offer a compelling narrative of Seattle's rich cultural heritage and its contributions to technology, innovation, and social movements.

USS Turner Joy

Tucked away at Bremerton, just a short ferry ride from Seattle, lies the USS Turner Joy, a decommissioned naval destroyer that played a pivotal role in the Vietnam War. Step aboard this floating museum and immerse yourself in the life of a sailor as you explore the ship's restored quarters, engine room, and bridge. Gain insights into the vessel's fascinating history through interactive exhibits and artifacts that chronicle its service and the experiences of its crew.

Food Recommendations:

Eat at Off the Rez Café, Seattle’s first and only Native food truck that has a permanent location in the Burke Museum.

Travel Tip:

Seattle’s hidden gems offer a chance to delve deeper into the city’s history, culture, and natural beauty. We don’t recommend trying to visit all five of these attractions in the same day because they’re quite spread out. We are happy to share that each attraction is accessible via public transportation:

  1. Argosy Cruises is located on the waterfront (it’s walking distance from most downtown hotels).
  2. Burke Museum is a three-minute walk from Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail’s U District Station (1 Line).
  3. National Nordic Museum is in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. It’s serviced by King County Metro Bus Route #17 and #44.
  4. MOHAI is in South Lake Union. Hop on the Seattle Streetcar’s South Lake Union Line for easy access.
  5. USS Turner Joy is in Bremerton, WA. Visitors can purchase a ticket from Washington State Ferries for a Seattle-Bremerton ferry from Seattle’s waterfront. Once arriving in Bremerton, the USS Turner Joy is walking distance from the ferry terminal, no car needed.

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