The Space Needle
Instantly recognisable from the opening credits of Frasier, this Seattle icon stands 184-metres high. Take the lift up to the observation platform and drink in stupendous 360-degree views over the city and its surrounding bays, lakes and mountains. You can eat in the gently revolving Sky City Restaurant too.
Water, Water Everywhere
With two lakes and a coastal inlet, it would almost be a crime not to take to the water during holidays in Seattle. One of the easiest ways is to board a Washington State Ferry and take a day-trip to one of the islands across the bay, like buzzy Bainbridge Island or scenic San Juan. Or rent a sea kayak and paddle your own way around Lake Union or Lake Washington.
There's a whole bunch of high-quality museums to check out, including the Art Museum, the Asian Art Museum and the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Two more unusual ones are the striking Frank-Gehry designed EMP Museum, which celebrates music and pop culture; and the Museum of Flight, with planes past and present (including an early Air Force One presidential plane) and hands-on flying simulators.
Pike Place Market
Open 365 days a year, Seattle's farmer's market is a whirlwind of activity: a galleried orgy of food carts, flower stalls and artisan concessions, where fishmongers famously make fresh salmon 'fly' by throwing and catching them. There's also great dining and coffee here - including the very first Starbucks.
Once you've eaten in one of the city's multiple fine restaurants, there's no need to head home. Hit a microbrewery or bar, or check out the music scene. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Fleet Foxes all came out of Seattle, and there's always a new act to discover in the local clubs.