Seattle is filled with museums, which only means both locals and visitors get a load of history in every corner of the city. Although most museums have an admission fee on most days, it shouldn’t stop visitors from paying a visit and understanding the history and culture. Many museums around the city provide either monthly and bi-monthly offers, along with some free days in a week, and family discounts.
The free days in a week happen mostly on the first Thursday. And museums like Frye Art Museum and Center for Wooden Boats remain free of cost.
Here is a list of local museums visitors can get into free or at discounted prices:
1. Center for Wooden Boats
2. Frye Art Museum
3. Klondike Gold Rush Museum
4. Bellevue Arts Museum
5. Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
Ballard Locks also known as Hiram M. Chittenden Locks is a place that connects the Ship Canal to Puget Sound. Due to the uneven waterways related to the difference in height, all the boats take the lock routes to pass. When the boats are about to pass, the locks are raised and lowered for the boat to pass fully, which is quite a treat to the eye.
Along with the locks, visitors can check out the botanical garden nearby, and also watch salmon migrate that happens between June through September.
Address: 3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107
Timings: 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM (daily)
Opened: July 4, 1917
Architect: Bebb and Gould
Seattle has lots of natural escapes, but it doesn’t have year-round sun or even palm trees, unlike California or Florida. But it comes with 200 miles of coastal line, making this Emerald City a beachy little town in its own ways. Visitors can either spend time at the waterfront park or just a sandy beach spot where they can sunbathe, read a book, drink coffee, etc. Seattle has got it all.
Some of the beach with free access include:
1. Alki Beach Park
2. Discovery Park
3. Green Lake Park
4. Denny Blaine Park
5. Madrona Park
6. Lincoln Park
7. Seward Park
8. Fay Bainbridge Park
9. Matthews Beach Park
10. Madison Park
11. Golden Gardens
In Seattle, whenever it’s summer, the city becomes a host to a gallery that takes turns opening the doors to the public. For instance, Capitol Hill hosts its event on the second Thursday of every month, whereas Pioneer Square on the second Friday. These self-guided tour events are and have been home to a lot of art from multiple artists, from around the world.
Locations: Capitol Hill, Pioneer Square
Although most museums feature some of the world-class art displays, that isn’t always the case. While out and about in Seattle, make sure to visit Fremont Public Sculptures that is an art gallery in itself, but with various public sculptures throughout the neighborhood that share a sidewalk space where pedestrians and cyclists pass by.
All the sculptures are unique and intriguing, and some of them get dressed up during the holidays, or any other special occasion. And the public sculptures represent the golden era of Fremont.
Location: Fremont Public Sculpture
Address: N 36th St, Seattle, WA 98103
Timings: Open 24 hours (daily)
The Silent Reading Party at Sorrento Hotel is one of the weirdest parties in Seattle that everyone loves to go to. On the first Wednesday of each month, people of Seattle come under one roof and snag the armchairs, sofas, and couches and start reading until they’re done. While visitors read through their favorites, Paul Moore entertain people with piano, and the waiter brings refreshments.
Because of its popularity, this reading party is best attended early to avoid standing in line out the door.
Location: Hotel Sorrento
Address: 900 Madison St, Seattle, WA 98104
A seaport city on the West Coast of the United States of America, Seattle gives its residents both a busy metropolis and the tranquility of Mother Nature. Although visitors can find plenty of modern elements within the city, sometimes nature can be right at the fingertips, as well. The city has worked hard to balance the bustle of the city while keeping nature, either in the heart of the city or around city limits.
And this Emerald City offers plenty of open, green spaces for the visitors to take a stroll and explore the park’s structures, waterfalls, and monuments.
Some of the parks visitors can explore for free are:
1. Waterfall Garden Park
2. Washington Park Arboretum
3. Myrtle Edwards Park
4. Olympic Sculpture Park
5. Discovery Park
6. Gas Works Park
7. Jimi Hendrix Park
8. Magnuson Park
Built in 1962, Seattle Center is an art, entertainment, educational, and tourism center that spans across 74 acres. It was built for the World’s Fair. The prominent landmark here is the Space Needle, which is a 605-foot tall tower. Along with this, there are multiple other attractions here such as the Museum of Pop Culture, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center, and A/NT Gallery, to name a few.
The free attractions at Seattle Center are:
1. International Fountain
2. Space Needle
3. Seattle Center Monorail
4. Seattle Center Armory
5. Museum of Pop Culture
6. Chihuly Garden and Glass
7. John T. Williams totem pole
8. Fisher Pavilion
9. Kobe Bell
10. Mercer Arena
11. Mural Amphitheatre
12. Pacific Science Center
One of the most touristy places in Seattle, Pike Place Market, is America’s longest operating market to date. The market may have free admission, but visitors end up spending a lot here on the things that are offered at the market. Explore through a wide variety of stalls offering fresh produce, flowers, food, desserts, and more.
Because of its popularity, the market tends to get overcrowded, and that’s when it’s considered the best time to move to the open-air plaza, along with the MarketFront’s viewing deck. This viewing deck boasts views of the Olympic Mountains and Elliott Bay.
Address: 85 Pike St Room 500, Seattle, WA 98101
Timings: Mon - Sat: 9am -5pm; Sun: 9am - 4pm
Seattle has no shortage when it comes to nature walks and hikes, either within the city limits or just a couple of hours' drive from the city. Although there are urban green spaces in the city that can be used for walking, cycling, and even hiking, sometimes getting away from the city to explore vast expenses may seem like a great way to spend the day.
This could be exploring the national parks that are a short drive from the city. These national parks are great for fishing, hiking, cycling, and other fun activities.
The following are some of the national parks with the free entry:
1. Kerry Park
2. North Cascades National Park
3. San Juan Island National Historical Park
4. Klondike Gold Rush National Park
Although visiting a public library may not be the top choice among visitors or travelers, Seattle Public Library should be a must-visit place only for its architecture. The public library features an 11-story steel and glass structure and is located right in the city’s heart. Visitors can explore the book collection and take a breather in any of the open spaces. With remarkable design and spectacular views, Seattle Public Library is for everyone.
Address: 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
Timings: Mon - Sat: 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm (closed on Sun)
Established: May 23, 2004
These are some of the free things to do in Seattle. How many are you planning to cross off from the list?