Seattle, Washington can be a fun tourist destination because of the sheer variety of attractions. At the same time though, it can make a trip feel a bit overwhelming. There’s so many things to do that it can be difficult to choose between them. However, there’s some “must see” attractions which everyone should check out when they’re in the area.

There’s an old saying about starting from the ground up. And this is the best way to explore Seattle. Many people don’t realize that Seattle really consists of two separate cities. There’s the Seattle which people see when they arrive. But modern Seattle is actually built on top of the remains of the 19th century Seattle. An extensive fire destroyed much of Seattle in the 19th century. It was decided to simply elevate the building area and establish new buildings over the old. But these buildings are still there, and one can actually tour this underground city. The best way to do so is through Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour.

Next, one should consider looking as far upward as possible. The Space Needle is one of the most visible attractions within Seattle. The tower stretches into the sky within Seattle, and can be seen from most areas within it. Many people aren’t aware that there’s also some fine dining to be had within it. Over 500 feet up within the tower, visitors will find the Skycity Restaurant. It offers a great view of the area and some great food. The deserts, in particular, often leave visitors with some great memories.

While visiting the Space Needle, one should take a look around the area to see if anything catches his or her eye. Most people will find themselves gazing off at the impressive series of canals and rivers which line the city. The most notable of these, and a popular attraction, is the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. The locks are a series of gates which raise and lower water in order to help ships cross the difficult landscape. It can be a really beautiful process to witness. The water rises and falls as a stream of every imaginable boat crosses. It’s also notable for the fact that there’s a special fish ladder to help salmon pass from fresh to salt water. There’s even a glass pane in place which lets people get as close a look as possible.

Visitors may also want to spend some time in the Woodland Park Zoo. It’s one of the larger zoos in the area. And it’s even more enjoyable due to the warm climate of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle’s warmth allows a very wide selection of animals to continually be on display throughout the entire year. This ensures that visitors will almost always get to see the full selection of animals, even when most of the country would be freezing.

There’s more than just animals on display in Seattle though. The Washington Park Arboretum stretches over a full 200 acres. It’s located right on the shores of Lake Washington, which ensures a wide selection of beautiful wildlife. A pleasant hike can move one from areas with lakeside wildlife, to the more earthbound variety. It also has botanists on staff who will be happy to answer any questions.

While visiting the arboretum, it’s only a small walk to a similar but pleasantly distinct sight. The Seattle Japanese Garden is located within a smaller area of the overall arboretum. It features a beautifully cultivated selection of Japanese plants. Though one should keep in mind that it’s only open from February to November.