When most people think of Seattle attractions, they think of the Space Needle, the Seattle Aquarium, and maybe even the Seattle Museum of Art.
All brilliant places, don't get us wrong. But what if you want something a bit different? Those more unique Seattle experiences?
Well, you’ll be pleased to know there is no shortage of unusual things to do in Seattle. There’s something odd to do around every corner.
We’re here to take you on a journey through weird Seattle. We've compiled a list of 25 locations that aren't top tourist destinations but places you have to visit if you want to feel that you've managed to get the most out of your trip to the Emerald City.
Let's take a look at some of the most unique things to do in Seattle.
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While we're sure plenty of people are sitting in their basements in Fremont hurling insults at others on Twitter, the Freemont Troll is a different type of troll.
It is a statute that sits under a bridge in the heart of Fremont. It has been there since the early 90s and has become quite a cultural phenomenon in Seattle, featuring on multiple souvenirs and even in a few movies.
We must admit that the Fremont Troll isn't in the nicest part of Fremont, so while the place is well-lit at night, we do suggest that you head here during the day.
Trust us, the least of your worries at night will be the troll under the bridge when you visit this unique Seattle experience.
Address: North 36th Street, Troll Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
Yes. We know that there are a lot of cat cafes throughout the United States now, but let's be honest, when it comes to cool places in Seattle, you can’t really beat sipping on a coffee or tucking into a cake while stroking a cat, can you?
You’ll need to book in advance if you want to visit the Meowtroplitan Cat Cafe (and it books up incredibly quickly), but if you’re lucky enough to get a booking, you’ll be seated in a room filled with cats and toys.
You can buy coffee and all sorts of culinary delights while playing with those cats! While some of the cats are resident cats, the vast majority of them are up for adoption.
So, if you live close to Seattle and are looking for a new cat in your life, maybe you’ll find your new best buddy here.
Address: 1225 N 45th St, Seattle, WA 98103
Founded in 1899, the Ye Olde Curiosity Shop is one of the more unusual things to do in Seattle, at least from a shopping perspective.
Back in the 1930s, it was named one of the '7 Wonders of Seattle' (yes, they went heavy on the marketing back then).
The shop has all sorts of bizarre items, including shrunken heads, taxidermied animals, and more. Nowadays, it is a bit different from what it was in the past.
The Ye Olde Curiosity Shop isn't the same place that attracted hordes and hordes of unique celebs throughout its life. It is more of a souvenir shop crossed with a museum.
Not everything is for sale in the Ye Olde Curiosity Shop. However, walk around, and you’ll love the displays of mummies, weird antiques, and some odd tools. It is a fun experience, if only for 15-30 minutes.
Address: Pier 54, 1001 Alaskan Wy, Seattle, WA 98104
Who doesn't like pinball? Well, we suppose anybody born since broadband internet became popular. But everybody else before that loves pinball.
We are sure that many of us can remember those hours spent passing the time away at the arcade, making sure that our hard-earned quarters (well, our parent's hard-earned quarters) were put to good use.
If you want a good nostalgia boost, head to the Seattle Pinball Museum. It is one of the cool things to do in Seattle. When you head in, you’ll be surrounded by playable pinball machines. Tons of them, all from your youth.
It is an incredibly fun experience, and it rarely gets too packed. Don't think you'll be beaten all those high scores easily, though.
There are people that head here a lot, and they're some of the best at playing pinball. Still, as long as you're not looking to hit the top scores, we're sure you'll have a ton of fun here.
Address: 508 Maynard Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Seattle
As we continue our journey into weird Seattle, we come to Steve's Weird House, which is very well-described. We have absolutely no idea what is happening in Steve's Weird House, but it is so unique.
Steve's Weird House is a hybrid of a museum, art exhibit, and library. It is really difficult to know where to start with describing what you'll see when you walk in.
One person described it as the 'Addams Family in the real world', and we think that's a great description.
Steve’s Weird House has taxidermied Siamese twin animals, objects made from real human hair, mortician tools, plenty of ancient coffins, and one of the largest collections of first-edition science fiction books in the world.
Honestly, this is a place you'll really need to check out for yourself, as there are thousands and thousands of items on those walls.
Luckily, Steve's Weird House's website has a virtual tour so you can know exactly what you're getting into.
Address: Private residence, Seattle, Washington, 98104
When you were younger, we're sure you were constantly told that you should dispose of your gum properly. It is unhygienic otherwise.
Well, the Gum Wall (near Pike Place Market) is an idea of what happens if you don't toss your gum away.
This is an unintentional tourist attraction that popped up in the 1990s. You don't need to know the whole story, but people started to randomly put gum on the wall.
Over time, more and more people kept doing it, and you now have a good 50-foot-long wall loaded with gum.
It is a very odd sight, and people have likened this to collective artwork. If you’re in the area and chewing gum, why not head to the gum wall and stick it on there?
We’re sure you’ll find a spot among the thousands and thousands of other pieces. Plus, if you want crazy things to do in Seattle, it can’t get much better than legal littering, right?
Address: 1428 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101
Alright. So, this isn’t technically a full museum. It is just an exhibit located within Cafe Racer, but it is still a tourist destination in itself.
We've all been to art galleries. Unless you're into your art, they can be pretty dull affairs. You'll never find anything from this museum in one of those big art galleries.
Oh no. The art in here is, well, it is pretty terrible. The tacky artwork is sure to make people cringe, and that's just what the Bad Art Museum needs!
In fact, everything about the building doesn't work well. It is painted in unique colors that don't fit a cafe and design elements that don't match.
If you love your artwork, you may want to steer clear. A small tear may escape your eye as you look at the hideousness of the art. But if you love unique things to do, this is where you need to be.
Address: 1510 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
Also Read: Best Family-Friendly Hotels in Seattle
No. It isn’t as creepy as it sounds. Nobody is going to die here. Well, we hope not. There have been a few collisions over the years, though.
You may have heard of the Wall of Death stunt if you're into motorcycle stunts. Basically, it is a big circular bowl where people ride at insanely high speeds around the side, looking to defy the very laws of physics.
The Wall of Death is a tribute to that. It includes all the design elements of the past. It used to be rideable by skateboarders, but they can’t now. The city has installed some stops to prevent them from doing that.
Along with the Fremont Troll, the Wall of Death is labeled as one of the worst art installations in Seattle. You know you just have to visit something called the worst of something, right?
Address: 3925 Adams Ln NE, Seattle, WA 98105
In 1996, a Western Hemlock Tree fell in Seattle. Now, normally, if a tree of this size fell, the city would be removing it very, very quickly.
Seattle tried to do something completely different, though. They built a greenhouse around it instead.
It is a blend between an art exhibit and a natural history experience. While the Western Hemlock Tree has long fallen, it plays host to a wide range of plants, insects, and bacteria.
If you walk into the vivarium, you'll be given a magnifying glass. This lets you get up close and personal with all the bugs wandering around the log.
So, why is it an art installation? Well, that was the original design. It is natural art. It is ever-growing, with all the bugs, bacteria, etc. increasing. The place looks different from year to year because of it.
Address: 2901 Western Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98121
Between North Fremont Avenue and North 35th Street, you'll find the official Center of the Universe Sign. Well, it's official in the eyes of Seattle. We don't think it has been internationally recognized!
Don’t expect anything too special here. It is literally just a sign. The brightly colored sign points to some of the more unique attractions in Seattle, as well as some very, very distant towns & cities.
It doesn’t really point to any other place in the universe other than Earth, though. So, we think they may be lying when they say it is at the center of the universe.
Address: 3427 Fremont Pl N, Seattle, WA 98103
There’s a museum for everything, and if you’re looking for unusual things to do in Seattle, there are plenty of odd museums to explore. The Rubber Chicken Museum, located in the Archie McPhee store, is one of them.
There’s not much to tell you about the Rubber Chicken Museum. As with many of the unique things to do in Seattle, it is pretty self-explanatory.
It is a museum dedicated to the rubber chicken. You'll see plenty of rubber chickens, merchandise, and even some essays about the chicken.
It is a tiny museum, and it may not be at the top of the list of cool things to do in Seattle, but it is worth paying a visit just so you can say that you've been to this incredibly odd place. Plus, the Archie McPhee store that it is attached to isn't too bad, either.
Address: 1301 N 45th St, Seattle, WA 98103
We've got another curiosity shop for you! Unlike the Ye Olde Curiosity Shop we mentioned before, almost everything in the Big Top Curiosity Shop is for sale.
When you're here, you can pick up some unique antiques, artifacts, and all sorts of oddities. The stuff in this shop sells pretty quickly, so you'll never know what you're going to get.
Whenever we're here, we always make a beeline for the collectible comics or taxidermy animals.
Although, you can also pick up a molar belonging to Big Foot (we are sure this is not verified) or some of the creepiest clowns you'll ever see.
It is a tiny place, so you don't really need to take up a massive chunk of your day exploring the shelves. Make sure you bring your money, though. You'll want to get your hands on more than a few things!
Address: 8507 14th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108
Yep. Another chicken-focused place on our list of the weird things to do in Seattle. For this one, you'll need to head into the basement of Pike Place.
Remember those old machines that would have a robot fortune teller sitting in them? That robot would then tell you your future.
Well, the Psychic Chicken of Seattle has the same idea. The fortune teller has just been replaced with a chicken statute instead. The chicken then lays an egg with your fortune in it.
So, if you're looking for a bit of guidance in your life, why not ask the chicken? (Note: We are not liable for any damage you cause to your life by listening to a chicken.)
Address: 1501 Pike Pl, Seattle, Washington, 98101
The Giant Shoe Museum bills itself as the ‘Largest Collection of Giant Shoes in the World’. Although, we can’t imagine that this is a particularly bold claim.
We don’t think there are that many giant shoe collections out there. You can find it in Pike Place Market.
This isn't a full-sized museum you can walk through, making it even more unique. It is basically just a paid peephole on the wall.
You drop in your money and look through the viewing slots at some huge shoes, including a pair owned by the tallest person in the world.
Address: 1501 Pike Pl # 424, Seattle, WA 98101
Alright. So, you'll have to head a tiny bit outside of Seattle for this one. Although, since most tourists to Seattle end up taking a trip to Vashon Island, it isn't a massive issue.
You may or may not know this, but when an object is left next to a tree, the tree 'consumes' it. Basically, the tree will grow around it.
Back in the 1950s, a child left a bike he no longer wanted next to a tree. Now, the tree has grown around it, so you have a small, crushed bike in the tree.
This is a world-famous tree and certainly one of the unique places to visit in Seattle (even if it is a bit outside of Seattle).
Address: 20200 Vashon Hwy SW, Vashon, WA 98070
Roadside attractions also offer some proper hidden gems in Seattle, although there isn’t anything hidden about the Hat ‘N’ Boots, billed as the largest cowboy hat and boots in the United States (and probably the world)
These statues used to be located next to a gas station, but they now sit alone, waiting for those who are looking for weird things to do in Seattle to snap a couple of pictures around them.
If you've ever seen the movie National Lampoon's Vacation, you'll probably already be familiar with these. They appear during the opening of the movie. So, it is basically a film set, too!
Address: 6427 Carleton Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108
You’re going to be taking a lot of selfies while in Seattle, so why not do it in a place designed specifically for that? The Original Selfie Museum is truly one of the hidden gems in Seattle.
The Original Selfie Museum is filled with exhibits explicitly designed to take your selfies.
You'll have awesome backgrounds and pictures fit for uploading to Instagram (or whatever social media account the cool kids are using these days).
As you can probably guess, this place manages to attract a lot of influencers who are trying to get some great pics for their profiles.
Address: 92 Union St, Seattle, WA 98101
In Capitol Hill, you'll find Pac-Man Park. It is an art installation that features an artistic rendering of a Pac-Man level painted onto the blacktop.
It is undoubtedly one of the unique places in Seattle, especially if you're into video games.
There’s not much to do here other than just wander over the top of the installation, pretending to gobble up those little yellow dots as you do so (while running from ghosts).
Feel free to make the Pac-Man sounds as you do so. We’re sure you know the ones that we’re talking about!
Address: 110 Summit Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102
Nope. They didn’t die out. Video rental stores still exist, and Scarecrow Video is the largest independent one in the United States.
There are over 130,000 titles in the walls here, some of them exceedingly rare (you’ll have to pay a deposit of several hundred dollars to rent them!).
Obviously, you won't be renting anything if you don't live in Seattle, but it is still enjoyable to wander around the many, many shelves lined with classic movies and TV shows.
It will probably stir up a few feelings about your childhood.
Address: 5030 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105
Did you know that much of Seattle used to be lower? After the Great Seattle Fire in 1889, there were changed requirements for building construction.
As a result, many buildings were raised up a little bit. This was especially noticeable in Pioneer Square.
While many of the old buildings were demolished (or destroyed during the fire), some remain, and they sit underground, a tribute to the past.
The Underground City is accessible only through a tour. You'll descend underground, where you'll see the old, ruined buildings from the 19th Century.
It is one of the more unique things to do in Seattle since many people have heard of The Underground City, but very few venture down there.
Address: 614 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
The Smith Tower Elevator is (sadly) not as unique as it was in the past. In the past, the Smith Tower Elevator was manually operated, one of the last remaining manually operated elevators in the world. Now, it is all automatic, but it still maintains that old-style charm to it.
We still recommend a trip up the Smith Tower Elevator, though. It offers stunning views over Seattle and has far fewer people than the Space Needle.
Address: 506 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
We’re not sure it is called the Ballard House (it doesn’t appear to have a name), but it is located in Ballard, and you certainly won’t miss it.
Have you ever seen the movie Up? Well, in that movie, an old fella decides not to sell his house, and some pretty large-scale developments happen around him, leaving his tiny house dwarfed by big apartment blocks.
This house is the real-life version of that. Despite massive offers, the original owner of the house didn't want to sell.
She wanted to die there. Even though she has long passed, the house remains. A small piece of 'smallness' in the heart of a highly developed area.
Address: 2445 NW 57th St, Seattle, WA 98107
The Unicorn & Narwal is a gay bar, and you can only get in if you are over the age of 21.
Now, gay bars are not uncommon in Seattle. That's not what is unique about this place. It is what happens in the basement, that is.
Down in the basement, you have a massive arcade filled with games. On some of them, you can win sex toys.
Since we don’t think there are that many arcades in the world that let you win sex toys, this was a dead-cert for going on our list of unique places in Seattle, although we get that this place probably isn’t going to be for everybody.
Still, it shows off the unique personality of the city.
Address: 1118 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122
This is a unique place in Seattle. The US is the last place you’d expect to see a tribute to Communism, after all.
The Vladimir Lenin statue once stood somewhere in the Soviet Union, where it was brought to the US a while after the end of the Cold War.
It now stands in Fremont, where, as you can expect, it is either regularly vandalized or celebrated (some people do want it removed because of Communism).
It stands on private property, though. It is never going to be removed. Apparently, it is on display because the current owners hope to sell it someday.
Although, we can't imagine that there are that many people that know it is for sale. It doesn't exactly have a price tag on it.
Address: 3526 Fremont Pl N, Seattle, WA 98103
A trip to the Seattle Aquarium or up the Space Needle is always fun. If you're looking for hidden gems, perhaps a trip to the Selfie Museum or the Meowtropolitan Cat Cafe may be in order.
The Underground City Tour is up there with the top hidden things to do in Seattle because it is quite literally hidden. On the surface, the Selfie Museum and the Rubber Chicken Museum are also fun things to do and very unique.
The Space Needle is probably the coolest thing to do in Seattle, although there are also plenty of fantastic bars and restaurants.
There you have it! If you’re looking for unusual things to do in Seattle, we've given you 25 different options! We've probably barely scratched the surface of the weird and the wonderful, either. Rest assured, if you take a trip to Seattle, you'll never be short of awesome, unique things to do.