A Self-Guided Driving Tour of Seattle’s Waterfront

  • 01 of 08

    Tour Seattle's Waterfront Pier by Pier

    Seattle Waterfront
    ••• Seattle's waterfront. Kristin Kendle

    On balmy spring and summer evenings, and even dry fall days, you can take a sunset stroll along downtown Seattle’s waterfront. On a clear day, you can see the gorgeous Olympic Mountains, feel the ocean breezes and glimpse the beaches of Alki on the other side of the water. The many piers of Seattle’s waterfront offer tons of activities that are popular with visitors and locals alike. Here they are, pier by pier.

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  • 02 of 08

    Pier 55 - Argosy Cruises

    Pier 55 and Argosy Cruises
    ••• Kristin Kendle

    Argosy Cruises operates out of a few piers, but their main office is located at Pier 55, at 1101 Alaskan Way. The company offers boat tours of Seattle’s lakes, the Ballard Locks and a Blake Island excursion where tour-goers get to enjoy a salmon meal and learn about the Native American history of the area. However, Argosy's most common tour is of the harbor area around the Seattle waterfront, which is perfect for visitors especially. All of the tours offer breathtaking views of Seattle’s skyline and Olympic Mountain ranges, as well as amazing water views.

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  • 03 of 08

    Pier 57 - Miner's Landing

    Wings over Washington and the Seattle Great Wheel
    ••• Wings over Washington and the Seattle Great Wheel. Kristin Kendle

    Pier 57 is also known as Miner's Landing and is possibly the most fun pier in town. Inside Miner's Landing, you'll find plenty of shops, restaurants, and an old-fashioned carousel. On the pier outside, you'll find two of Seattle's best attractions - the Seattle Great Wheel and Wings over Washington. The Seattle Great Wheel towers 200 feet above the waterfront and offers stellar views if you go for a ride, while Wings over Washington is a unique ride that takes you on a tour of Washington State.

     

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  • 04 of 08

    Pier 59 - Seattle Aquarium

    Seattle Aquarium
    ••• Seattle Aquarium on Pier 59. Kristin Kendle

    The highlight of Pier 59 is the ​Seattle Aquarium, located at 1483 Alaskan Way. Kids and adults alike can see, touch and explore the underwater world of the Pacific Northwest; listen to the calls of the region’s orca whales, stand in a circle of vibrant jellyfish, and maybe even touch a stingray or starfish. Also, don't miss marine mammals like the sea otters! The dark gray with lime green trim building offers award-winning exhibits with a commitment to protecting Seattle’s marine environment.

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  • 05 of 08

    Piers 62/63

    Piers 62/63
    ••• Lana_aka_BADGRL/Flickr/CC 2.0

    Piers 62/63 are public piers in downtown Seattle that offer easy access to the waterfront. You will see people on picnics, a fisherman dropping a line, and photographers waiting for the perfect light to capture parasailers, ferries, and mesmerizing sunsets. It is the former site of Summer Nights at the Pier, an open-air theater that hosted about 4,000 guests in an intimate, bleacher-style setting. The piers occasionally host special events, but they are aged, slowly deteriorating, and can no longer bear heavy load weights.

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  • 06 of 08

    Pier 66 - Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal

    Pier 66 Seattle's Waterfront
    ••• Doctyper/Flickr/CC 2.0

    The Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal at 2225 Alaskan Way anchors an 11-acre complex along Seattle's downtown waterfront. It is operated by the Port of Seattle and includes shops, restaurants, a marina, an international conference center, an interactive maritime discovery center and it is the home of Seattle’s Fisherman’s Terminal, one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest commercial fishing harbors.

    A number of cruise lines depart from Pier 66, including Carnival, Celebrity, Holland America, Norwegian, Oceania, Princess and Royal Caribbean. Most of the cruises head to beautiful British Columbia, the Inside Passage or Alaska.

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  • 07 of 08

    Pier 69 - Clipper Vacations

    ••• Pier 69. © Courtney Shannon Strand

    Pier 69 is the location of Clipper Vacations at 2701 Alaskan Way. What was formerly the Victoria Clipper, a high-speed Seattle/Victoria, BC passenger-only ferry, has grown to become a full vacations company. However, the company's most popular excursions still go to Victoria and Vancouver, BC. Other destinations include the San Juans, and you can book land vacations too.

    Pier 69 is also the Port of Seattle headquarters. This three-story building is an architectural wonder, with atrium-like openings, a 400-foot (122-meter) fountain and stream, and artwork from numerous leading Northwest artists.

    The passenger terminal houses a café and the pier’s location is within walking distance of downtown restaurants, hotels, and shopping.​

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  • 08 of 08

    Pier 70 - Olympic Sculpture Park

    Olympic Sculpture Park
    ••• Olympic Sculpture Park looking toward the Space Needle. Kristin Kendle

    Seattle Art Museum’s nine-acre Olympic Sculpture Park at 2901 Western Avenue is a vibrant open green space where people can experience a variety of art and sculpture in an outdoor setting while enjoying dramatic views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. Admission is free, and make sure to bring your camera.

    Updated by Kristin Kendle.