Lower Queen Anne is one of Seattle’s most unique neighborhoods—it’s got some quiet, residential streets, but it’s home to busy Seattle Center. Between those two extremes is a wealth of things to do, ranging from a bevy of restaurants to top-notch museums and event venues, to all the many things to do within Seattle Center.
Wander Chihuly Garden and Glass
Seattle-based glass artist Dale Chihuly has a large permanent exhibit at the heart of Seattle Center, Chihuly Garden and Glass. The exhibit combines a towering glasshouse with glass installations both indoors and out. Photos can’t do the beauty of the glass justice, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take plenty of pics as you wander through. Purchase the audio tour if you want to get some deeper context to the artwork, or just enjoy what you see. There’s also a bookstore and a Collections Café, which features not only a delicious menu, but also some of Chihuly’s personal collections.
Eat Your Way Around Town
Lower Queen Anne is full of restaurants, from casual to upscale. Whether you head to this neighborhood just to dine or to pair your meal with one of the many attractions nearby, you can’t go wrong. Stop by Dick’s Drive-in for a classic burger, fries, or shake. For something unique, dine at Toulouse Petit, which serves Cajun and Creole dishes straight out of New Orleans alongside a full list of cocktails and spirits.
Have a Beer
No, lower Queen Anne isn’t the Seattle neighborhood most known for microbreweries, but you can still indulge in one of Seattle’s favorite pastimes and enjoy a hoppy beverage here. Your best bet is to stop by the Queen Anne McMenamins. McMenamins is a Northwest chain of brewpubs where you’ll find a solid lineup of beers and ciders to enjoy alongside a full food menu. If you want to go more European with your brew, then Queen Anne Beer Hall is a fine choice. Communal tables, an expansive menu of imported European beers on tap and in bottles, and a distinctly European menu filled with sausages and brats, pretzels, sandwiches, and more all ensure a great afternoon or evening out.
Go Up the Space Needle
The Space Needle is iconic and a Seattle must-see. You can see this tower from all around the city, but it makes a great photo op up close. If you venture up to check out the view from 520 feet above the city, you’ll find a newly renovated observation deck as of June 2018. From the top, you can see the city below, the Puget Sound, and Mt. Rainier. If you want to get a taste of the Space Needle without going up, you can also visit the shop at the bottom.
Check out Pop Culture at MoPOP
MoPOP has been through a few incarnations since it first opened as the Experience Music Project in 2000. But today, MoPOP stands for Museum of Pop Culture and it has a bit of all things pop culture. Love comics? Sci-fi? Cult movies? Music? This is the place for you as exhibits might focus on Pearl Jam or the Muppets or the Marvel Universe. Special exhibits come through as well and up the cool factor even more.
Get Cultured at McCaw Hall
McCaw Hall is one of a few event venues in lower Queen Anne, but what it serves up is unique. McCaw Hall is a draw for all things higher brow entertainment. The Pacific Northwest Ballet and Seattle Opera both take to the stage regularly here, but so do plenty of visiting performers and speakers. You might find a TED Talk one week, an A Capella another, a speaker pushing you toward a new way to see the world, or even a former president on speaking tour.
Attend an Event at Key Arena
Tens of thousands of people flock to lower Queen Anne to go to shows at KeyArena. This giant arena can seat between 15,000 and 17,000 attendees, depending on the seating configuration, and brings in some of the largest concerts in the area as headlining concerts frequently stop by. However, it’s not all about touring shows. The Rat City Rollergirls, Seattle Storm, and other sports teams play here as well.
Take Kids to the Seattle Children’s Theater
While lower Queen Anne is known for its many touristy attractions and shows that draw scads more adults than kids, it’s also a fantastic place to take the family. Seattle Children’s Theater caters specifically to younger children. Shows are geared usually toward kids ages three and older and include classics, plays based on books, and more.
Go to a Festival
Whether you’re visiting or you live in Seattle, festivals at Seattle Center are worth a visit as they run the gamut. You’ll find frequent cultural festivals throughout the year that focus on different world cultures (and the foods that come with them!), as well as annual festivals like Winterfest and the Folk Life Festival. If you need something to do, it’s always fair game to check the events calendar to see if there’s a festival on here.
See the Views From Kerry Park
Kerry Park is a small yet mighty park for one simple reason – it has a pretty iconic view of the skyline. It’s tough to beat this view. Aside from the view, there’s also some public artwork to take in and a play area for young visitors. But, really, it’s all about the view. Add a visit to Kerry Park to a date night out after dinner or a show for maximum effect. Or head here to get that perfect photo to document your time in Seattle.
Explore the Pacific Science Center
The Pacific Science Center is a museum aimed at kids, but it’s fun for everyone. Exhibits explore dinosaurs, mechanical devices, animals, and all things science, and feature all kinds of hands-on ways to engage young minds. What makes this museum especially fun for all are things like the Tropical Butterfly House where you can wander among hundreds of butterflies and learning about the moon and stars in the Planetarium. The Pacific Science Center has brought in some pretty amazing special exhibits over the years.