Seattle marches to the beat of its own drummer. Like nearby Portland, this colorful seaport city in the Pacific Northwest has an eccentric style that makes it stand out from the pack. To help make your next visit a bit more unique, here are seven of Seattle’s most delightfully odd attractions. Some of them are magical and mysterious, others are playful and charming, and a few are just plain weird!
Launched in 2000 by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and designed by legendary architect Frank Gehry, this non-profit museum celebrates science-fiction, television, video games and popular music. Visitors can experience an array of multi-media exhibits on topics ranging from the work of Muppets creator Jim Henson to the life of rock icon David Bowie. Monthly film screenings and concerts are held in the museum’s high-tech event space, and hands-on art classes and music workshops are open to children and teens throughout the year.
Since 1993, tourists and locals alike have deposited their used chewing gum on the brick walls of Post Alley near Pike Place Market, and the results are truly incredible. Like a massive work of abstract art, the colorful chewing gum wall stands 5 yards tall and stretches on for more than 50 feet, making it one of the most Instagramable spots in the city. So why not sink your teeth into a fresh piece of bubble gum and leave your own mark behind?
The Louvre in Paris has the Mona Lisa. The Accademia Gallery in Florence has the statue of David. And this museum in Seattle has a pair of shoes that are too big for Godzilla. For a mere fifty cents, visitors to this silly sideshow attraction can gaze in wonder at some of the largest footwear on the planet. Located in Pike Place Market, The World Famous Giant Shoe Museum might not be as educational as London’s National Gallery, but it more than lives up to its name!
Fans of Tim Burton and Stephen King will love this gothic antique shop that sells real-life haunted objects. If you’re in the market for a ghostly Ouija board, a possessed candlestick, or a genuine human skull, you’ve come to the right place. The eerie items and macabre merchandise are available for purchase from noon until 8 pm, Thursdays through Sundays.
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘so bad, it’s good’ before. This collection of outrageously awful artwork puts that description to the test. Located in Seattle’s Café Racer restaurant and coffee shop, The Official Bad Art Museum of Art displays some of the strangest examples of creativity known to man. Here you’ll find hideous paintings of angry clowns, cats wearing hats, and nearly a dozen bizarre Elvis portraits.
In 1889, a massive fire destroyed more than 30 blocks of Seattle’s central business district. Years later, new construction was built on top of those ruins, creating a subterranean world hidden from view. Today, visitors can journey beneath the city on a 75-minute guided walking tour, where they’ll set foot directly into the past. Open year round, seven days a week, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
We all like to bring back keepsakes from our vacations, but how many refrigerator magnets do you really need? Instead of buying another touristy knick-knack, visitors to Seattle’s Ye Olde Curiosity Shop can purchase something much more exotic. From miniature totem poles to authentic mummies, narwhal tusks to taxidermied ducklings, this amazing souvenir and antique store offers some of the most unique gifts in the world. Open 9 am to 9 pm, Friday through Sunday, and 10 am to 6 pm, Monday through Thursday.