7 Stops for Your Ultimate Seattle Walking Tour

Urban attractions for the pedestrian explorer
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Sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center

With its proximity to mountains and forests, Seattle is known for great walks. But the on-foot explorer has plenty to discover inside the city itself. On your next sunny day in The Emerald City, put on some sensible shoes and hit these seven urban attractions.

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1. Olympic Sculpture Park

There’s no better place to begin your walkabout than here, with views of the sound and multiple curiosities from some of the world’s most creative minds. Start near the waterfront, at Pier 70. Then wind your way among hulking beauties like Jaume Plensa’s “Echo,” a mesmerizing sculpture of a young girl facing the sea with eyes closed.

When the path deposits you onto Western Ave., you’ll be just a few blocks from your second stop.

2. International Fountain at the Seattle Center

You definitely won’t be the only one enjoying the sun at this attraction — and that’s the whole point. The outdoor fountain at Seattle Center has some of the best people-watching in the city! Kids love to get showered by this 9,000-gallon gusher, which has five different programmed spray “routines” set to music.

When you’ve had enough of watching and want to do something more interactive, cross the street to your next stop.

3. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is active all over the world. And the foundation’s Visitor Center puts you in touch — literally — with some of the amazing work the foundation and its grantees are doing both globally and right here in the Pacific Northwest. Get inspired, have fun and discover the issues that you’re passionate about! Every exhibit is designed to activate your mind — even the bathrooms are educational! Experience the unprecedented effort to eradicate polio in our lifetime; immerse yourself in conversations about education, health and poverty; and explore how you want to make a difference in the world.

When you’re ready to soak up the Seattle sun again, stroll your way to one of the city’s newest and nicest downtown parks.

4. Lake Union Park

There are lots of places in Seattle that let you gaze upon the water, but for up-close views of seaplanes taking off and landing, you want Lake Union Park. Here you’ll also find a play structure for kids — and a walkway leading right to your next destination.

5. Center for Wooden Boats

The skills and history of boat making are on full display at this free museum. The hands-on exhibits and boat rides (also free!) are fascinating and fun for all ages.

For a different kind of history, head down to your next stop, in Pioneer Square.

6. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

Nothing opens your eyes to the gold rush years and the history of Seattle like this national park/museum. It has everything from movies to live demonstrations of mining techniques and actual journals from stampeders back in the day. It’s also just a few blocks from the ferry terminal…

7. Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

Just because this spot is across the bay doesn’t mean your walk is over! Board the Bainbridge-bound ferry on foot, and look back on what is possibly the best view of Seattle’s beautiful skyline. (Also, look overboard for seals, orcas and other Elliott Bay locals!) When you hit land, walk from the dock right to the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, an amazing collection of contemporary art and culture from all around Kitsap County, Seattle and the world!

Now, we ask you: What other city lets you explore art and history, join the fight against polio, and possibly sneak a peek at awesome marine mammals — all on your own two feet? Only Seattle!