The Pacific Northwest has long welcomed visitors and residents alike. People are drawn to this great region of the world for many reasons. Many love the area's mild climate, lush hills and the chance to explore nature for most of the year. Others come here for economic opportunity.
Those who live here know that Seattle can be a great place to discover in your spare time. Many residents like myself have spent time finding fun places to visit that are off the beaten path from the usual parade of standard tourist sites. Here are a few of my true favorites.
One of the most bizarre is the Post Alley Gum Wall. This is a wall covered in gum. It's adjacent to the world famous Pike Place Market where you can sample all kinds of local delicacies such as smoked salmon made from freshly caught salmon, crab legs from pristine area waters and our famous Washington state cherries. Thousands of visitors and locals (myself included) have left a piece of gum here. So after you're done filling your basket with our finest seafood and our glorious produce, grab a stick of gum and stick right on the wall so there will always be a part of you left here.
The wall is right where you can take a fun Market Ghost Tour. While I have yet to spot a ghost myself, several of my friends swear they've seen at least one. The ghost tour begins at the gum wall and focuses closely on the parts of the city that deal with death. This is the perfect place to celebrate Halloween if you happen to be here then. You can expect to see all kinds of little known spooky places during the tour like the city's first mortuary and several cemeteries. Bring a camera and see if you can capture a spirit hiding somewhere.
Another thing I really like to do in my spare time is visit the area's Woodland Park Zoo. The zoo is huge. And I mean really large. You should plan to spend at least a day here to see as much of it as possible. They have an elephant forest, a tropical rain forest, and lots of other cool attractions like bears and gorillas. What many people may not know is that the zoo is also host to a whole series of really concerts.
The Zoo Tunes concerts are one of the best things about living in Seattle during the summer. Each year, the zoo announces the concert schedule in April. The concerts are held starting at the end of June. You have to pay separately for admission to the zoo. So what I like to do is take a few hours to visit the zoo and then go to a concert of my choice. Book early because they can get sold out. I've seen many acts here in the last decade. Many people bring the entire family and make it a day trip.