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Top places to photograph in Seattle in 2023
These are the very best Seattle Instagram spots, curated by the PhotoHound team. If you've got limited time here, these are the must-see locations to shoot while you're in Seattle!
The view from Kerry Park includes all of Seattle's most iconic features such as the Space Needle, the downtown high rises, Elliott Bay and Mount Rainier, making it the most popular city view for photographers. Many people line up along the wall overlooking the city, meaning it is not unusual to have to wait your turn to take your place up front.
Learn more about Kerry Park
The Washington Park Arboretum is composed of 230 acres of gardens and forest, laced with with trails. The park is home to a large number of native and non-native plants managed jointly by the city of Seattle and the University of Washington. The park also includes boardwalk trails along the Ship Canal which is ideal for bird watching and bird photography. The best place to start your photo tour is at the Visitor Center where volunteers can direct you to the best areas for the time of year.
Learn more about Washington Park Arboretum
The award winning Woodland Park Zoo has visually appealing exhibits covering a broad range of environments. It is a popular destination for local families and tourist alike. The aviaries are brightly lit and filled with colorful inhabitants. The habitats contain a wide variety of animals from hippos to snow leopards to wolves and mountains goats. Paths wind around the habitats and it is easy to spend half a day walking through the exhibits, viewing and photographing the animals.
Learn more about Woodland Park Zoo
Discovery Park is the largest city park in Seattle. Encompassed in it boundaries is the historic site of Fort Lawton, (including a small enclave of housing which still belongs to the military), the Day Break Star Native American cultural center, a partially hidden sewage treatment facility, and an abandoned lighthouse. In addition, the park has forest, grassland and beaches as well as over 11-miles of trails connecting everything together. Photographically, the lighthouse is the main attraction as it sits on the shores of the Puget Sound with the Olympic Mountains as a backdrop.
Learn more about West Point Lighthouse at Discovery Park
The Space Needle has an Observation Deck located 540 feet above the ground with a 360 degree view of the vibrant and growing city of Seattle and the Puget Sound Basin. The downtown core, with all its high rising towers is spread out at your feet to the south with Mt Rainier dominating the southern horizon. Ferries, container ships and cruise boats can be seen coming and going over Elliott Bay. West Seattle, Puget Sound, the Elliott Bay Marina, the Olympic Mountains as well as Magnolia and Queen Anne Hills fill the landscape to the northwest. A quick walk around the top of the Space Needle produces more views, starting with Lake Union and heading out to the Cascade Range range where, on a clear day, Mt Baker can be seen gleaming in the sunlight to the north, almost on the Canadian border.
Learn more about Space Needle; Seattle Center
Bright, colorful, imaginative and fantastic works in glass make Chihuly Garden and Glass a delight to view and to photograph. The glass work is designed by the renown artist Dale Chihuly, a pioneer in glass creations. The Chihuly display is made up of eight Galleries, a centerpiece Glasshouse and a garden.
Learn more about The Chihuly Garden and Glass – Seattle Center
If looking for the oddest piece of architecture in Seattle, do not miss the Museum of Pop Culture. The outside is designed with colorful, reflective, contorted aluminum. The Monorail actually goes right through the structure on its way to and from the Seattle Center Station. The inside is an ever changing, fascinating, hodgepodge of various aspects of modern culture featuring artists, science fiction and music. The outside of the building offers views of the Monorail diving through the structure, the Space Needle and, on sunny days, magnificent reflections.
Learn more about MoPop ...Museum of Pop Culture
The Great Wheel is a huge, slow moving, Ferris Wheel which dominates the low-lying buildings along the waterfront. In the evening, the wheel is lit, often with colors celebrating a holiday or sporting event. The ride is interesting, however, the best photographs are found around its base.
Learn more about Miner’s Landing Pier 57 & The Great Wheel
Seattle's Farmers Market is one of the oldest public markets in the country. The market was founded in 1907 to give local farmers a place to sale their produce. Today the produce that is sold here is not always locally sourced. Bananas, citrus fruit and avocados most definitely come from out-of-town. One of the iconic locations is the fish market. Here, the fish merchants throw the iced fish to the fish wrapping station. The nearby vegetable sellers have produce arranged with an artist eye for size and color. Heading north are the flower sellers followed by a section full of trinket booths and artwork work vendors. Continuing north, find a balcony overlooking the waterfront. (this area was built in 2017 and at the time of this writing was not completed, but the view is excellent). Across the street from the main building are more shops selling seafood, baked goods and even a cheese makers store. Rachel the Pig is there, patiently waiting for people to sit on her and then put coins in. Street artists and performers, called Buskers, entertain the shoppers and visitors. Another very popular feature of the market area is the original Starbucks store located at 1912 Pike Pl. Because of the market development guidelines, the outside of the store looks just like it did when it opened. However, the long line waiting to get in helps you find the location.
Learn more about Public Market Center (Pike Place Market)
The Museum of Flight is the largest, nonprofit, private air and space museum in the world. The displays include some of the earliest biplanes as well as examples of amazingly aerodynamic spy and fighter jets such as M-21 Blackbird. There is an area devoted to the Apollo missions, and across the street is a huge room containing a Space Shuttle Trainer. In the outside area is a Concorde, Eisenhower's Air Force One and a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, just to name a few. One of the most fascinating areas of the museum is World War 1 and World War 2 galleries filled with time period airplanes. Finally, in recognition to the huge part that the Boeing Company has played in the development of airplanes, there is a large historical building called the Red Barn, which was the first Boeing factory.
Learn more about The Museum of Flight
We hope you enjoy photographing these great Seattle Instagram locations. We love seeing your images of the most Instagrammable places in Seattle, so make sure to share your images on PhotoHound and tag us on Instagram @photohound and hashtag #photohound for a chance to be featured.
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