Image source: Flickr - Mark Fischer
Seattle, Washington, is known for a few things: the Space Needle, Starbucks, grunge music, and, yes, of course the weather. But, over the years, Seattle has become known for another thing: being a city full of quirks.
Sister-city Portland might be "weird," but Seattle is quirky.
If you find yourself visiting Seattle, here are 5 quirky attractions worth checking out:
Back when Seattle was first founded in the 1850s, the city sat a bit lower in elevation - one story lower, in fact. But, being lower on what was basically a tidal flat meant that the city often flooded. So, after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, Seattle was re-built - one or two stories higher than it had been before, with wider streets and brick buildings. But the "underground" - Seattle at its original street level - still exists beneath the shop fronts and streets.
Today, in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood (the most historic in the city), you can go on a tour of this subterranean part of the city, thanks to Bill Spiedel and his Seattle Underground Tour. The tours, which have been running for nearly 50 years, are extra quirky thanks to plenty of corny jokes told by the tour guides.
Located in Post Alley beneath Pike Place Market, the Market Theater Gum Wall is exactly what it sounds like - a brick wall covered in (used) chewing gum. The wall has several inches of old gum on it, and it's said that people have been sticking their gum on the bricks since the early '90s. It's not the cleanest attraction in Seattle, but it definitely is quirky.
Head down to Seattle's central waterfront, and you'll be hard-pressed to miss Ye Olde Curiosity Shop. The shop full of curios and (now) souvenirs - is a Seattle staple, first opening its doors way back in 1899. Stop inside to pick up a souvenir, and to see things like shrunken heads, totem poles, and a mummy or two.
Seattle is home to lots of interesting artwork - from Chihuly's glasswork to the art found in the Olympic Sculpture Park, there's a lot to see in the city. Perhaps the quirkiest bit of art, however, can be found beneath the Aurora Bridge in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood. Known simply as the "Fremont Troll," the sculpture is, quite literally, a giant troll under the bridge.
There are, of course, plenty more quirky things around Seattle - I've seen trees wearing knitted sweaters, hula-hooping guitarists at Pike Place Market, and even a pinball museum. So keep your eyes peeled - there's plenty of quirky to go around in Seattle.
What other quirky things have you found in Seattle?
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
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Graduate student by day and avid traveler and blogger by night (and on weekends and during holidays), Amanda is just a small-town Ohio girl trying to balance a "normal" life with a desire to discover the world beyond her Midwest bubble. Amanda's adventurous nature and inability to say "no" have led her to some pretty amazing adventures all around the world. But she has no desire to stop exploring anytime soon. Read Amanda's blog, A Dangerous Business, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.
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