When you travel to Seattle, you have plenty to do. You can catch a Seattle Seahawks or Mariners game or visit Pike Place Market. Most tourists head to these attractions, though. You’re different, and you want a unique vacation. Here are three strange attractions to see while in Seattle.
Ye Olde Curiosity Shop
When is the last time you held a shrunken head in your hands? Have you ever inspected a real mummy? Do you love the macabre and mysterious? Seattle has the perfect tourist destination for you.
J.E. “Daddy” Standley opened Ye Olde Curiosity Shop in 1899, and his ancestors maintain it until this day. Yes, it’s a mom-and-pop antiquities dealership that happens to deal in the supernatural. As you walk through this store, you’ll see a three-tusked walrus skull, the spine of a whale, and shrunken heads.
You can even interact with a one-armed bandit named Black Bart. He’s a human-shaped slot machine. If he doesn’t interest you, his friend Estrella might. She’s an automated gypsy fortune teller. Put a few coins in Estrella, and she’ll boldly predict your future. If this sounds familiar, a machine like Estrella was integral to the plot of “Big.”
Many of the items here have taken on a life of their own. The Simpsons even parodied the store in the famous episode, “Treehouse of Horror.” That’s reason enough for you to visit! By staying at an inexpensive hotel near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, you’ll be in a convenient location for this shop and the two other attractions below.
Your first thought is probably that a bridge isn’t a fun tourist location. You’re right in that the bridge isn’t the highlight here. Instead, it’s the thing that resides under the bridge. What creature famously lives under a bridge? Yes, it’s a troll, and the Aurora Bridge features an adorable one.
The Troll Monument is an 18-foot tall mass of steel, wire, and two tons of ferroconcrete. Suffice it to say that this sucker is ugly, and that’s before you factor in the metal eye! If cute-ugly is your thing, the Aurora Bridge troll is an optimal selfie spot. You’ll revel in the likes that roll in when you post photos of your group in the troll’s lap.
Don’t let the skyscrapers that dominate the downtown area fool you. A rich history lurks just beneath the city’s surface. The Seattle Underground is where a fire buried the past of Seattle, the first version of its urban development. In 1889, the new city fell victim to tragedy when flames engulfed the business district, wiping out much of the development. Unfortunately, many of the 19th-century buildings were made of wood. They burned completely and were beyond repair. Seattle had to start from scratch after the fire.
You can tour the ruins of the Seattle Underground, visiting all the remnants of Seattle’s original iteration. Here, you’ll see the shops and bars of old, the ones lost in the fire. It’s an engrossing tourist attraction that will cause you to appreciate the frailty of early metropolitan settlements.
All three of these tourist attractions will provide ample entertainment on your trip. After you’ve seen all of them, you can then visit the more conventional Seattle tourist attractions.