Five of Seattle’s Free Hidden Gems

Posted June 02, 2014

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned local, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Seattle. In addition to famous sights like the Space Needle and Pike Place Market, Seattle offers some lesser-known but equally fun — and best of all, free — experiences to enjoy.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center
Located across from Seattle Center,this free attraction invites visitors to enjoy hands-on exhibits and interactive games, and discover innovations, like the dry flush toilet, that help improve lives in Seattle and around the world.
Tues. – Sat., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Summer Hours)
440 5th Ave. N., Seattle, WA
www.gatesvc.org

Frye Art Museum
This free museum in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood displays a permanent collection of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century European paintings, as well as exhibitions of works by internationally renowned and emerging artists.
Tues – Sun., 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
704 Terry Ave., Seattle, WA  
www.fryemuseum.org 

Washington Park Arboretum
Take a free tour of the beautiful 230-acre public park, located on the shores of Lake Washington, which features an always-changing collection of plants found nowhere else in the world.
Open daily, dawn to dusk.
2300 Arboretum Dr. E., Seattle, WA

Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington
Built in the 1920s, this Gothic-style library houses terra-cotta statues, hand-painted globes and one of the world’s biggest books.
University of Washington Main Campus, Seattle, WA
www.lib.washington.edu/suzzallo

Ballard Locks
No list of things to do in Seattle is complete without a visit to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard, where kayaks, tugboats, yachts and more pass between the Puget Sound and Ship Canal; and in certain months, migrating salmon join them via the fish ladder.
Open daily, 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
3015 NW 54th St., Seattle, WA
www.seattle.gov/tour/locks.htm