If you’re the type of traveler who loves to discover the strange, quirky, and hidden aspects of a city and looking for things to do in Seattle, you’ve come to the right place. While this city might be known for mostly rain, coffee, and more rain, there are plenty of unusual things to see and do in Seattle that will satisfy those curious visitors hoping for something unconventional. We’ve compiled a list of 11 weird things to do in Seattle that will make your next trip to this unique city memorable. Since you’re going to need more than a day to take in all that makes Seattle weird, you may want to consider booking a hotel or vacation rental in Seattle so you have enough time to get the full experience.
Go to the Unicorn Bar
You could go to a normal bar, or you could go to the old-timey, carnival-themed fever dream that is the Unicorn Bar on Capitol Hill, where they serve things like fried peanut butter cookie dough and cocktails named things like “Snozzberry Frost” and “Mystical Mermaid.” The Unicorn Bar also offers karaoke every Monday and cabaret shows featuring drag queens in impeccable makeup, so you can bet this will be a worthwhile and weird Seattle attraction.
Ye Olde Curiosity Shop
First established in 1899, this may be one of the best weird things to do in Seattle. Ye Olde Curiosity Shop pledges to at least make you laugh nervously as you wander through their collection of mummies, shrunken heads, four-legged chickens, a “mermaid” skeleton, and a walrus skull with three tusks, to name a few.
The Wall of Death
Located under the University Bridge, the Wall of Death is a strange art installation that involves lavender spikes and a very orange sign simply reading, “Wall of Death.” It’s not ominous exactly, but it’s not not ominous, you know? Mostly, this art piece created by a father-son duo is really going to make a great and/or spooky photo background to commemorate your trip to Seattle.
Speaking of weird things lurking under bridges, the Fremont Troll is an iconic example of unusual Seattle attractions. If you’ve seen Ten Things I Hate About You, you know it was pretty much the image of Joseph Gordon Levitt climbing around this enormous sculpture that put this attraction on the map.
The Seattle Underground Tunnels
Under Pioneer Square in Seattle lies a network of tunnels that once were at ground level but became the weird, creepy passages they are today when the streets were elevated. These days, you can take tours of the Seattle Underground. That is if you can brave wandering through spaces that are more than likely very haunted by the first coffee-guzzlers of the city.
Haunted Soda Machine
One of the most enigmatic fixtures of Capitol Hill, across from the Light Rail station, is a mystery Coke machine that has now for years remained stocked by an anonymous source. No one has been able to figure out who exactly is keeping soda in this now disheveled machine, but you can still select any button that says “MYSTERY” and wait for a soda surprise. Talk about weird things to see in Seattle!
The Museum of Pop Culture
The Museum of Pop Culture continually has an incredible rotation of exhibitions for music lovers, cinephiles, fantasy worlds, etc. Get lost in virtual reality in their Holodome exhibition, gaze upon creepy items straight from your favorite horror movie sets, or immerse yourself in the history of Nirvana. There’s no end to weird experiences or memorabilia sure to make you feel a little nostalgic.
At Alki Beach Park stands a small replica of the Statue of Liberty, because, why not? Originally a gift from the Boy Scouts of America in 1952, you can now have a teeny tiny taste of New York right here at this strange Seattle attraction. Plus, you can pull pranks on your friends by posting yourself with photos of the replica and trick them into thinking you’re actually on the east coast. And you’ve become a giant.
Official Bad Art Museum of Art
The Official Bad Art Museum of Art (or, “OBAMA”) is actually located inside Cafe Racer near the University of Washington. And boy, is there some fine bad art in this place (such as one painting of two sausages throwing green paint on a Greek statue…for some reason). Grab a beer or one of their “Wonder Wieners” (a polish dog stuffed with cream cheese, green onions, and chiles) and browse the gallery of horrible Elvis portraits, velvet paintings, and more.
Kurt Cobain’s bench
In Viretta Park and near the legendary Nirvana front man’s home in Seattle stands a bench now used as an unofficial memorial to the late singer. As part of Nirvana, Cobain is credited with starting the grunge movement in Seattle and is a fixture in pop culture history. Whether you’re a Nirvana fan or not, there’s something about stopping by the benches (often covered in flowers or notes) that truly makes one feel they are engaging in Seattle history.
The Seattle Pinball Museum is one of those must-do things on a list of weird Seattle attractions. This quirky museum is exactly what it sounds like: pinball machines! From vintage pinball machines to modern day, you can spend hours (if you like) literally just playing pinball and sipping on sodas that will give you major throwback feelings.
Now, take this list of weird things to do in Seattle and go forth! Embrace the strange pockets and attractions of this weird city, and make sure to eat some fried peanut butter cookie dough while you do it.