If nothing else, the Pacific North West has a reputation for doing things a little differently. And if you're looking for creativity in the PNW, look no further than Seattle; a city absolutely bursting with oddities, curiosities and things you might struggle to find anywhere else in the US. Here's a quick list of 8 weird and wonderful things you'll find if you look hard enough!
1. Explore Seattle's underground tunnels
One of the most interesting parts of Seattle's history is the Seattle Underground. In the 19th century, in order to ensure that water flowed downhill to the sea, the streets of Seattle were raised above the ground. As a result, many of the sidewalks and storefronts became underground tunnels. Many were forgotten about for almost a century, but they've since been rediscovered and tourists can now explore them with underground tours! They're super entertaining and offer a glimpse into Seattle's interesting past.
2. Ride a hot tub boat
Created in 2011 to solve one man's need for a hot tub while house boating, you can now rent a fully operational hot tub boat on Lake Union. This is truly one of the most unique ways to float around, and they come with their own dry storage for food and drinks, speakers and, most importantly, hot water for those drizzly Seattle days.
3. Visit a Cat Cafe
Cat Cafes aren't native to Seattle, but they're certainly a unique way to spend an hour, and why not visit one in Seattle while you're there! Cat cafes are a growing global obsession, and for the price of admission, you get to enjoy a drink with your favourite 'purrista'. Some cat cafes also offer opportunities to adopt rescue cats, so they're actually a very valuable service! Make sure you check one out!
4. Hang out with the Fremont Troll
This is one thing that Seattle boasts that really is as bizarre as it is unique; the Fremont Troll.
The Fremont Troll is a public sculpture that was originally created as a way to change an area that was slowly becoming rife with drug use and trash. A contest was held to decide which art piece was going to fill the space under the George Washington Memorial Bridge, and the winner, of course, was the Fremont Troll.
It's a 6,000kg statue made from rebar and concrete, and depicts a troll holding a real life Volkswagen Beetle. It is enormous, and has become a truly iconic part of Seattle's artistic landscape.
5. Visit Seattle's Official Bad Art Museum of Art
Looking for something weird, wonderful and, quite possibly, terrible? Look no further than Seattle's Official Bad Art Museum of Art, or OBAMA. OBAMA is room full of eclectic paintings that should never see the light of day. Very kitsch, very enjoyable, and great food too. OBAMA is part of Cafe Racer, and is well worth a visit.
6. Visit the Fin Project in Magnuson Park
While many people visit Seattle and the Pacific North West for the sealife and whalewatching, there's an altogether weirder version to be found at Magnuson Park at Sand Point. Designed to simulate a school of Orcas, this sculpture park is made of 22 actual decommissioned US naval submarine fins. It's a dedication by artist John T. Young, to those soldiers that served in the armed forces during the cold war.
The fins were donated by the US Navy and as a result, represents a unique collaboration between Armed Forces, the City of Seattle and the Art community.
7. Check out the Rubber Chicken Museum
From the intellectual and now to the absurd. A rubber chicken museum that opened in 2018 is probably the most 'laughable' way you could spend your afternoon. The museum proudly boasts that it contains the biggest and the smallest rubber chickens in the world, as well as plenty of other weird and wonderful curiosities. The museum clearly doesn't take itself too seriously, and is somewhat tongue in cheek. Great for kids, or anyone that's bored with nothing better to do on a rainy Seattle day.
8. Visit the original Starbucks in Pike Place
This one is for pilgrims looking for where it all began. Arguably the birthplace of the modern American coffee shop, Seattle boasts the first ever starbucks. The original Starbucks in Pike Place has a different aura about it, still uses the original Starbucks logo, and probably has the longest line you've ever seen. It's the same coffee as any other, but you can grab some different souvenirs here to mark your visit.
When it comes to unique things to do in Seattle, this list is really just the tip of the iceberg. Seattle truly has one of the most unique, bohemian and off the wall personalities of all cities in the US, and there's always a new piece of art or expression around every street corner.
Even if weird curiosities aren't your thing, Seattle is also an incredible jumping off point for a trip around the Pacific North West, one of America's most wonderful places. The lush northern rainforests are full of jaw dropping natural wonders, and I highly encourage you to leave the city and head into the wilderness if you're ever in the area.