Seattle is like the United States’ progressive, quirky bubble. Some cities have beautiful churches, others have historical buildings. Seattle has a wall covered in chewing gum. If you’re in the mood for something totally off-beat and interesting, there is no shortage of oddities and unique attractions for you in Seattle.
Gas Works Park
You can go anywhere and find a park, but you won’t find one quite like Gas Works Park. One of my favorite things is repurposed spaces. And Gas Works Park is without a doubt, one of the best examples of that in the United States. The park sits at the site of the Seattle Gas Light Company, and many of the original structures of the plant form part of the park’s interesting landscape.
Part of the plant’s former compressors and pumps have been converted into a playground, for kids (of all ages). You can also enjoy the view of the city across Lake Union from the “Great Mound,” where you’ll also find a sundial that was created by local Seattle artists. Gas Works Park is great for a stroll or a picnic and it’s the largest weird attraction Seattle has to offer.
Just a 5 minute drive from Gas Works Park, is another Seattle oddity not to be missed. The Fremont Troll won an art competition in the 90s and has been a Seattle staple ever since. The massive statue is located under the bridge at N. 36th Street and Troll Avenue N. It’s worth checking out because, like most of the attractions on this list, it’s not every day you can visit a real troll under a bridge.
The mixed media statue, which is made out of mostly concrete, is holding an actual Volkswagen Beetle, to give you an idea of its size. It’s definitely large enough to climb all over, so it’s especially fun if you have little ones.
This attraction may not be for everyone. Some people might be grossed out at the sight (and smell) of thousands of pieces of chewed gum. The wall is located in Post Alley in Pike Place Market. Though Seattle’s famous gum wall was recently cleaned off for the first time in 20 years, the popular attraction was quickly re-done with a new batch of colorful already-chewed gum. So the gum may not be quite as old as it used to be, but you can still dispose of your Bubble Yum at Seattle’s gum wall to add to this man-made creation.
Giant Shoe Museum
Also in Pike Place Market, you’ll find the Giant Shoe Museum. It’s essentially a peep show for large footwear. For just a few quarters, you’ll be able to gawk at real clown shoes and a shoe that once belonged to the World’s Tallest Man among others that are part of the showcase. It’s a nice throwback to old sideshows and a modern marvel for people with a very weird and specific shoe fetish.
A Sound Garden
No, not the band. But they did borrow the name from this outdoor art installation located on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) campus. Getting into the campus requires that you enter through the main access road and go through security to obtain a pass.
But the trouble is worth it. The installation is made up of a series of steel towers that each contain an organ pipe, creating a huge musical instrument. Depending on how strong the wind is blowing that day, you’ll hear different tones floating faintly in the air. And because you’ll already be on the NOAA campus, you can check out some of the other art installations on the grounds.
Stay weird, Seattle.
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