5 Best Photo Opportunities in Seattle

Photo Opportunities Seattle

Lee Van Grack

Seattle, alongside, its cultural offerings and laid-back lifestyle also proves to be a perfect haven for those who love to capture anything spectacular as photographs. Here are photo opportunities in Seattle that can make not only your memories but also photo albums worth cherishing.

1. Romantic Spots

If your idea of romantic is up in the air, with a view of nature's wonders, you won't be disappointed by the scenic photo opportunities in Seattle. From the picture perfect photo opportunities atop the Seattle Space Needle, where on a clear day you can see Mount Rainer and the Olympic Mountains, to the more prosaic lighthouse operated by the Coast Guard on Alki Point in West Seattle, the scenic area offers a multitude of spots to grab a smooch or pop the question. More down to earth? Try the enchantment of cherry trees in bloom in April at the Lake Washington Arboretum or the lush flowers of Carl S. English, Jr. Botanical Gardens on the north side of the Locks in Ballard.

Space Needle
219 Fourth Ave N
Seattle, WA
Mon-Thu 10AM-11PM; Fri-Sat 9:30AM-11:30PM; Sun 9:30AM-11PM

Lake Washington Arboretum
2300 Arboretum Drive E
Seattle, WA
Daily Dawn-Dusk

Carl S. English, Jr. Botanical Gardens
32nd Ave NW
Seattle, WA
Daily 7AM-9PM

2. Quirky Spots

What to do with a dark, noisy spot under a big bridge? Build a troll, of course! Fifteen feet tall and readying to munch on a Volkswagen bug, the huge sculpture of the Fremont Troll under the Aurora Bridge is among the best photo opportunities in Seattle. Nearby, in downtown Fremont, is the seemingly out of place statue of V.I. Lenin, the early Soviet leader. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian sculptor couldn't sell his piece. Two Americans from the area worked over the years to bring the huge sculpture to its resting place, in a grassy corner of hip Fremont. Now, it's one of the more unique photo opportunities in Seattle. Don't miss the third sculpture in the area: the group waiting for the bus on Fremont Avenue and North 34th. Richard Beyer's Waiting for the Interurban conveys that feeling of stasis we all feel sometimes, when the bus -- or life -- seems to be taking forever to arrive.

3. Family Fun Spots

Seattle is chock full of parks, and its residents are relentlessly outdoorsy, making it easy to find a few active photo opportunities in Seattle. From the Woodland Park Zoo's giraffes and bears to kite-flying at Gasworks Park, there are plenty of choices when it comes to the best Seattle photo ops. The Ballard Locks offer a peek into underwater life with observation windows that allow visitors to watch salmon scale the fish ladder. Take Seattle landscape photography to "the next level" at the Seattle Center, where you can ascend into the clouds on the Space Needle or put on a headset at the Experience Music Project. For a family picnic try Green Lake Park, where everybody and his dog gets some exercise, spots turtles sunning themselves on logs, or lies in the grass with a favorite beverage.

Woodland Park Zoo
601 N. 59th St.
Seattle, WA
May-Sep Daily 9:30AM-6PM; Oct-Apr Daily 9:30AM-4PM

Gasworks Park
2101 N. Northlake Way
Seattle, WA
Daily 6AM-10PM

Seattle Center
1st Ave. N. at Republican St.
Seattle, WA
Mon-Sat 11AM-8PM; Sun 11AM-6PM

Green Lake Park
7201 E. Green Lake Dr. N.
Seattle, WA
Daily 24 hours

4. Scenic Spots

For dynamite sunsets as well as summer barbecues and sunbathing, check out the sandy beach at Golden Gardens in Ballard, one of my favorite places for outdoor photo opportunities in scenic Seattle. Nearby you can observe how boats of all sizes get from the ocean to inland lakes at the Ship Canal at Ballard Locks. At dusk the neon Public Market sign glows against the gathering night at Pike Place Market. Next door to the Seattle Art Museum in lower downtown the Olympic Sculpture Gardens offers an artsy backdrop for your landscape photography in Seattle.

Golden Gardens
8498 Seaview Pl. NW.
Ballard, WA
Daily 6AM-11:30PM

Olympic Sculpture Gardens
2901 Western Ave.
Seattle, WA
Open Daily

5. Classic Spots

There is no more classic spot in Seattle than Pike Place Market – and no better place to find some of the best, most candid photo ops in Seattle. Grab a delectable flower bouquet from the grower herself, order an espresso in Starbuck's very first café, or down a microbrew from a local brewer. But by all means stand back when the fish start flying! There will be a crowd, especially if it's summer, but the salmon tossing goes on all day at Pike Place Fish Company – and beware of the "Low flying fish!" Pick yours out and have it shipped home. Don't miss Rachel the Pig. Rub her nose, make a wish and a donation to charity. For the variety of sheer natural beauty, discover an adventure at Discovery Park, with its 500 acres of woods, beaches, wildlife, and more, is a true dreamland for Seattle landscape photography. On a rainy day (and it's been known to rain in scenic Seattle) check out the Seattle Aquarium on the waterfront.

Pike Place Market
1501 Pike Pl.
Seattle, WA
Mon-Sat 10AM-6PM; Sun 11AM-5PM

Pike Place Fish Company
86 Pike St.
Seattle, WA
Mon-Sat 6:30AM-6PM; Sun 7AM-5PM

Discovery Park
3801 W. Government Way
Seattle, WA
Daily 6AM-11PM

Seattle Aquarium
1483 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA
Daily 9:30AM-5PM

Lise McClendon has published seven novels with settings that include Kansas City, the French countryside, and New York City, including Blackbird Fly. Read her blog on Red Room.
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