In the 1993 movie, Sleepless in Seattle, the city itself wasn’t just a supporting player, but also a main character beside Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Seattle is a one of kind city. It can be reverent and reserved or wild and wacky depending on your point of view. While tourists who don’t know better will spend time capturing views of the Space Needle, photos that we are already way too familiar with, they will miss out on some of the more interesting things in our city that make it uniquely Seattle. Here are some of the best locations around town worthy of taking snaps.
The Seattle Center
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 684-7200

As mentioned above, too many people focus their attention on The Space Needle, which is a beautiful site, but the grounds of the Seattle Center can be a haven for creative photos if you just look around. Just mere feet from the Needle is the entrance to the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. You don’t even have to step inside to capture a shot of the amazing artificial glass plants with the real thing. Also nearby is the bright orange Olympic Iliad Sculpture which offers endless photo ops. Continue walking the grounds and you’ll find many other great shots, including the EMP Museum building and the nearby giant Grass Blades located outside, the Sonic Bloom flowers located outside of the Pacific Science Center buildings, and the large mosaic wall at the Mural Amphitheater.

The Fremont Troll
3405 Troll Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 632-1500

Also known as the “troll under the bridge,” this sculpture was created by four Seattle artists (Steve Badanes, Will Martin, Donna Walter, and Ross Whitehead) and unlike other art, climbing the 18 foot tall creature is actually encouraged. The gentle giant features the Volkswagen Beetle from California that he had just caught and a hubcap as his “good eye.” Being that the sculpture is located under the bridge, photos can turn out pretty dark if you don’t have a flash. It also make for a great cool place to hang out on one of the hotter days in Seattle.

Waterfall Garden
219 2nd Ave. S.
Seattle, WA  98104
(206) 684-2489

Many of Seattleites aren’t even aware that this little gem even exists. Hidden and tucked away off 2nd Avenue, this tranquil garden not only make a fine place to escape from the world for a little while, but also offers some great photo possibilities with its rock formations, running waterfall, trees and plants. There are also may table and chairs to work with as well. Nobody will know that you took your shots in the middle of downtown Seattle!

Related: Best Free Attractions Near Seattle

Pike Place Market
1st Ave. and Pike St.
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 682-7453

Although this is a well-known spot in Seattle, guests often overlook the many photo possibilities this location really has. If you can catch a shot of a literal flying fish at the fish market, it makes for a great pic, but take time to look around. In addition to the tons of fresh produce and artisan wares, the market’s own building can make for some great shots. Explore the shops underneath and you’ll find more inspirations with the hallways’ twists and turns and natural hardwood. And don’t forget about the people. Guests of all nationalities and ages can be found here, not to mention some of Seattle’s more artistic residents.

Ye Olde Curiosity Shop
1001 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA  98119
(206) 682-5844

Just as Seattle is a one-of-a-kind city, you can be guaranteed that their isn’t another Ye Old Curiosity Shop anywhere else in the country. Part museum, part gift shop, this shop is a treasure trove of weird providing lots of great photo opportunities. Although recently relocated on the same pier, the shop has been serving Seattle since 1899! Where else can you take a picture with shrunken heads, mummies, natural oddities, taxidermy treasures and other man-made wonders?

Related: Art Lover’s Walking Tour of Seattle

Jeffrey Totey is a freelance writer living in Seattle. He has a love for the arts and is a student of pop culture. He covers stories about the performing arts, theater, museums, cultural events, movies and more in the greater Seattle area. His work can be found at