Good coffee. Stylish street art. Grunge music. The Space Needle. Offbeat Seattle street-fashion. These are all things you find in Seattle that might not surprise you. But the city is also friendly, eclectic, and sometimes even a bit eccentric — which means that it is a veritable hotbed of strange sights and activities. The next time you find yourself in Seattle, rather than sticking to the boring and predictable tourist route, head on over and check out these….
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The Official Bad Art Museum of Art
Also known as OBAMA, I was lured in the by promise of good food, good music and bad art at The Official Bad Art Museum of Art. What a winning combination! The “museum” isn’t as big as I’d imagined, but it was way more entertaining! Located inside of Cafe Racer, come eager for a bite to eat or to down a beer or cocktail as your peruse their collection of tasteless artwork. It’s perfect for killing a half an hour or to use as a meeting place.
The Haunted Vending Machine
Sitting alone on one Seattle street corner and looking decidedly out of place is a beat-up, old vending machine that appears to have been there since the 1950s. Although it has in fact only been here for a few years, no one knows where it comes from or who keeps it stocked.
I thirstily approached it only to find that the buttons reveal no clue as to the contents of the machine. After inserting my 75 cents, I hit the fourth button and was rewarded with an Orange Fanta. Wow, I didn’t even know that came in cans. To play the soda lottery yourself and see what the spirits give you, head on over to John & Broadway.
The Pinball Museum
Always a fan of crazy and kooky museums, it didn’t take any convincing to get me inside the Seattle Pinball Museum. Turns out this place is so much fun that it has no right being called a “museum”— it is in fact an arcade. But, it’s one that is complete with vintage games from the 1960s to the 2010s.
Apparently they continually rotate through their inventory too, so you never know exactly what goodies from your childhood are waiting inside.
Like Pinball? Budapest Pinball Museum + other offbeat museums
Greenwood Space Travel Supply
Full of knick-knacks, souvenirs, apparel and obvious scientific necessities such as a can of Chaos, a bottled quart of “Uncertainty” and the obligatory Black Hole Starter Kit, I was blown away by Greenwood Space Travel Supply. Not only is it cool and quirky, but by shopping here customers are supporting The Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas (formerly 826 Seattle,) a charity working for over a decade to actively improving the writing abilities of children.
The Fremont Troll
Undeniably Seattle’s most well-known offbeat attraction, the Fremont Troll has been lurking underneath the George Washington Memorial Bridge towards north Seattle since 1990. Apparently, it won an art competition and has since become an attraction for out-of-town visitors. It was definitely worthy of the five-minute stop and photo, as well as a mandatory climb up.