40 Things to Do in Seattle for $10 or Less

Published On 11/10/2015 Published On 11/10/2015

Seattle may be known as the Emerald City because of the lush greenery that surrounds our sleepless metropolis, but that nickname is more suited to the fact that you need an emerald mine just to afford going out.

But fret not my frugal friends. There are plenty of fun things to do in Seattle that are, say, $10 or less. In fact, here are 40...

Flickr/Jason Burrows

1. Buy a coffee or pastry at the original Starbucks

Pike Place Market
Price: $3-$10
Right in the heart of Seattle’s bustling Pike Place Market sits this iconic landmark. Be prepared for long line of people who need caffeine.

2. Ride the Seattle Center Monorail from the Space Needle

Seattle Center
Price: $2.25
This retro ride is the best way to get quickly from the Space Needle to downtown. The views aren’t too bad either.

3. Attend open mic night at The Comedy Underground

Pioneer Square
Price: $6
Grab a drink, get some laughs, and if you’re feeling funny, maybe even take for the stage yourself.  


4. Take a water taxi to Alki Beach, eat a Spam slider at Marination Ma Kai

Alki Beach 
Price: $4.75 for water taxi ticket, $3 slider
The view of Seattle from the water is breathtaking, and it’s even better with some tropical eats.


5. Pick out a bouquet at Pike Place Market 

Pike Place Market
Price: $10
You can get some pretty impressive bouquets for less than a Hamilton -- the perfect gift if you’re a crashing houseguest.

6. Take a peek of the giant shoe

Pike Place Market 
Price: $1 in quarters 
Inside the Old Seattle Paperworks store, behind a curtain sits a giant shoe. It is mesmerizing. 

7. Eat fish and chips at Ivar’s Fish Bar

Seattle Boardwalk 
Price: $9.79
Chow down on five pieces of Alaska True Cod with french fries along the busy boardwalk. 

Flickr/Brook Ward

8. Visit the Fremont Troll and grab a beer (or two)

Price: $5-$10
There’s no toll to see the troll, so spend your $10 around the corner at Fremont Brewing. 

9. Gawk at the world’s worst art 

University District 
Price: $1-10
The Official Bad Art Museum of Art inside Cafe Racer is free, but you gotta stick around for the not-bad-at-all coffee and food. 

10. Ride the Washington State Ferry 

Seattle waterfront
Price: $8.10 (expect changes)
It’s the best way to get to Bainbridge Island.

Flickr/Rick Gordon

11. Taste a variety of local wines

Bainbridge Island
Price: $10
Four tastings at Island Vintners Wine for $10? Duh.

12. Take a tour of Safeco Field 

Price: $10 (sometimes) 
Check out the 19.59-acre outdoor baseball park the Seattle Mariners call home and take a tour around the places not normally open to the general public.

Flickr/Howard Ignatius

13. Clean your car at Elephant Car Wash

Downtown Seattle
Price: $9.99
Get the “basic” car wash at this not-at-all basic car wash.

14. Bike or skate along the beach

Alki Beach 
Price: $10
Choose between one hour on a bike or two hours on skates and take in the fresh sights along Alki Beach. 

Flickr/sea turtle

15. Explore the tastes of Asia at Uwajimaya

International District
Price: $0-10
This 35,000sqft Asian market undoubtedly has something for everyone.

16. Grab a couple slices of the good stuff

International District 
Price: $5-10 
All the pizzas at the World Pizza are vegetarian, and they also just so happen to be extremely delicious. 

Flickr/Sean Munson

17. Take a tour of the Theo Chocolate Factory

Price: $10
Live your own Willy Wonka dream.

18. Get botanical at the Volunteer Park Conservatory

Volunteer Park
Price: $4
Guided tours of the plant collections last between 30 minutes and an hour. Just be sure to give a couple weeks notice.

19. Take a tour of Husky Stadium

University of Washington
Price: $10
Travel down the Hall of Fame and make your way onto the field for views that few ever get to experience.

Flickr/Chris Blakely

20. Sail a tiny boat

South Lake Union
Price: $5
The Center for Wooden Boats provides beautiful miniature pond yachts for the public to learn sailing. 

21. Sing some karaoke and drink a margarita at Plaza Garibaldi

Lower Queen Anne
Price: $5-8
Come for the margaritas, stay for the karaoke. Friday and Saturday nights.

22. Buy something during Pioneer Square Art Walk

Pioneer Square + Downtown
Price: $0-10
On the first Thursday of every month.

23. Snack and shop at Fremont Sunday Market

Price: $0-10
Check out the European-style street market with over 200 vendors selling food, antiques, and just about anything else you can think of.

24. Taste some brews at Redhook Brewery

Price: $5
A tour is educational, and knowledge is power. (Also, free beer samples.)

Flickr/Anne and Tim

25. Get your sugar rush at Top Pot Doughnuts

Price: $2-$10
These are the best donuts in Seattle. Trust us.

26. Play the claw machine or pinball at Unicorn

Capitol Hill
Price: $1-10 (depending on how skilled you are)
This carnival-themed bar has all the fun of a circus, minus the clowns. Thank God. 

27. Canoe along Union Bay

Union Bay
Price: $10
The Waterfront Activities Center at UW rents canoes during the week for $10 an hour to non-students. That’s the best deal you’ll find in the city.

28. Eat at Deluxe at Dick’s Drive-In

All over the city
Price: $3.10 (cash only)
The only time “go eat a Dick’s” is a pleasantry. This is basically the Seattle-version of In-N-Out.

29. Grab a creamy cone at Molly Moon’s

All over the city
Price: $3-10
Ninety percent of all of the ingredients used at Molly Moon’s are from the Pacific Northwest, and everything used in the shop is compostable. Have your ice cream and save the world, too.

Flickr/Brian Dewey

30. Buy some gum and put it on the Gum Wall

Pike Place Market 
Price: $.99 
Get yourself into a sticky situation with this awesomely gross Seattle tradition. 

31. Build a bonfire at Golden Gardens

Price: $5-10 for wood
This beautiful waterfront park offers amazing views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.

32. Eat everyone's favorite fried chicken

All over the city
Price: $5-10
If Oprah loves Ezell’s Famous Chicken, you will love Ezell’s Famous Chicken.

33. Visit the REI flagship store

Cascade neighborhood 
Price: $0-10
Climbers, bikers, runners, swimmers -- this is your dreamland. 

Flickr/A Klar

34. Buy a pop at the haunted soda machine

Capitol Hill
Price: $.75
A ghost definitely stocks this iconic old-school soda machine with fresh soda every week. But don’t let them know that we’re on to them.


35. Watch some glassblowing in action

Price: $7.50/each with a group of 10
Seattle Glassblowing Studio offers one-hour tours by appointment where an expert will tell you all you need to know about this beautiful art form. 

36. Taste samples of spirits at Copperworks Distilling

Pike Place Market
Price: $10
Get a behind-the-scenes peek at how these fine spirits are made and savor their samples.

37. Find a gem at Seattle Antiques Market

Seattle waterfront
Price: $0-10
Dig around, one man’s trash is likely another man’s... eventual trash.

Flickr/Joe Wolf

38. Visit DRY Soda Co.’s tasting room

Pioneer Square
Price: $0-10
This soda company provides a free tasting room, but you’ll want to spend all $10 after trying these bubbly concoctions. 

39. Get educated at the Nordic Heritage Museum

Price: $8
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden -- all of the Nordic countries are proudly represented here. 


40. Find your very own oddity at Archie McPhee

Price: $0-10
Whatever weird or wacky thing you can imagine, this place has it.

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Cody Permenter is a freelance writer who now has 40 more thing to check off his Seattle bucket list. Follow him on Twitter.



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